Cleveland struggled to do much of if really anything in week six against a good Los Angeles Chargers defense. While Baker Mayfield for fantasy didn’t have a horrible game you could argue the only Browns player to come through for fantasy last week was tight end David Njoku.
Njoku put up 15 points and finished 3rd at tight end. The great news is they are now going up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team giving up the most points all season long, and let’s hope they continue to leak like a sieve against the Browns.
While all the Browns players will get a rise in production this week against a poor defense the biggest winner this week is Nick Chubb, as Carlos Hyde was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier today. Many Browns fans have felt Chubb just needed more touches. Now he is going to get them and the move away from Hyde will cause huge ripples throughout this offense.
Quarterback: Baker Mayfield- Start
Baker is an easy start for me, even after a bad week last week he still put up 14 points and finished as a QB2 for fantasy. He is now playing a poor defense and has always bounced back in college after bad games. I know I’ve been calling for it for weeks, but Baker is finally going to come through big time this week. Baker will finish as a top 12 QB this week.
Running backs: Nick Chubb – Start, Duke Johnson Jr. – Start
Chubb is finally going to be the guy for the Cleveland offense. He has had limited work till this point but was already more explosive than Hyde. He has two touchdowns already and a 100-yard game. What will be interesting with him is if he will get any receiving work, or will he be used only as a rusher? Whether or not he gets any receiving work or not, I expect Chubb to have a huge game this week.
Duke Johnson may now finally be able to return to the Duke of 2017. He now has the role of the receiving back and the backup all to himself. While Chubb is obviously much more talented than Isaiah Crowell much like him, Chubb is not an accomplished receiver. I believe with Chubb being in there if he is effective, will allow Duke to be more effective in the receiving game from the backfield. Duke should also get some work in the slot this week as well with the Browns decimated at wide receiver.
Wide receivers: Jarvis Landry – Start, Antonio Callaway – Start, Damion Ratley – Start
Jarvis Landry had a horrible week last week. However, that can’t all be placed on him as Mayfield struggled to get him the ball. He was targeted 9 times, which means he’s still one of Baker’s first reads. With a poor Buccanneers secondary Landry should be able to make some plays this week.
Antonio Callaway is very much boom or bust for me. He had a chance to catch a touchdown last week. He just missed catching a ball as it went through his hands. Callaway had his plays reduce to try and make him more effective when he was out there. He showed it at times blowing by defensive backs, he struggled however in actually catching the ball. Twice he got by the secondary but wasn’t able to haul in the catch. I expect him to come through this week with a long touchdown.
Damion Ratley is a new addition to this team and a sneaky PPR play this week. He is 6’2 200lbs and a great route runner. Ratley can play outside and in the slot. He caught 6-of-8 targets last week for 82 yards and seemed to have a nice connection with Baker. Derrick Willies is out for the season. With Rashard Higgins out for still a decent amount of time, I expect Ratley to become a fixture in this offense starting this week.
Tight end: David Njoku – Start
Njoku came through big time last week, including a great touchdown catch in the back of the end zone with a defender trying to get the ball away from him. For the past three weeks, Njoku has led all the Browns in receptions, targets, and touchdowns. This will continue as he is a physical freak and Baker’s best option in the red zone.
Cleveland Browns defense – Sit
Cleveland struggled last week and while they have been good more often than not. Jameis Winston looked good last week as well. Tampa Bay has a lot of good offensive weapons. While I think the Browns will force stops and cause turnovers. Tampa will score some points and limit the Browns defense upside.
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