The entire fantasy community was stunned this week when the New York Giants traded superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for first and third-round picks in this year’s NFL Draft and Safety Jabril Peppers. It was just eight months ago when New York signed Beckham to a contract extension and while they claimed publicly they didn’t sign him long-term just to trade him, they did just that and changed the direction of two franchises in one transaction. The dynasty landscape for a number of players changed as a result of the blockbuster move. Let’s run down all the players whose values have changed as a result of Beckham being moved to Cleveland.
Odell Beckham, Jr, WR CLE
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Rather than go too deep into things with Beckham, I’ll defer to our Instant Analysis article we posted right after the trade went down. I will say this trade is really fascinating. Trading a receiver with a personality like Beckham to a team that has known nothing but losing and currently boasts both an extremely young quarterback and other talented players to take targets away is typically a recipe for disaster. However, Beckham is already good friends with Baker Mayfield and Jarvis Landry (Beckham and Landry were college teammates and are super close). In short, it seems like a mix of players that can work both on and off the field because these big personalities may genuinely want to see each other succeed as much as they want to succeed themselves.
As for Beckham’s value, it’s very much intact. Over his 59 career games, the 26 year old Beckham has 390 catches, 5,476 receiving yards and has scored a whopping 44 touchdowns. There are precious few receivers who are true alpha dogs and talented enough to have their numbers translate to virtually any franchise – Beckham is one of those players. Mayfield is a young quarterback who is going to get better and defenses simply won’t be able to blanket Beckham because of all the weapons out there on the Browns offense. If Mayfield continues to progress, this is going to get really fun and Beckham should post WR1 numbers. His already gaudy ADP value shouldn’t be affected too much by the move.
…and somewhere out there, about 52 former Cleveland quarterbacks are saying, “You gave HIM Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry and I had to throw to Terrelle Pryor and Frisman Jackson!?!”
Baker Mayfield, QB CLE
If you want your young quarterback to be successful, giving him the two receivers with the most catches in NFL history over their first few seasons isn’t a terrible way to go about things. With Beckham, Landry, Antonio Callaway, David Njoku and a dominant rushing attack with Nick Chubb and either (or both) of Duke Johnson and Kareem Hunt looks pretty darn imposing on paper. If Mayfield continues to improve and everything clicks on offense for the Browns, he could be a QB1 as soon as this season. His ADP is clearly going to be on the rise.
Jarvis Landry, WR CLE
Many people may believe this move is going to hurt the value of Jarvis Landry. I’m not one of them. Landry makes a killing on the short-to-intermediate routes and boasts a career total of 481 catches on 10.4 yards per catch, almost four yards fewer than Beckham’s career average. In short, they’re very different players. Landry could actually benefit from having Beckham around to free him up for his crossing routes and comebacks. The “LSU Browns” are here to stay and I wouldn’t be too concerned about owning Landry and deploying him as I have in the past. He’s never been a big touchdown producer and his bread and butter has always been soaking up the short stuff – that should still be available for him.
Antonio Callaway, WR CLE
You could easily see the trio of Antonio Callaway, Odell Beckham, Jr., and Jarvis Landry on the field quite a bit together. However, having Beckham clearly hurts the dynasty value of Callaway. It’s ironic. He was a dart throw last year because many believed he had first round talent with character traits that should leave him undrafted. Instead, Callaway stayed out of trouble for the most part, but tended to struggle with inconsistencies on the field. On the plus side, the second half of his season after Hue Jackson left was much better than the first when he was simply asked to shoulder too much of the load when Josh Gordon went AWOL. Callaway is a hold in dynasty leagues, but a Sophomore leap is going to be tough to count on with as many weapons as the Browns now have.
Rashard Higgins, WR CLE
Higgins has an original round tender on him right now and the Browns would get back a fifth round pick if he was signed elsewhere. At this point, any dynasty owners of Higgins should hope that happens. It likely won’t and Higgins is going to be buried a bit on the depth chart now. He’s going to be very tough to hold on to in dynasty leagues.
