Zeke vs Nick Chubb!
It’s that time of year, trying to decide which guy is going to take you to the promise land, gloat city. Gloat city where you can dominate all of your friends at the local watering hole, asserting yourself as the fantasy football champion amongst your peers.
But before that, there are some very difficult decisions to make.
In this scenario, you’re in around the 8 or 9 spot, and the first 7 off the board are McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry, Tyreek Hill, Alvin Kamara, Saquon Barkley, and Davante Adams. The outside shots for your pick would be guys like Jonathan Taylor on the Colts, or Aaron Jones for the Packers. But here at the 8 spot, currently, experts have it being either Zeke or Nick Chubb. So which one is the preferred option in draft leagues this season…
Now Ezekiel Elliott had a tough time last year. He had as many fumbles as he did touchdowns (6), fumbling twice a game on two separate occasions against Atlanta and Arizona. After Dak went down, Zeke only managed to score one touchdown for the remainder of the season. His yardage per attempt was the lowest it’s ever been since he entered the league (4.0), and he totalled 22 carries of 10 yards or more, against the previous seasons 38, and his season best of 45 (2018). All round, the Cowboys offence struggled without Dak Prescott, but the offensive line was also a heavy contributor to those issues…
Veteran and stone wall starting left tackle Tyron Smith only managed two games. All pro guard and another rock on the offensive line Zack Martin played in 10 games. In fact, the offensive line was so inconsistent, the only two who managed 16 games were Connor Williams at guard, and Terrence Steele, back up right tackle. Steele wasn’t exactly on top form all season either. Rookie centre Tyler Biadasz played in 8 games and did okay, but again, the consistency of the unit playing together caused them problems all season long. To put the inconsistency of the line into perspective, the Cowboys graded 29th out of the 32 NFL franchises in run blocking.
NOW, with that being said, the line looks a lot better this year heading into the season. The question is can they stay healthy in order to create gaps for Zeke to run through. At full strength, this is one of the best offensive lines in the game, still. With Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and La’el Collins all healthy, and the developing Connor Williams, who had a good 2020, plus now second year centre in Biadasz, it’s a strong line. If we’re banking on them keeping it together all year, Zeke will bounce back, but how hard?
One thing I will say, is that the Cowboys have a better strength of schedule, and face weaker defensive lines within the division than the Browns do. Apart from Washington of course… so how much of a benefit is it?!
Chubb is a master at what he does. For me, pound for pound and toe to toe, Nick Chubb is better by himself than Zeke is. While Ezekiel Elliott might be a slightly faster athlete, with a little more zip, Nick Chubb is just dominant. He runs a little harder, and is tougher to bring down. The ONLY reason that Nick Chubb isn’t taken in the top 4, is because of Kareem Hunt. Kareem Hunt effectively took 800+ yards and 6 touchdowns away from Chubb last season. For the team, their two back set works wonders. It’s the best one two punch in the league, and I’d go as far as saying that’s also not close. Hunt is a starter. The only reason he’s not is because of the controversy around him.
The Browns offence has turned a corner and looks like its going to be one of the most effective for years to come. They’ve also got a strengthening offensive line, which they’ve built incredibly well, which is a lot healthier, less banged up, and therefore more reliable than the Cowboys. PFF predicts that Cleveland have the STRONGEST LINE in the NFL heading into the season... Both tackles, rookie Jedrick Wills and fresh right tackle Jack Conklin played 15 games a piece. JC Tretter and Joel Bitonio played every game, and the least consistent man on the line was guard Wyatt Teller, who still played in 11 games. Now of course some of that is pure luck, but you’d by lying if you told me you have as much faith in the overall health and consistency of the line in Dallas, as you do the line in Cleveland.
If it’s the snaps lost to Hunt that you’re worried about… don’t. The Browns offence was great last year under Stefanski in his first year in charge. He won coach of the year right out of the gate, and his offensive mind was on full display as we finally saw the best of Baker Mayfield and co.
The answer is absolutely Nick Chubb. Unless you have some sort of bewildering belief that Zeke is going to bounce back so hard that he outperforms Chubb out of nowhere… Not for me. Chubb is trending upwards year on year, and who’s to say you don’t draft Nick Chubb and then they TRADE Kareem Hunt… suddenly you got yourself a steal. The upside on Chubb is higher, and overall production should be higher too. With Zeke? You need a comeback player of the year type season… too risky. Be smart. Win titles.
Zeke vs Nick Chubb Zeke vs Nick Chubb Zeke vs Nick ChubbZeke vs Nick ChubbZeke vs Nick ChubbZeke vs Nick ChubbZeke vs Nick Chubb