Yesterday was an interesting game for the Cleveland Browns and it goes far past the win over the Cincinnati Bengals. One of the most important is the emergence of Donovan Peoples-Jones. Peoples-Jones showed what really was his first bit of real work at wide receiver.
Interesting enough, the rookie has been a hidden gem in the fantasy football world for a few weeks now.
Personally, I play in two fantasy football leagues. One allows points for return yards and one does not. I was not doing so hot with the league that allows return yards for points, so I looked for an extra boost. Peoples-Jones is in the top five in return yards and has played in less games than just about any other return specialist since he did not take over until JoJo Natson was injured. Peoples-Jones benefits from a defense that allows a decent amount of points, meaning he gets more returns.
The past four weeks that Peoples-Jones has been active, he’s tallied at least 20 fantasy points in leagues that allow return points. Also, the rookie seen his first couple catches and first score that sealed the Browns win over the Bengals on Sunday. With Odell Beckham Jr. being lost for the season there is going to be more wide receiver snaps available, even with KhaDarel Hodge returning from the injured reserve.
Browns coach Kevin Stefanski called Peoples-Jones “Mr. Reliable”, because he was there when the Browns needed him. With his performance against the Bengals and a need for more wide receiver snaps, you can only expect the rookie to be more productive. Even if some games he is just out there returning, he is going to get you some fantasy points that way.
It isn’t that Peoples-Jones has been great on returns, because he hasn’t. He has been about average, he is in the top half of the league in average returns. It is the volume of returns he is getting. If Cleveland is going up a team that is going to put up points he is a good option to have in your lineup.
Number 11 is likely to be available in your fantasy league too, as he is as close to 0% rostered across fantasy leagues overall. This is a smart find if you are a team struggling with injures or underperforming, like mine was.