Unlock More Content Like This With A
Footballguys Premium Subscription
"Footballguys is the best premium
fantasy football only site on the planet."
Matthew Berry, NBC Sports EDGE
The premise of a Pick-a-Player question is as follows:
- Three comparable players are available.
- The draft is at a stage where these players are usually drafted, and none of their bye weeks are duplicated on your current roster.
Every few days, we ask a question of three groups of people -- the Footballguys staff, the great people following the Footballguys Facebook page, and the active members of our Shark Pool message board. If you'd like to answer a future Pick-a-Player question, there will be another one every few days until the week before the 2020 season kicks off. Plus, there is a lot of other content there as well. Follow the Facebook page and/or join the Shark Pool, and you can take part in the great discussions happening every day.
And the winner is -- Nick Chubb! With relative ease. See the percentages below.
None of the Three
Footballguys Shark Pool
Comments from the Staff
With the switch to non-PPR, I would trip over myself running to the podium to announce Mixon as my selection at 2.01. My case for Mixon hasn't changed:
- He was the second-leading rusher in the NFL over the second have last year despite terrible offensive surroundings.
- The Bengals offense will help Mixon increase his efficiency this year. Joe Burrow, A.J. Green, Jonah Williams, and Tee Higgins are difference-makers.
Cincinnati played at the seventh-fastest situation-neutral pace of play in their first year under head coach, Zac Taylor. An abundance of plays + increased efficiency = more fantasy points.
- In non-PPR formats, you don't even have to project a leap in last year's 45 targets for Mixon to be the pick here. But considering how deadly he looked catching passes out of the backfield at Oklahoma, the upside for more usage as a dual-threat certainly exists.
Mixon has a clear edge over Chubb and Jones, each of whom figures to operate in timeshares this season.
Non-PPR makes this a very tough choice.
This scoring usually screams "Take RBs" at the top of the draft, and the pool will likely be barren by the next pick at the end of Round 3.
With that in mind, I have to open up might sights to all players with ADP up to 36 and decide who I want on my team (assuming I can't trade down).
Chris Carson is my target. Better offense than Mixon or Chubb, no real threat in the backfield for work, and he was a solid RB1 last year. With no PPR, Carson's lack of involvement in the passing game doesn't bother me as much, so I'm taking a feature back on a much better team than Cleveland or Cincinnati.
Jones (as I mentioned before) is not getting a new deal in Green Bay, so the Packers are going to try and find his replacement this season. I would rather have A.J. Dillon later in drafts than take Jones, unless I planned on getting both and hopefully trading Jones before Halloween.
All that said, Carson is my pick at 1.13.
I don't understand how much people are down on Aaron Jones after last season. Same head coach (and play-caller). Same system. Yes, they drafted A.J. Dillon, but so what? Teams add depth all the time.
That said, I have Chubb (RB6), Jones (RB7), and Mixon (RB8) tightly grouped in a tier in my non-PPR rankings. Chubb is an otherworldly talent and could rush for 2,000 yards in Kevin Stefanski's system. That won't happen because Kareem Hunt is also talented and will form a committee, but the truth is today's NFL has very few every-down workhorses. It's not hard to be a top-10 running back while only touching the ball 60% of the snaps.
Ultimately, if any of these backs are available in the back end of the first round in a non-PPR, I'll happily draft them.
Jason, Aaron Jones has the talent and Green Bay wants to be a run-first offense, but the issues are financial, not about his skill set.
Green Bay added AJ Dillon in the draft, and the Packers do not give out second contracts to running backs (the last two were James Starks and Eddie Lacy four years ago). Jones may be a great talent, but if Dillon shows that he can replace Jones as the lead back next season, the Packers are likely to let Jones walk and take a comp pick for 2022.
Jones had four different injuries in 2018 and 2019 that added up to eight missed games those two seasons. I expect the Packers to use Jones as much as they can, but the Packers tend to use at least two tailbacks a game, so I expect Dillon to be worked in and utilized more as the season wears on, which can keep Jones fresh (and hopefully healthy) this year and also determine if Dillon is the future. Those lost snaps for Jones is a strong reason to be a bit cautious in selecting him based solely on 2019 numbers.
