The Case for Njoku
Tight Ends in Fantasy Football are a gamble when you start them in your line up. I know not everyone likes my idea of turning it into a WR/TE position in fantasy. Over the off season we’re going to look at some tight ends that I think are worth looking into for the 2019 season. Today we will be diving into potential of David Njoku.
In weeks 1 through 3, Njoku did not have much involvement in the Browns offense, in fact no one did. Hue Jackson and Todd Haley could not get things going until Baker Mayfield took over the job right before halftime against the Jets. From weeks 4-8, with Hue Jackson and Todd Haley still in control of the team, Njoku began a breakout campaign with Mayfield as the leader of the offense. In those 4 weeks Njoku posted 56.8 PPR points, averaging 14.2 a game and was the TE7!
Fortunately for the Browns organization, Hue Jackson and Todd Haley were relieved of their duties after a week 8 loss to the Steelers. Running backs coach Freddie Kitchens took over the play calling duties, and we saw Njoku slowly fade away for fantasy owners. Through weeks 9 and 10 right before Cleveland’s bye week, Njoku was the tight end 22, out of usability. It wasn’t until after the Browns’ bye week did Njoku see usefulness (going from 12% target share to 20% target share), finishing as the TE7 for the last five games, averaging 10 PPR points per game. He wasn’t winning you weeks, but he wasn’t losing you them by averages. When you look at the week by week points through the last few weeks, he only had 2 solid tight end performances that brought his average up.
We must give all the Browns’ player credit: changing coordinators and essentially schemes halfway through the season, we’re lucky they performed as well as they did. Njoku saw himself as a prominent red zone threat for the Browns, but only posted 4 Touchdowns. To his credit he was building a chemistry with a new QB who did not take a single first team snap in practice. Njoku comes with some high risk in 2019 fantasy drafts, as his ADP is the 7th round, 8th pick (as the 7th TE being drafted). We can’t be too worried about the risk that comes. He’ll have a whole off season with Baker and new head coach Freddie Kitchens, it would be hard to imagine his target share not increasing. As of now he seems to be the most talented option on that football team. I do believe Njoku could be a great value in 2019 fantasy drafts but look out for off season moves made by the Browns.