Player Outlook
Maybe the sixth year is the charm for Njoku. The veteran tight end finds himself atop the Browns depth chart without as much competition for playing time as in the past. Njoku also will catch passes from Deshaun Watson after the first six weeks of the season, an upgrade unlike anyone he's ever had before at quarterback. Tack on a nice schedule to begin the year (Panthers, Jets), and perhaps a passer in Jacoby Brissett who will gravitate toward the big guy on short throws, and Njoku stands out as a definite streaming tight end who could morph into a season-long starter. While his numbers (four games with 70-plus yards, 15 touchdowns in 65 games) leave a lot to be desired, there's no doubting the opportunity. You won't get laughed at for taking Njoku in Round 12 or later.

Fantasy Stats

receiving rushing fantasy
Year rec
Receptions
yds
Receiving Yards
avg
Average Yards per Reception
td
Receiving Touchdowns
yds
Rushing Yards
avg
Average Yards per Rush
fpts
Fantasy Points
fpts/g
Fantasy Points per Game
2022
2021 36 475 13.19 4 1 1.00 714.4
2020 19 213 11.21 2 0.00 332.5
3y Avg. 20 243 12.15 2 0 0.00 363.3
Projections Powered by
Fantasy Performance by Week
26%
Roster
8%
Start
#13
TE Rank

Fantasy News

  • Browns' David Njoku: Catches lone target

    Njoku caught his lone target for seven yards in Friday's 24-13 preseason win over the Jaguars. Njoku had the distinction of catching Deshaun Watson's first completion in an NFL game since 2020. The tight end and the rest of the starting offense were limited to a few series before taking the rest of the night off.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Preparing for full-time duty

    Njoku is set to take on a larger role in the Browns passing game in 2022, Zac Jackson of The Athletic reports. "We certainly want to feature (Njoku)," Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski said. "(He has) great size, great length in terms of catching the football and being able to go up and pluck contested catches. I think there is an evolution that will continue for David the player." Njoku was a part-time player in four of his five seasons, but he will become the lead tight end in 2022 after the Browns let Austin Hooper go. He played 47 percent of the snaps in 2020 then 64 percent last season, and that number should head north of 80 percent in 2022. Stefanski feels the 26-year-old Njoku has evolved into a complete tight end, and the Browns rewarded him with a four-year contract earlier in the offseason. He's been featured in the red zone during Stefanski's watch -- all the tight ends were -- and has been used on quick throws, when he can use his athleticism after the catch. That was the case with a 71-yard touchdown on a screen pass in Week 5, a game in which Njoku caught seven passes for 149 yards. Unfortunately, the tight end never had more than 39 yards in a game the rest of the season, a glimpse into the inconsistency that's dogged him.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Agrees to four-year extension

    The Browns and Njoku agreed on a four-year, $56.75 million contract extension Friday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The Browns placed the franchise tag on Njoku earlier in the offseason, but the tight end will now get a massive new extension. Per Rapoport, the deal includes $28 million guaranteed and will pay Njoku an average of $14.19 million per year, making Njoku the fifth-highest-paid tight end in the NFL. The 2017 first-round pick posted 475 yards and four touchdowns last season -- his highest marks since his sophomore campaign.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Skipping voluntary OTAs

    Njoku is abstaining from OTAs while he and the Browns continue to discuss a potential extension, Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Both sides have until July 15 to come to terms on a long-term contract, and the team already applied the franchise tag to the tight end back in March. Playing on the franchise tag would set Njoku up for a $10.8 million salary in 2022, while Cabot notes that the terms being discussed for an extension could average over $13 million per season. With Austin Hooper out of the picture for the Browns, Njoku appears destined for the No. 1 tight end role, putting him in position for a legitimate breakout campaign.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Extension talks active

