A Dawg Frown
Updated: Jul 22, 2021
The dogs won’t be barking in Cleveland this season.
To be frank, they haven't in a while. For the past couple of seasons, the Browns have been the laughing stock of the league, whether it’s due to their 1 win within the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 seasons, or their disappointing 2019 campaign with the talents of Nick Chubb and Odell Beckham Jr. However, many experts, ranging from ESPN to Yahoo sports, are quite high on them for fantasy football.
To start, ESPN has Chubb listed as the 11th ranked player in fantasy, and Yahoo Sports has him at 13th overall, putting him as a late first-rounder to early second-rounder. Now, don’t get me wrong, Nick Chubb is an amazing player. Throughout the first 10 games of last season, he was phenomenal, racking up just over 1,000 yards with 6 touchdowns. But he was unable to perform at such high levels for the remainder of the games due to Kareem Hunt’s return.
Chubb went from averaging 101 yards a game to 80, along with a decline in his touches per game. From the 10th game forward, Chubb was the No. 18 running back, taking a steep decline for the latter portion of the season. Within the same time frame, Hunt was the No. 26 running back. This split in the backfield is not appealing from a fantasy standpoint, so I’d recommend grabbing Chubb later on in your draft, perhaps having him as an RB2 at best.
Similarly, I don’t love Cleveland's receiving core. On paper, it seems like a perfect match; Odell Beckham Jr. being paired with his longtime friend, Jarvis Landry.
But things didn't turn out that way last year. Although Odell was able to log 1,000 yards, he only had four touchdowns, finishing as a No. 25 WR. However, at the season’s end, Odell had hip and groin surgery, an injury that was likely restricting his movements. As unfortunate as it is, injuries continue to hamper Odell’s career, as he recently exited a Browns practice early with a trainer.
As much as I want him to succeed, I see him as a low-end WR2/flex option, especially with you know who at the helm.
Of course, I’m referring to Baker Mayfield. Throwing for 3800 yards on a 59 % completion percentage, along with 21 interceptions, the accuracy just isn’t there. I cannot stress enough; do not draft Baker Mayfield.
Also, I have seen many people throughout fantasy websites have optimism for Austin Hooper. Like the other receivers, I don’t like the idea of Baker Mayfield throwing to my tight end. Along with that, the Browns exercised the fifth year on David Njoku’s contract. Cleveland also drafted Harrison Bryant, a fellow tight end, in the fourth round of this year’s draft. Why? Who knows. But I’ll tell you what I do know. Any player on the Browns offense is a no-no for fantasy football.
- Ryan M. Lima