It's never too early to start your fantasy football research, and we here at SI Fantasy want to provide you with the best information possible heading into your drafts. Our "Draft or Pass" video series takes a closer look at a fantasy player that will be debated often leading up to fantasy drafts. Are our hosts targeting this player specifically? Are they avoiding him entirely?
Today's video focuses on Cleveland Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell Beckham Jr. Draft or Pass at current ADP: 30 (WR10)
"Sending the Browns to the Super Bowl" transitioned from actual toilet humor to real conversation during the 2019 offseason.
Baker Mayfield was coming off an impressive rookie campaign. New first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens had taken over the offense after the firing of Hue Jackson. Nick Chubb was looking like a beast, and Kareem Hunt (post-suspension) would combine for a versatile and compelling duo. Jarvis Landry and David Njoku would thrive in this new offense.
At the core of it all was the addition of star wideout Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham's ADP in 2019 ranged anywhere from WR2 to WR6. He was finally set to live up to the enormous expectations fantasy owners had anticipated after his fantasy input was dragged to the turf by the corpse of Eli Manning's noodle-arm year after year.
And just like the Browns season, it all came crashing down.
Beckham finished as the WR31 in 2019 in PPR leagues. He was targeted 133 times, 12th in the NFL among wide receivers, yet he finished with 74 catches thanks to an abysmal catch rate under 56%.
Even as Beckham sank into fantasy despair, owners should heed the words of Harvey Dent in "The Dark Knight."
On the bright side, Beckham finished with over 1,000 receiving yards, averaging 14 yards per reception. He finished third among wide receivers in air yards (1,801) with an average depth of target of 13.5.
Over his career, OBJ has averaged 86.8 yards/game, which adds up to 1,388.8 yards/season. He averaged just under 12 touchdowns per season in his first three years in the league, and should positively regress towards the mean this year.
And despite all that, the dude was never healthy all season long with a groin injury that impacted his production.
With OBJ entering a crucial season in Cleveland, Pete Smith of BrownsDigest discusses how it's essential that if Beckham wants to show he can be great, he's got to put up numbers this year.
Regardless of where Beckham wants to end up in the NFL, the best path to get there involves being great for the Browns this year. Good organizations aren't looking to give up assets to acquire a perceived problem player who makes a ton of money. They also aren't inclined to pay them like stars, so if Beckham were to have a poor season while hoping to leave, it would all but ensure he stays in Cleveland longer. Meanwhile, being great in Cleveland would make him a star on a team with a fanbase desperate for success.
In a 12-team league, Beckham's ADP of 30 lands him as the projected number six pick in the third round of your fantasy league. That's a flat out steal for a player that we thought had a shot at WR1 status just a season ago.
I fully endorse the drafting of OBJ at his current ADP; otherwise, I'll come to your house and do it for you.
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