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2023 Fantasy Football Rankings: Preview for Every Player on the Cleveland Browns

Updated: Jul 24, 2023


👆 Destroy your friends with a draft cheat sheet that they don't even know exists! 👆

What to expect from this article

Below, we will dive deep into what we can expect from the Browns' offense in 2023, including thorough fantasy football previews for Deshaun Watson, Nick Chubb, Jerome Ford, Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore, Donovan Peoples-Jones, David Bell and David Njoku.


And for deep leaguers, Superflexers and dynasty leaguers, we will also discuss Joshua Dobbs (QB), Dorian Thompson-Robinson (rookie QB) and Cedric Tillman (rookie WR) at the bottom.


Each player preview will conclude with fantasy football rankings and suggestions for how to approach them in redraft, dynasty and best ball leagues (and superflex leagues for QBs).


2023 Fantasy Football Preview: Looking Back

From a win/loss perspective, 2022 was the worst year was Kevin Stefanski's 3-year career as an NFL Head Coach. His Browns finished 7-10 and missed the playoffs while dealing with public blowback of acquiring controversial QB Deshaun Watson all year.


Statistically, Stefanski's offense finished:

🟡 18th in scoring

🟡 14th in yards

🟢 5th in rushing attempts

🟢 6th in rushing yards

🟢 6th in rushing TDs

🟠 21st in passing attempts

🟠 22nd in passing yards

🟠 19th in passing TDs


It was on par with what we've come to expect from a Stefanski offense.


In 4 years as an NFL Head Coach (3) and Offensive Coordinator (1) with Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield and Jacoby Brissett/Deshaun Watson, Stefanski's units have finished:

🟡 8th, 14th, 20th and 18th in scoring

🟡 16th, 16th, 18th and 14th in yards

🟢 4th, 4th, 9th and 5th in rushing attempts

🟢 6th, 3rd, 4th and 6th in rushing yards

🟢 6th, 5th, 7th and 6th in rushing TDs

🔴 30th, 28th, 28th and 21st in pass attempts

🔴 23rd, 24th, 27th and 22nd in passing yards

🟡 14th, 13th, 20th and 19th in passing TDs


In other words, anyone who pays attention knows what Stefanski's first priority is when his offense has the pigskin; run the football (and run it well).


That's mostly translated to the individual level as well over the last 4 years:


QBs under Stefanski:

🟡 Kirk Cousins was the QB 15 in 2019

🟡 Baker Mayfield was the QB 17 in 2020

🔴 Mayfield was then the QB 26 in 2021

🟡 Jacoby Brissett + Deshaun Watson combined for 254.2 fantasy points, which would have made them the QB 13 in 2022


RBs under Stefanski:

🟢 Dalvin Cook was the RB 6 in 2019 (and RB 2 in PPR points per game—20.9)

🟢 Kareem Hunt was the RB 10 in 2020 AND...

🟢 Nick Chubb was the RB 11 in 2020

🟡 Chubb was the RB 13 in 2021

🟡 Hunt was the RB 21 in PPR points per game in 2021 (13.8) but played only 8 games

🟢 Chubb was the RB 6 in 2022

🔴 Hunt was the RB 39 in 2022


WRs under Stefanski:

🟡 Stefon Diggs was the WR 24 in 2019

🟠 Jarvis Landry was the WR 33 in 2020

🔴 Landry was the WR 52 in 2021

🟢 Amari Cooper was the WR 10 in 2022

🟠 Donovan Peoples-Jones was the WR 42 in 2022


TEs under Stefanski:

🟡 Kyle Rudolph was the TE 14 in 2019

🔴 Austin Hooper was the TE 22 in 2020

🔴 David Njoku was the TE 23 in 2021, Hooper was the TE 25

🟢 Njoku was the TE 11 in 2022


With Stefanski, Dalvin Cook had the:

most targets (63), catches (53) and receiving yards (519) of his 6-year career

⚫ 2nd most touches (303), 2nd most scrimmage yards (1,654), and 2nd most TDs of his 6-year career


With Stefanski, Kareem Hunt had the:

most targets (63), catches (53) and receiving yards (519) of his 6-year career

⚫ 2nd most touches (303), 2nd most scrimmage yards (1,654), and 2nd most TDs of his 6-year career


With Stefanski, Stefon Diggs had the:

⚫ 2nd fewest targets (94) and catches (63) in his 8-year career

⚫ 4th most yards (1,130) of his career thanks to an absurd 17.9 yards-per-catch (his career average is 12.5)


With Stefanski, Jarvis Landry had the:

⚫ 2nd and 3rd fewest targets (101 and 87) of his 9-year career

⚫ 2nd and 3rd fewest catches (72 and 52) of his career

⚫ 2nd and 4th fewest yards (840 and 570) of his career

⚫ 2nd and 3rd fewest TDs (3 and 2) of his career)


You get the idea.


At this point, we know what to expect from Kevin Stefanski; a run-first attack with Nick Chubb queued up as the team's offensive engine.