Nick Chubb, RB CLE
It’s easy to say the presence of Beckham can hurt Chubb because he may see fewer touches. It’s also just as easy to say it helps him because defenses can’t stack the box. In the end, I don’t believe it really changes much. Chubb proved to be one the premier young running backs in football last season and really flourished when the Carlos Hyde experiment ended abruptly during the season. The bigger threat to Chubb is really the player next down on this list.
Kareem Hunt, RB CLE
Much like Chubb, I don’t believe the signing of Beckham really changes much in terms of Hunt’s value. However, there are going to be a ton of points for running backs to earn in this offense and if either of these two backs were to get hurt, the other is going to really rake in some fantasy points. All of this is speculation until we see the length of the suspension for Hunt, though. For all we know, he could be out the entire season. Stay tuned.
Duke Johnson, RB CLE
Johnson is really in limbo. It seems as if the Browns are really more interested in trading him than keeping him if the Hunt suspension is less than a full season. Time will tell, but I believe Johnson is a strong hold as a PPR asset who could flourish again in the right environment.
David Njoku, TE CLE
Time will tell just how much this deal may affect the value of Njoku. Right now, he’s the TE5 in our dynasty rankings, which seems about right. However, I still believe Njoku is in a tier below the major assets like Travis Kelce, George Kittle and Zach Ertz. His numbers could suffer a bit since Beckham will get so much attention. However, I just believe he simply has a lesser chance to really reach the elite tier more than has a big chance for a drop into the third tier altogether. He should remain a TE1 who just isn’t in the elite category that’s seemingly meant for a precious few at the position.
Eli Manning, QB NYG
Taking away one of the league’s best weapons clearly won’t help your value. The biggest challenge with Eli is the likely fact the Giants are going to draft a quarterback. The most likely scenario is the Giants take a signal caller in round one of the NFL Draft, they sit him behind Manning for all or part of the season, then Manning either moves on or retires at the end of the year. No matter what happens, Manning’s time in New York is getting short. Taking away his best target isn’t going to help his QB2 value, either. In short, it’s time to look elsewhere for a backup fantasy quarterback.
Saquon Barkley, RB NYG
This young dynamo got all he could handle last year with over 350 touches. His owners should expect more of the same, but defenses will be able to scheme a little more aggressively to stop him. While Barkley is a transcendent talent, that isn’t going to make things too easy on him if the Giants don’t add some more weapons on offense. If you’re in panic mode, please let me join your league and make you an offer you can’t refuse in exchange for his services.
Sterling Shepard, WR NYG
As it stands, this will be Shepard’s best opportunity to showcase his talent. He’s coming off his best season with 66 catches, 872 receiving yards and four touchdowns. He should be able to improve on each of those numbers if he ends up being the true WR1 on the Giants next year. He was primarily used out of the slot last year, but that’s likely going to change next season. As Shepard enters a critical contract year, he’ll do so with the greatest opportunity for targets he’s ever had in his career. His ADP will rise post-trade and it will be really interesting to see what he can do with more attention on offense and from an opposing defense.
Corey Coleman, WR NYG
Wait. What!?! Yep, that Corey Coleman could actually be trending towards relevance again. With a depth chart featuring players like Brittan Golden, Alonzo Russell, Quadree Henderson and Jawill Davis behind Sterling Shepard, Coleman may actually find his way on to the field again. While not a target quite yet, keep an eye on this depth chart over the coming days and months.
Evan Engram, TE NYG
This move certainly helps the value of Shepard, but it could be argued it helps Engram even more. He is going to be expected to be a huge part of the Giants offense and a major safety valve for Eli Manning or a new rookie quarterback. Engram has a chance to really take a step up and join the elite group at the tight end position this next season. He has the talent and opportunity to be special at a position that doesn’t have too many truly special players in dynasty leagues.
Dwayne Haskins, QB OSU
The Giants taking Haskins is the most mocked pick on the internet these days. With the trade of Beckham, it’s clear the Giants are entering a rebuilding mode and it would be stunning to see them pass on a quarterback in round one – Haskins could be the heir to the Manning throne.
DK Metcalf, WR Ole Miss
The Giants clearly have a need at receiver and two first round picks. Do the math here.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK
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