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Browns RB Nick Chubb: Fantasy football draft profile for 2023 NFL season

We break down the outlook for Cleveland lead back Nick Chubb heading into the 2023 NFL season.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Chubb has been one of the best running backs in the NFL basically since he was drafted back in 2018. Four yards short his rookie season, Chubb has gone for over 1,000 rushing yards in every season since. Chubb will once again carry the bulk of the load for the Cleveland Browns this year as they look to make some noise in the AFC.

2023 Fantasy Football: Nick Chubb Profile

Recap of 2022 season

Chubb finished with 302 carries for 1,525 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was the primary option in the backfield with Kareem Hunt serving as the change-of-pace back. Chubb had 27 receptions for 237 yards, which was serviceable. He was leaned upon heavily last season with QB Deshaun Watson suspended for the majority of the year and Jacoby Brissett filling in. Watson returned but was a bit shaky, so Chubb was still a focal point of the offense.

Updated Browns outlook

Watson should enter the 2023 season without much rust after struggling upon return in 2022. The question will be whether or not he looks like his MVP-level form of 2020 or what we saw late last season. Watson essentially missed a year and a half from football, and you could tell. Head coach Kevin Stefanski could be on the hot seat if the Browns don’t make the playoffs or at least contend late into the season.

Best-case scenario

The best case for Chubb is that Watson returns to form and makes life easier on him. Establishing the passing game will help keep defenses honest, which should help Chubb have another shot at a 1,500-yard season on the ground. This could mean more touchdowns for Chubb with an offense that has a run threat in the red zone from the quarterback. The Browns also have multiple receiving threats in the red zone, so look for their offense to be a lot more explosive in 2023.

Worst-case scenario

The worst case is Chubb starts to decline. While he’s been durable throughout his career, Chubb has just over 1,200 attempts over 75 games in his NFL career, which is a lot of miles. This also has a lot to do with Watson and how he performs this year. If Watson struggles, it will affect Chubb, allowing defenses to hone in on him throughout the season. Even in a worst-case scenario, Chubb should still eclipse 1,000 rushing yards with a good amount of TDs. But given how high Chubb is going in drafts, he may not return top value.

Prediction

Chubb is an elite back even though he has a lot of tread on the tires over the past few years. He should have at least one or two more years of high-level play before we see a decline. Chubb should be able to rush for close to 1,500 yards again with double-digit touchdowns. Having a high-level quarterback would also do wonders for him. Chubb is still an RB1 in fantasy and will be gone by the end of the first round in most leagues. Unless something major happens, he should get close to 300 carries again, making him a prime candidate to draft.