2023 Fantasy Football Preview: Looking Ahead

It's been a relatively quiet offseason for the Browns. So far, they've:


❌ Lost RB Kareem Hunt to free agency (unsigned)


❌ Lost QB Jacoby Brissett to free agency (Commanders)


✅ Signed free agent QB Joshua Dobbs, the Steelers' 4th round pick from 2017


✅ Drafted Tennessee WR Cedric Tillman with the 74th overall pick (3rd round, 11th pick)


✅ Drafted UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson with the140th overall pick (5th round, 6th pick)


There's not much here to suggest a significant change in style of play from Stefanski, meaning we should expect another run-heavy approach from the Browns in 2023.


That said, it's at least fair to wonder if Cleveland will throw the ball a little more in 2023 with former MVP candidate Deshaun Watson—the best QB of Stefanski's coaching career—set for a full season under center.


Still, we shouldn't expect a massive change in style of play, and Nick Chubb appears teed up for the biggest and best year of his career with Kareem Hunt—12.05 touches per game over the last 3 seasons—out the door.


Vegas Sportsbook seem to agree, giving Chubb the:

⚫ best odds to lead NFL in rushing (+600)

⚫ best odds to lead NFL in rushing TDs (+750)

⚫ 4th best odds (tied with Tyreek Hill) to win Offensive Player of the Year (+2000)


At the macro level, Vegas Sportsbooks are expecting a small step forward for Stefanski and his Browns in 2023, projecting them for over/under 9.5 wins (+110 for over, -134 for under)—which would be Stefanski's best season since taking over the club in 2020.


Still, Cleveland is expected to come up just shy of making the playoffs (+104), with the 3rd best odds of winnings the AFC North (+390).


👇 With that all being said, let's do a thorough 2023 fantasy football preview of each and every fantasy-relevant player on the Cleveland Browns! 👇

Cleveland Browns Quarterbacks

Fantasy Football Rankings and Preview

🟢 QB Deshaun Watson

After missing the entire 2021 season and the first 11 games of 2022 due to a controversial sexual misconduct lawsuit, Deshaun Watson is set to return to a full season of NFL football for the first time since 2020.


It's easy to be skeptical of Watson, having played very little football in the last 32 months and struggling with the Browns when he did return after a year and a half of inactivity.


In 6 games with the Browns last year after a long hiatus, Watson completed 99 of 170 passes (58%) for 1,102 yards, 7 TDs and 5 INTs while adding 175 rushing yards and 1 TD on 36 carries.


He averaged just 14.3 fantasy points per game in 6 tries with Cleveland, scoring fewer than 13 fantasy points in half of his games.


It feels like forever ago, but it's important to remember that Watson was a perennial MVP candidate before the...browns...hit the fan, throwing for 3800+ yards and 25+ TDs with 400+ rushing yards and 3-7 rushing TDs in three straight seasons from 2018-2020.


The Texans' 12th overall pick in the 2017 draft was fantasy's QB 4 in 2018, QB 2 in 2019, and QB 5 in 2020.


Over 54 career games with the Texans prior to the lawsuits, Watson was averaging a mouthwatering:


⚫ 21.9 fantasy points per game

⚫ 32.4 pass attempts

⚫ 22 completions (68%)

⚫ 269.2 passing yards

⚫ 1.9 passing TDs (104 total)

⚫ 0.7 interceptions (36 total)

⚫ 5.7 rushing attempts

⚫ 31.1 rushing yards

⚫ 0.3 rushing TDs (17 total)

⚫ 0.2 lost fumbles (10 total)


Safe as can be in fantasy football, the Clemson product scored 15 or more fantasy points in 43 of 54 games (80%), including 20+ fantasy points in 33 of 54 games (61%).


He also carried a week-destroying ceiling, scoring 30+ points in 11 of 54 games (20%), including a career high of 41.7 fantasy points against the Falcons in week 5 of 2019.


TLDR: Deshaun Watson was elite as a fantasy football performer.


Still just 27 years old (28 in September) and now equipped with a full offseason with the Browns, Watson should have every opportunity to return the form that made him a perennial MVP candidate just 3 years ago.


Working against Watson—besides his lack of playing time in the last 3 years—is Head Coach Kevin Stefanski's run-heavy tendencies as a playcaller, boasting offensive units that routinely return top 5 rushing seasons but finish near the bottom in passing.


In 4 years as an NFL Head Coach (3) and Offensive Coordinator (1) with Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield and Jacoby Brissett/Deshaun Watson, Stefanski's units have finished:


🟡 8th, 14th, 20th and 18th in scoring

🟡 16th, 16th, 18th and 14th in yards

🔴 30th, 28th, 28th and 21st in pass attempts

🔴 23rd, 24th, 27th and 22nd in passing yards

🟡 14th, 13th, 20th and 19th in passing TDs


That's mostly translated to the individual level as well over the last 4 years:


🟡 Kirk Cousins was fantasy's QB 15 in 2019

🟡 Baker Mayfield was the QB 17 in 2020

🔴 Mayfield was then the QB 26 in 2021

🟡 Jacoby Brissett + Deshaun Watson combined for 254.2 fantasy points in 2022, which would have made them the QB 13


Of course, Watson himself is easily the most gifted QB that Stefanski has ever worked with, making it fair to wonder of Stefanski will open it up a little in 2023.


