The first preseason game of the year for the Browns is complete. John Dorsey gave this team the complete overhaul it both needed and deserved, and thus far the surgery has been a success. The offense looked sharp with both the first and second teams. Tyrod Taylor balled out, Baker Mayfield showed the pose of a veteran, and Jarvis Landry carried his momentum from Hard Knocks to the field. That being said there was some bad as well with Nick Chubb being lackluster and the offensive line being a little shaky.
Just like the game, there have to be some winners and some losers, so let’s dive into those.
Winner: The Taylor-Landry Connection
All training camp there have been reports on how much work these two have been putting in and Thursday we saw it pay off. Taylor was 5/5 for 99 yards and 1 touchdown. He connected with Landry both time he targeted him for 36 yards. If they had more series to play together then I can only imagine the stat line they would have produced. This is a very promising start to what many expect to a very fruitful relationship for both the team and fantasy owners alike.
Loser: Nick Chubb
Chubb had been practicing well throughout camp by all accounts based on what has been reported so far and had earned the love of the coaches, but he hit a roadblock against the Giants. Chubb rushed for 11 yards on 15 carries which is atrocious. He isn’t a loser because of that stat line, he is a loser because he was on the receiving end of horrible offensive line play. He was being met in the backfield by the defense on nearly every play. When he did get past the line of scrimmage, no blockers were getting out ahead for him to create better holes. Expect to see Chubb bounce back next week against Buffalo.
Winner: Antonio Callaway
Callaway was coming off arguably the worst week of any rookie in his draft class. He responded with arguably the most impressive debut of any of his fellow classmates. He finished with three catches for 89 yards and scored on a dart from Baker Mayfield in the second half. He dropped two balls earlier and he responded the right way and even after the drops he was still targeted which means the quarterbacks trust him. That means fantasy owners should still trust him despite the off the field issues.
Loser: Josh Gordon
Gordon was in Florida instead of at the Meadowlands on Thursday and for this he’s a loser coming out of the game. Gordon has never had someone as good as Taylor or Mayfield throwing him the ball. He had the opportunity to play with both but he still has not yet reported to camp. The team remains behind him - which is the most crucial part - but fantasy owners need to be reminded of his past glory. As soon as he reports and steps on that field, watch out.
Winner: The Chief
David “The Chief” Njoku made an impact right out the gate on Thursday. Njoku had two catches on his two targets and both were for touchdowns. One was a perfect touch throw from Taylor where he then outran the linebacker covering him. The other was a 50/50 ball in the back of the end zone in double coverage where he snagged it away from two other defenders. Njoku remains one of the most underrated and underappreciated tight ends in fantasy. His ADP, according to fantasy wizard, is outside the top ten tight ends, which is both mind-boggling and makes him a huge steal in keeper and dynasty leagues.