Last season, Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. finished as the No. 31 wide receiver in fantasy football. That’s a problem for fantasy players that drafted him in 2019 considering the Cleveland receiver was drafted at the top of the second round. Not a good return on investment would be an understatement. While he did mange to play in all 16 games for just the second time in his career, his 74 catches, 1,036 yards, and four touchdowns were all the second lowest marks of his career. If it wasn’t for the 2017 season when he played just four games, Beckham’s 2019 season would have been his worst.So why should fantasy football players in 2020 get excited about the player that burned them in 2019? That’s what Sports Illustrated asked fantasy analyst Ben Heisler and BrownsDigest’s Pete Smith.
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Read Full Transcript Below:
Bill Enright: Consistently drafted as a top-five wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr. He's left fantasy football players a little bit frustrated in recent seasons. Will that change in 2020? That's the question we are asking BrownsDigest, Peter Smith and SI fantasy analyst Ben Heisler. Ben, I'm going to tee you up first when it comes to Beckham Jr's, ADP. Are you buying or selling at this current price?
Ben Heisler: I'm absolutely buying, Bill, because the ADP right now is 30. So we're talking middle of the third round. He's the wide receiver, 10 off the board. This is a steal for Odell Beckham Jr. So many things in Cleveland went wrong a season ago. He was dealing with a groin injury all season long. Baker probably wasn't a hundred percent. You had buffoonery with Freddie Kitchens as a play-caller. The offensive line was terrible and nobody was on the same page. This year, I think we're gonna see more of what we're accustomed to with Odell Beckham Jr. Remember last year, he was still third amongst wide receivers in air yards, still caught got over 1000 yards, still saw one hundred and thirty three targets in the midst of this offense. I think Kevin Stefanski system is going to increase the opportunities Baker Mayfield to take some chances down the field on play-action. I think Odell Beckham Jr. is going to go back to the type of wide receiver that we're used to when we're drafting him in that wide receiver two to wide receiver five range a season ago.
Bill Enright: All right, so Ben is drafting Odell Beckham Jr. for 2020. Pete, let me go over to you. What's your analysis? Do you think this is going to be a bounce-back year for Beckham Jr?
Pete Smith: Well, first and foremost, it has to be for his career. Even if you think he hates Cleveland, he has to be great, to get the things he wants to get. They discovered the groin injury last summer and didn't deal with it. He barely practiced. He was hurt all year. It limited what he was able to do. It limited the chemistry with Baker Mayfield. And you look at that dynamic, Kevin Stefanski had in Minnesota with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. It's really similar to Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham. Beckham steps into that Stefon Diggs role where that was dominant last year, even with the two-tight end setup. So if he's doing a lot of the things that Diggs did with Minnesota, you can see where the success is going to be there. And even as bad as Beckham was, he still had a thousand yards. The big thing where he should improve beyond just being more efficient because that was a disaster, is that he's only had four touchdowns that should go up by virtue of just being a more economical offense.
Bill Enright: Ben and Pete, thank you guys for your insight. We got plenty more fantasy football analysis. You can find more of it by going to si.com/fantasy.