Wait. WHAT?! WHAT in the F&$! just happened?! Has Gettleman lost his mind?! Just days after making a rather dubious decision to let Landon Collins walk in favor of paying an ineffective Eli Manning $17M (and also to waste the primes of OBJ and Saquon’s career), the Giants have decided to ship Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a 1st, 3rd, and safety Jabril Peppers. We’ll discuss all dynasty implications of such a huge move in the paragraphs ahead.
The New Look Browns A.B. (Post Odell Beckham Jr. Trade)
First things first… OBJ is arguably WR1. Baker Mayfield is QB2. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it anymore.
Baker is QB2. There is not much debate.
— Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23) March 13, 2019
Having a weapon like OBJ, in addition to the tools Mayfield already has to work with, in David Njoku, and Jarvis Landry, means that Mayfield has an offense that might be more loaded than even the vaunted Kansas City Chiefs. Beckham Jr. was his usual dominant self again last season, logging a 28.5% target share (5th NFL) and 50% endzone target share (3rd NFL) on an Eli led offense [per PlayerProfiler]. Despite receiving only 73.4% catchable targets (72nd NFL) per Manning’s brilliance, Odell was able to convert those looks into 2.55 yards per pass route (14th NFL). His WOPR of 0.72 ranked third in the league behind only Deandre Hopkins and Julio Jones (airyards.com). His 19.2 fantasy points scored per game placed him at the seventh best mark in the league even under those circumstances, and now he has Mayfield to work with.
Imagine trading away Odell Beckham Jr. pic.twitter.com/X7bbXNvXhX
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) March 13, 2019
Baker the Baby Maker
In his first NFL season, Mayfield was able to immediately insert himself into the above-average QB category. An impressive feat in and of itself, he was able to do this even in admittedly less than ideal circumstances. Mayfield’s 0.83 PACR rating was only 0.01 lower than Aaron Rodgers last season and he had the former GB Super Bowl winner beat in expected completion percentage (CPOE) with a positive 1.1% over expected. Baker is legit and that’s not all there is to like.
— Etan Mozia (@ThisIsTheRunn) March 13, 2019
Per the above chart from SharpFootball Stats, Mayfield had the field beat in nearly every area of the field regardless of down and distance. But more so than even that what stands out most was his accuracy in the deep thirds of the field. While Beckham Jr’s 11.9 aDOT last season was a step below the 12.30 mark he achieved in his rookie year (88, 1291, 12) that figures to improve this season as Mayfield will be able to push the ball down the field deeper than Eli was able to. And he’ll do it better than most QBs in the NFL.
What About the Supporting Cast?
Chubb’s role will likely be reduced. Last season the Cleveland Browns were only the 15th most pass-happy team in the NFL. With OBJ on board and weapons all around the field in Landy, Njoku, Callaway, and co. we can be certain the Giants intend to morph themselves into a much more voluminous passing offense. Still, Chubb will be unlikely to see stacked boxes so he will be fine fantasy wise. When Kareem Hunt does return from suspension there will be questions asked, however, as he seems to be a better fit for a more pass-focused offense at first glance.
Njoku and Callaway will have less of the defense focused on them. Defensive double teams and attention will very rarely be an issue for these guys and they should be able to continue their breakouts into their second seasons with ease. Callaway himself may take a step back because of the drain on his target volume. Higgins and Perriman will only be fantasy relevant if injuries become an issue for this team.
Goodnight Sweet Prince…
If your question is about Jarvis Landry, I’d have to tell you that it doesn’t look good. While Landry will most certainly be on the team next season his contract…
— Etan Mozia (@ThisIsTheRunn) March 13, 2019
… isn’t one that looks to be viable long term with Beckham Jr’s $18M per season on the books. With a $10M cap savings on offer if he is cut the season after this one, the Browns will most certainly let go of Beckham’s former LSU teammate. Perhaps a restructure is on offer if Jarvis is willing to accept a pay cut to chase a ring in Cleveland.
Okay, Where Do the Rest of the Giants Stand?
They are attempting to be a run first team. Exchanging Oliver Vernon for Kevin Zeitler signaled that the Giants intended to be way more run-heavy than they were last season when they rushed just 35.98% of the time (27th NFL). While that addition should help shore up a problem spot for the Giants, the lack of playmakers outside of Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram mean that a WR or two is likely headed their war in the draft. Regardless, the Beckham trade is good news for those that roster Engram as he is their de-facto number one option on offense now. Barkley’s role should stay the same and Sterling Shepard’s should have a slight bump.
But hey… as long as Saquon Barkley can do this:
…who cares, right? Ha!
Get ready for 2019, Fantasy Fanatics, it’s coming thick and fast.
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