Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb headlined a roster of offensive weapons with high aspirations last season. Despite the expectations heading into the regular season, the Browns struggled over the course of the year with inconsistency from quarterback Baker Mayfield, alongside a number of injuries to the former first overall pick. Cleveland also waived Odell Beckham Jr. in November, resulting in an 8-9 overall record and missing the playoffs.
Looking ahead to next season Chubb will look to mimic the same production from his previous three Pro-Bowl seasons while hoping for more consistency from those around him. Cleveland will have a new quarterback under center this season and a new threat on the outside as well. If the results are as expected then Chubb should be able to reap the benefits as one of the top fantasy football running backs in 2022.
2021 season statistics & fantasy finish
Rushing: Chubb had 228 carries for 1,259 yards and eight touchdowns. He averaged 89.9 rushing yards per game and 5.5 yards per attempt.
Receiving: He caught 20 passes on 25 targets for 174 yards and one touchdown. Chubb averaged 12.4 receiving yards per game and 8.7 yards per reception.
Fantasy: Chubb finished 13th among all running backs in PPR scoring with 215.3 total points and an average of 15.4 points per game. In standard scoring formats, he was seventh overall with 195.3 total points and an average of 14.0 points per game.
Browns offseason moves
The most noteworthy changes for Cleveland come on the offensive side of the ball. Early into the offseason the Browns traded with the Dallas Cowboys for Amari Cooper, essentially filling the void left by Beckham Jr. Soon after the Browns traded for Deshaun Watson, dealing away four first-round picks and another fourth-rounder to the Houston Texans. With their quarterback for the future added to the roster, Cleveland then dealt Mayfield to the Carolina Panthers for a 2024 conditional draft pick.
2022 best-case scenario
Despite the inconsistency of the offense around him Chubb managed to record a third straight Pro-Bowl season in 2021, and adding another to his resume in 2022 would be the best-case scenario. That would mean Cooper would quickly build chemistry in the Browns’ system and that Cleveland would get consistent production from the quarterback position. Whether that be Watson at some point in the season or likely backup Jacoby Brissett, as long the offense can help shoulder some of the load then Chubb’s fantasy outlook should be in good shape. Another top-10 fantasy scoring finish would not be out of the question in 2022.
2022 worst-case scenario
The Watson situation looms over the Browns heading into the season and it subsequently could factor into Chubb’s fantasy outlook. If Watson finds himself playing little to no games in 2022 then Brissett would need to hold his own under center. Inconsistent play at quarterback will only hold back the potential of the offense and in doing so would limit Chubb’s opportunities on the ground. Defenses could easily stack the box and key in on Cleveland’s running game.
Despite the hurdles in 2021 Chubb still managed to finish with a Pro-Bowl season and rank among the top 10-15 in fantasy scoring for PPR and standard formats. The Watson situation is the biggest factor at play, but with Brissett at quarterback, it’s tough to imagine this Browns offense reaching its full potential this season. Chubb’s production may dip a bit in 2022, but he likely hovers around a top 15 finishing in fantasy scoring among running backs.