Jason, is a team drafting a Round 2 prototypically-sized back really insignificant when their lead back is a Day 3 back exhausting their rookie deal?
To answer the original question, I will take Nick Chubb, partly by default and partly as the superior talent of the bunch. I have no faith in Aaron Jones after his touchdown rate in 2019 and lacking pedigree, prototypical size-traits, and the addition of A.J. Dillon. For Joe Mixon, he has underwhelmed to-date compared to expectations and largely the reason for projecting a career-best year in 2020 centers around a rookie quarterback raising the tide of the Bengals offense overall. Mixon had a near-split with passing game targets with Giovani Bernard and the overt upside as a receiver is not much higher than Chubb, who many downgrade due to Kareem Hunt's presence as a receiver.
Non-PPR makes this as easy a choice as I’ve seen in awhile. Nick Chubb every day of the week and twice on sundays.
Nick Chubb is a special talent running the ball and with almost 300 carries last year it is hard to see a decrease in touches. The Kareem Hunt talk is overstated. Hunt had an average of five carries a game, with no more than nine in any of his appearances. He is the pass catching back, which is the weakness of Chubb. Where I see value is a potential explosion in touchdowns. Of the top six fantasy backs in this format last year Chubb’s rushing touchdowns are 50% less than the next lowest. A better offense and his numbers are top three back numbers.
Mixon would be my next choice, but his touchdown numbers aren’t likely to spike and his opportunity to run for more than 20 carries a game is low.
Aaron Jones should be in consideration looking at his 2019 numbers, but like others have mentioned, Green Bay have done everything but show confidence in him long term. They will let him walk after this season and would definitely like to see what they have in A.J. Dillon. A lot of the success for Jones in 2019 can be considered a fluke. Aaron Rodgers usually passes for significantly more touchdowns inside the five and Jones took full advantage. If Jones were to be given similar opportunities this year, then he is a great choice. Very few people seem to be willing to make that decision though.
Jeff I like Carson as much as the next guy, but I think he's a strong possibility to be there at the end of round three. You and I are normally on the same page, but I can't get behind your argument there.
Aaron Jones is a guy I missed wildly on last year, and it looks like I'm shoving my chips to the center again on Jones. I think there are several factors that could trip him up from producing close to what he did last year. The only thing that gives me pause is that I think it's entirely possible the red zone usage is something we could see going forward from Matt LaFleur. Aaron Rodgers was always such a goldmine in fantasy under Mike McCarthy because they were extremely efficient throwing the ball near the goal line. There is a decent chance that this tendency is simply gone now with LaFleur at the helm. If this is the case I'm going to be wrong on Jones again. But I'm betting that some combination of the committee, some natural regression, and Jones' injury history, will make him an undesirable gamble in the second round.
I'm throwing my lot in with the Nick Chubb supporters. I feel like I'm the anti-Joe Mixon guy, but that's not really the case. I like Mixon, but I just want too many guys in that same area of the draft to end up with Mixon on my team. Chubb is the clear choice for me here. His poor red zone efficiency in 2019 has the look of a pretty big outlier that should correct itself this year. He carried the ball 50 times inside the 20 yard line last year (4th in the league) but cashed in only 6 times! There isn't a running back in the top 15 in carries in the red zone that had worse efficiency outside of Leonard Fournette. Kevin Stefanski knows how to pilot a running game, and I'd expect Chubb's touchdown floor to be healthier in 2020. In a PPR league I'd consider Chubb with this pick, and since the question is for a standard scoring setup it is Chubb easily for me.
This one is easy for me - it's Chubb all the way. In PPR, I'd lean more towards Mixon, but in non-PPR I like Chubb and a lot of it has to do with my belief in his talent and situation, plus positive regression in goal line situations where he simply didn't convert on as many opportunities as we'd expect.
The Browns upgraded their offensive line over the offseason, which should benefit Chubb overall, but especially in red zone situations. It may seem knee-jerkish, or a lazy way to analyze and make decisions, but sometimes just go with your gut on talent. Secondly, if I'm projecting players within a handful of points of each other, and their available, I look at TDs, variability and upside. I may project Chubb for 10.5 total TDs, but that feels more conservative than close to his upside to me. On the flipside, I have Mixon for 11 total TDs and that feels a lot less conservative. TDs are a fluky stat at times, but they can swing a player's value tremendously (re: Aaron Jones).
