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Projecting Cleveland Browns skill position depth chart and fantasy impact

The Browns look to improve on a break out 2020 season using a well-balanced overall roster.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 celebrates with wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. #13 of the Cleveland Browns during the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 11, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns had a breakout season in 2020. They went 11-5 and beat the division champion Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round before losing 22-17 to the Kansas City Chiefs. They hope to build on last season and compete for the AFC North title and there’s no reason to think they can’t.

Quarterback

  1. Baker Mayfield
  2. Case Keenum
  3. Kyle Lauletta

Running back

  1. Nick Chubb
  2. Kareem Hunt
  3. D’Ernest Johnson
  4. Demetric Felton

Wide receiver

  1. Odell Beckham Jr.
  2. Jarvis Landry
  3. Rashard Higgins
  4. Donovan People-Jones
  5. KhaDarel Hodge
  6. Anthony Schwartz

Tight end

  1. Austin Hooper
  2. David Njoku
  3. Harrison Bryant
  4. Stephen Carlson

Biggest offseason changes

The Browns made minimal changes at their offensive skill positions this offseason, as all their probable starters were also starters in 2020. They will get Beckham Jr. back, who only played in five games before injuring his ACL. The team did well without him, but the hot takes that they are better without him are garbage. Mayfield has continued to improve along with the offensive line and that’s why they have gotten better.

Biggest questions for fantasy football

The Browns are a well rounded team and got better defensively this offseason. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt make up one of, if not the best running back duos in the league and if the defense improves, the run game could be an even factor in real life and in fantasy football this year. Chubb remains the best fantasy player on the team.

Mayfield can put up good fantasy numbers on occasion, but he isn’t asked to consistently do so. He’s not worth drafting as a starter in most fantasy leagues. But, Landry and Beckham Jr. should remain the go-to receivers, giving them fantasy upside.

The tight end snaps and targets are fairly open, as they have a strong trio at the position. That makes their fantasy upside poor. I would like to see Njoku traded, but he just had his contract guaranteed. That makes this season a prove-it year, but he will have trouble finding targets if Hooper and Bryant stay healthy. He is getting $6 million this season, so he may have an opportunity to win more work, but that’s yet to be seen.

People-Jones and Hodge have a shot to overtake Higgins as WR3 this season. Higgins and Mayfield do have a good connection and I don’t see any Browns WR3 getting enough targets to have fantasy value. But, People-Jones and Hodge do have more upside and should be on dynasty fantasy radars, as Landry and Beckham Jr. aren’t spring chickens anymore.