Chuba Hubbard's Updated Fantasy Outlook After Christian McCaffrey Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVNovember 29, 2021

HOUSTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 23: Chuba Hubbard #30 of the Carolina Panthers tries to hold off the tackle of Zach Cunningham #41 of the Houston Texans during a first half run at NRG Stadium on September 23, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Tim Warner/Getty Images

It's Chuba Hubbard SZN again. 

The Carolina Panthers running back looks poised to get some more run after superstar Christian McCaffrey was ruled out for the season with an ankle injury. For fantasy players who rostered Hubbard back in September, an RB2 just appeared on their team. 

When McCaffrey went down with a hamstring injury in Week 3, Hubbard stepped up and rushed 11 times for 52 yards, adding three catches for 27 yards. It wasn't an explosive debut, but it was good enough, and Hubbard followed it up with several strong performances in the five weeks McCaffrey missed, rushing for 329 yards and two scores. 

You could look to that alone as proof that Hubbard has RB2 potential while McCaffrey is injured, but there is even more evidence that this Carolina offense is simply built to elevate running back production. 

Take the case of Mike Davis, now with the Atlanta Falcons, who served as the team's starter in 2020 after McCaffrey played in just three games due to injuries. Davis responded with 642 rushing yards, 59 catches for 373 yards and eight total touchdowns in 12 starts. 

That was good enough to propel Davis to the No. 12 running back in all of fantasy for the season, making him a waiver-wire all-star. And this season, Davis has largely fallen behind Cordarrelle Patterson on the pecking order at running back at Atlanta. 

Obviously, there's no guarantee that Hubbard will replicate that type of success in his second stint as the team's starter, but it's a pretty good bet he'll be worth rostering each and every week. So long as McCaffrey is sidelined, Hubbard has an RB2 ceiling and a flex floor. Not too shabby. 

The only concern could be the presence of Ameer Abdullah, who has seen more snaps over the past four weeks with everyone healthy, but the Panthers clearly saw Hubbard as the better option for full-time work.