Nick Chubb Taking Advantage of Increased Role in Improving Cleveland Offense - Roto Street Journal
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Nick Chubb Taking Advantage of Increased Role in Improving Cleveland Offense

We all knew that Cleveland trading RB Carlos Hyde to Jacksonville was going to open up opportunities for rookie Nick Chubb, but his first 4 games in that role have succeeded virtually all expectations. In those 4 games since the trade, he’s averaging 19.5 carries and over 100 yards per game — compared to 2.6 carries and 29 yards per game before the trade — and has 3 rushing TDs in those 4 games. Sunday’s win over Atlanta was his best game as a pro, as he racked up 176 yards and a TD on 20 carries, including a 92-yard TD run in the 3rd quarter, the longest touchdown run in team history. He also doubled his season reception total from 3 to 6 on Sunday and caught his first TD pass of the year, proving that although Duke Johnson is the main pass-catching back in Cleveland, Chubb does possess the talent to play that role at times.

Heading into Week 10, Nick Chubb was already fantasy’s RB15 since the Carlos Hyde trade, and that figure only improved with his top-5 showing against the Falcons. While the trade was huge in increasing Chubb’s role, replacing ousted HC Hue Jackson and OC Todd Haley with Gregg Williams and Freddie Kitchens, respectively, have been the most important aspects in improving Chubb’s production in Cleveland’s backfield. Williams spoke highly of the rookie after Sunday’s win.

“He’s a tough runner. He has good vision, and then once he gets out there, he is not easy to bring down and can run away from you. He showed his runaway ability, also, to separate and finish the play. That was excellent.”

Cleveland’s offensive line, which PFF ranked 7th in the league through 9 weeks, has undoubtedly assisted in Chubb’s recent surge in production. Chubb has lined up against a stacked box — 8 or more defenders near the line of scrimmage — on 28.7% of snaps in 2018, which is 10th most in the league, and has averaged an impressive 8.2 yards per carry against stacked boxes. Week 11 for Cleveland brings the Bengals, who just fired their defensive coordinator — and re-hired Chubb’s former HC Hue Jackson — and have allowed the 5th-most fantasy points to RBs this season.

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