In fact, Stefanski's pass attempts have increased every season from 2019-2022:

⚫ 2019 Vikings: 466

📈 2020 Browns: 501

📈 2021 Browns: 520

📈 2022 Browns: 540


That's 30.71 pass attempts per game (and counting) over the last 4 seasons.

2023 fantasy football rankings - tweet discussing Deshaun Watson

Watson himself is averaging exactly 32 pass attempts per game in his 60 game career, and it's been enough for him to average an elite 21.1 fantasy points per game.


TLDR: Watson has already proven he doesn't need to throw 40+ times a game to rack up fantasy points.


For what it's worth, Vegas sportsbooks appear to be expecting another down year from Watson, projecting him for over/under 3525.5 passing yards (-112 for both) and 24.5 passing TDs (-116 for over, -110 for under).


Both unders would be Watson's lowest since his rookie season in 2017.


Heading into 2023, Watson is best approached as a back end QB 1 with upside to instantly jump back into the QB 1 overall conversation.


Dynasty Leagues: 🟢 Deshaun Watson is currently the QB 10 in dynasty startup drafts around pick 91. He's a "buy low" option for QB needy teams.


Redraft Leagues: 🟢 Deshaun Watson is currently drafted as the QB 9 around pick 84 overall (at the round 7-8 turn). He's arguably the late round QB target in 2023 and a terrific upside QB 1 for anyone who hasn't drafted theirs yet.


If you have drafted a QB already in a one-QB league, look instead at D'Andre Swfit, Rachaad White, David Montgomery, Brandin Cooks, James Conner, Elijah Moore, Rashod Bateman, Dalvin Cook, Courtland Sutton, Michael Thomas or James Cook.


I currently have Watson at #79 in my 2023 Draft Rankings, 5 picks higher than his #84 ADP.


Watson is even is higher on my priority list in drafts where I've already secured Amari Cooper, and I'd look to target Elijah Moore or David Njoku as well.


Superflex Leagues: 🟢 Deshaun Watson is currently the QB 10 in Superflex startup drafts, selected around pick 14, a potential steal.


Best Ball Leagues: 🟢 Deshaun Watson is currently the QB 9 in Underdog best ball leagues, selected around pick 84 overall (at the round 7-8 turn). He's arguably the best late(ish)-round QB pick if you haven't selected a QB yet.


If you have selected a QB already, look instead at D'Andre Swift, David Montgomery, Darren Waller (if you haven't picked a TE yet), Rachaad White, Brandin Cooks, James Conner, Elijah Moore, Rashod Bateman, or Dalvin Cook.


If you drafted Amari Cooper, Watson should be higher on your priority list.


If you draft Watson, consider targeting Elijah Moore and/or David Njoku.


Max best ball exposure: 25%


NOTE: If you're in a Superflex league, see the bottom of this article for analysis on backup QBs Joshua Dobbs and Dorian Thompson-Robinson

Cleveland Browns Running Backs

Fantasy Football Rankings and Preview

🟢 RB Nick Chubb

2022 was one of the best years of Nick Chubb's 5-year career, handling 329 touches (the 2nd most of his career)—including 27 catches on 37 targets (both the 2nd most of his career)—for 1,764 scrimmage yards (the 2nd most of his career) and 13 TDs (the most of his career).


He finished as fantasy's RB 6 (the best finish of his career) to make it four straight seasons inside the top 12 at the position.


Heading into 2023, Chubb is in line for a potentially massive workload without longtime backfield mate Kareem Hunt, who averaged 12+ touches per game over the last 3 seasons (41 games) with Kevin Stefanski and the Browns.


Over 57 career games where he's handled at least 15 touches, Chubb has averaged:

⚫ 17.8 PPR points per game

⚫ 20.6 touches

⚫ 2.3 targets and 1.8 catches

⚫ 112.3 scrimmage yards

⚫ 0.8 TDs (46 total)


Even with Kareem Hunt, Chubb's had a safe floor in fantasy football, scoring 15 or more PPR points in 32 of those 57 games (56%), with more games over 20 PPR points (21) than games under 10 PPR points (11).


Chubb has also demonstrated a week-winning ceiling at times, rumbling for 30+ PPR points in 4 of those 57 contests (7%), including a dominant high of 39.3 PPR points against the Ravens back in week 4 of 2019.


And by the way, over 5 games in 2021 where Chubb handled 15+ touches while Hunt was inactive, Chubb averaged a mouthwatering:

⚫ 20.9 PPR points per game

⚫ 20.2 touches per game

⚫ 2 targets and 1.8 catches per game

⚫ 130.6 scrimmage yards per game

⚫ 1 TD per game (5 total)


He scored 16 or more PPR points in 4 of those 5 games, including 22+ in 3 of them.


For what it's worth, with Kevin Stefanski as his offensive coordinator in 2019, Dalvin Cook averaged 20.9 PPR points per game to finish as fantasy's RB 2 on 303 touches (2nd most of his 6-year career)—including 53 catches on 63 targets, both of which were the most of his career—for 1,654 scrimmage yards (2nd most) and 13 TDs (2nd most) with 5.5 yards per touch, the best clip of his career.


