Should You Start Browns RB D’Ernest Johnson With Kareem Hunt Still Out? Expert Advice For Week 9

Should You Start Browns RB D’Ernest Johnson With Kareem Hunt Still Out? Expert Advice For Week 9 article feature image

Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Browns RB D’Ernest Johnson

Should you start Browns running back D'Ernest Johnson in fantasy football with Kareem Hunt still out?

Our fantasy football expert analyzes whether Johnson offers enough value to be a RB3/Flex or whether you should bench him for his Week 9 matchup against the Bengals (1 p.m. ET on Sunday).

Start Browns RB D'Ernest Johnson In Fantasy?

by Sean Koerner

Kareem Hunt is still at least a couple weeks away from returning, so Johnson has a chance to grow into the "Kareem Hunt role" before Hunt's return, complementing Nick Chubb as the Browns' workhorse running back.

Johnson netted 17% of the rush attempts and ran a route on 33% of dropbacks in Week 8. In order to move into the RB3/Flex discussion, however, I will first need to see him net a 30%+ rush attempts share and a 40%+ routes run rate.

Until he achieves both, he's too touchdown-dependent to trust in our lineups.

Verdict:Sit D'Ernest Johnson in Week 9

When Will Kareem Hunt Return?

Kareem Hunt will be eligible to return from Injured Reserve as early as Week 10, but he is unlikely to play in the Browns' matchup against the Patriots that week.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Oct. 18 — the day after Hunt sustained the calf injury in the Browns' Week 6 loss to the Cardinals — that the "rough estimate" for Hunt's return was four to six weeks.

If Hunt is able to recover in only four weeks, that would mean he returns in Week 11 for their home matchup against the Lions. If he needs the full six weeks, though, that would mean he returns in Week 14 for the home date with the Ravens as the Browns are on bye in Week 13.

Need More Start vs. Sit Advice?

Consult our expert's real-time fantasy football rankings for standard, PPR and half-PPR scoring here.

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