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How fantasy football owners should handle Odell Beckham Jr.'s injury

For The Win logo For The Win 10/26/2020 Charles Curtis
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It’s the absolutely worst news for Odell Beckham Jr. and the Cleveland Browns.

The star wideout tore his ACL in his left knee on Sunday and will miss the rest of the season.

Beckham has struggled with his health over the past three seasons, and now the Browns will be without their second-leading receiver and a game-changer whenever he’s on the field. Here’s hoping for a speedy and full recovery.

As for the injury impact on the fantasy football world? We’ll break down the values on some of the pass-catchers in Cleveland who will replace the production Beckham will leave behind in 2020.

Jarvis Landry

Let me begin by saying that this is a Browns team that’s tied for the lead with the Arizona Cardinals in rushing attempts (216). They have the 12th-fewest pass attempts with 211. So it’s clear Cleveland isn’t going to throw a ton unless it’s in a comeback effort.

Which brings us to Landry. Maybe he gets a little more work, but even without Beckham for much of Sunday, he had his something like his usual 2020 statline: five catches for 48 yards. I don’t foresee Beckham’s close friend getting much more than that even with the wideout out for the year.

Rashard Higgins

He caught all six of his targets on Sunday for 110 yards. Hmmm. We’ve seen him show flashes of talent in the past — four touchdowns in 2018. I think he’s Beckham’s direct replacement and if you need a receiver, he’s absolutely worth a waiver-wire pickup. There are some games on the schedule where he could break out against weaker defenses (the Texans, Jaguars and Giants could be good spots).

Austin Hooper, David Njoku, Harrison Bryant

Before his appendectomy, Hooper was starting to get some more looks from Baker Mayfield. If he comes back at some point, he’s worth a look given all the depth problems at tight end in fantasy this year. Njoku did catch a touchdown on Sunday, but he was out-targeted by Bryant, who had five looks, caught four of them and two were in the end zone. As I said, the volume is low, but if you’re desperate at tight end, you could try Bryant out and see.

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