    Njoku and the Browns are engaged in active talks on a contract extension, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Cleveland has already applied the franchise tag to Njoku, giving both sides until July 15 to agree to terms on a multi-year deal. If a long-term agreement can't be reached, Njoku will play out the 2022 campaign on a $10.8 million salary. With Austin Hooper no longer on the roster and Deshaun Watson now atop the Browns' quarterback depth chart, Njoku could be facing a legitimate breakout opportunity. Cleveland stands to add more pass catchers as the offseason continues, potentially in April's draft, but the 2017 first-rounder will still have a clear path to a notable role on offense.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Franchise tag applied

    The Browns officially placed their franchise tag on Njoku on Monday. Per Jake Trotter of ESPN.com, the Browns now have until July 15 to work out a long-term contract with Njoku. Otherwise, Njoku will be slated to play on a franchise tender that guarantees him $10.8 million in 2022, NFL.com reports. Meanwhile, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport indicates that Njoku's agent has been in long-term negotiations toward an extension with Cleveland. The team also has fellow tight ends Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant under contract this coming season, an arrangement that caps Njoku's fantasy ceiling when all three players are available. In 16 games in 2021, the 2017 first-rounder parlayed his 53 targets into a 36-475-4 stat line.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: In line for franchise tag

    The Browns will use their franchise tag on Njoku, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Cleveland will make the transaction official before Tuesday's 4:00 p.m. ET deadline. Njoku thus appears on track to remain with the Browns for the 2022 campaign while carrying just under an $11 million salary, which gives both sides more time to negotiate a potential long-term deal. The 25-year-old tight end now has five seasons of NFL experience under his belt, and though he hasn't yet emerged as a consistent, high-end starter, Njoku did make improvements in 2021. Through 16 appearances last season, he secured 36 of 53 targets for 475 yards and four touchdowns.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Finishes with two grabs in win

    Njoku caught both of his targets for 11 yards in Sunday's 21-16 win over the Bengals. Njoku was questionable due to a shoulder injury but managed to get on the field and finish off his best season since 2018. The fifth-year tight end caught 36 of 53 targets for 475 yards and led all Cleveland receivers with four touchdowns. After some drama the previous two seasons, including trade requests and being out-snapped by rookie Harrison Bryant in 2020, Njoku fell into line in 2021 and was a model contributor, per Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal. Following Sunday's win, Njoku expressed his desire to stay in Cleveland, per Nate Ulrich of the Beacon Journal. Njoku becomes an unrestricted free agent, but it sounds like both sides would like to commit to another term. Austin Hooper and Bryant still are around, but coach Kevin Stefanski uses tight ends as more than just blockers, and Njoku was the best receiver of the bunch.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Suits up Sunday

    Njoku (shoulder) is listed as active for Sunday's game against the Bengals. Njoku headed into the contest listed as questionable after returning to a limited practice Friday, but he'll look to close the season on a positive note on the heels of logging a 4/28/1 stat line in Week 17. Assuming no issues with his shoulder, Njoku should see his share of targets Sunday, but he remains a hit-or-miss fantasy option with Austin Hooper also in the mix for a portion of Cleveland's tight end targets.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Questionable for Sunday

    Njoku (shoulder) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Bengals, Zac Jackson of The Athletic reports. With the Browns eliminated from playoff contention, it remains to be seen if Njoku will be activated for Sunday's 1:00 p.m. ET kickoff. If he's out or limited this weekend, Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant would be in line to head the team's tight end corps in Week 18.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Absent once again

    Njoku (shoulder) was a non-participant at Thursday's practice session, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports. Njoku hauled in all four of his targets for 28 yards and a touchdown in Monday's loss to the Steelers, but he's been held out of practice Wednesday and Thursday. He'll likely need to return in some capacity Friday if he hopes to play Sunday against the Bengals.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: No practice Wednesday

    Njoku is listed as a non-participant on Wednesday's injury report due to a shoulder issue, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports. Njoku will have two more chances to log practice activity ahead of Sunday's season finale against the Bengals. If Njoku is cleared to play this weekend, he'll likely be catching passes from Case Keenum, as head coach Kevin Stefanski has already ruled Baker Mayfield (shoulder) out for the finale.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Touchdown in defeat

