Star New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been on the trading block for some time now, and as recently as Monday, the front office wouldn’t dismiss the rumors of Beckham being available for the right price.
The precise haul happens to be first- and third-round picks in 2019 and promising safety Jabrill Peppers. The Cleveland Browns reunite OBJ with last year’s prize free-agent addition, Jarvis Landry, as the two were teammates at LSU.
The biggest winner of this situation is quarterback Baker Mayfield. After authoring one of the most promising rookie seasons in recent memory, he now has two of the best receivers in the game at his disposal, in addition to tight end David Njoku and a pair of potentially explosive backs.
One has to believe the offense will be more competent all around in 2019, and Mayfield will be that much more comfortable with the intricacies of piloting an NFL offense.
Fantasy football outlook
Beckham was the offense in New York prior to the arrival of Saquon Barkley, and now he is poised to be slightly less the center of attention — likely the primary threat on intermediate and deep routes.
He probably will lead the team in touchdown receptions but may have to make the most of his catches with all of the weapons to be thoroughly dominant in fantasy. That is not to say he’s going struggle to find looks, since the trade cost so much and what he’ll be paid, although there’s a chance the volume is considerably lower than the nearly 164 he averaged during his 2015-16 seasons. In only 12 contests as a rookie, he, of course, put on his finest per-game showing with 24.8 PPR points per game. That figure hasn’t topped 18.7 in any of the last three seasons.
He has missed 16 games in the last two years. And Beckham has more or less been a victim of circumstances when he has been on the field with Eli Manning’s struggles. Still in his prime at 26, Beckham is an injury risk, and his sideline antics can grow tiring, but there is no reason to believe he will be anything less than a No. 1 receiver in fantasy. He is a late first-round pick in most formats and shouldn’t fall out of the first 16 picks in any conventional scoring system.
The move makes Landry a safer WR2 in PPR given all of the attention Beckham draws. Njoku, while still a liability in the hands department, should be free to see single coverage all day long. The athletic tight end is a low-tier starter in fake football.
Beckham’s addition only improves the rushing attack and the should force defenses to pick their poison. Of course, chemistry is always a factor one cannot predict, but there is enough talent throughout the offense to give Cleveland the benefit of the doubt — for as difficult as it may be to stomach.
Mayfield goes from a fringe QB1 to a signal-caller in the lower third of fantasy starters. There will be a few hiccups along the way, but his sheer potential for greatness is impossible to ignore.