Vegas Sportsbooks seem to vehemently agree that Chubb is in line for the biggest workload of his career, pegging the 2018 35th overall pick with the:

best odds to lead the NFL in rushing (+600)

best odds to lead the NFL in rushing TDs (+750)

⚫ 4th best odds (tied with Tyreek Hill) to win Offensive Player of the Year (+2000)


2023 fantasy football rankings - tweet discussing Nick Chubb

Interestingly, though, Vegas is projecting the 27 year old (28 in December) for over/under 1200.5 rushing yards (-112 for both), which would actually be the 3rd fewest of Chubb's 6-year career. Candidly, I'm smashing the "over" on that with great confidence.


Likewise, Chubb is projected for over/under 8.5 rushing TDs (-104 for over, -122 for under) after scoring 8 or more rushing TDs in each if his 5 seasons (8 TDs in three seasons, 12 TDs in two seasons).


Still, undoubtedly heading for the largest workload of his career in what should be the best offense of his career, Chubb is best approached as a rock-solid RB 1 with serious high end RB 1 upside in 2023.


Dynasty Leagues: 🟡 Nick Chubb is the RB 14 in dynasty startup drafts. Entering his age 28 season and what should be the busiest season of his career, he's an exciting "hold" for contending managers and a "cash in now" sell candidate for rebuilding teams.


Redraft Leagues: 🟢 Nick Chubb is currently drafted as the RB 4 around pick 16 overall (early 2nd round). He's one of my favorite 2nd round picks if I'm drafting from the 8-12 spot), along with Jonathan Taylor and Saquon Barkley.


I currently have Chubb at #12 in my 2023 Draft Rankings, 3-4 spots ahead of where he's usually drafted.


Best Ball Leagues: 🟢 Nick Chubb is currently drafted as the RB 4 around pick 15 overall (early 2nd round) in Underdog best ball drafts. He's one of my favorite 2nd round picks if I'm drafting from the 8-12 spot, along with Jonathan Taylor and Saquon Barkley.


Max best ball exposure: 25%

🟠 RB Jerome Ford

With the 156th overall pick (5th round) of last year's draft, the Cleveland Browns selected Jerome Ford, a running back from the university of Cincinnati that accumulated 1,539 scrimmage yards and 20(!) touchdowns in the American Conference as a senior in 2021.


Of course, as a rookie in 2022, Ford was stuck behind Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt and D'Ernest Johnson, leaving just 8 total rushing attempts for Ford (which he did almost nothing with, gaining just 12 yards for 1.5 yards per carry. Woof).


So why are we writing about him here?


Because Ford is suddenly Cleveland's RB 2 (for now) after the Browns parted ways with both Hunt and Johnson. And it's worth pondering whether or not that's worth something beyond just "handcuff" status.


In 4 seasons as an NFL offensive coordinator or head coach, Kevin Stefanski's RB 2 has averaged:


⚫ 8.5 touches per game (Alexander Mattison, 2019)

⚫ 14.8 touches per game (Kareem Hunt, 2020 - was the RB 10 that year)

⚫ 12.9 touches per game (Kareem Hunt + D'Ernest Johnson, 2021)

⚫ 9.3 touches per game (Kareem Hunt, 2022)


And in each of the last 3 seasons, Hunt had more targets (122) and catches (95) than backfield leader Nick Chubb (80 targets, 63 catches) despite playing in two less games (43 to 41).

2023 fantasy football rankings: tweets explaining why Jerome Ford isn't a good idea

Of course, plenty of that may have to do with the personnel themselves, rather than the scheme.


In other words, Kareem Hunt probably got so much run because he's Kareem Hunt, a former 3rd round pick who put 1700+ scrimmage yards on the board as a rookie in 2017.


But what about the non Kareem Hunt RB 2s in Stefanski's system?


⚫ Mattison averaged just 8.5 touches per game in contests that Dalvin Cook played.

⚫ Hunt himself averaged just 9.3 touches per game on his way out the door last season.

⚫ And in 6 games that Hunt missed between weeks 8-17 in 2021, D'Ernest Johnson operated as the team's RB 2 but handled just 5.7 touches per game.


It's easy to see and appreciate the Stefanski RB 2 role through the lens of what Kareem Hunt accomplished in the last three years.


But it's also fair to question the validity of the role itself.


For what it's worth, Vegas sportsbooks seem to think that Chubb is in line for the heaviest workload of his career, signaling little-to-no-room for a 2nd RB to make a dent in fantasy football. Vegas projects Chubb with the:

best odds to lead the NFL in rushing (+600)

best odds to lead the NFL in rushing TDs (+750)

⚫ 4th best odds (tied with Tyreek Hill) to win Offensive Player of the Year (+2000)


And especially considering the Browns could always add a veteran free agent (Leonard Fournette, Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook, James Robinson and even Kareem Hunt are all unsigned), Ford may not live up to the hype that many are expecting.


That said, he's still priced very cheap in fantasy drafts where he might prove to be a value pick if he does get legitimate run.