    Njoku caught all four of his targets for 28 yards and a touchdown in Monday night's 26-14 loss to the Steelers. Njoku hauled in all the passes thrown his way on a night quarterback Baker Mayfield at one point misfired on 10 consecutive attempts. The tight end's performance was highlighted by his three-yard, contested touchdown grab to end the third quarter, Cleveland's first score of the game. After posting a goose egg in the Browns' Christmas Day loss to the Packers, Njoku rebounded nicely Monday and will try to finish strong versus the Bengals in Week 18.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Two targets in Week 16 loss

    Njoku did not catch either of his two targets in Week 16's 24-22 loss to the Packers on Saturday. Both of his targets came on Cleveland's final drive that ended in quarterback Baker Mayfield's fourth interception of the day. Njoku was unable to hold on to one of the targets and was wide open on the other, but Mayfield missed him badly. With Austin Hooper back in the fold after spending Week 15 on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Njoku's involvement decreased.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Cleared for Week 16

    Njoku (knee) doesn't have an injury designation for Saturday's game in Green Bay, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports. A mid-week addition to the Browns' injury report, Njoku's reps were capped Wednesday and Thursday, but his knee issue evidently wasn't concerning enough for Cleveland to give him a questionable tag heading into the weekend. After playing 100 percent of the offensive snaps in Cleveland's 16-14 loss to Las Vegas on Monday, Njoku should see a downturn in opportunities with top tight end Austin Hooper (illness) having been restored from the reserve/COVID-19 list. Cleveland has still made liberal use of two-tight end sets when Hooper has been available, so expect Njoku to be on the field for at least half of the Browns' plays.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Limited participant with knee issue

    Njoku is listed as a limited participant on Wednesday's estimated practice report due to a knee issue, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports. The seemingly minor knee injury is likely less relevant than Austin Hooper's return Wednesday from the reserve/COVID-19 list. Njoku played every snap on offense in Monday's 16-14 loss to the Raiders, but he'll likely be back in a part-time role this Saturday in Green Bay.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Browns-Raiders moved to Monday

    Njoku and the Browns will no longer play the Raiders on Saturday, after the NFL officially rescheduled the matchup between the two teams for Monday at 5 p.m. ET. Due to ongoing COVID-19-related issues within the Cleveland organization, the NFL is hopeful that by delaying the game two days, the Browns will restore enough players from the reserve/COVID-19 list to alleviate depth concerns on the roster. Top tight end Austin Hooper is one of 24 Cleveland players and 12 starters who has been placed on the list over the past week, and after testing positive for the virus Tuesday, he's not a lock to be available Week 15. If Hooper is held out, Njoku would have a clear path to the starting role, and quite likely, a fair amount of volume in the passing game.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Resumes practicing

    Njoku, who had been on the reserve/COVID-19 list, returned to practice Thursday, Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Njoku's return to the mix is a welcome one, with fellow tight end Austin Hooper among the numerous Cleveland players on the list in advance of Saturday's game against the Raiders and Harrison Bryant managing an ankle injury. With that in mind, Njoku figures to see a key role in the Browns' Week 15 passing game.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Won't play this week

    Coach Kevin Stefanski relayed Friday that Njoku, who is on the reserve/COVID-19 list, won't play Sunday against the Ravens, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports. With Njoku unavailable and Harrison Bryant (ankle) having been ruled out this week, Austin Hooper, who's coming off a zero-catch effort (on three targets) Week 12, figures to be busy versus Baltimore. In that context, Hooper is a bounce-back candidate Week 14 and merits fantasy lineup consideration as a streaming tight end option.
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  • Browns' David Njoku: Week 14 status TBD

    Njoku, who is on the reserve/COVID-19 list, tweeted twice this week that he is not experiencing symptoms. However, Njoku's availability for Sunday's game against Baltimore has yet to be determined. "I am hopeful, but we have to plan if we do not have him," head coach Kevin Stefanski told Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal about Njoku. "If we have him, that would be great." If Njoku is fully vaccinated, he could play if he has two negative tests separated by 24 hours and is activated by 4:00 PM ET on Saturday.
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