Sunday AM Update: Cleveland RBs Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson will face a healthy Steelers run defense in today’s outing. Browns right guard Wyatt Teller is out for today’s contest, which won’t help their cause. Hunt and Johnson are projected for 17.2 and 6.4 points in half-PPR scoring formats with ESPN, respectively.
In the wake of Nick Chubb’s knee injury in Week 4, the Cleveland Browns’ backfield turned into a bit of a timeshare. Everyone knew that Kareem Hunt was the team’s top option, but D’Ernest Johnson chipped in with 91 yards on 13 carries against the Cowboys, thus sending many fantasy owners to their waiver wires to add the former AAF standout.
One week later, that timeshare all but vanished. Hunt dominated the snaps and touches against the Indianapolis Colts, leaving mere scraps for Johnson. We’ll see if anything changes this week versus the Pittsburgh Steelers
Fantasy Football analysis: Browns RBs Kareem Hunt, D’Ernest Johnson
Specifically, Hunt led the snap count, 51-22, and out-touched Johnson, 23-9. Four of Johnson’s eight carries came on Cleveland’s final drive in the 32-23 victory. But the story was Hunt. He looked every bit like the player who led the NFL in rushing in 2017, churning out yards while breaking tackles and always falling forward. He padded his totals with a leaping touchdown catch. On Sunday, the Browns will take on an AFC North rival in the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have permitted the third-fewest DraftKings points to RBs through five weeks.
Hunt was listed as limited in practice all week long, but notably, he was removed from the final injury report and is set to play on Sunday.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Hunt has the dual-threat ability to overcome this tough matchup, and it’s clear that the Browns are comfortable with giving him 20-plus touches. He’s a weekly RB1. Johnson, conversely, probably needs an injury to befell Hunt to be worth starting. He’s a handcuff until then.