Having been out since Week 4 due to injury, it seems fantasy football is about to get back one of its star players in Cleveland Browns RB Nick Chubb, who appears to have a chance of playing this week. With his return from the injured reserve seeming imminent, what can fantasy managers expect to see from Chubb on the field Sunday against the Houston Texans, and what should you make of the backfield split between him and Kareem Hunt as the fantasy playoffs approach? After a hot start to the season, Chubb could be just what your team needs to help get that championship push started in Week 10.
Update November 15th, 2020: Nick Chubb is active for the Cleveland Browns Week 10 game against the Houston Texans.
Browns designate RB Nick Chubb for return from injured reserve
The Browns have designated Chubb to return from injured reserve, the team announced Monday. According to league rules, he has three weeks to return to action following this designation. Chubb suffered an MCL sprain during the early stages of Cleveland’s Week 4 win over Dallas when guard Wyatt Teller rolled into the side of Chubb’s knee.
Prior to his injury, Nick Chubb was near the top of the league’s leaderboard in rushing yards with 335 and four touchdowns. His six rushes of 20-plus yards still lead the league, despite Chubb missing the last four weeks.
Mary Kay Cabot of The Plain Dealer reported that Chubb practiced on Monday while wearing a full knee brace as a precautionary move by the team and their medical staff.
Is Browns RB Nick Chubb playing this week?
All signs currently point to Nick Chubb returning from injury and coming back to the field in Week 10 as they take on the Houston Texans, but nothing has been officially announced yet. Until we get confirmation from head coach Kevin Stefanski, nothing is certain, but it is looking positive.
If Chubb can get through the week and have no setbacks, I think the team will have him suit up on Sunday. This will allow fantasy managers to get back their second-round pick, who has been stashed on their benches for what feels like an eternity.
The return of Chubb would give the Browns the distinction of having the best backfield in the NFL. Even when Chubb was rushing for over 330 yards himself, Kareem Hunt kept pace with him and maintained his status as a fantastic fantasy RB2. From Weeks 1 through 4, Hunt rushed 50 times for 275 yards and three touchdowns while catching eight of his 11 targets for 42 yards and an additional two scores.
There was little to no drop-off in terms of the team’s production with Chubb out thanks to Hunt, who rushed for 254 yards on 65 attempts (3.91 average) and caught 10 passes for 71 yards and two scores in Weeks 5 to 9.
What can you expect of Nick Chubb after five weeks away from the field?
While it seems like forever ago, Nick Chubb came out of the gates absolutely on fire to start the season. In their opening week, the Browns got blown out and had to abandon the run, so it is hard to hold it against him. In Weeks 2 and 3, Chubb ran 41 times for 232 yards and had four touchdowns. Nick Chubb was a top-eight fantasy running back in each of those weeks despite having Kareen Hunt in the backfield with him.
There could not be a better matchup for Chubb if he gets back out there in Week 10. The Houston Texans are 30th in fantasy points allowed to the running back position at 30.34 points per game and have given up the most rushing yards to the position as well.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Texans are a top-12 unit against pass-catching RBs. That makes me lean more on Chubb having a better day out of both running backs, though it wouldn’t surprise me if they have him on a bit of a snap count. I doubt the team wants to have Nick Chubb get 19-22 carries as he saw earlier in the season.
Even if Nick Chubb is in the 14-16 opportunity range for Week 10, he is a solid RB1 play for fantasy with Kareem Hunt just behind him in the mid-RB2 as they both have value each and every week.
As with anyone who we are uncertain about, be sure to look for more information regarding his status, but once cleared, start Nick Chubb with full confidence.
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