Kareem Hunt, Jerome Ford Fantasy Waiver Wire Breakdown: Analyzing the Browns Backfield
Nic Antaya/Getty Images. Pictured: Jerome Ford.
Nick Chubb's season is over, so it's time for Jerome Ford to step up in Cleveland.
There is a factor that could minimize Ford's role in the Browns backfield (we'll get to that later), but Ford is the Browns' RB1 for now.
Let's break down this backfield situation and how you should handle your waiver wire bids ahead of Week 3.
Jerome Ford Fantasy Waiver Wire Preview
For now, Ford will take over as the Browns' lead back. The Cleveland offense features an offensive scheme that is fantasy-friendly for running backs. The Browns offense leans on the run game behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.
While Ford is nowhere near the same talent as Chubb, he is a talented fifth-round rookie out of Cincinnati. My NFL comparisons for him were Kenyan Drake and Lamar Miller. He should be able to hold off backups Pierre Strong and Hassan Hall to dominate touches in the Browns backfield — like Chubb.
Ford missed most of training camp and the preseason due to a hamstring injury, but it's clear through two weeks of the regular season that the injury is behind him. He filled in nicely for Chubb on Monday night, with 16 carries for 106 yards, along with three catches on four targets for 25 yards and a receiving touchdown.
Ford should be the top waiver wire add for your league if he's available since there's a chance he's the Browns' lead running back for the remainder of the season. If that's the case, Ford would be a solid RB2 option moving forward, which is why he had a "B" rating in my preseason RB Upside Ratings.
The Kareem Hunt Factor
The main concern I'd have is if the Browns bring in a player like Kareem Hunt, who's familiar with Cleveland's offense and is a free agent. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Hunt did indeed visit with Cleveland on Tuesday.
If Hunt does rejoin the Browns, Ford may only be able to provide RB3/flex value moving forward.
Regardless of whether Hunt re-signs with Cleveland, Ford will likely be seeing 10-15 touches per game for the rest of the season. With Chubb healthy in Week 1, Ford still got 15 carries.