Ultimately, Ford is best approached as a wait-and-see RB 4 that will probably need a Nick Chubb injury to become fantasy relevant.


Dynasty Leagues: 🟠 Entering his age 24 season, Jerome Ford is currently the RB 54 in dynasty startup drafts. He's a "hold" for current fantasy managers with an intriguing range of trade options.


On the one hand, savvy fantasy managers could attempt to acquire the little-known back for a late rookie pick.


On the other hand, savvy fantasy managers could attempt to capitalize on the "Stefanski RB 2 fallacy" and try to "sell high" on Jerome Ford.


Redraft Leagues: 🟡 Jerome Ford is currently drafted as the RB 51 around pick 160 (early 14th round). The cost itself is fine and Ford is arguably one of the better fliers in that range despite my pessimism.


Still, I'd rather target DJ Chark, Roschon Johnson, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, D'Onta FOreman, Parris Campbell and perhaps even Donovan Peoples-Jones or Kenneth Gainwell in that range of the draft.


I currently have Ford at #167 in my 2023 Draft Rankings, 7(ish) spots behind where he's most commonly drafted.


Best Ball Leagues: 🟠 Jerome Ford is currently drafted as the RB 50 around pick 165 (late 14th round) in Underdog best ball drafts.


He's a fine flier that late, but I'd rather target Irv Smith, Taysom Hill, DJ Chark, Jordan Love, Donovan Peoples-Jones, D'Onta Foreman, Tim Patrick, Tyjae Spears, Raheem Mostert, Ezekiel Elliott, Parris Campbell or even several others that are drafted later than Ford.


Max best ball exposure: 10%

Cleveland Browns Wide Receivers

Fantasy Football Rankings and Preview

🟢 WR Amari Cooper

2022 was lowkey one of the best seasons—if not THE best—of Amari Cooper's 8 year career, catching 78 (4th most of his career) of 132 targets (most) for 1160 yards (2nd most) and 9 TDs (most).


After 7 years of catching passes from Derek Carr and Dak Prescott and finishing better than WR 15 just twice, Cooper was fantasy football's WR 10—tied for the best finish of his career—despite catching most of his passes from journeyman QB Jacoby Brissett.


After 121 career regular season games, Cooper is averaging:

⚫ 14.4 PPR points per game

⚫ 7.8 targets per game

⚫ 4.9 catches per game

⚫ 68.1 yards per game

⚫ 0.5 TDs per game (55 total)


Cooper most commonly lands between 10-15 PPR points (20% of the time) but has scored 15 or more PPR points in more games (51, 42% of his games) than he's scored under 10 PPR points (46, 36% of his games).


Coop's had an explosive, week-winning ceiling in the past, hitting 20+ PPR points in 30 of 121 games (25%), including 10 games over 30 PPR points (8%).


Not to mention 2 career games where Cooper erupted for 44 or more PPR points (44 against the Chiefs in week 7 of 2017, and a career high 49.7 against the Eagles in week 14 of 2018).


Heading into 2023, the 2015 4th overall pick (Raiders) from Alabama will enter his age 29 season with former MVP candidate Deshaun Watson under center, giving Cooper arguably the best QB of his entire career.


Of course, their first 6 games together weren't great last year, as Cooper averaged just 11.6 PPR points and 6.5 targets per game with Watson after 11 games of averaging 16.2 PPR points and 8.5 targets per game with Jacoby Brissett.

2023 fantasy football rankings; Amari Cooper is under-rated

The late-season bed shitting seems to be fresh in the minds of the general public and Vegas oddsmakers, as Watson is currently projected for over/under just 925.5 yards (-112 for both) despite hitting 1000+ yards in 6 of 8 career campaigns, including last season.


He's also projected for over/under 6.5 touchdowns (+100 for over, -128 for under) despite catching 9 with the Browns last season and scoring 7 or more TDs in 5 of 8 professional campaigns.


Of course, fantasy managers would be wise to remember that Deshaun Watson once made:


⚫ DeAndre Hopkins the WR 2 in 2017 (1,378 yards, 13 TDs)


⚫ DeAndre Hopkins the WR 1 in 2018 (1,572 yards, 11 TDs)


⚫ DeAndre Hopkins the WR 5 in 2019 (1,165 yards, 7 TDs)


Is Amari Cooper the same thing as DeAndre Hopkins?


Of course not.


But Watson also made Brandin Cooks the WR 17 in 2020 on 1,150 yards and 6 TDs.


And, by the way, all 4 seasons were despite Watson's Texans never finishing better than 20th in the NFL in passing attempts, just like Kevin Stefanski and the the Browns' run-heavy offense.


Watson hasn't played much football since 2020 and looked rusty in his return last year.


But a former perennial MVP candidate that's still just 27 years old (28 in September) and entering 2023 with a full offseason in Cleveland under his belt, there's no reason to think Watson won't return to form—or at least be good enough to float Cooper to some big numbers in 2023.


Cooper is best approached as a WR 2 with explosive WR 1 upside for the season and any given week.


