2024 Fantasy Football Overvalued, Undervalued & Sleeper: Cleveland Browns

Nick Chubb Cleveland Browns Running Back

Joe Flacco saved the Cleveland Browns last season, but now The Bad Man is back under center, and we once again enter a Cleveland Browns season wondering if Deshaun Watson is actually good anymore. The fantasy football community has put their chips down on the answer to that being, “no,” with Amari Cooper (ADP: 49) and David Njoku (ADP: 84) as the only Browns players going inside the top-half of 12-team, 15-round drafts. Let’s see if those are good picks, and take a look at another Cleveland Brown going at a deep discount in drafts!

Overvalued: David Njoku, Tight End (TE10, Pick 84 Overall)

David Njoku broke out last season, posting 81 catches for 882 yards, and six touchdowns en route to a TE7 finish. Unfortunately, he did all of his damage with Joe Flacco under center. In the five games with Flacco last season, Njoku averaged 9 targets, 6 receptions and 78 yards (and 18.2 PPR points) per game! With Watson, he averaged 8.7 targets, 5.8 receptions and… 38 yards (and 8.7 PPR points) per game. He was getting the same number of targets, but they weren’t going nearly as far. That’s because his average depth of target went from 1.4 to 6.5 with Joe Flacco. That’s right, that’s not a typo. The average pass from Deshaun Watson to David Njoku went four feet, two inches downfield. Those are running back numbers. That was a lower aDOT than Darrell Henderson in the same span of games, it was lower than Evan Hull, and Antoine Green! I don’t even know who Antoine Green is!

That is to say, David Njoku and Deshaun Watson are a complete mismatch, and they don’t end up on the same page very often. In Watson’s 11 games with Njoku since joining the Browns, Njoku averaged 8.8 PPR points per game. Without Watson, that number jumps to 12.9.

Undervalued: Amari Cooper, Wide Receiver (WR25, Pick 49 Overall)

On the flipside, Amari Cooper is as consistent a metronome as you will find on the Cleveland Browns. Since Watson joined the Browns, Cooper averages 4.7 receptions for 75.3 yards and 0.4 touchdowns per game. Without Watson, that number is 5 catches for 77 yards, with Watson it is 4.2 catches for 72.5 yards. Granted, he went ham down the stretch last season with Joe Flacco (6 catches for 121 yards per game), but that’s not where he’s being drafted. 4.7 receptions for 75.3 yards per game is 80 catches for 1,280 yards (and 7 touchdowns) over the course of seventeen games. In 2023, that would have been roughly equivalent to Nico Collins (80/1297/8).

Sleeper: Nick Chubb, Running Back (RB32, Pick 96 Overall)

It’s hard to put a perennial top-ten running back in as a sleeper, but if you recall… his knee exploded last season. Should we know that Nick Chubb is at full health, he is easily a top-fifteen back in this class, going somewhere between Derrick Henry & Kenneth Walker in the grand scheme of things. But, we don’t know that he is healthy. While videos have surfaced of him working out, questions of his availability remain.

And the last time we saw Chubb, he was as good as he ever was. He played in just 54 snaps across two games before we lost him for the season; he touched the ball 32 times for 191 yards (5.9 yards per touch). He’s still good, and he should still have it, and he has more upside than anyone else going in this range. He might not qualify as a sleeper, but this is my article, so I can put him in here if I darn well please.

About Jeff Krisko

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