For yet another week, the Cleveland Browns will go to battle without several of their top offensive players. Starting quarterback Baker Mayfield seems like a longshot given the nature of his shoulder injury, and wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., among others, could also miss Sunday’s tilt with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The combination of expected absences could open up some opportunities — as well as create some issues — for the Browns’ top tight ends: David Njoku and Austin Hooper.
Fantasy Football analysis: Browns TEs David Njoku, Austin Hooper
After several frustrating years, Njoku has emerged as one of the Browns’ leading pass catchers in 2021. The former first-round pick leads the team in receiving yards (284) and ranks second in receptions (17) entering Week 8. Hooper doesn’t trail by too much, hauling in 14 receptions for 143 yards. Each has scored a touchdown.
But while the Browns might have more touches available with Landry and/or Beckham sidelined, other factors work against Njoku and Hooper. Nick Chubb looks on schedule to return from his calf injury, giving the offense its top overall playmaker. Mayfield’s expected absence could push head coach and offensive play-caller Kevin Stefanski to lean even more on the ground game than normal, further limiting targets for the two tight ends.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Sit David Njoku and Austin Hooper.