Fantasy Football: Kareem Hunt injury and how to approach the Browns backfield now, plus early waiver targets

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If you’re looking for running back help on the waiver wire, Week 7 may not be the best time to be in the market, based on what we saw Sunday. The backup running backs mostly played pretty well, but they are all already mostly on Fantasy rosters. However, there is one potential outlier, as Kareem Hunt left Sunday’s game against the Cardinals with a calf injury, leaving the Browns potentially without their top two running backs for Week 7’s game against the Broncos Thursday.

© Provided by CBS Sports

Oct 4, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Cleveland Browns running back D’Ernest Johnson (30) runs the ball in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.

Hunt was immediately ruled out for the game, and with the short turnaround to the next game, it might be tough for him to play even if the injury isn’t serious. There’s a chance Nick Chubb could come back from his own calf injury Thursday, but that’s not a given. Which pushes both D’Ernest Johnson and Demetric Felton into potential Fantasy relevance. Neither did much Sunday, though Hunt didn’t leave the game early enough for them to really have an opportunity, which leaves us with some pretty big questions about how things might shake out. 

Johnson feels like the better bet to be the lead back among this duo, though neither has much of a track record as an every-down back even going back to the college level. Johnson has run well when given the opportunity for the Browns (5.0 yards per carry on 39), though I certainly don’t expect him to be a one-for-one replacement for Hunt or Chubb. Still, if he gets 15 carries in Week 7, he would probably be a top-24 RB. And Felton’s chops as a pass catcher would make him a pretty interesting PPR option too, if he plays a big enough role. I feel a bit less certain of that than Johnson’s potential role, so if you can only add one, Johnson would be the guy.

And, the thing is, given the attrition at the position, you might have to start Johnson if Chubb and Hunt. Because, in addition to the injuries around the position, with the Bills, Cowboys, Vikings, Steelers, Chargers, and Jaguars all on bye in Week 7, you’re going to be scrambling anyway, probably. That’s five of the top 10 running backs out of the picture. It’s gonna be a mess. 

Tomorrow, we’ll have winners and losers from Sunday’s games plus a recap of the top storylines from around the NFL. For now, here’s an early look at the top waiver-wire targets for Week 7. 

Early Week 7 Waiver Wire Targets 

Here’s who I’m looking at coming out of Sunday’s action:  

Top targets:

  1. Sterling Shepard, WR, NYG 64%
  2. Rashod Bateman, WR, BAL 31%
  3. T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND 55%
  4. Devonta Freeman, RB, BAL 3%
  5. Chris Evans, RB, CIN 4%

For the rest of my top early priorities and why I’m targeting them, head here

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