New York Giants Trade Odell Beckham To Cleveland Browns
In what might be the most brain dead transaction of all time, Dave Gettleman and the New York Giants have agreed to trade Odell Beckham to the Cleveland Browns. The compensation is unclear at this point and will be updated when it becomes reported.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2019
The fantasy football impact for this transaction will be large on both sides. Odell played in 12 games for the New York Giants in 2018 and recorded 124 targets. When Odell played only 4 games for the Giants in 2017, they finished 31st in the NFL in points scored. With Barkley and Beckham in 2018, they were able to finish 16th in points scored. The evidence that #RunningBacksDontMatter is mountainous and the Giants finished just slightly above average in expected points add via the rush even with Saquon Barkley in 2018. With a disastrous quarterback situation and a bad defense, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram are going to be in for a high volume, low efficiency 2019. I also expect that the Giants will look to add one or two wide receivers such as Hakeem Butler or JJ Arcega-Whiteside in the 2019 NFL Draft. Since 2014, no Giants pass catcher with a minimum of 65 targets has been within a yard and a half of Odell Beckham in adjusted yards per attempt when targeted.
Clearly, Odell Beckham was a special talent that was able to rise above his circumstances in New York. The New York Giants had a frigid offensive environment at best; the Cleveland Browns may, in fact, be the exact opposite. John Dorsey and the decision-makers in the Cleveland front office have hired Freddie Kitchens and Todd Monken to design their offense in 2019. In fact, I did an entire podcast episode with Jake Burns about the Monken/Kitchens offense. After Freddie Kitchens took over the offense in 2018, the Browns were top 5 in offensive DVOA. Todd Monken lead an offense with journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick and wild Jameis Winston to finish second in the NFL in adjusted yards per passing attempt.
Odell Beckham Trade Fantasy Football Impact
Not only does Todd Monken have Baker Mayfield to work with now, but the Browns have added one of the NFL’s best five wide receivers to a team that targeted Antonio Callaway, Rashard Higgins, and Breshad Perriman over 150 times last season. Odell Beckham will clearly be the best wide receiver on the Cleveland Browns and he will actually be paired up with LSU teammate Jarvis Landry. For the first time in Odell Beckham’s career, he will have competent coaching. Mike Evans as the WR1 in this Air Raid/Air Coryell offense had 138 targets and 1,524 yards. Evans and Odell Beckham do not have strictly overlapping skill sets but should feature in similar roles in this offense. Jarvis Landry is a pretty significant underdog to approach anything close to his 149 targets from 2018. When projecting the Cleveland Browns offense for 2019, I will be assigned Odell Beckham a 25% target share and Jarvis Landry closer to 18-20%. David Njoku saw 88 targets last season; the presence of Odell Beckham will likely cause that number to stay similar but the overall efficiency of the offense should be buoyed. Baker Mayfield will be a fringe QB1, Odell Beckham will be a top-5 fantasy WR, Jarvis Landry is now closer to a back-end WR2 in fantasy football.
The passing role for Duke Johnson has to be considered shrunken as well, as the team should be deploying close to 65% of the total available targets to Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, and David Njoku. The 2019 Cleveland Browns should be a condensed offense, similar to the 2018 New York Giants. Nick Chubb, David Njoku, and Odell Beckham will finish in the top-12 of their position and the secondary weapons (Duke Johnson and Jarvis Landry) will have weekly relevance but lowered ceilings.
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