I suspect that Chubb could be a 15+ TD guy this year. He could also be the next Derrick Henry or Jamal Lewis to bellcow his way well past 1600 yards on the ground.
So, all in on the Chubb wagon here and the non-PPR scoring make the choice even easier. I feel strongly that Chubb a special season is coming his way whether it's this year or still to come. His talent level is truly among the elites at the position.
It's Joe Mixon for me. I know this is non-PPR but you still get points for receiving yards, plus looking back at last year from Weeks 10-17 Mixon bested both Aaron Jones and Nick Chubb in standard scoring. I like Mixon's expected volume share better than Jones and Chubb, plus thanks to Joe Burrow, the Bengals offense is on the rise. The needle is pointing up for the team and that includes Mixon. At least I know that Mixon will be the team's feature back. We can't say that with certainty for Jones or Chubb. As good as Jones was last year, he has injury risk, plus the Packers will want to see what they have in A.J. Dillon. Mixon may or may not be the most productive of the three by the end of the season, but in my opinion, he is the safest option of the three.
My vote is for Joe Mixon.
I am all the way out on Aaron Jones this season. The selection of AJ Dillon in the second round and his potential impact on Jones' touches and goal line opportunities has Jones on my "do not draft" list at anywhere near his current ADP.
Over the second half of the 2019 season, Mixon outscored Chubb 129.4 to 92.8 in standard scoring. In those final eight games, Mixon had 33 more carries, 5 more receptions, and 3 more touchdowns than Chubb.
That eight game sample from the last half of 2019 is key in comparing Mixon to Chubb for a couple reasons:
- It is an important timeframe to look at when projecting Mixon forward. The Bengals changed their run scheme midseason (during the bye week) and Mixon really took off as a result. He had 994 total yards over the final eight games. He should pick up right where he left off. Plus, the Bengals offensive line should take another step forward in the second year under a new system. The addition of left tackle Jonah Williams, the top offensive lineman in the 2019 draft class who missed all of last season, will also help. In addition, the Bengals offense will benefit from the return of A.J. Green. He helps keeps safeties out of the box and should get the offense into the red zone more often. Lastly, even as a rookie, I expect Joe Burrow to be an upgrade over the Andy Dalton/Ryan Finley combo we saw in the second half of 2019.
- That eight game sample is a also key indicator for Chubb because it coincided with Kareem Hunt's activation. Chubb still had plenty of carries down the stretch but averaged less than 1.4 receptions per game and just was not on the field enough to be an elite fantasy producer. Chubb played 39 or fewer snaps in each of the Browns final five games and actually played nine fewer snaps (182) than Kareem Hunt (191) over that stretch run
I think Aaron Jones is the clear wrong answer. The Packers thought so much of Jones after the 2019 season they selected AJ Dillon in the second round of the NFL Draft. Jones was tied for league high in rushing touchdowns with 16 largely a result of good fortune. He was 14th in red zone attempts in 2019 (33), 15th in careers inside the 10 (19), but tied for 7th in carriers inside the 5 (13), where he accounted for half of his 16 touchdowns. Essentially, Jones became a big part of the rushing offense as he got closer to the end zone. Given his size, that does not seem likely to repeat itself. I think the decision comes down to Nick Chubb and Joe Mixon, with good arguments for either player, but I would take Chubb. . Interestingly, Chubb caught more passes (36) than Mixon (35) in 2019, so the PPR versus non-PPR scoring debate was inconsequential in 2019 between the two. Mixon may have more "upside", but so far in his career, Mixon has failed to demonstrate that. I also do not think Kareem Hunt is as big a threat to Nick Chubb as others do. Chubb is clearly the better player than Hunt. After Hunt returned from suspension, Hunt had about 75% of the running back targets, while Chubb had about 75% of the running back carries. With a new coaching staff, especially one who featured a bellcow in Dalvin Cook in 2019, I think the situational role Hunt played last season is more at risk than Chubb's volume.