Dynasty Leagues: 🟡 Amari Cooper is the WR 35 in dynasty startup drafts. Entering his age 29 season, Cooper is closer to the end of his career than the beginning, but he *should* still have at last 1 more dominant season left in the tank. He's a strong "hold" for contending teams and a terrific "sell" candidate for rebuilding teams.


Redraft Leagues: 🟢 Amari Cooper is currently drafted as the WR 18 around pick 34 (late 3rd round) in 2023 PPR leagues.


He's one of my favorite picks in the 3rd round altogether, not just at the end of it. He—along with Keenan Allen, Deebo Samuel and Dk Metcalf—is a top target regardless of how many WRs I've already selected at this point.


I currently have Cooper at #31 overall in my 2023 Draft Rankings, 3-4(ish) spots ahead of where the public usually drafts him.


If you draft Cooper, consider stacking him with Deshaun Watson, Elijah Moore and/or David Njoku later.


Best Ball Leagues: 🟢 Amari Cooper is currently drafted as the WR 17 around pick 33 (late 3rd round) in Underdog best ball drafts.


He's one of my favorite picks in the 3rd round altogether, not just at the end of it. He—along with Keenan Allen, Deebo Samuel and Dk Metcalf—is a top target regardless of how many WRs I've already selected at this point.


If you draft Cooper, consider stacking him with Deshaun Watson, Elijah Moore and/or David Njoku later.


Max best ball exposure: 25%

🟢 WR Elijah Moore

2022 was a massive step back from Elijah Moore.


After a promising rookie season where the Jets' 34th overall pick in 2021 secured 43 of 77 targets for 538 yards and 5 TDs in just 11 games, Moore caught just 37 of 65 targets for 446 yards and 1 TD over 16 games in 2022, publicly voicing displeasure with his role and further lessening his own playing time as a result.


After averaging 12.6 PPR points per game in 2021, Moore fell to a devastating 5.5 PPR points per game, crushing the souls of fantasy managers that spent what they thought was an upside 8th round pick last year (Moore was drafted as fantasy's WR 36 but finished as WR 82).


The still-talented 23 year old will get a fresh start in Cleveland after the Browns traded a 2nd round pick to the Jets for Moore and a 3rd round pick.


It's a great landing spot in what could be an explosive offense that was previously casting 2020 6th round pick Donovan Peoples-Jones—who averaged 5+ targets per game last season—as their WR 2.


For now, Moore slides in as Cleveland's WR 2, but it's fair to wonder if Cleveland views him as their long-term answer with Amari Cooper nearing 30 years old.


Moore will battle David Njoku to be 2nd in line for targets from former MVP candidate Deshaun Watson, a role that made:

⚫ Will Fuller the WR 33 in 2017

⚫ Will Fuller the WR 20 in 2017 in PPR points per game (15.2)

⚫ Demaryius Thomas the WR 37 in 2017

⚫ Will Fuller the WR 39 in 2019

⚫ Will Fuller the WR 32 in 2020—he was the WR 7 in PPR points per game (17.2)


If Cleveland commits to making Elijah Moore an integral part of their offense—and offseason reports have so far suggested they have and will—then Moore is an excellent bounce-back candidate who could return to his 2021 rookie form that saw him average:

⚫ 13.8 PPR points per game

⚫ 7.5 targets per game

⚫ 4.3 catches per game

⚫ 53.8 yards per game

⚫ 0.5 TDs per game (5 total)

⚫ (he even had 5 rushing attempts for 54 yards and 1 TD)


He scored 10 or more PPR points in 6 of those 10 games, including 3 games over 20 PPR points.


In 2023, Moore is best approached as an upside WR 4 that could easily break into the WR 3—or even WR 2—conversation if Deshaun Watson returns to the form we saw in 2017-2020.


Dynasty Leagues: 🟢 Elijah Moore is currently drafted as the WR 44 in dynasty startup drafts. Still just 23 years old and already having flashed big time upside, Moore is a terrific "buy low" candidate in dynasty leagues, especially tied to Deshaun Watson and with Amari Cooper approaching age 30.


Redraft Leagues: 🟢 Elijah Moore is currently being drafted as the WR 44 around pick 87 overall (early 8th round) in 2023 PPR leagues.


He's one of my favorite picks in that range, but so are James Conner, David Montgomery, Brandin Cooks, Deshaun Watson, Rashod Bateman, Dalvin Cook, Courtland Sutton, Michael Thomas, James Cook, Antonio Gibson, Alvin Kamara, AJ Dillon and Samaje Perine.


I currently have Moore sitting at #85 overall in my 2023 Draft Rankings roughly 2(ish) spots ahead of his usual draft spot.


He's great to stack with Amari Cooper and Deshaun Watson near the 7-8 round turn.


Best Ball Leagues: 🟢 Elijah Moore is currently being drafted as the WR 44 around pick 87 overall (early 8th round) in Underdog best ball drafts.


While he's one of my favorite picks in that range, so are Rachaad White, Deshaun Watson, Brandin Cooks, James Conner, Rashod Bateman, Dalvin Cook, Tua Tagovailoa, Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, James Cook, Courtland Sutton and Antonio Gibson.


