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Fantasy Football Player Notes

Week 1 Half PPR Rankings

Nick Chubb Note
Nick Chubb photo 24. Nick Chubb RB - (at BAL)
It was a tale of two tapes when Chubb saw the Ravens last year, turning in a ridiculous 183-yard, three-touchdown performance in Week 4, but then falling flat on his face in Week 16 when he finished with just 45 yards on 15 carries. What changed? Defensive tackle Brandon Williams was out for the Ravens in their Week 4 meeting, and he's been a difference-maker when on the field. The Ravens did lose Michael Pierce and Chris Wormley on the interior of their defensive line this offseason, though they tried to make up for that, trading for Calais Campbell, a player who's continually one of the best in the league. The big change for Chubb will be the Kevin Stefanski offense that should fit his skill set extremely well. The Browns added both Jack Conklin and first-round pick Jedrick Wills to the offensive line, which should be massive upgrades over Greg Robinson and Chris Hubbard. Still, it may take some time for them to finesse the scheme and develop chemistry together. The biggest issue for Chubb (and Hunt) this week is that the Ravens opponents averaged just 22.3 running back touches per game. No other team allowed their opponents less than 23.1 touches. That's because they control the clock and allowed their opponents just 57.6 plays per game. If the Browns defense can't slow down Lamar Jackson, we're unlikely to see Chubb and Hunt total more than 25 combined touches. Chubb averaged 6.0 fewer PPR points per game in games the Browns lost last year. He's more of a middling RB2 this week than the RB1 you thought you drafted.
35 weeks ago
Odell Beckham Jr. Note
Odell Beckham Jr. photo 44. Odell Beckham Jr. WR - (at BAL)
After playing through a groin injury last year, and in Freddie Kitchens' offense, many are worried about Beckham in fantasy. Guys, he's posted at least 1,035 yards in 5-of-6 seasons despite playing 16 games just twice. However, this week does present some real concern. It's the Browns' first game under the expected run-heavy approach of Kevin Stefanski, and the Ravens just happen to have one of the best cornerback units in all of football. Despite them facing the third-most targets to wide receivers, they allowed the 14th-fewest points to them. It's not to say they can't be beat - they can. It's just understanding expectations. There were just three receivers who finished top-12 against them last year, and all of them were slot-heavy receivers (Jamison Crowder, Jarvis Landry, and Mohamed Sanu). There were another nine wide receivers who finished in the WR2 range, and though many of them were also slot options, there were some perimeter receivers. This is not a week to get excited about Beckham in such a tough matchup but know that there will be better days. He should still be locked into six-plus targets and considered a low-end WR2.
35 weeks ago
Jarvis Landry Note
Jarvis Landry photo 63. Jarvis Landry WR - (at BAL)
He's coming off hip surgery and was just cleared to come off the PUP list a few weeks ago, so there could be a slow start to his season. That's the concern. The reason for optimism is that he played extremely well against this tough defense last year. In two games, he piled up 15 receptions for 241 yards, finishing as the WR5 and WR27 in those games. That was under the previous coaching staff and if the Browns are moving towards more 12 personnel (1 running back, 2 tight ends) under Stefanski, it would mean less slot duties for Landry. That means he'll see one of Marcus Peters or Marlon Humphrey in coverage, which is not ideal. The two of them combined to allow just 1,075 yards on 165 targets in coverage, which amounts to just 6.5 yards per target. I'd like Landry more if he weren't coming off the hip injury, as he'll still play inside the slot more than Beckham and get away from Peters/Humphrey, but given the nature of the injury and the run-heavy offense, I'm a bit more cautious. I'd say he's a WR3 this week who has a wide range of outcomes, though I don't see a much of a ceiling here.
35 weeks ago
Kareem Hunt Note
Kareem Hunt photo 64. Kareem Hunt RB - (at BAL)
Hunt should be an interesting play this week, as the Browns are heavy underdogs in this game. His splits in wins/losses weren't nearly as bad as Chubb's. Still, you worry about the potential lack of plays for the Browns offense this week, as Stefanski averaged just 60.4 plays per game in Minnesota last year, combined with the Ravens opponents averaging just 57.6 plays per game. It seems somewhat unlikely that Hunt winds up with more than 10-12 touches this week, and it's not a great matchup against a defense that allowed the fourth-fewest fantasy points in 2019. Because of that, Hunt should be considered a somewhat low-upside RB3/flex play.
35 weeks ago
Austin Hooper Note
Austin Hooper photo 100. Austin Hooper TE - (at BAL)
There are a lot of rumors about who will be used and how they'll be used in Kevin Stefanski's offense. After paying Hooper the money they did, you'd think he'd have a large role, but if you recall, the Vikings paid Kyle Rudolph a lot of money prior to last season, then split the targets 50/50 with Irv Smith Jr. Nothing is promised to Hooper, though I do expect him to lead this timeshare. Against the Ravens, I don't know if you necessarily want to start him to find out. They allowed just two tight ends to top 10 PPR points against them last year. One was Travis Kelce, who totaled 7/89/0 on eight targets, and the other one was Ricky Seals-Jones, who caught a long 59-yard touchdown. Hooper caught just two passes that traveled over 20 yards in the air last year, which ranked 15th among tight ends. I wouldn't feel comfortable playing Hooper as a TE1, especially given the matchup, though the loss of Earl Thomas does help the matchup. He should be considered a TE2 who's not even guaranteed more than five targets.
35 weeks ago
David Njoku Note
David Njoku photo 197. David Njoku TE - (at BAL)
Rashard Higgins Note
Rashard Higgins photo 250. Rashard Higgins WR - (at BAL)
Marvin Hall Note
Marvin Hall photo 253. Marvin Hall WR - (at BAL)
Harrison Bryant Note
Harrison Bryant photo 294. Harrison Bryant TE - (at BAL)
KhaDarel Hodge Note
KhaDarel Hodge photo 311. KhaDarel Hodge WR - (at BAL)
D'Ernest Johnson Note
D'Ernest Johnson photo 324. D'Ernest Johnson RB - (at BAL)
Andy Janovich Note
Andy Janovich photo 336. Andy Janovich RB - (at BAL)
Taywan Taylor Note
Taywan Taylor photo 406. Taywan Taylor WR - (at BAL)
JoJo Natson Note
JoJo Natson photo 430. JoJo Natson WR - (at BAL)
Stephen Carlson Note
Stephen Carlson photo 440. Stephen Carlson WR - (at BAL)