Select Comments from The Shark Pool
Out of the three options here, I like Jones the most. He is involved in the passing game with the occasional receiver route so he could be on the field for some 2 RB sets, and I see Dillon eating into Williams touches more than Jones. While there is discussion on whether he can sustain his TD rate, he has had a high TD/touch ratio since he has been in the league so I don't think it is due to one fluke year. It feels like his main weakness has always been the baffling play calling of the GB OC, such as last year when they were at 1st and 1 and did not run the ball once.
Unfortunately for Mixon, he is still a Bengal with a weak offensive line, and although there are a lot of expectations for Burrow, even a good rookie QB season tends to be mid-tier relative to all QBs. I don't think their offense will be prolific enough for Mixon to be worth a first round pick, and they could be playing from behind quite a bit.
For Chubb I am just uncomfortable with Hunt in the mix as probably the best #2 RB on a team, as well as being the primary receiving back.
I still think Mixon and Chubb are good players who I would be happy to grab in the mid 2nd round, but 8 feels awfully rich for their perceived flaws in my eyes.
Mixon easily for me.
I'd take him over Cook/Jacobs even and have him equal to Kamara.
But it seems I am a bigger Burrow believer than most.
Johnny B. Goode
- Chubb in Weeks 10-17: RB20 in standard PPG
- Mixon in Weeks 10-17: RB5 in standard PPG
- Jones in Weeks 10-17: RB3 in standard PPG
Given Jones stands to regress his touchdowns, and has Dillon; the choice is clear to me.
Anyone taking Chubb is chasing points.
Don't those numbers suggest you'd be chasing points with Mixon and Jones?
Mixon especially. The recency bias is strong on him. RB34 after 8 weeks last year, and didn't have a rushing TD until week 11. Against JAX he racked up 4 yards for an entire game. He was unstartable.
That guy won't be on any of my teams this year.
RB34 until the Bengals figured out he's their best weapon and upgraded their offense.
Don't be the guy passing on Henry last year for Leonard Fournette and Devonta Freeman because the team only learned he is their best weapon in the second half of the year while the others had a history of fantasy production.
I think Chubb's numbers before and after Hunt arrived had more to do with TD variance than Hunt stealing work. Chubb had a really low rate of converting goal line opportunities into TDs after Hunt returned, despite getting more goal line opportunities after Hunt returned compared to the 1st half of the season. IIRC Chubb barely lost any rushing opportunities after Hunt returned, but he did lose almost targets per game. His with-Hunt rushing pace last year was 288/1382/4.
I found a site that tracks goal line carries by week a few months back when I was looking into it. I don't have time to search for it now, but will check later.
I think if Chubb is still averaging 18 carries a game like he did with Hunt there last year, a better OL, less crappy TD luck, and a more competent coaching staff push him into top 10 pretty easily in standard.
In this scenario, I take Mixon. He has the best shot at a top 5 season of the three, as Chubb has Hunt taking some away and Jones won’t repeat his TD numbers from last year. That said, I would have taken a Mixon/Chubb combo at the turn instead of Jacobs as I don’t see the upside in the Las Vegas offense to get Jacobs to the elite level numbers.
I chose Jones. I think he is a slight favorite in total yardage even in standard and more of a td scorer compared to both. Even with td regression. Chubb, would be a clear favorite, if not for Hunt. In games last season when Hunt was playing Chubb didn’t produce as much. Therefore, I wouldn’t go Chubb. Mixon would be a second for me. However, I haven’t seen him used as much in passing downs. And he has a rookie QB. The rookie Qb might be outstanding making Mixon a great value if tds pops go up. But for me, I would go with ARodgers lead passing team and proven AJones... his ypc is exceptional. All around a safe and solid pick without much worry of a clunker... of the three.
Hot Sauce Guy
I’m in the minority who chose AJones as well.
In non-PPR I like his touchdowns, lack of competition for early down touches & home run ability as well as the chunk plays.
I think Chubb is significantly overvalued with the presence of Hunt, and Mixon is a bit hard to trust not knowing what we’ll get out of the new-look Cinci offense.
