Making the correct alternative might be the distinction between profitable and shedding, each within the National Football League and on the planet of fantasy soccer. Case in level. In the 1999 NFL Draft, Edgerrin James and Ricky Williams had been the 2 unquestioned high operating backs within the class. The Colts had a troublesome determination to make with the fourth general decide, they usually selected James. He went on to win Rookie of the Year, turned a four-time Pro Bowler and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2020.
The Colts selected properly.
Imagine, then again, if they’d chosen Williams? Don’t get me incorrect, he had a very good profession. But was he definitely worth the Saints buying and selling their complete draft class? While he had 4 straight 1,000-yard seasons (2000-03), Williams retired in 2004, returned in 2005 and was suspended for the whole 2006 marketing campaign.
The identical type of factor occurs in fantasy soccer. If you make the sensible alternative, it may possibly lead you to a championship. Make the incorrect one, and you may be left feeling like former Saints head coach Mike Ditka and basic supervisor Bill Kuharich.
With that mentioned, I’ve been engaged on a brand new sequence for SI Fantasy taking a look at two gamers from the identical place who’ve a close to an identical common draft place (ADP) and telling you who you need to decide.
- Head-to-Head Series: Lamar Jackson or Trevor Lawrence | Justin Fields or Justin Herbert
I began with the quarterbacks, and now I’ll proceed this train with the runners. Our first look pits two stud backs, Nick Chubb towards Derrick Henry. In the National Fantasy Football Championships, these two operating backs are coming off the board inside 5 picks of each other, each within the second spherical of most drafts.
So, who’s the correct name? Let’s break it down.
In Cleveland, Kevin Stefanski heads into his third yr because the Browns head coach. His offenses have completed with no fewer than 485 rush makes an attempt and never decrease than ninth in run share in that point. Chubb has averaged 18 touches in 43 video games underneath his watch, dashing for over 1,200 yards twice. Last season, Chubb noticed his highest contact per sport common (19.4) underneath Stefanski. He additionally posted a career-best 281.4 PPR factors, which was adequate to complete sixth amongst operating backs.
The Titans have a brand new offensive coordinator in Tim Kelly, whose groups in Houston (2019-21) averaged 399 rush makes an attempt. The Texans completed sixteenth or worse in run share throughout that point, however Kelly didn’t have a stud again like Henry. Tennessee additionally improved their offensive line, selecting Peter Skoronski within the draft. On a detrimental be aware, the group has little expertise within the passing sport, which might imply stacked strains.
Chubb has been a fantasy famous person over the past 4 years, dashing for a mixed 5,345 yards. That’s second within the league behind solely Henry’s 6,042. Chubb has additionally scored 40 touchdowns on the bottom in that point, tying for the third most amongst all backs. The Georgia product has additionally averaged 5.3 yards per try, ranks No. 1 in damaged tackles and is sixth in snaps performed that resulted in a dashing try.
Henry has been even higher than Chubb as a runner over the past 4 years. In that point, he’s first in dashing yards, first in dashing touchdowns and fourth in damaged tackles. Henry has averaged 4.8 yards per rush try, too, and no runner within the league has been on the sphere extra typically when a play has resulted in a run.
Chubb has by no means hauled in additional than 36 passes in a single season, and that was the lone yr he’s surpassed the 30-catch mark. He’s additionally averaged simply 31 targets over the past two campaigns, ending with a mixed 47 catches. The Browns didn’t retain veteran Kareem Hunt within the offseason, however Chubb nonetheless received’t ever be confused for Christian McCaffrey after we have a look at his last receiving statistics.
Henry is similar to Chubb in that his ceiling as a receiver is restricted. His profession excessive in catches is 33, which he achieved final season, and his private greatest by way of targets is 41 (additionally final yr). The depth behind Henry consists of Hassan Haskins and rookie Tyjae Spears, so he’s unlikely to see a serious bounce in his targets.
Chubb has had an enormous workload with the Browns, and he’s been in a position to stay a dependable, sturdy choice for fantasy managers. He did miss 4 video games in 2020 with an injured knee, however he’s performed in 75 of potential 82 regular-season video games. Chubb can be getting into his age-27 season (he’ll flip 28 two days after Christmas).
Henry has been a real bell cow for the Titans, carrying the soccer a mixed 1,249 instances over his final 55 regular-season video games. That’s greater than any again within the NFL. He’s additionally performed in not less than 15 video games in three of the final 4 seasons. The one yr he missed time was in 2021, when he was sidelined for 9 contests with a damaged foot. Despite lacking greater than half that yr, Henry nonetheless rushed for nearly 1,000 yards. The concern, in fact, is the huge workload and the truth that he’s “older” at 29 years outdated. Those two elements are the largest dangers Henry brings to the desk.
Strength of Schedule
Both Chubb and Henry have favorable slates based mostly on 2022 FPA knowledge, however the latter will get to nod. He has the best schedule amongst all runners, and his fantasy playoff slate is a digital cakewalk with two video games towards Houston and one versus Seattle. Henry has scored 18-plus factors in 5 straight video games towards the Texans, together with 4 video games with not less than 35 factors. He has rushed for over 200 yards 4 instances in these contests and has scored a mixed 10 touchdowns. He additionally will get a Seahawks protection that allowed the fourth-most PPR factors to runners in 2022.
And the Pick Is…
This is a tough name between two backs who’ve a lot in frequent by way of their talent units, previous fantasy success and ease of schedule. But on the finish of the day, I have to aspect with the youthful again with much less put on and tear. That’s Chubb. He additionally received’t have Hunt to restrict a few of his touches (which truly didn’t occur final yr). Henry is nice and like Chubb might be a powerful second-rounder in most leagues, however it’s a must to marvel when the wheels are going to fall off from extreme work. And whereas accidents are powerful to foretell, I’m taking the participant with a bit much less threat.