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How Much to Spend on Jerome Ford | Fantasy Football FAAB Report

Morgan Rode Sep 19th 12:05 PM EDT.

Week 2 of the NFL season was another tough one for major injuries across the league. The biggest injury of the week was Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb.

Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanski said after the game that Chubb was done for the season with a significant knee injury.

Chubb had been the focal point of the Browns’ offense for the past few seasons, and was off to another strong start in 2023. He was up to 170 rushing yards on just 28 carries before sustaining the knee injury in the second quarter of the Monday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

For fantasy owners, losing Chubb is a massive blow to their championship hopes, but not all hope is lost, especially if you can land Jerome Ford, who replaced Chubb in the contest.

Ford gained just 36 yards on 15 carries in week 1, but filled in for Chubb nicely with a strong 106-yard showing on 16 attempts. Ford added three catches on four targets for 25 yards and a touchdown catch.

That showing is probably enough for the Browns to give Ford the chance to be the starting back for the rest of the season, and with Ford likely available on the waiver wire, you’ll need a strong bid to scoop him up.

Let’s discuss Ford’s fantasy outlook for the remainder of the season and then how much of your free agent acquisition budget (FAAB) to spend on him.

Want to make sure you don't waste your FAAB budget? Sync your fantasy teams with our Fantasy Assistant to access our Predictive Analytics, which predict the average winning FAAB bids for each week's hottest pickups BEFORE waivers are run, with accurate predictions landing each Tuesday!

Jerome Ford Fantasy Football Outlook

Ford is not Chubb, so let’s start things off by saying you shouldn’t be expecting similar fantasy production this season. Still, in the Browns’ offense, Ford should be involved enough to be a solid fantasy asset, and one you can start pretty much every week.

Chubb was heavily involved in the team’s offense, especially over the past couple seasons. In the two seasons he played every game in, Chubb finished with 334 and 329 touches, going for over 1,700 total yards in those years. He scored between 8-13 touchdowns in the first five seasons of his career.

Ford was drafted in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, but is getting his first meaningful snaps this season after going for just 12 yards on eight attempts as a rookie. He played 14 offensive snaps last year.

A big reason why Ford wasn’t needed a season ago was because Kareem Hunt was Chubb’s backup. Hunt finished the year with 158 touches, 678 scrimmage yards and four scores.

Those numbers and his familiarity with the playbook seem like an ideal fit if the Browns wanted to bring another back into the mix, but even if that’s the case, Ford could still be the lead back. The team wouldn’t have let Hunt walk if they didn’t believe in Ford. Even serving as the No. 2 guy in week 1, Ford still had 15 carries, so he seemed destined for a bigger year already. 

The first two weeks of the season showed that Cleveland’s strength on offense is the running game. The team has run for 404 yards and passed for only 389. Obviously, the passing numbers will overtake the rushing totals in the weeks to come, but we’re talking about a team who attempted the fifth-most runs in 2022 and has ranked inside the top 10 in that stat for the past few years. Cleveland has attempted the most rushes through two weeks. I doubt the Browns will go away from the run just because Chubb is out of the picture. 

I don’t expect Ford to be toting the rock 30+ times a game, but averaging somewhere between 15-20 behind a strong offensive line and then adding in a couple receptions out of the backfield, Ford can certainly be in the upper echelon of fantasy backs in the league by the end of the season.

How Much FAAB Should You Spend on Jerome Ford?

The FantasySP Fantasy Assistant tool has Ford as the top player in predictive FAAB when it comes to Expected Waiver Interest (EWI). Our data shows you should bid at least 35% of your FAAB budget on him as of publication. (Be sure to check throughout the day to see how his FAAB may update.)

The 35% number is a high one, but honestly, it doesn’t feel high enough. Pretty much every team in your league is going to try and scoop him up, so to get him your bid probably is going to need to be above that 35% threshold. If you are desperate for a back, or were an owner that drafted Chubb, then I could see some putting upwards of 40% of your FAAB toward him. Really desperate owners might throw 50% of their budget at him.

There’s a lot of risk involved when throwing out close to half of your budget for the entire season, especially this early in the season, but if you are pretty solid at other positions, then I don’t think it’s that crazy to spend that much on him.

The only thing I truly worry about with Ford is the Browns adding another running back to the roster, but by the time that decision comes, Ford will be long gone on the waiver wire. It’s now or never, and given the Browns’ current makeup and history of running, I’m all for adding Ford, spending anywhere from 35-40% of your budget. If you are desperate, the most I'd probably go to is 50%. Anything above that and you are handcuffing yourself for a bunch of future moves later in the season.

#jerome-ford #browns #faab

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