Does Saquon Barkley or Nick Chubb have a brighter outlook?
By Charlie Vakassian
Three weeks into the NFL season, and the running back situation has been unexpected and injury marred for fantasy owners and NFL teams. But there have been two constants withstanding the storm. Saquon Barkley is a man on a mission, second in the NFL in rushing yards, as well as the overall RB1 for fantasy. He looks like his old self, leading the Giants to a 2-1 record. Nick Chubb has been tearing it up as well, leading the NFL in rushing yards while being the RB2 for fantasy. In this article, we will look at the styles and stats of both players, as well as their situations for this season and beyond. In the end, we will be able to answer: who is the better player?
Skills and Stats
Saquon Barkley: 53 carries, 317 yards, 2 TDs, 15 targets, 13 catches, 91 yards (5.98 YPC)
Nick Chubb: 62 carries, 341 yards, 4 TDs, 5 targets, 4 catches, 28 yards (5.5 YPC)
Chubb has been the beneficiary of a functioning offensive line, outscoring Barkley by two touchdowns. Surprisingly, Barkley has been the more efficient runner, thanks to his big play ability. Barkley has been the better fantasy performer because he is the true bell-cow and better receiver. Chubb has Kareem Hunt taking away all the passing work.
Barkley is the undisputed 3 down back and primary weapon on a Giants team with no healthy or talented wide receivers. Daniel Jones frequently targets him for check-downs and screenplays. Barkley also has amazing big play ability, with multiple 30-plus yard runs already this season.
Chubb has the misfortune of being handicapped by Kareem Hunt, who as I said before takes all the passing game work and even vultures a few carries. The Browns also have a competent QB in Jacoby Brisset and good weapons in Amari Cooper and David Njoku.
Outlook for 2022 and Beyond
Barkley is playing under his team option for this season and has the potential to become a free agent after this year, pending trade or extension. Chubb has more security, currently playing under a 3-year extension. Barkley has more to play for this year, with the chance to earn a nice payday on the open market. He is also the younger back, only 25 years old, and looks healthy 2 years removed from his ACL injury. Chubb has more long-term security, but is older, playing into his age 27 seasons, and has an annoying handcuff in Hunt. Running backs do not age well, and Chubb is a risky play for the dynasty except for contending teams. Redraft the two are essentially equal, but dynasty Barkley takes the cake. Overall, a slight edge over the Giants star RB.