D’Onta Foreman or Chuba Hubbard? Fantasy Outlook for Panthers Backfield

Should D'Onta Foreman or Chuba Hubbard be a priority addition for fantasy football managers after the departure of Christian McCaffrey?

The potential for D’Onta Foreman or Chuba Hubbard to become potential free agent/waiver wire targets was always bubbling in the backdrop for fantasy football managers. With talk of Christian McCaffrey being traded continuing to grow in recent weeks, there was always the chance at least one of the Carolina Panthers’ remaining RBs would see a significant increase in value.

Now, with the news that McCaffrey has been traded to the San Francisco 49ers, that potential has become a reality. Let’s look at the fantasy value of Foreman and Hubbard and how fantasy managers should prioritize the two running backs.

D’Onta Foreman or Chuba Hubbard: Who Should You Add To Your Fantasy Team?

The debate over who was the handcuff to McCaffrey has been an intriguing discussion dating back to the preseason. Foreman came in this past offseason on a one-year contract after flashing potential with the Tennessee Titans in 2021. Meanwhile, Hubbard was drafted in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft and was entering his second year with the Panthers after a less-than-stellar rookie year.

What we have seen so far in Carolina is that McCaffrey was the clear lead back. Behind him, the situation had been pretty messy through the first five weeks. Neither Foreman nor Hubbard had seen more than three touches in a single game to that point. Overall, Foreman led seven to four, but Hubbard was the only one to have seen more than two touches in a single game.

In Week 6, we may have gotten a little more clarity. Foreman carried the ball five times, while Hubbard only had two carries. However, Hubbard saw the only target that either of them has seen so far. The implication of that is we could see Foreman as the early down back, with Hubbard operating more in passing situations.

One other element that could suggest Hubbard will be the main pass-catching back is their career usage. Foreman has just 22 career targets, and even when he was starting some games for Tennessee last year, he did not see many targets.

Meanwhile, Hubbard saw 37 targets as a rookie. Foreman’s lack of targets across three different teams would suggest he has not impressed to this point when it comes to that element of the game in practice.

When we look at the stats they have so far, Hubbard has been slightly more efficient. He averages 5.7 yards per attempt (34 yards on six carries), compared to 3.1 yards per attempt for Foreman. However, the sample size is so small it is tough to take anything of significance out of those numbers.

How to Prioritize Foreman and Hubbard in Week 7

How you view these two backs really depends on your roster and scoring format. In non-PPR, Foreman’s potential role as the early-down back makes him the more appealing option. In that scoring format, we would need to see Hubbard have a lot of targets to produce value, as RB targets do not often lead to huge yardage totals.

Therefore, in non-PPR scoring leagues, you are looking to bank on carries and goal-line opportunities. While neither Hubbard nor Foreman has seen any red-zone touches this year, based on prior usage, that role appears to suit Foreman more. He is the slightly bigger of the two backs, which is where teams tend to look when it comes to short-yardage and goal-line work.

If your fantasy team is desperate for a potential starting RB who can be a weekly option for you, Foreman is the top option right now. Most leagues have cleared their mandatory waiver period, but if you are still in it, then spending as much as 20-25 percent of your FAAB in non-PPR scoring is not out of the question.

MORE: 49ers Depth Chart: Fantasy Impact of McCaffrey Trade

The opportunity to add a lead back mid-season is rare. It might not work out, but if your roster needs a lead back, it is better to have spent that FAAB trying to give yourself a boost than miss out on the player who turns out to be a fantasy star.

Hubbard is the “budget” option if you are tight on FAAB. His potential to see two to three targets per game presents an element of value in all formats. In PPR, he is significantly closer to the value of Foreman. For PPR scoring leagues, you are looking at Foreman as a 15-20 percent FAAB bid, with Hubbard in the 10-15 percent region.

Meanwhile, for non-PPR, Foreman is a 5-10 percent FAAB consideration. While he is not someone we expect to be a weekly starter, you cannot just simply dismiss him. He will ultimately be one injury away from being a starter, and his work as a passing-game back should mean he is at least a desperation starter during the bye weeks.

Nothing about this situation is ideal. McCaffrey going to San Francisco is an overall net negative for fantasy. The gain in fantasy value in Carolina is relatively minimal because we do not expect either back to a top-24 fantasy option going forward. Meanwhile, Jeff Wilson and Elijah Mitchell have both seen huge reductions in value going forward.

However, any starting potential RB has to be in consideration to add to your fantasy team. In Carolina, both Foreman and Hubbard are exactly that. It won’t feel great, but it is better to add and stash a player like Foreman or Hubbard this week than carrying that fifth WR, second QB (in 1QB leagues), or second tight end on your bench.

Those other players are all replaceable on the waiver wire in the future, but a starting RB is not something that can be found easily.

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