The firing of Frank Reich as head coach is the latest chapter in a miserable season for the Carolina Panthers. But will a coaching change help out a struggling ground game? We’ll let you know if you should start either Miles Sanders or Chuba Hubbard in your fantasy football lineup this week.
Should You Start Miles Sanders or Chuba Hubbard This Week?
In the Pro Football Network Start/Sit Optimizer, our Consensus Rankings say that Hubbard is the player to start. His projected 8.9 points include 42 rushing yards and two receptions for 20 receiving yards. That projected stat line narrowly outperforms the consensus projection for Sanders (7.7 points).
My ranking for these running backs aligns with the consensus. Hubbard played perhaps his best game of the season, so hopefully, he will carry momentum over to Week 13.
Fantasy Outlook for Hubbard This Week
Despite another loss for the Panthers last week, despite scoring just 10 points, Hubbard certainly held up his end against the Tennessee Titans. Hubbard finished with a season-high 92 scrimmage yards and scored the only touchdown of the game for Carolina.
This was following a 57-yard effort on just 10 carries in Week 11 vs. Dallas. He’s been productive when given the chance, but Carolina simply hasn’t put much of an emphasis on the run this season.
A big reason why the Panthers rank 28th in rushing offense is because they rank 27th in rush attempts. On the other hand, it’s not as if they are impressive when they do run the ball.
Carolina ranks 28th in yards per carry (3.8), and it is tied for the fewest rushing touchdowns in the NFL with just three (tied with the Broncos and Jets).
But Hubbard, who has two of the Panthers’ three rushing touchdowns, is playing well, and a coaching change just may be what this team needs to improve its offense.
So, if there’s a choice between Hubbard and Sanders to start in your fantasy lineup, the choice is pretty clear.
Fantasy Outlook for Sanders This Week
Sanders actually had more carries than Hubbard last week. But his 15 rush attempts produced just 28 yards. Not to mention, he had zero targets out of the backfield.
He has received more carries in recent weeks, 26 combined over the last two games — two more than Hubbard. Yet, while Hubbard has gained 92 yards over the last two weeks, Sanders has rushed for just 78 yards combined.
Sanders hasn’t been on the field for at least 50% of the Panthers offensive snaps since Week 3. With Hubbard playing well, it doesn’t feel like that will be changing anytime soon.
On the other hand, there’s no reason why a coaching change couldn’t help him out as well, so I wouldn’t necessarily dismiss him as an option for the rest of the season.
The PFN Start/Sit Optimizer projects Sanders to finish with 41 yards with one reception for four yards.
Looking to make a trade in your fantasy league? Having trouble deciding who to start and who to sit? Setting DFS lineups? Check out PFN’s Free Fantasy Football Trade Analyzer and DFS Lineup Optimizer to help you make the right decision!