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Fake Teams fantasy football mailbag: Which Browns’ running back should you draft?

Plus is Christian McCaffrey or Devonta Freeman the better pick in the second round.

Buffalo Bills v Cleveland Browns Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Obviously with the draft just around the corner, it’s another draft oriented mailbag this week as we’ve a bunch of good questions revolving around who to and who not to take this year.

If you want to send in your questions for next week’s mailbag (it comes out every Thursday, just in time for football), here are the ways to join:

  • tweet @petemrogers or @Faketeams using #FTFFmailbag
  • email at
  • leave your question in the comments!

Onto the mailbag:

Q: Which Browns RB are you interested in? A lot of people are high on Duke cuz of last year but this year he has target hog Landry and a new Qb. I like Hyde especially at his value but no one is high on him after he was 8th in ppr last year
— @robq50_robert

I have made zero attempts to hide my Carlos Hyde love this season. It blows my mind that he’s going in the sixth round despite the fact that he finished RB11 last year on a 49ers team that was seventh worse in the league in Football Outsiders’ stuffed metric (percentage of runs where the running back is tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage). The offensive line wasn’t give him any holes to work with and yet he still managed to finish 13th in the league last year in rushing yards.

The Browns meanwhile actually have a pretty good offensive line and Hyde has the talent to fully take advantage of that. Oh, and for all your Nick Chubb chubbies, Hyde has rushed for just as much yardage as Chubb but on less than half the carries. Take a seat chubbies.

I will be drafting Hyde everywhere I can.

Updated to show a little group think:

Q: Who should I take at 12/13 this year?
— @tampatony32

First off, props to you for having 13 other reliable people to make a 14 person league with. Two years ago I tried to make my friend league a 10 person league and immediately regretted it because the two people we added did nothing all season long. So props to having committed friends.

Going off of Fantasy Football Calculator’s ADPs, most of the hot running back names will be off the board by 12 but this means you’ll have your pick of top receivers (outside of Antonio Brown). Were I you, I’d happily take Odell Beckham at 12 or 13. I’m real high on him this year and people are forgetting just how dominate he is in both real football but also fantasy.

You can then address running back when it comes back to your pick (assuming your draft snakes) with Jordan Howard, Devonta Freeman or take a slightly risky but very high upside pick in Joe Mixon. I would happily start a draft snagging Beckham—who could easily finish WR1 this year—and any of those running backs.

Q: Freeman or McCaffrey in round 2 if you get Barkley/Kamara round 1
— @TheArrogantBird

The answer to this depends on what you look for in your second running back.

Do you want a sure thing? Then I’d snag Devonta Freeman. Freeman is wildly consistent and routinely has finished inside RB10. Last year he was RB13 but he missed two games last season—he averaged 11th most points per game last year among running backs with 11.7. You know exactly what you’re getting in Freeman.

If you wanna risk it for the biscuit, go McCaffrey all the way. If I were you—first off I wouldn’t draft either Kamara or Barkley, get @ me—I’d go with McCaffrey. Go big or go home. Every coach in Carolina can’t shut up about the McCaffé and how many touches they’re going to give him this season. Add to that that he’s looked great in preseason and has shown strength running between the tackles, I like McCaffrey to have a top 10 season this year.

Stop by your local draft room and get a McCaffé today!

Q: So I’m in a keeper league, 2nd overall pick. If you had to choose between OBJ, fournette, or hunt, who’d you lean? 10 team, .5ppr
— @robbyhale21

Odell. Fournette and Hunt aren’t bad picks by any means but a healthy Odell is a lock to get you 90 catches, 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns every year. Plus, he’s in a contract year, coming back from injury, you know he’s going to be looking to ball out and remind everyone why he’s the best receiver in the game.

Outside of just Odell reasons, running backs are hard to rely on from a year to year basis as backfield are always changing. You can also get a very good running back who’ll still give you top level production when your pick comes back around whereas with receivers, there’s a quicker drop off between the elite and the middle of the pack.

Q: Who was the most sentimental fantasy player on your teams over the years, not necessarily the best guy but the guy who won you a playoff game or magically saved your season?
— Will G.

That’s a good question. Honestly, the player that forever will stay with me is Coby Fleener in his first year with the Saints. It’s not because he contributed to a win or anything—he was actual hot garbage that year—but because he lended himself to the greatest team name I’ve ever had: Coby Wan Kenobi.

Pour some out for o’l Coby Kenobi.

Have fantasy football questions? You can email them into or tweet them at @petemrogers or @faketeams using the hashtag #FTFFmailbag.