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Nick Chubb, Duke Johnson, Lamar Miller Fantasy Outlook After Texans-Browns Trade

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2019

Nick Chubb, corredor de los Browns de Cleveland, festeja luego de anotar ante los Falcons de Atlanta, en el encuentro del domingo 11 de noviembre de 2018 (AP Foto/David Richard)
David Richard/Associated Press

The Houston Texans reportedly reached an agreement Thursday to acquire running back Duke Johnson in a trade with the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a conditional draft pick.

Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reported the Browns will receive a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft that can become a third-round selection.

Let's analyze the deal's potential fantasy football impact.

        

Nick Chubb

Chubb receives a fantasy boost, but he could become a trade candidate about six weeks into the season.

The second-year rusher enjoyed a strong rookie season with 1,145 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns. Those numbers combined with the fact that he should be the unquestioned lead back for the Browns will make him a must-start No. 1 fantasy back early in the year.

Brad Evans @YahooNoise

RE: Nick Chubb post-Duke trade. If you weren't already targeting the Browns beast in RD2 before Duke's exit, you better now. Again, Chubb is a rising megastar in fantasy. YAC monster. Excellent environment. Unrivaled 3-down back who improved as a receiver in '18. DRAFT. THE. MAN.

It's uncertain what will happen when Kareem Hunt returns from an eight-game suspension, though. At the least, the former Kansas City Chiefs star will take a sizable chunk of Chubb's workload in what will likely shift toward a committee approach.

So at least exploring trade offers from Chubb around Week 6, especially if he's off to an awesome start and can command a monster return, is probably the smart move.

         

Duke Johnson

Johnson's draft value receives an immediate boost in Houston. Although his initial role will likely be much the same—backing up Lamar Miller instead of Chubb—he'll potentially have a bigger workload.

The 25-year-old Miami native already saw his touches reach a career low with Cleveland last season as he received just 40 carries across 16 games. He averaged five yards per attempt, which yields some potential should he land a more impactful role in Houston.

Ben Cummins @BenCumminsFF

Duke saw 62 targets - 4th most on Browns last year. This move has a ton of fantasy ramifications: Duke Johnson 📈 Nick Chubb 📈 Kareem Hunt 📈 Deshaun Watson 📈 Jarvis Landry 📈 David Njoku 📈 Lamar Miller 📉 Keke Coutee 📉 https://t.co/ezjS1OAE5Z

Johnson is also a proven pass-catcher with 235 receptions in four years and at least 47 catches in every season, which bolsters his value in PPR formats.

His average draft position was the 126th overall pick in the 13th round, per Yahoo Sports. The trade could move him inside the top 10 rounds.

John McClain @McClain_on_NFL

Duke Johnson's history of hamstring issues in training camp isn't good, of course. He wanted to be traded. He's the kind of back the Texans are looking for, one who can catch as well as run. They made the move after D'Onta Foreman was waived.

It wouldn't be surprising to see Johnson overtake Miller by October, which would give him consistent No. 2-fantasy back value for the rest of the campaign.

           

Lamar Miller

Miller was worth a fantasy investment based almost purely on the fact his starting job seemed secure. His value is now in question.

His 2018 numbers are solid on the surface with 973 rushing yards, 163 receiving yards and six total touchdowns. His yards-per-carry average drops from 4.6 to 4.2 if you remove a single attempt from the equation—his 97-yard touchdown run against the Tennessee Titans.

JJ Zachariason @LateRoundQB

This is very good for Nick Chubb and hurts Lamar Miller's floor-ceiling combo. Ceiling was never really there for Miller, but at least the floor was. Miller still only saw 35 targets last year, though, and wasn't going to demand a huge target share anyway.

Miller retains the most value on the team in standard formats because he should remain the Texans' first choice on the early downs and in the red zone, at least to open the season. But he won't be quite as valuable in PPR formats with Johnson likely to handle third-down duties.

The bottom line is there are likely better options for fantasy owners at the position in the eighth or ninth round.