By Dennis Sosic
Hello Cleveland Fantasy Football fans! Welcome to the analysis of the Cleveland Browns players and their next fantasy matchup. So, did I miss anything from the Week 3 Matchup against the Jets? Just kidding! We saw a Browns 21-17 victory! Finally!
It was great to see the players and especially the fans celebrate the win. While it is only one win, it’s the Browns first win in 635 days. Browns players and fans have a legitimate reason to celebrate.
In addition to a Browns victory, we saw the Baker Mayfield era begin in Cleveland.
WEEK 4 GAME INFO Cleveland Browns (1-1-1) visit the Oakland Raiders (0-3) this Sunday afternoon for an 4:05pm kickoff. The Raiders are a 2.5-point favorite over the Browns.
QB, Baker Mayfield
The first overall pick in this year’s draft, Mayfield stepped onto the field after starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor suffered a concussion. All Mayfield did was rally his team from a 14-0 deficit to the Jets by completing 17 of 23 passes for 201 yards.
Mayfield became the first No.1 overall pick to complete 70 percent of his passes in his first career game. In a no-brainer move, Mayfield was named the starter for Week 4 by Coach Hue Jackson. He is Cleveland’s 30th starting quarterback since 1999.
Mayfield immediately added energy to the offense. In his first career start, Mayfield will face the Raiders, who are last in the NFL with three sacks, and tied for last with one takeaway. Mayfield is going to have all day to throw the football.
The former Heisman Trophy winner is a streaming candidate for fantasy owners against a bad defense.
Fantasy Fearless Projection: 275 yards passing, 2 touchdowns. START (two-QB leagues)
RB, CARLOS HYDE:
Hyde was the Browns leading rusher last week against the Jets and scored two touchdowns. He has now scored in three straight games to open the season. Hyde is an obvious start against the Raiders and look for his touchdown streak to continue.
Fantasy Fearless Projection: 90 yards rushing, 1 touchdown. START
WR, JARVIS LANDRY:
Landry finished last week’s game with eight catches for 103 yards while showing chemistry with Mayfield. One of the best route runners in the NFL, Landry has at least seven catches and at least 100 yards receiving in two of three games. He has at least five catches in 20 straight games, tied for second-longest streak in league history.
Look for the streaks to continue as the Mayfield-Landry connection will be something to see in the upcoming weeks.
Fantasy Fearless Projection: 10 catches, 120 yards. START
WR, ANTONIO CALLAWAY: While Callaway only recorded four catches for 20 yards last week, there was potential for a huge game. Tyrod Taylor underthrew Callaway for a long touchdown bomb.
Additionally, Callaway dropped a few catchable passes from Mayfield that could have resulted in big plays. The Raiders have been giving up big passing plays all season including three to the Miami Dolphins last week.
Callaway gives the Browns a vertical threat, and we should see a bomb or two for Callaway this Sunday.
Fantasy Fearless Projection: 4 catches 85 yards, 1 touchdown. START
FLEX/TE: DAVID NJOKU: Njoku only had two catches last week but they totaled 36 yards. An indication of his big-play ability.
I believe with Mayfield now leading the team, Njoku oozes upside. That starts on Sunday.
Fantasy Fearless Projection: 5 catches 70 yards, 1 touchdown. START (hard to find tight ends this season especially with upside).
K, GREG JOSEPH: It looks like we have a kicker, well, at least for one more week.
Joseph made both of his field goal attempts and an extra point. All Browns fans know how important a kicker is this season.
If it wasn’t for issues with our kicker, the Browns would be 3- 0!
Fantasy Fearless Projection: 1 FG, 4 XP. SIT
DEFENSE: The Browns defense leads the NFL with 11 takeaways after getting a league-low 13 in all of 2017.
They are a top-seven defense in fewest yards allowed per play after three weeks while allowing just two touchdown passes. They have held each opponent under 21 points.
However, the Browns are susceptible to giving up rushing touchdowns as four of their seven touchdowns allowed on the year have been scored on the ground. The Raiders are at the bottom of the NFL in turnover differential thanks to a minus-four in that stat category.
They have the sixth-most yards but the fifth-fewest points this season.
Fantasy Fearless Projection: 17 points allowed, 3 sacks, 2 turnovers. START (good streaming option this week)
FINAL ANALYSIS: The Browns are seeking their first consecutive wins since the 2014 season. With the victory last week and Baker Mayfield the talk of the city, the Cleveland Browns are feeling very confident going into their Week 4 matchup against the Raiders.
The Browns have looked good this season and actually should be 3-0 but that’s in the past, so let’s see them start a win streak.
The Raiders are 0-3 despite leading each game at halftime. They have been outscored 37-3 in the fourth quarter. I see the Raiders trying to pound Marshawn Lynch, who hasscored a touchdown in every game this season, to slow down the game.
However, the Browns defense will take over this game and provide their offense with easy scoring opportunities and a victory to continue the win streak.
GAME PREDICTION: Cleveland Browns 27 Oakland Raiders 17
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