Moore is great to stack with Amari Cooper and Deshaun Watson near the 7-8 round turn.


Max best ball exposure: 25%

🟠 WR Donovan Peoples-Jones

2022 was easily the best season of Donovan Peoples-Jones' 3-year career, setting career highs in offensive snaps (1055), targets (96), catches (61), yards (839), 1st downs (33) and TDs (3).


The 2020 6th round pick from Michigan scored a decent 9.5 PPR points per game as Cleveland's 2nd receiver and finished the year as fantasy football's WR 42.


Entering the final year of his rookie contract, DPJ will look to expand on his steadily-inclining NFL success as he auditions for 32 NFL as a pending free agent following the 2023 season.


Unfortunately for DPJ's 2023 prospects, however, Cleveland traded a 2nd round pick in this year's draft for former 34th overall pick Elijah Moore (and a 2023 3rd round pick), likely bumping DPJ down to 4th on the target totem pole behind Amari Cooper, Moore, and David Njoku.


That's a concerning place to be for fantasy football purposes in an offense that has never finished better than 21st in pass attempts or 22nd in passing yards during Kevin Stefanski's 4 years as the Browns' head coach.


It also can't be assumed that DPJ will run the entire season ahead of last year's 3rd round pick, David Bell, not to mention that the Browns also signed big play threat Marquise Goodwin and drafted another 3rd round WR, Cedric Tillman, this offseason.


A big play threat waiting to happen with Deshaun Watson—ever hear of Will Fuller?—DPJ is bound to pop up for the occasional big play in 2023.


But they will likely be few and far between and impossible to predict, rendering DPJ nothing more than a late round dart throw in best ball leagues.


He's off the radar in regular sized redraft leagues.


Dynasty Leagues: 🟠 Donovan Peoples-Jones is currently the WR 77 in dynasty startup drafts. He's merely a "hold" in dynasty leagues, and fantasy managers would be wise to try and cash in on "selling" him sooner than later.


Redraft Leagues: 🟠 Donovan Peoples-Jones is currently drafted as the WR 70 around pick 158 (early 14th round) in 2023 PPR leagues. He's more appealing in best ball leagues, and that pick is better spent on DJ Chark, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Roschon Johnson, Kenneth Gainwell, Jerome Ford or Parris Campbell, among others.


DPJ is currently #180 overall in my 2023 Draft Rankings, a whole 21-22(ish) spots behind where he's usually drafted.


Best Ball Leagues: 🟠 Donovan Peoples-Jones is currently drafted as the WR 71 around pick 161 (mid 14th round) in Underdog best ball leagues. He's fine at that cost, but I'm more inclined to spend that pick on Irv Smith, Taysom Hill, DJ Chark, Jordan Love, Jerome Ford, D'Onta Foreman, Kenneth Gainwell, and Tim Patrick, among others.


Max best ball exposure: 5%


NOTE: At the bottom of this article you will find analysis for Cedric Tillman, a name to know for dynasty league managers.

Cleveland Browns Tight Ends

Fantasy Football Rankings and Preview

🟡 TE David Njoku

2022 was one of the best—if not the best—seasons of David Njoku's 6-year career.


The 2017 29th overall pick from Miami set new career highs in targets per game (5.7), catches per game (4.1), yards per game (44.9) and 1st downs (36) while tying his previous career high in touchdowns (4).


He scored 10.1 PPR points per game (8th most among TEs) over 14 games to finish as fantasy's TE 11, easily his best finish since landing at TE 9 back in 2018.


In 32 career games where Njoku has played at least 46 offensive snaps, he's averaged:

⚫ 9.5 PPR points per game

⚫ 5.8 targets per game

⚫ 3.8 catches per game

⚫ 41.6 yards per game

⚫ 0.3 TDs per game (9 total)


And in 15 career games where he's played at least 58 snaps—he averaged 58+ last year—Njoku's averages elevate to:

⚫ 10.8 PPR points per game

⚫ 6.6 targets per game

⚫ 4.4 catches per game

⚫ 42.3 yards per game

⚫ 0.4 TDs per game (6 total)


Njoku has scored 10 or more PPR points in 21 of 70 career regular season games (30%), with 8 games over 15 PPR points (11%), including two games over 23.


Heading into 2023, Njoku will be 2nd or 3rd in line for targets from former MVP candidate Deshaun Watson behind Amari Cooper and (maybe) Elijah Moore, notable considering Watson's documented history of being able to support two pass catchers:


⚫ Will Fuller was the WR 33 in 2017

⚫ Will Fuller was the WR 20 in 2017 in PPR points per game (15.2)

⚫ Demaryius Thomas was the WR 37 in 2017

⚫ Will Fuller was the WR 39 in 2019

⚫ Will Fuller was the WR 32 in 2020—he was the WR 7 in PPR points per game (17.2)


Of course, Moore is a legitimate threat to Njoku's target share, and it's fair to wonder if Cleveland can support 3 pass catchers in an offense that has never finished better than 21st in pass attempts or 22nd in passing yards during Kevin Stefanski's 4 years as Head Coach.


