Unless you have been living under a rock this week, you have heard the news that Kareem Hunt has signed a one-year contract with the Cleveland Browns. The news broke in what was supposed to be a dead time in the NFL; But as we all know, there is never really any dead time when it comes to fantasy. My first thought when I saw the news was what does this signing do to Nick Chubb and Duke Johnson‘s fantasy value, both short and long-term. This article will focus on the dynasty aspect of the signing, as there have been many previous articles about the short term value already.
Assessing the Fantasy Dynasty Fallout From Kareem Hunt Signing With the Cleveland Browns
I am going to get him out of the way early. There is a 99 percent chance that Johnson is not in a Browns uniform in 2019, as there is no room for him in a crowded backfield. He will have value if he goes virtually anywhere else though, so he is definitely a buy-low candidate in dynasty.
Personally, I do not think this affects Chubb’s dynasty value very much, if at all. Chubb has been working as the lead back in Cleveland for just over half a season but has proven that he is more than capable of carrying a full workload. For the 2019 season, Chubb still should be a top 12 back, due to Hunt’s likely suspension. If the suspension is 10 games, for instance, you are getting nearly a full season of a workhorse in a good offense. Plus, who knows how long it would take Hunt to get acclimated to the Browns’ offense.
For the longer term, I believe Chubb’s value will also stay right around where it currently is. There is no guarantee that the Browns will keep Hunt around after this season. Even if they do, Chubb should get the majority of carries. At the worst, it would be a split, which, as we have seen in New Orleans, is not a death sentence for fantasy. Assuming they don’t keep him around, Chubb could be an excellent trade piece right now to go after now if the current owner is panicked.
In the short term, Hunt’s value is obviously shot. He will have virtually no value in 2019, as he could be suspended the entire season. If it isn’t the whole season, he will still be at best the second man in a split backfield for only a few weeks. I do believe he has long term upside however. He is just 23 years old and is already one of the most explosive backs in football. If he does not stay with the Browns past 2019 and signs with a team in need of a workhorse, Hunt will jump right back up into the top tier of running backs. If he does stick around, he will still have upside in what could end up being a better version of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.