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Is D'Onta Foreman Or Chuba Hubbard The Starting Panthers RB? Who Should I Pick Up In Fantasy Football?

D'Onta Foreman - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, Waiver Wire Pickups

Former Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey broke the internet with news of his trade to the San Francisco 49ers. The star running back finally decided his prime years would be better spent apart from a brutally disorganized Carolina team with no real chance to compete this season.

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The blockbuster trade of the season leaves D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard as the anticipated favorites to lead the Carolina backfield, with rookie Raheem Blackshear contributing to the committee.

The Panthers face the challenge of distributing McCaffrey’s massive workload among their remaining options. Panthers interim coach Steve Wilks already addressed the team’s plans to proceed with a running back by committee while leaning on whoever has the hot hand.

Which running back will be the hero to step up and save the Panthers’ season? Probably none of them. Fantasy managers may still find a unique opportunity to capitalize on the restructured offense.

Will D’Onta Foreman or Chuba Hubbard emerge as a viable fantasy asset? Let’s discuss what we can expect based on the data we have on each of them.


How Have D'Onta Foreman And Chuba Hubbard Performed In The Spotlight?

D’Onta Foreman spent two seasons with the Houston Texans after being selected in the third round of the 2017 draft. He joined the Panthers this season under a 1-year contract after spending the bulk of the past two seasons with the Tennessee Titans.

Foreman was active for six games in his first season as a backup to workhorse Derrick Henry, and he was limited to just 22 carries for 95 yards and one reception for a five-yard touchdown.

Derrick Henry went down with a foot injury in Week 8 of the 2021 season which gave Foreman the opportunity to produce. In nine games without Henry, Foreman amassed 566 yards and 3 touchdowns on 133 carries, finishing 10th in rushing yards at the position during the stretch. He also demonstrated his ability to handle a heavy workload as he averaged 18.3 carries per game throughout the final six games of the regular season.

He saw limited work in Tennessee’s passing game with an average of just one reception per game in 2021. The 235-pound bruiser can be viewed as a pure runner until he commands a higher target volume.

Chuba Hubbard was thrust into a heavy role as a rookie in 2021 as Christian McCaffrey missed 10 total games due to injury. Hubbard ended the 2021 season with a team-high 172 carries for 612 yards with an additional 174 yards from 25 receptions. When McCaffery was off the field, Hubbard averaged 13.9 rushing attempts and 51.4 rushing yards per game.

Hubbard saw decent utilization in the passing game. In the 10 games without McCaffrey, he collected 19 receptions for 110 yards. However, 68% of those receptions occurred in five games before Ameer Abdullah took over as the preferred passing back.


How Have D'Onta Foreman And Chuba Hubbard Been Involved This Season?

It’s no secret that the Panthers run their offense through Christian McCaffrey. McCaffrey leads the Carolina backfield with 75% of running back carries through six games. He also leads the team with 34 receptions from a 25% target share.

D’Onta Foreman has the second-most volume with a whopping 12 total carries on the season. Hubbard’s six rushes are enough for third among running backs. Foreman has not received a target this season while Chuba has just one yard on a single reception.

The sample size is clearly limited for the season, but the volume distribution in the most recent game may offer a glimpse of Carolina’s preference. In Week 6, D’Onta Foreman saw a season-high five carries for 19 yards and was on the field for 23% of offensive snaps. Hubbard received only two carries and one reception with a 9% snap count percentage.


Should I Add D'Onta Foreman Or Chuba Hubbard In Fantasy Football?

It will be hard to trust either running back in fantasy lineups for Week 7 as the Panthers take on a Tampa Bay defense that ranks first in fantasy points allowed to the position. The Panthers' situation may not be pretty, but McCaffrey’s departure could open the door for the next men up to emerge as fantasy-relevant contributors.

D’Onta Foreman leads the remaining backs in volume and is listed as the starter on the depth chart.  He is the best bet to handle a heavy workload as the season progresses and should be the priority add in fantasy football. Chuba Hubbard is worth a long-shot speculative add in deeper leagues if you have the bench space. Fantasy managers should monitor the distribution for the next few weeks until we have more clarity on this new offensive structure.

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