NFL Season Preview – Cleveland Browns

Key Fantasy Additions

  • Jarvis Landry – Landry comes over from Miami, and is a very interesting character.  112 receptions last year, but for only 987 yards, but 9 TD’s.  Obviously we’d like to see the yards improve, but the catches in a PPR league, and the TD’s in any situation are elite.  He wasn’t working with amazing QB’s in Miami and still put up those numbers, so it seems reasonable he can put up slightly reduced numbers this year.  Unless of course our next player is a breakout star….

 

  • Baker Mayfield – The #1 pick in the draft this year isn’t a guarantee to start immediately thanks to the addition of Tyrod Taylor, but how long can that actually last?  I honestly feel Mayfield has the chance to beat out Tyrod in camp and be the opening day starter.  Even if he doesn’t, he will take over sooner rather than later.  I have some serious doubts about Mayfields maturity and ability to transition his game to the NFL.  I wouldn’t even take a flier on him in a season long league, and certainly wouldn’t touch him from a DFS perspective until he proves himself a little.  Some QB’s you can tell are slam dunk #1 picks and future stars…not sure I see that here.

  • Nick Chubb – He probably jumps right to the forefront of the depth chart and truthfully is as talented as any back to come out in the draft the last several years.  The concern here is the knee, which some feared would be career ending.  He’s an absolute horse and powerhouse who can run over even NFL level tacklers.  I think the real issue here will be the Browns’ offensive line.  They’re not an amazing unit, and it will limit Chubb’s upside.  If he tops the depth chart as I expect him too, I’d say he has value in later rounds of drafts, and could be a sneaky steal in your season long drafts.

 

Key Fantasy Loses

None.  This team was a fantasy nightmare last year, can only get better from here.

Fantasy Top 3

  • Jarvis Landry
  • Nick Chubb
  • Duke Johnson Jr.

Possible Fantasy Sleeper

David Njoku, TE.  He caught 4 TD’s last year, which is actually really impressive for the Browns’.  He’s a big, physical and yet athletically gifted Tight End.  In his best game last year he caught 4 of 6 targets for 74 yards and a TD against the Chargers.  He should benefit greatly from improved QB play, either from Taylor or Mayfield.  He had caught 3 TD’s in the first 5 weeks of last season, and then largely fell out of red zone targeting for the remainder of the season.  The Browns’ made an odd decision to keep Hue Jackson on as their coach, but he has a strong history of effectively using Tight Ends in his offenses.  He’s a pretty brilliant offensive mind overall, I still doubt he’s fit to lead the team on a grand scale, but he should make good use of Njoku’s talent.  There’s also really no other Tight End on the roster I’d worry about stealing time here.  Njoku can probably be stolen in the last round of your season long drafts, and should be a very dirt cheap DFS option to start the season for a GPP flier.

Season Outlook

Not often I look at a team that went 0-16 the previous year, but when the Lions did it, you saw immediately by next year some hope for some wins.  I don’t really see that this year.  I’m far from seeing the Browns go 0-16 at this point without even seeing the product on the field, but I can’t say at early look at their talent that I’d be shocked.  They play in a still brutal AFC North, where three teams won at least 7 games last year, including the 13-3 Pittsburgh Steelers.  There is a chance in week 3 to steal an early season win from an equally lowly Jets team, but the other games on their schedule are absolutely brutal.  They draw the NFC South and AFC west this year, 2 of the better divisions in all of football.  Seriously name me a team in either of those divisions you think the Browns can beat?

Best Case Scenario

Chubb becomes a breakout star, Landry and Taylor/Mayfield breakout with great chemistry, and the Browns win a whopping 3 games this year.  Seriously, 3 wins seems like this teams best chance.

Worst Case Scenario

Like I said above, 0-16 can’t be ruled out again.  There’s some major work needed on this roster still for them to compete, and they have a brutal schedule this year.

 

Lenny Hadley

Lenny Hadley is a Daily Fantasy player for the past 5 years, specializing in NBA, NHL, NFL, and PGA. He operates under the user name leonardhadley on both DraftKings and FanDuel, currently ranked top 10% overall on RotoGrinders.

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