The Cleveland Browns were dealt their first loss of the season in Week 2 but were dealt a bigger blow by losing starter Nick Chubb for the season. Backup Jerome Ford quickly stepped up in his place and put together a strong performance. As a result, the Browns tailback was arguably the hot commodity on the waiver wire, but the re-signing of a veteran has thrown Ford’s upside into the air.
We break down his upcoming matchup with the Tennessee Titans, and assess whether he’s a lock to start in both PPR and standard fantasy leagues.
Fantasy Football analysis: Browns RB Jerome Ford
Nick Chubb was lost for the season after suffering a significant injury, and Ford stepped in admirably in his place during Week 2. He totaled 106 rushing yards to go with a receiving touchdown after being thrust into the starting role while adding three receptions for 25 yards. Though the Browns signed Kareem Hunt, Ford remains the unquestioned RB1 as of now.
Start or sit in Week 3 PPR leagues?
Start, as Ford’s role in the backfield should only increase. His three receptions in Week 2 were the first of his career, but it should serve as the first of many with Chubb now lost for the season. Hunt has prowess as a pass-catching back, but he’s been hampered by the injury bug over the last few seasons and at 28 years old is on the tail end of his career, from a running back perspective. Conversely, Ford should get no shortage of opportunities given his youth, and that includes on third downs.
Don’t be swayed by the unfavorable matchup with the Titans. Ford is a clear-cut RB1 and is a lock to start in most leagues, including smaller and larger leagues of more than 12 teams.
Start or sit in Week 3 standard leagues?
Start, as the arrival of Hunt shouldn’t be a thorn for Ford’s usage on most downs. While Hunt’s re-signing adds some competition in the backfield, it remains to be seen how in shape he is after not being with a team through training camp in the offseason. Ford looked encouraging on Monday night against a stout Steelers defense and should be a lock to start in all fantasy leagues for Week 4. The lone exception would be if you have a more reliable RB1 that is healthy and good to go.
Player(s) you would start ahead of Jerome Ford
Fantasy managers who would rather place their faith in established running backs would be wise to consider Tyler Allgeier or Najee Harris. Both have favorable matchups, as Allgeier will face the Detroit Lions, who have allowed on average 15.0 fantasy points per game to his position. Meanwhile, Harris will face the Las Vegas Raiders, who are coming off a Week 2 loss in which they were gashed for 183 yards on the ground. Expect the latter to be a slugfest where defense and the ground game will be at the forefront.