September 9, 2022, 6:57 pm
Browns (-110) @ Panthers (pick); Total of 42
How could we not start off by talking about the revenge angle that we all know has been brewing inside of Baker Mayfield ever since the Browns made it clear that he was not their answer at QB despite playing through injury for a good portion of the 2021 campaign. Mayfield will try to prove the Browns wrong in his first start with the Panthers after he easily beat out Sam Darnold during camp and the preseason despite the comments we heard from head coach Matt Rhule.
With Deshaun Watson suspended for the majority of the season, Jacoby Brissett is the team’s starting QB for the foresseable future. He’s definitely a downgrade at the position regardless of the amount that Watson would have in his return after sitting out all of 2021. His best fantasy finish was a basement QB2 (QB24 overall) in 2019 when he averaged 14.5 per game across 15 games with the Colts. The weapons are there in Cleveland to support a QB1 on the season, but it’s extremely unlikely for Brissett to get there. He’s a low-end option in superflex formats.
Amari Cooper is the only legitimate 12-team starting WR option that the Browns have and he should draw second-year CB Jaycee Horn on the outside. Horn is a promising young player who the Panthers drafted eighth overall in 2021. He didn’t perform well as a rookie, but it’s quite possible that we see significant improvement in his second go-around. The greater concern for Cooper managers is the QB play that we discussed above. Even still, he’s a safe WR3/Flex option in 12-team formats.
David Njoku can be seen as a TE streaming option who is capable of delivering top-12 value at the position on any given week. He does get a favorable matchup against Damien Wilson, but once again we have greater concerns about the guy who will be getting him the ball. Regardless, Njoku is a fine low-end option in Week 1.
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