In a non-PPR, you take none of these guys and take Lamar Jackson. The trade off to back to back picks is the large gap, where you have to forecast against runs on specific positions, i.e. facing real scarcity very quickly forcing you to project with your picks a bit. For example, even at 2.01, even if it's not a PPR, you have to really consider hard on tight end at your next swing/pick point. You have to think your next series of picks ahead so you don't get caught in a massive drop off point.
2.01 is early for Jackson against raw ADP, but not when you account for the swing point in back to back picks.
People need to stop seeing Jackson as a QB who runs and more as a RB who happens to throw ( Notice I didn't say pass, Jackson is a thrower).
Its about a coin flip between Chubb and Mixon.
I get it, Kareem Hunt knocks Chubb down. But I think it's a bit overstated. Chubb had 144 rushes and 12 receptions in 8 games with Hunt. For simplicity sake, he double it for this season to extrapolate it and you've got 288 rushes, 24 receptions.
I think the Browns offense makes some strides in 2020. Beckham should be 100% from the sports hernia. That plus imporvements to the line should have Baker playing closer to his 2018 form. If they can stay on the field longer, Chubb can find himself still pushing to 300 rushes and 20 something catches. He can still challenge for the rushing title. He had 10 TD's 2 years ago and 8 last year. If the offense takes a step forward--10-12 TD's seems reasonable.
I understand Mixon wins in the passing game. Mixon wins in the passing game over Henry too, but people still like Henry. I think Chubb out-rushes Mixon by a couple of hundred yards and scores more TD's.
- It's close, but if non-PPR, Chubb.
- As soon as you hit half-PPR-->Mixon.
I will go with Mixon but it's close between him and Chubb. Jones is a distant 3rd here.....no way he can repeat his TD production from last year and Dillon should eat into his carries, or at least limit Jones from getting a bigger share of the pie. Personally I think Mixon has the most upside of the three.
Select Comments from Facebook
I would have picked any of these three before Josh Jacobs.
Nicholas Jamaal Chubb wears the #24 and he is 24 years of age and my bet is that in his third year his number will be called on about 24 times a game which should put him in the elite RB1 tier by year end. Last year in weeks 10-17 with Kareem Hunt back Nick Chubb averaged 18 carries and 2.1 targets while Hunt averaged only 5.4 carries & 5.5 targets. Cleveland will continue to run plenty of two RB sets again this year. Hunt does offer league winning handcuff potential, but that's it barring injury or trade. Chubb is the bell-cow to own. It's a no brainer for me!
I would factor in the competition behind these guys. Who's going to be have the most taken away from them? Chubb was less effective when Hunt was activated. Jones has Williams and the rookie behind him that will get some snaps. So I'm going with Mixon on this one.
Mixon is the best choice. No real competition behind him or anyone to share snaps with. Plus new QB could really boost the offense.
Most likely grab Chubb with the understanding I could I need to focus on WR. Chubb has the best value at this stage of the draft. I could also pass on all three grab a solid WR and hope someone like carson is still on the board with my pick in the third
Jones in non-PPR. He is so underrated. He had 16 rushing TDs last year with 3 additional reception. Can't let him past me at that point.
Mixon. Consistency when getting 20+ touches, almost no carries lost to another teammate.
I would take Jones, but I would back him up with Dillon for sure later in the draft
I would’ve picked Mixon & Jones - passed on Jacobs.
Well, I would of taken Mixon at 1:12. Then I’d take Chubb. Or, if D. Adams is there, I’d take him over Chubb.
Pass and grab Miles Sanders
In a non-PPR draft, I have to go with Chubb. Not worried about his lack of catches there, and he will be the main RB in an improved rushing game after being a top-10 RB last year. This would give a solid 1-2 punch at RB and I can start scooping up WRs in a very deep field. Just hope my real draft goes this well
Depending on what WRs are available I might go that direction, but with these options I’d go Mixon.
If you'd like to have the chance to appear in the next Pick-a-Player article, join us on the Footballguys Facebook page and/or the Shark Pool message board. We'll have a new group of players to pick from every few days until a week before the season starts.