Zack Moss vs. Chase Brown: Which Bengals RB Should You Draft in 2024 Fantasy?

Chase Brown has a massive fantasy football opportunity in 2024
Zack Moss vs. Chase Brown: Who should fantasy managers target?

Since 2017, Joe Mixon has dominated the Bengals backfield. However, Mixon has been traded to the Texans, opening up the driver’s seat to one of fantasy football’s friendliest backfield.

In Mixon’s stead, the Bengals signed Zack Moss, who filled in admirably for Jonathan Taylor, to a two-year, $8 million deal. Meanwhile, sophomore Chase Brown also returns after an explosive finish to his rookie.

Which Bengals RB should you target in 2024 Fantasy Football Drafts? Who has the stronger 2024 Fantasy Football Outlook: Zack Moss vs. Chase Brown?

Let’s dive in and find out.

WHY THE BENGALS BACKFIELD IS SO VALUABLE FOR 2024 FANTASY

The Bengals offense ranked 7th in scoring during both of Joe Burrow‘s full seasons (2021-22). This is undoubtedly a Top-10 unit when everyone is on the field.

Meanwhile, Mixon has been a fantasy beast here. In Half-PPR FPPG, Mixon has finished as the RB9, RB19, RB11, RB4, RB8 and RB13 across his past six seasons. Moreover, he’s been a volume machine, with 292, 323, 340, 285, and 323 opportunities whenever he’s played 14+ games.

Mixon vacates 257 carries and 66 targets, which includes some invaluable Red Zone rushing. In fact, Mixon ranked third for inside-20 carries (56), first inside-the-10 (38), and third inside-the-five (18).

This valuable workload, in a likely Top-10 offense, should produce plenty of fantasy value out of the Bengals’ 2024 RBs.

But which RB should you prioritize between Zach Moss vs Chase Brown?

THE CASE FOR ZACK MOSS: LIKELY TD MAVEN AND CARRY LEADER

Zack Moss signed a solid two-year, $8 million deal to join the Bengals. If we’re following the money, that alone suggests Moss should pace the Bengals’ backfield in touches.

Yet, money alone isn’t the only key factor here. After a relatively obscure career in Buffalo, Moss exploded with the Colts in 2023.

In Jonathan Taylor‘s absence from Weeks 2-5, Moss operated as the Colts every-down back, and absolutely thrived. Over those four weeks, Moss tallied 89 carries, 517 YFS, and 4 TDs, ranking as the Half PPR RB4 and averaging 20.4 FPPG.

Moss racked up some impressive efficiency metrics over this span, too. He had 15 explosive runs on just 183 attempts, grading out 15th among RBs in PFF’s breakaway percentage. He also ranked 18th in PFF’s elusive rating, compared to a 30th ranking for Mixon.

Moss proved capable of shouldering a massive workload, including 80% snap share in 3-of-4 contests. Via FantasyLife’s Utilization Hub:

Moss’ game logs included:

  • Week 2: 98% snaps, 22 touches (4 rec), 107 YFS, 1 TD (20.7 FPs, RB10)
  • Week 3: 77% snaps, 33 touches (2 rec), 145 YFS, 1 TD (22.5 FPs, RB5)
  • Week 4: 81% snaps, 18 touches, 70 YFS, 1 2PT (9.0 FPs, RB26)
  • Week 5: 80% snaps, 25 touches (2 rec), 195 YFS, 2 TDs (33.5 FPs, RB2)

From here, Moss took a clear backseat to Taylor. Still, he proved himself fully capable of lead-back duties and earned a contract suggesting he’ll be just that in Cincinnati.

I expect Moss to snare ~60% of the snaps and ~70% of the carries, in addition to the vast majority of Red Zone work. This is where I could see Moss being a monster for fantasy. As mentoned, Mixon vacates the third most inside-20 carries (56), the most inside-the-10 rushes (38), and third most inside-the-five attempts (18).

Thus, I expect Moss to cross 10+ TDs, while pushing for 900-1,000 yards on the ground. He’s skyrocketed to my 78th Overall Player and RB26 in my 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings.

THE CASE FOR CHASE BROWN: EXPLOSIVE PASS-CATCHER AND FREAK ATHLETE

While Moss may be the “steak” to this backfield, Chase Brown provides plenty of sizzle.

As an athlete, Brown brings far more game-breaking speed and natural ability to the table. In fact, his 9.81 Relative Athletic Score (RAS) ranks 35th out of 1745 RBs measured:

He also ranks in the 92nd percentile with his 4.43 forty, which isn’t just “testing speed.” No — Brown ripped a 54-yard touchdown on a screen pass where he topped out as the second-fastest ball carrier in the NFL last year:

Unfortunately, Brown didn’t receive many opportunities to flash, with just 44 carries. Still, according to Fantasy Points Data, among 77 backs with 40+ attempts, Brown ranked 12th in yards after contact per attempt and 16th in missed tackles forced per. Mix in a healthy 11.2 yards per catch, and Brown’s metrics allude to his incredible elusiveness and surprising power.

The question becomes: how much will his workload grow with Mixon gone?

As mentioned, I expect at least 70% of the carries to go to Moss. Still, Mixon leaves behind 66 targets, a year after he posted 75 targets and 60 receptions. This is some healthy receiving volume, and based on Brown’s efficiency in limited opportunities, he could do some massive damage on 40-50 receptions.

Before departing to become the Titans HC, then-Bengals OC Brian Callahan heaped praise on Brown and suggested the explosive back’s role would grow substantially:

“Chase Brown has shown the ability to be explosive and the potential to be a big contributor to the offense next year after a full offseason where the focus is totally on learning the scheme and his role in it.”

It remains to be seen if the new OC, Dan Pitcher, will feel similarly, but Brown deserves an elevated role. Mixon departing will absolutely open up that opportunity.

Ultimately, I expect Brown to notch 150 touches, 50 receptions, 750 YFS, and 5-6 TDs of the big-play variety. He also would carry league-winning upside if anything happened to Zack Moss, making Brown a phenomenal “handcuff-with-benefits.”

Brown slides in as my RB31 (+8 ECR) and 91st overall player (+22 ECR) in my 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings. While that’s slightly behind Moss, I am a huge fan of Brown’s talent and think he will do a ton of damage on the work he’s given.

ZACK MOSS VS CHASE BROWN: WHO TO DRAFT IN 2024 FANTASY?

Ultimately, Zack Moss is the stronger bet of the two RBs for carries and TDs, making him the more consistent option. Mixon has posted 16 TD, 9 TDs, and 12 TDs across his last three seasons, and Moss should absolutely approach 10+ scores and 800-1000 yards rushing. Moss is my 78th overall player (RB26), making him an early steal at his RB42, 142 ADP price in Underdog Best Ball right now.

Still, Chase Brown brings plenty of juice. He is a phenomenal “handcuff-with-benefits” who should inherit 50-70 targets. Brown will provide some massive spike weeks as the NFL’s second-fastest ball carrier of 2023. Due to lower TD and carry equity, Brown may struggle to find consistency. Yet, in Full-PPR and Best Ball, he will be a phenomenal asset, and he is worth a Top-100 look in all formats.

Whether Moss, Chase, or both, be sure to capitalize on the 323 vacated opportunities in one of the league’s juiciest offenses, especially while it currently costs you a 100+ ADP price tag.

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