Cleveland Browns, Fantasy Football

Does Kareem Hunt set a career-high with 55 receptions?

Could Kareem Hunt set a career-high as a receiving back this season?

The Cleveland Browns should have one of the most exciting offenses in the NFL this season. They seem to have two of everything on the offensive side of the ball, especially at running back. While third-year pro Nick Chubb is expected to be the Browns’ bell-cow back this fall, what are the chances Kareem Hunt takes on more of a receiving role in the Cleveland offense?

The Fantasy Footballers investigate how Hunt can be best featured in Kevin Stefanski’s offense and contemplate if he’ll set a career-high with 55 receptions in his fourth year out of Toledo. We know under Stefanski the Browns offense will be increasingly ground-centric. If you need proof of that, go look at some Minnesota Vikings tape over the last few years and there you go.

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Chubb will be a superstar in this offense. If quarterback Baker Mayfield can play well, he can be Cleveland’s version of Kirk Cousins in this scheme. Surely, wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry will flourish, as will newcomer tight end Austin Hooper and maybe even their incumbent tight end David Njoku, who we aren’t totally sure wants to even be there this year.

Will Kevin Stefanski use Kareem Hunt more as a receiver with the Browns?

The thought on Hunt getting more receiving reps is that he could be featured as a slot receiver in Stefanski’s offense as a glorified No. 3 or No. 4 receiving option. He’s a better pass-catcher than Chubb. Hunt could also be a significant mismatch in the receiving game, as he’d be too quick for many linebackers who plan to stack the box to slow down the battering ram that is Chubb.

In terms of if Hunt can get to 55 receptions and set a career high, keep in mind he had 53 receptions in his Pro Bowl rookie season while he was with the Kansas City Chiefs. Even though he only played in eight games for the Browns last season, he had 37 catches out of the backfield. That would have put him on pace for 74 in his first year with a knew team. So yes, 55 is possible.

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However, there are a lot of mouths to feed for Mayfield in the passing game. Plus, we should expect the Browns to be very much a run-first offense centered around Chubb with Hunt backing him up. Given that he’s not the starting running back in the Cleveland offense, look for Hunt to come up just shy of the 55-reception threshold in his first year in the Stefanski system.

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