The Browns recovered from an embarrassing Week 1 loss to the Titans in Week 1, but it was against the lowly Jets. The Rams are far more stiff competition, and come into Cleveland as three-point favorites. With a total set at 47.5, we should see some decent fantasy production out of this game.
Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices
SUNDAY NIGHT SHOWDOWN SPOTLIGHT
Baker Mayfield ($10,200) has thrown for yards, which helps his fantasy value, but he’s really struggled overall. Mayfield’s completed just 44-of-73 passes, and has two touchdowns to four interceptions. A huge chunk of his fantasy points also came from an 89-yard touchdown to Odell Beckham Jr. ($11,000), in which OBJ did the majority of the work. I can’t trust him against this talented defensive line for the Rams. If Baker continues to hold onto the ball too long he’ll be in a ton of trouble.
As for paying up for OBJ, I think we can find some value. While Mayfield isn’t playing well, part of the reason is because he’s been locked on his new toy. Beckham’s turned 21 targets into a 13-232-1 line through two games, good for 22.6 DKFP per game. His big play ability makes him a target. Jarvis Landry ($7,400) worries me, catching just 7-of-14 targets through two games for 99 yards. He’d be a complete fade for me if David Njoku (wrist) wasn’t out, but the TE’s absence could mean more looks for Landry.
Rashard Higgins ($2,800) is a decent value as the WR3 if he plays. He scored 6.6 DKFP in Week 1, but sat out last week with a knee injury, and is questionable for this one. If he sits, Damion Ratley ($2,000) is an even better value. He scored 3.7 DKFP in Week 1 with Riggings active, and 7.0 without him last week.
The Njoku news also brings Ricky Seals-Jones ($1,600) back into the fantasy conversation, but he’s a dicey play at this stage of his career.
Nick Chubb ($9,800) is my favorite play on the Browns. This team gets attention for Mayfield and his WRs, but it’s much more focused on the ground game. Chubb’s been fed for 35 carries through two games, and has a larger role in the passing game than anticipated — snagging 7-of-8 targets for 46 yards this season. Alvin Kamara struggled in this matchup last week, but the Drew Brees injury threw that offense off. Christian McCaffrey tore this defense apart in Week 1.
Dontrell Hilliard ($1,200) and D’Ernest Johnson ($400) are viable punt plays, and have pass-catching roles on third down.
Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff ($10,600) is the QB I’d much prefer to roster in this one. After struggling in Carolina, he found a groove against the Saints, and topped 20 DKFP. Luke Falk was able to get into somewhat of a groove against the Browns on Monday, so I trust Goff to provide a safe floor in this game at the minimum.
Cooper Kupp ($9,000) is the most consistent receiving option here, getting 10 targets against the Panthers and nine against New Orleans. He’s caught 12 for 166 yards, and has still averaged 16.1 DKFP, despite not reaching the end zone this season. Once he does, he’s due for a big game.
Brandin Cooks ($8,600) and Robert Woods ($8,400) have been more inconsistent. Woods held onto 8-of-13 targets in Week 1, and also got two touches in the run game, but then three touches in Week 2. Cooks wasn’t able to get on the same page as Goff in Week 1, but did pop for 74 yards and a score against his former team last week. I prefer Woods, as he’s usually much more consistent.
Tyler Higbee (chest) has been ruled out of this one, so Gerald Everett ($2,400) is at least a consideration at TE, but I think there are better punt plays available.
Todd Gurley ($9,600) isn’t the elite play we once knew, but he’s averaging 80 rushing yards per game on over 5.0 YPC so far this season. He found the end zone last week, and should see a good workload against the Browns. Le’Veon Bell was able to have a strong game on Monday, but did so with 31 touches. I’d prefer to pay for the upside at WR, but don’t think you need to fade Gurley.
Malcolm Brown ($4,200) is intriguing at his price. He was a bust in Week 2, but as the goal line back, the touchdown upside for this salary can’t be ignored. He scored twice in Week 1, and has gained 90 yards on just 17 carries this season. If you do fade Gurley, Brown’s worth a look.
Final Score: Cleveland: 17, Los Angeles: 23
Primetime games have not lived up to the hype when it comes to scoring points this season, and I also can’t fully buy into the Browns just because they were able to beat the Jets. The Browns have potential to be a great team, but the Rams have already proven themselves. I think the Rams come away with a victory here in an uglier game than we’re expecting. Greg Zuerlein CP ($5,100) makes a lot of sense to me in the CP spot. I think we see a lot of drives end with kicks, and he’s cheap enough to allow up to fit more studs in our lineups. Zuerlein is averaging 12 DKFP through two games, which would multiple out to 18 in the CP spot.
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