The Cleveland Browns have the talent to be one of the NFL’s most potent offenses, and that means that their fantasy potential is very high. There are plenty of mouths to feed, but head coach Kevin Stefanski should be able to manage things just fine. Here are three Browns players you’ll want on your fantasy team for 2020.
Which Browns players do you want on your fantasy team in 2020?
Odell Beckham Jr. should bounce back after a disappointing 2019 fantasy season
Over his first three seasons in the NFL, Odell Beckham Jr. was one of the league’s most electrifying offensive weapons, averaging over 207 fantasy points per year. However, since an ankle injury limited him to just four games in 2017, Beckham has struggled, scoring only 10 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He had the worst full campaign of his career with the Browns in 2019, catching 74 passes for 1,035 yards and four scores.
Beckham dealt with a nagging groin injury that should have been operated on before the season began. He also never seemed to be on the same page with quarterback Baker Mayfield, and the incompetent offensive scheme did him no favors. Beckham is healthy now and primed for a rebound season.
New head coach Kevin Stefanski runs a heavy zone-based offense that pounds the ball and uses tons of play action. Mayfield excels on play fakes, and a healthy Beckham should be able to put up similar numbers to Stefon Diggs or Adam Thielen last year, perhaps even better.
At an average ADP in the mid-to-late 30s, Beckham could easily outplay his draft slot and reclaim his status as one of the best wideouts in football.
Austin Hooper could excel with his new team
Hooper is an ascending player who has become one of the best tight ends in the league. He has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last two seasons and scored over 116 fantasy points in 2019. Stefanski uses two tight ends quite often, so Hooper and David Njoku will be sharing the field more often than not. Rookie Harrison Bryant will also get in on the action.
The presence of other talented TEs does hamper Hooper’s value a bit. However, the Browns made him the highest-paid TE in NFL history (at least, at the time) for a reason. Mayfield loves to throw to tight ends, and Hooper has been one of the most reliable targets in the entire NFL. The two should hit it off immediately.
While Hooper’s target share will likely decrease, the quality of those targets should improve. I imagine the Browns will use Hooper in more creative ways than the Atlanta Falcons, where the vast majority of Hooper’s routes came within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.
Hooper’s ADP is hovering around the late seventh round, which makes him an excellent value. If you’re in round six and beyond and haven’t picked up a starting TE yet, Hooper is a no-brainer if he is still on the board.
Nick Chubb’s fantasy value is lower than where it should be
Nick Chubb has a strong argument for the best RB in the NFL. Over his first two seasons, he’s carried the ball 490 times for 2,490 yards and 16 touchdowns despite running behind a porous offensive line and defenses game-planning to stop him. Chubb put up over 219 fantasy points last year, and while he did have 36 receptions, he’s not known as a great receiving back. That is an area that he has been working on improving in, but until it manifests itself on the field, he isn’t a PPR beast.
Chubb is alternating between RB8 and RB9 in most drafts, usually being taken at the end of the first round. There are understandable reasons for why he’s lasting so long, but there are more compelling reasons to believe he’ll end up as a steal. Nick Chubb’s fantasy value should be higher than it is, and savvy drafters will take advantage of that market inefficiency.
OBJ, Hooper, and Chubb are 3 Browns players you want on your 2020 fantasy team
Between Beckham, Hooper, and Jarvis Landry, the Browns have a plethora of receiving weapons for Mayfield. There is only one ball, so their projected opportunities might not entirely match their actual talent level. Even in a crowded situation, however, Beckham and Hooper will see their fair share of targets and return quality production for fantasy managers.
Kareem Hunt is also set to play a full 16-game season, and last time he did that, he was a top-5 RB. Some see Hunt as a legitimate threat to Chubb’s touches, but in Stefanski’s offense, both players should get more than enough opportunities.
Even if Chubb’s touches go down, much like Hooper, he should see an increase in efficiency. Chubb was hit behind the line far too many times in 2019, most notably in his red-zone touches. The offensive line would consistently get blown up, leaving Chubb no room to run. With Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills Jr. set to provide massive upgrades at the tackle spots, Chubb should be able to convert more of his red zone carries into touchdowns, which should more than offset any touches that Hunt eats up.