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Fantasy Football Player Notes

2020 Half PPR Draft Rankings
Nick Chubb Note
Nick Chubb photo 17. Nick Chubb RB - (vs . PIT)
Through 10 games last year, Chubb was doing very well and was the No. 4 running back (PPG) in half-PPR formats. Keep in mind that was despite the offense not being very good. From that point forward (when Kareem Hunt joined the offense), Chubb was the No. 18 running back while Hunt was the No. 26 running back. This is clearly more of a timeshare than Chubb owners would like, leaving him best-suited as a high-end RB2 rather than the RB1 he appeared destined to be.
4 weeks ago
Odell Beckham Jr. Note
Odell Beckham Jr. photo 34. Odell Beckham Jr. WR - (vs . PIT)
What in the world happened to Beckham in 2019? If we were replaying last season, we wouldn't be drafting him until the fifth or sixth round of fantasy drafts. But that's where fantasy players go wrong. That's a one-year sample size. We had 59 career games prior to that we can look at where he was the best game-by-game fantasy wide receiver of all-time. Which do you trust? Everyone on the Browns struggled last year and knowing that Beckham was playing through a hernia only added to the disappointment. 2019 was the first year he'd posted WR2 or better numbers in less than 66.7 percent of his games (which is ridiculous). We know the offense is changing, but that also comes with some concerns. While in Minnesota last year, Kevin Stefanski's wide receivers combined for just 201 targets and a 43.1 percent target share, which ranked as the fourth-lowest mark in football. Stefon Diggs, who is also very talented, saw just 94 targets in 15 games last year. While I don't expect the Browns to be as run-heavy as the Vikings were, it's an added level of concern. But here's the thing - it's not like a lot of the wide receivers in the 10-15 range don't come with similar issues or question marks. Beckham has done it before and has true No. 1 overall wide receiver upside. He's in the prime of his career at 27 years old and his only competition for targets (Jarvis Landry) is coming off hip surgery. Getting him as your high-end WR2 is worth it.
4 weeks ago
Kareem Hunt Note
Kareem Hunt photo 57. Kareem Hunt RB - (vs . PIT)
The Browns are going to have a new offense in 2020, so we can't automatically assume that Hunt will be as big as he was in the gameplanning process in 2020. From the time he entered the lineup last year, he was the No. 26 running back in half-PPR formats while Nick Chubb was the No. 18 running back. The reason we have to assume he'll have a role is due to the Browns tendering him with a second rounder instead of moving on. Chubb is the superior play in this backfield, but it's important to note that Hunt has standalone value, while also offering league-winning handcuff value. If Chubb were to miss time, Hunt would be a top-five play.
4 weeks ago
Jarvis Landry Note
Jarvis Landry photo 71. Jarvis Landry WR - (vs . PIT)
Did you know there have been just three wide receivers who've finished as a top-24 wide receiver in each of the last five years? Julio Jones, Mike Evans, and Landry. The way he got there in 2019 wasn't ideal (posted WR2 or better numbers just 31.3 percent of the time), but it was a horrendous offense. The issue now is that he's coming off hip surgery this offseason. While it seems like his recovery has gone well, that could be something to hold him back from being as consistent as he's been the last few years in Cleveland. Another hurdle is the limited targets that may be available in Stefanski's offense. The Vikings receivers combined for just 201 targets last year, and it would appear the Browns are trying to recreate that offense with both Austin Hooper and David Njoku in 2TE sets, while using the run game heavily. There's been just two times in Landry's career where he's finished with more than 7.0 yards per target, and he's scored more than six touchdowns just once. If he's cut down anywhere close to the 100-110-target mark, which seems very likely, it's really going to hurt his fantasy impact. Because of that, he's a WR3, and one who might be a bit dicier than in past years.
