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Free agent RB Kareem Hunt worth considering off waiver wire for Week 3

The Browns have Hunt in for a visit, per reports. If the veteran signs with Cleveland, he’ll have some fantasy football intrigue with Nick Chubb out.

Running back Kareem Hunt of the Cleveland Browns is tackled by safety Tyrann Mathieu of the New Orleans Saints during the second half at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 24, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Sept. 20, update — Hunt is close to signing a deal with the Browns, per Mary Kay Cabot. He will likely be eased back, so his usage in Week 3 may not be how he ends up being used this season. Of course, Jerome Ford will continue to be a big part of the offense, but the Browns like running the ball and both players should have some fantasy value.

The Cleveland Browns were in a nightmare scenario on Monday Night Football in Week 2 after RB Nick Chubb went down with a season-ending knee injury. The Browns were unable to defeat the Steelers but there was a bright spot in backup RB Jerome Ford. Despite his best efforts, the Browns are still looking to bring in another running back to add to the depth chart. Pierre Strong Jr. is the other back behind Ford.

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, FA RB Kareem Hunt is visiting with the Browns and this could lead to a signing for the rest of the season. If that’s the case, Hunt will need to be considered as a fantasy football waiver claim heading into Week 3. If you have Ford or are looking to add him this week off waivers, your second priority is securing Hunt. You’re likely not going to be able to claim both RBs. Ford is still the lean after going for 27 fantasy points on MNF. Hunt’s presence could cut into Ford’s touches but not enough to make him irrelevant in fantasy.

For Week 3, expect Ford to lead the backfield. There’s a chance if Hunt takes a bit to sign, he may not get up to speed or practice enough to play in Week 3. There’s also the chance we see him out there. Hunt would be a risky start against the Titans while Ford feels like a better FLEX in PPR than an RB2 (unless you had Chubb, in which case you’re rolling with Ford).

Hunt is familiar enough with the offense that he may not need much preparation. If Hunt plays, we’ve seen him used more as a pass-catcher, so that could be his role initially. Ford would handle the three-down responsibilities and Strong could be the goal-line back after scoring vs. Pittsburgh. Last season, Hunter had 468 rushing yards (3.8 YPC) with 353 catches for 210 yards and four total scores. That was in 17 games backing up Chubb.