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Three Cleveland Browns to Avoid in Fantasy Football
The Browns are a really interesting team from a fantasy standpoint because they played without Odell Beckham Jr. for a lot of last season, and they are very efficient while not running a ton of plays offensively. This means that we are often in search of cheap touches or touchdowns in this offense, and that's never easy to predict.
Listen, I love Nick Chubb as a football player, and you could argue he is the best pure runner in the NFL. That being said, I cannot pay for him in drafts this year in the first two rounds. This isn't because his overall fantasy output will be down or because I expect regression.
It's because the Browns really don't feature him in the passing game, and Kareem Hunt may be the best "backup" in the league. Backup isn't even a great word because Hunt will get plenty of situational touches and drives. This is a concern to me for Chubb at the price.
He doesn't have a safe floor like a running back that is featured in the pass game. He could struggle to get touches in games where they trail. They also haven't really shown the willingness to feature Chubb as every play running back if Hunt were to be out. If you could convince me that healthy Chubb and injured Hunt equals Chubb seeing over 90 percent of snaps like a true workhorse.
That would at least be intriguing. Now, you have to spend a top 15ish pick on Chubb while you cannot count on him to give you a nice floor through the playoffs, even if he is healthy. Chubb going for 96 yards on 19 carries and no touchdowns is a problem in the playoffs, and I don't want to deal with that headache.
There are plenty of fun, upside, young tight ends to chooses from in redraft fantasy leagues that you should take over Hooper with his volume in the offense. I don't mind Hooper as a waiver wire pickup in week 4 for a one-week plug-in, but he is probably the fifth best-receiving weapon on the field on third down, and I don't want that on this team that won't throw that much anyways. Hooper should produce somewhat similar to last season, but that's just not very interesting to me this season.
Baker Mayfield will have a couple of big games this year, but he will also have plenty of stinkers because the volume in this passing game just isn't there to compete when you could play games vs. Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes. You cannot spot someone 15 points at the QB position in a weekly matchup. Mayfield would be a great 1 week add in a competitive game or even viable if you took someone like Justin Fields or Trey Lance and are looking for a free QB to pick up while they are on the bench. I don't mind Baker Mayfield in Week 1.
I hate Baker Mayfield in November and December in Cleveland. He is no more than a trusty fill-in in fantasy this season.
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