Target Chuba Hubbard In Fantasy Football? How Much FAAB To Spend To Roster Panthers RB
Tim Warner/Getty Images. Pictured: Panthers RB Chuba Hubbard
With Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey sidelined by a hamstring strain for a “few weeks,” the waiver wire spotlight turns to his backup, Chuba Hubbard. Expectations are high for the rookie’s fantasy production while CMC is out, but how aggressive should managers be with their waiver wire claims?
Our trio of fantasy football analysts break down how much of your Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB) they each recommend bidding to roster Hubbard and whether he’s worth the No. 1 priority in your leagues.
How To Target Chuba Hubbard On Week 4 Waiver Wire
As always, the circumstance you find yourself in should dictate how you handle this situation.
If you’re 0-3 and hurting at RB, I would say Hubbard is worth a No. 1 waiver claim or 40-50% of your FAAB. We saw Mike Davis return RB1/2 value in this situation last season, and right now, there likely aren’t many backups available on the waiver wire who would have instant RB2 value (like Hubbard can) if their team’s starter missed time.
I expect CMC to miss roughly three games, but he could potentially miss more given how tricky hamstring injuries are for RBs.
If you’re 3-0 and solid at RB right now, though, there’s no reason to invest in a three-week rental.
The Panthers haven’t shared a clear timetable for McCaffrey’s return, but did opt to not place him on injured reserve, which suggests they are optimistic he will return sooner than three weeks. In the interim, Hubbard should pick up the majority of the work out of the Panthers’ backfield.
They face the Cowboys, Eagles, Vikings, Giants and Falcons over the next five weeks, which makes Hubbard even more attractive as a potential RB2 based on workload alone, but I wouldn’t spend any more than 30% of your FAAB on what could be a two-week rental.
Many will look at McCaffrey’s hamstring injury and get 2020 Mike Davis FOMO and overspend on Hubbard. But unlike last season, when McCaffrey’s injuries were to bones (ankle/shoulder), this time around he’s dealing with a soft-tissue injury — and a reportedly mild one at that.
While soft tissue injuries do tend to linger or resurface, there is no indication as of now that he’s going to miss anywhere near the 13 combined games he missed last season, which means spending more than 25-30% on Hubbard is risky, even for a struggling team.
The Panthers let Davis go and spent a fourth-round pick on Hubbard, so it’s clear they view him as their preferred backup.
Against Houston, Hubbard played 55% of the snaps and had 14 touches while Royce Freeman played 15% of the snaps and got six touches. Hubbard should be a strong RB2 with RB1 upside for as long as CMC is out, so while I wouldn’t temper expectations about Hubbard while he is the starter, I would temper expectations regarding how much time McCaffrey will miss until we get more clarity.
I’d treat Hubbard as a two- to three-week rental and spend accordingly.