The Browns have been a difficult to team to figure out this season. As a significant home favorite in Week 1, they lost to the Titans. As an underdog to the Ravens in Baltimore last week, Cleveland won to move into a temporary lead in the AFC North. There isn’t much consistency from them and this is mirrored by the play of Baker Mayfield. After a great rookie season, the consensus opinion was that a breakout was inevitable. He’s shown glimpses of greatness, however his season has been filled with mistakes. Mayfield has already thrown six interceptions. Tonight, Cleveland is tasked with taking on the undefeated 49ers and Mayfield is going to have to take better care of the football for the Browns to pull off another upset.
Jimmy Garoppolo ($14,700): Both of these defenses are extremely good. The 49ers’ defense ranks second in DVOA while the Browns rank eighth. Points could be tough to come by and I have a bit more faith in Jimmy G than I have in Mayfield due to the turnover concerns I wrote about above. Garoppolo has yet to have a huge fantasy game this season, which is a product of San Francisco playing in a couple of non-competitive games. He should have to throw a bit more tonight since this game has a 4.5 point spread.
49ers Defense ($6,900): Mayfield has been forced to throw the ball early and often this season. He is yet to score 20 DKFP even though he’s thrown at least 30 passes in every game. While the Browns could score points, I am not all that worried because the constant drop backs also create opportunities for defensive scoring. Running plays don’t offer much chance for defenses to score points, but every time the QB drops back, there is a chance for a sack or interception. San Francisco ranks second in pass defense DVOA and have the potential to take advantage of a mistake prone quarterback.
Odell Beckham Jr. ($10,400): There is a squeaky wheel narrative with Beckham. Last week, he caught just two passes for 20 yards. I expect the Browns will game plan to get OBJ the ball early and often to make sure he’s more involved in this week’s game than he was last week. Offense is tough to come by against San Francisco, but Beckham has the ability to pull off a game breaking play at any moment. The Browns figure to need his playmaking in primetime. Playing on MNF against the Jets three weeks ago, Beckham went off for 31.1 DKFP.
Matt Breida ($6,800): So far, the best way to beat the Browns’ defense is with the run game. They have an elite pass defense, but rank 19th in DVOA against the run. There is one issue here. Tevin Coleman is questionable to play after missing the last two games with an ankle injury. He’s expected to play although I doubt he sees a full workload in his first game back. I think Breida handles most of the touches while Coleman slides into the role that as occupied by Raheem Mostert the last couple weeks. If this holds true, Breida shouldn’t see too much of a dip in his touches even though the 49ers’ backfield is admittedly crowded.
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