4 weeks ago
Austin Hooper Note
Austin Hooper photo 107. Austin Hooper TE - (vs . PIT)
Yes, the Browns just paid Hooper a lot of money. Yes, the Browns also picked up the fifth-year option on Njoku's contract, and then drafted a tight end in the fourth round. What a mess. This is a lot like the Vikings duo of Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith last year. Don't forget that the Vikings paid Rudolph a lot of money (4 years, $36 million) just one year ago, after they had already drafted Smith. Do you know how that situation played out? Rudolph got 48 targets while Smith got 47 of them. The Vikings tight ends combined for 105 targets last year when you add in Tyler Conklin. Even if you want to weight them more towards Hooper, what are you looking at? A 55/40/10 between these three tight ends? The magic number for a tight end to be considered a TE1 is right around 80 projected targets. We cannot get there with Hooper. Njoku and his agent know that this is a bad situation and want out, but the Browns have said they're holding onto him because Stefanski loves to use two tight ends. The best-case scenario with Hooper is that he gets close to the 70-target mark and scores at least six touchdowns, though I don't see it happening. I'm staying away from this tight end unit unless some injuries arise. If Hooper or Njoku were to get hurt, the other would turn into an attractive option.
4 weeks ago
Baker Mayfield Note
Baker Mayfield photo 127. Baker Mayfield QB - (vs . PIT)
It was a nightmare sophomore season for Mayfield, who regressed rather than progressed. His completion percentage dropped 4.4 points, yards per attempt dropped 0.5 yards, he threw five less touchdowns, and threw seven more interceptions. Wait, I thought Odell Beckham was supposed to help? It's clear that Freddie Kitchens hurt all players involved, as even Nick Chubb was extremely inefficient in the red zone, totaling negative 16 yards on nine carries inside the five-yard-line. Let's just erase that season, shall we? Kevin Stefanski will be the new head coach and play caller. Do we have a lot to go off? Not really. What we do know is that they added two offensive linemen who'll make a difference at the most important positions, as well as add a pass-catching tight end. It seems they would like to replicate what the Vikings did last year under Stefanski, which would be brutal for Mayfield's outlook, as Kirk Cousins threw the ball just 444 times. Mayfield has some mobility but not enough to overcome that low of volume through the air. But knowing that's possible, we know Mayfield could have a lower floor than most would like to admit. He should be treated as an excellent QB2 in Superflex/2QB formats, while being looked at as a streamer in standard leagues.
4 weeks ago
Cleveland Browns Note
Cleveland Browns photo 227. Cleveland Browns DST - (vs . PIT)
David Njoku Note
David Njoku photo 278. David Njoku TE - (vs . PIT)
Not only did the Browns add Austin Hooper in free agency, but they decided to throw down a fourth-round pick on Harrison Bryant, another tight end to add to the mix. The Browns further hurt Njoku's value when they picked up the fifth-year option on his contract. He's in a bad place right now. All dynasty owners can hope is that he's traded.
4 weeks ago
Rashard Higgins Note
Rashard Higgins photo 391. Rashard Higgins WR - (vs . PIT)
Donovan Peoples-Jones Note
Donovan Peoples-Jones photo 435. Donovan Peoples-Jones WR - (vs . PIT)
Harrison Bryant Note
Harrison Bryant photo 436. Harrison Bryant TE - (vs . PIT)
D'Ernest Johnson Note
D'Ernest Johnson photo 444. D'Ernest Johnson RB - (vs . PIT)
Dontrell Hilliard Note
Dontrell Hilliard photo 456. Dontrell Hilliard RB - (vs . PIT)
Andy Janovich Note
Andy Janovich photo 463. Andy Janovich RB - (vs . PIT)
KhaDarel Hodge Note
KhaDarel Hodge photo 481. KhaDarel Hodge WR - (vs . PIT)
John Kelly Note
John Kelly photo 511. John Kelly RB - (vs . PIT)
Taywan Taylor Note
Taywan Taylor photo 517. Taywan Taylor WR - (vs . PIT)
Case Keenum Note
Case Keenum photo 518. Case Keenum QB - (vs . PIT)
Stephen Carlson Note
Stephen Carlson photo 607. Stephen Carlson WR - (vs . PIT)