The Cleveland Browns take on the Arizona Cardinals in Week 9 of the 2023 NFL season. The Browns’ backfield has been in flux since RB Nick Chubb went down with a season-ending injury. RB Jerome Ford had taken the lead but veteran Kareem Hunt has also been a solid presence, particularly for fantasy football. We’re taking a look at both backs and what to do in fantasy this week.
Fantasy Football analysis: Browns RB Jerome Ford/Kareem Hunt
Last week vs. the Seahawks, the backfield was very split up. Ford finished with nine carries for 37 yards and one catch for two yards. Hunt led the way with 14 carries for 55 yards and a TD as well as a 12-yard catch. Even Pierre Strong Jr. got 10 carries for 41 yards and had a 41-yard catch.
Start or sit in Week 9 PPR leagues?
We’ll start with Ford since he’s likely the most popular. He only played 33% of snaps in Week 8. Hunt and even Strong outpaced and performed Ford last week. That could have more to do with Ford coming off injury. Or Cleveland is going to split things up quite a bit between the three. It’s tougher to trust Ford after last week but he’s been a viable RB2/FLEX most weeks since the Chubb injury. In PPR, Ford isn’t a bad FLEX in deeper leagues.
Hunt feels like the safest of the trio given his recent production and usage. Hunt’s on a three-game streak of double-digit touches while also scoring at least one TD. He’s been this productive despite not really getting much work in the passing game. Hunt should continue to be a strong PPR back, again as a FLEX play.
Start or sit in Week 9 standard leagues?
Standard is tricky. But given the matchup I think Ford and Hunt can both be viable plays. We know the Browns will have QB Deshaun Watson back under center. That’s not saying much but he’s an upgrade over PJ Walker. Still, Cleveland should run then ball quite a bit and could build a sizable lead if the defense can lock down rookie QB Clayton Tune. The entire second half could be the Browns running the clock out. There’s a path to both backs being good FLEX plays in standard as well.