2019 Fantasy Football Team Previews: Spotlight's on the Browns and Baker Mayfield now

The Browns continue to add to an already talented core, but the addition of Todd Monken as offensive coordinator shouldn't be overlooked. Monken's Tampa Bay offenses led the NFL in air yards the past two seasons, suggesting the Browns could have plenty of passing volume to go around for new addition Odell Beckham and Co. One thing that could limit a Browns passing explosion in 2019? If their equally talented defense provides the type of positive game scripts that could make Nick Chubb a Fantasy star.        

2018 Review

Record: 7-8-1 (16th in NFL)
PPG: 22.4 (20)
YPG: 368.8 (13)
Pass YPG: 250.4 (14)
Rush YPG: 118.3 (14)
Pass attempts per game: 35.9 (11)
Rush attempts per game: 25.7 (15) 

2018 Fantasy finishes

QB: Baker Mayfield -- QB16
RB: Nick Chubb -- RB17; Duke Johnson -- RB38
WR: Jarvis Landry -- WR19; Antonio Callaway -- WR55; Rashard Higgins -- WR61
TE: David Njoku -- TE9

Number to know: 1.3%

The Browns' sack rate in eight games with Freddie Kitchens as head coach. That's nearly half the next-lowest team, and surely played a significant role in Mayfield's second-half emergence.  

2019 Offseason

"It is kind of pick your poison now. We have some pretty good talent all around — tight ends, running backs, receivers and then going in with the same offensive line. Now it is, what are we going to do with it." - Baker Mayfield

Head Coach: Freddie Kitchens (1st year - previously Offensive Coordinator/Interim Head Coach, CLE)
Offensive Coordinator: Todd Monken (1st year - previously Offensive Coordinator, TB)  

Draft Picks 

2. (46) Greedy Williams, CB
3. (80) Sione Takitaki, LB
4. (119) Sheldrick Redwine, S
5. (155) Mack Wilson, LB
5. (170) Austin Seibert, K
6. (189) Drew Forbes, T
7. (221) Donnie Lewis Jr., CB 

Free Agency Additions

RB Kareem Hunt, WR Odell Beckham; TE Demetrius Harris; DL Olivier Vernon; DL Sheldon Richardson; LB Adarius Taylor

Key Departures

TE Darren Fells; LB Jamie Collins

Rankings and Projections

Baker MayfieldQB5QB6QB5
Nick ChubbRB10RB10RB11
Kareem HuntRB55RB56RB50
Duke JohnsonRB57N/ARB44
Odell BeckhamWR6WR4WR7
Jarvis LandryWR26WR24WR29
David NjokuTE10TE14TE9
Greg JosephN/AK30K17
Austin SeibertK20K28

Heath Cummings' projected offensive stats
QBBaker Mayfield4,390 YD, 33 TD, 14 INT; 177 Rush YD, 1 TD
RBNick Chubb260 ATT, 1,221 YD, 11 TD; 39 TAR, 27 REC, 201 YD, 2 TD
RBKareem Hunt40 ATT, 180 YD, 1 TD; 11 TAR, 9 REC, 71 YD
RBDuke Johnson40 ATT, 188 YD, 1 TD; 72 TAR, 54 REC, 499 YD, 3 TD
WROdell Beckham139 TAR, 88 REC, 1,225 YD, 10 TD
WRJarvis Landry117 TAR, 74 REC, 846 YD, 5 TD
WRAntonio Callaway72 TAR, 43 REC, 611 YD, 6 TD
TEDavid Njoku83 TAR, 53 REC, 662 YD, 5 TD

Biggest question

Does Kareem Hunt matter for Fantasy? 

"If you draft Hunt, you have to let him sit on your bench until he's available to play in Week 10. The only way he'll play a lot is if Nick Chubb isn't effective or available by that time. It's practically a waste of a bench spot to give Hunt when there's no guarantee he'll even be a useful starter by then. If someone else takes Hunt before Round 12, thank them for doing you a favor." -- Dave Richard

One sleeper, one breakout, and one bust

Sleeper: Dontrell Hilliard

Who? An undrafted free agent who saw very little of the field as a rookie, Hilliard actually profiles as a pretty decent athlete, with a 4.47 40-yard time and a rank in the 66th percentile in burst score and agility score, per PlayerProfiler.com. He was used exclusively as a receiver last season, but was more of a factor in the running game in college when he topped 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns as a senior. With Hunt out of the picture until Week 10, if Chubb goes down with any kind of injury, Hilliard could be looking at a huge opportunity. 

Breakout: Baker Mayfield

How could it be anyone else? OK, it could have been Chubb, too, but Mayfield has the potential to be a legitimate difference maker at a position we're mostly willing to wait on these days. In six games after the team's bye, Mayfield completed 66.7% of his passes, racking up 290.2 yards per game on 8.7 Y/A, numbers that would obviously be elite if managed for a full year. And that was without Odell Beckham. The sky is the limit for Mayfield, who might be one of the few QBs worth reaching for. 

Bust: Kareem Hunt

RB36. That is Kareem Hunt's (very early!) ADP as of June. If you're taking Hunt as anything at all but a late-round flier — we're talking last pick before your DST — you're doing this wrong. Is Hunt capable of great things? Obviously. But we won't see him until Week 10, and even then, that might just be as a role player. Basically, Hunt is a high-profile insurance option for 2019, only he's one with no chance of a positive return on investment until nearly the Fantasy playoffs. You're better off drafting Hilliard. 

Fantasy Writer

Though he can be found covering three different sports depending on the time of year, there is one unifying theme in how Chris Towers approaches sports; "Where's the evidence?" It doesn't matter how outlandish... Full Bio

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