Warren Sharp’s Strength of Schedule: Cleveland’s 2019 schedule is a mixed bag. Warren Sharp projects the Browns to face the 4th-easiest overall schedule, yet a large part of that ranking is the soft slate of opposing offenses. Baker & Co. will square off with the 9th-hardest pass-defense schedule of 2019. Their top flight defense, however, should pummel opposing offenses to the point that Cleveland’s offense can routinely count on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th chances.
The coaching marriage of HC Freddie Kitchens and Air Raid extraordinaire Todd Monken will set the league on fire. Monken’s Jameis Winston/Ryan Fitzpatrick duo in Tampa Bay “ranked top three in the NFL in average depth of target” last year, per Sharp’s 2019 Football Preview. Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. have their work cut out for them, schedule-wise. However, Mayfield’s already established himself as one of the league’s most accurate deep-passers and finishing as the overall WR1, in record setting fashion, is well within Odell Beckham Jr.’s range of outcomes.
Nick Chubb will be the unquestioned bell cow on what should be a Top 5 scoring unit. His catching ability is underrated and it’s safe to assume his passing game role increases with the departure of Duke Johnson Jr. Expect Chubb to duke it out with Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, and Alvin Kamara for the RB1 crown for as long as Kareem Hunt is out. Although slated to return in Week 10, Hunt could miss more time -- a point Evan Silva made on ETR’s podcast this summer after parsing through an interview published by Pro Football Talk.
Jarvis Landry is a draftable asset in .5PPR and full-point PPR scoring formats.
Had the offensive line shown better in the preseason, David Njoku would be listed under Good values. Greg Robinson’s dreadful August performances at left tackle puts Njoku’s receiving ceiling in jeopardy as he may be asked to stay home and block.
Keep your eye on Rashard Higgins. He’s assumed the field-stretcher role while Antonio Callaway serves his 4-game suspension. It’s possible Higgins, a talented young receiver, cements himself as a permanent part of this offense.
Dontrell Hilliard is the next man up, for the No. 2 job, with Duke Johnson Jr. out the door.