Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. is a player I struggle with evaluating for the upcoming fantasy football season. OBJ is recovering from an ACL tear suffered in Week 7 of last season. His availability to work with the team in training camp is something I will make a priority to track. The first 3 seasons were unbelievable (91/1,305/12) (96/1,450/13) (101/1,367/10). The last 4 seasons OBJ has been healthy in just 2 of those. During that period he has just 16 receiving TD’s. With OBJ turning 29 in November and having multiple lower body injuries in recent years the question is have we already seen his best?
I think it’s a tough question to answer as his Giants career began where he was the focal point on a deteriorating team. Moving to Cleveland now is a different scheme as the offense is more centered around the running game. There’s too many mouths to feed in Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Jarvis Landry, and Austin Hooper for him to receive the target share of Years 1-3. The reality is OBJ should have more team success in 2021 than at any point of his career as maybe personal success takes a back seat.
In Year 2 of Kevin Stefanski’s offense maybe more is put on Baker Mayfield’s plate and in turn OBJ sees more targets. Part of the struggle with OBJ is at the spot in the draft you have to select him more stable production options could be available. In my own rankings I have at least 25 WR’s that I would consider taking ahead of OBJ due to the injury concerns. OBJ falls into the range with JuJu Smith-Schuster, Brandin Cooks, Brandon Aiyuk, Courtland Sutton, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Robby Anderson, D.J. Chark, Chase Claypool, and Deebo Samuel.
I would consider taking JuJu, Claypool, Aiyuk, and Chase ahead of OBJ, but would have to spend some of the draft clock thinking about it. All the other players listed in that grouping I would lean more toward gambling on OBJ. In leagues with IR spots, OBJ would be more so worth the gamble. If healthy I can see him catching over 80 balls, over 1,100 yards and over 7 TD. I don’t see him repeating the beginning of his career, but I think he has more left in the tank than what has been shown the last 4 years. If I can sneak him through as a WR 4 maybe 3 I’m comfortable taking the gamble. Anything sooner is too rich for my liking.