Still just 27 years old, Njoku is best approached in 2023 as a back end TE 1 that will likely be inconsistent from week-to-week, albeit with massive upside on any given Sunday.


Dynasty Leagues: 🟡 Still just 27 years old, David Njoku is currently drafted as the TE 14 in dynasty startups. He's a solid "hold" for current managers with no clear "buy low" or "sell high" trade window.


Redraft Leagues: 🟡 David Njoku is currently drafted as fantasy's TE 9 around pick 106 (late 9th round) in 2023 PPR drafts.


Likely to be inconsistent on a weekly basis, I'd rather "stream" the TE position in redraft than draft David Njoku as my weekly TE 1.


Instead, I'd rather spend that pick on upside at more important positions like RB and WR, such as Alvin Kamara, AJ Dillon, Samaje Perine, Skyy Moore, Odell Beckham, Rashaad Penny or Damien Harris, among others.


Njoku is currently #95 overall in my 2023 Draft Rankings, a whole 10-11(ish) picks higher than his usual average draft position.


Best Ball Leagues: 🟢 David Njoku is currently drafted as fantasy's TE 9 around pick 107 (late 9th round) in Underdog best ball drafts.


The price itself is fine and he's a great TE 1 target if you haven't taken a TE yet in the 9th or 10th round.


He should not be drafted if you already have a TE. Instead, target the upside of AJ Dillon, Samaje Perine, Dak Prescott (if you need a QB 1 still), Skyy Moore, Rashaad Penny, Odell Beckham or Damien Harris.


Max best ball exposure: 20%

Other Names to Know for Dynasty Leaguers and Super Flexers

See below for analysis on:

⚫ QB Joshua Dobbs

⚫ QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson (rookie)

⚫ WR Cedric Tillman (rookie)


🔴 QB Joshua Dobbs

Despite being a 4th round pick (Steelers) from Tennessee in 2017, Joshua Dobbs has played in two career games with more than 9 pass attempts.


As a member of the Titans against the Cowboys in week 17 of last season, Dobbs completed 20 of 39 passes for 232 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT, adding 12 scoreless rushing yards with his legs (10.5 fantasy points).


And then in week 18 against the Jaguars, Dobbs completed 20 of 29 passes for 179 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT with 32 scoreless rushing yards (10.4 fantasy points).


Dobbs' only shred of fantasy football relevance is as a possible desperation QB 3 for Superflexers if anything happened to Deshaun Watson.

🔴 QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson

With the 140th overall pick (round 5, pick 6) in the 2023 NFL draft, the Browns selected UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson.


A 23-year-old rookie that turns 24 in November, DTR appeared in 49 games over 5 years at UCLA, compiling 10,710 passing yards—30% of which were during his senior season—and 88 TD passes—31% of which were during his senior season.


DTR did a lot of his damage on the ground, racking up 1826 rushing yards—including 645 during his senior season—and 28 rushing TDs—including 12 in his senior season.


According to film guru John Chapman, DTR "surveys the field well and displays a compact and quick release. Twitched up with a live arm, DTR has good arm strength and velocity and shows the ability to drive the football into tight windows in all areas of the field. His ball placement is a strength...DTR is a good enough runner and natural athlete who would benefit in a spread offense. He's an inconsistent downfield passer."


All in all, DTR is highly unlikely to make any noise at any point in his professional career—especially from a fantasy football standpoint. He's trapped behind Deshaun Watson an likely won't see much—if any—playing time in his first 4 years.


Dynasty Leagues: 🔴 Dorian Thompson-Robinson is currently #56 in BBFF's rookie rankings.

🟡 WR Cedric Tillman

With the 74th overall pick in the 2023 draft (round 3, pick 11), the Cleveland Browns selected Tennessee WR Cedric Tillman.


Tillman has great size (6'3," 213 pounds), great speed, and "plucks passes out of the air with ease if within reach" according to film guru John Chapman.


But he's also already 23 years old, struggles to separate consistently, and struggles against press coverage while being "overly reliant on bully ball" (Chapman), something that might not go over well at the next level.


Entering a Kevin Stefanski offense that has never finished better than 21st in pass attempts or 22nd in passing yards during his 4 years as head coach, Tillman will fight for scraps behind Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore, David Njoku, Donovan Peoples-Jones and probably last year's 3rd round pick—one of my favorite prospects of the 2023 draft—David Bell.


Long term, though, there IS a path to playing time, targets and production:

⚫ Amari Cooper is entering his age 29 season and will be a free agent after 2024

⚫ Elijah Moore is a free agent—if the Browns don't extend him—after the 2024 season

⚫ Donovan Peoples-Jones—the best 1:1 comparison to Tillman among Browns pass catchers—is a free agent after this season

⚫ David Bell hasn't done anything to prove himself either


The Browns invested healthy enough draft capital for Tillman to be an intriguing long term option in a Deshaun Watson offense that should be among the better units in football for years to come.


Of course, entering the league at 23 years old, Tillman will likely be 25+ when (if?) he finally makes consistent noise in fantasy football.


Dynasty Leagues: 🟠 Cedric Tillman is currently #29 in BBFF's rookie rankings.


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