Ever since trade rumors first popped up this season, Jarvis Landry truthers such as myself have been dreaming about him landing on a team like the Chicago Bears where he could develop a rapport with a young quarterback and be a target hog. So much for that dream. Instead, it seems he will land on the now incredibly congested Browns roster that now includes Tyrod Taylor. Let’s examine what this means for everyone involved.
Jarvis Landry, WR, CLE
Since entering the league in 2014, Jarvis Landry has the most receptions of anyone four years into their career. He has his detractors, but over the past three seasons, his lowest finish in PPR formats was 13th. In fact, he’s coming off a season in which he finally scored some touchdowns and found himself as the fourth-best receiver in PPR formats.
The move to the Browns changes everything. In Miami, Landry may have had to compete with Devante Parker and Kenny Stills, but neither was a true threat to him. Now, he must fight Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman, David Njoku, Duke Johnson, and whoever else the Browns use their high draft capital on for targets.
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There is some positive news as the Browns ranked ninth in passing attempts last season, and just brought in offensive coordinator Todd Haley. However, it should be noted that the second-most targeted wide receiver on Haley’s team has failed to see 100 or more targets for the past four seasons. This could just be due to the talent that Hayley had on the Steelers, but it’s certainly worth monitoring.
Regarding fantasy value, it hurts Landry’s value to go from a team where he was the centerpiece of the offense to just one of the guys. One would hope the Browns wouldn’t trade for Landry unless they see him as a big part of their game plan, but one can never really be sure with the Browns’ front office. If you’re still a believer in Landry’s talent, this should provide an excellent buying opportunity.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, CLE
Many of us in two quarterbacks and Superflex leagues were hoping that Tyrod Taylor would find himself in a starting job. It now seems he’ll get exactly that in a Browns offense that is loaded with weapons. That’s not even including some of the high-end draft capital they are still likely to have.
Due to his rushing ability, Taylor has found himself as a solid QB2 since becoming the Bills starter in 2015. Now with all these weapons at his disposal and Haley calling the shots, he will be an even better option for your fantasy team. There are still be concerns that the Browns draft a rookie and they start right away, but my bet is on Taylor getting a chance so that the Browns can use their number one pick on Saquon Barkley.
In terms of buying Taylor, you do need to keep in mind this is likely a one-year gig at best. I’d be using this news to sell him if I had him because it’s easy to think about the weapons he’s throwing to and ignore these other factors. There may also be an opportunity to acquire Taylor somewhat cheap for a contending team and then flip him later in the season if things don’t go your way.
Josh Gordon, WR, CLE
Was there a better story in football last year than seeing Josh Gordon return to the field? In a season full of stories, his easily had to be one of the best. Anyway, on the surface, Gordon’s season may not look great but you do need to remember that he only played five games. It’s a small sample but he was 15th in total receiving yards in the time frame he played. That gives the Browns reason to think that he is back to his old self.
Something to keep in mind is that Gordon is currently an exclusive rights free agent. I doubt the Landry trade has any bearing on the Browns offering him his tender, but it’s something to monitor. Fortunately, even if he sticks around via an extension he and Landry play very different roles.
As for the Taylor trade, just remember the success that Taylor had throwing deep to Sammy Watkins for a few seasons. Then remember that Gordon is very likely a much better player than Watkins. This combination should excite you.
For dynasty purposes, Gordon’s price has been on the rise again. News of the depth chart getting crowded may knock him back down a little bit, but I expect his price only to rise as the off-season continues. The hype train for Gordon knows no bounds.
Corey Coleman, WR, CLE
It was only two seasons ago that Corey Coleman was a first-round pick for the Browns. In that time, he’s putting up a whooping 718 yards and five touchdowns. That may not be the fairest assessment since he’s only played two games over a full season, but the fact that he’s been hurt in both seasons doesn’t reflect well for his long-term success either. Reports are growing that the Browns organization is growing increasingly frustrated with Coleman and may be looking to trading him.
Coleman’s price has been falling for months now, and this trade only ensures that trend will continue. He could see a bump back up if he finds himself on a new team, but right now I wouldn’t be looking to buy Coleman. He’s at best third in the pecking order for the Browns targets, and that may be being generous.
David Njoku, TE, CLE
Some of you may ask yourselves why I’m writing about a tight end when Landry is clearly a wide receiver. However, Landry operates the best out of the slot position. That means he primarily functions over the middle, and that’s also where a tight end like David Njoku is asked to make his hay.
If anything, Njoku seems more likely to hurt Landry’s touchdown upside than vice versa but it still is something to keep in mind. Another positive to keep in mind for Njoku owners is that Haley’s tight ends were targeted a minimum of 60 times in the past three seasons, and he had Jesse James for most of that span.
Additionally, let’s not forget that Taylor managed to find a way to turn Charles Clay into a relevant fantasy tight end the past few seasons. I’d be using the news to buy low on what should be a very good young tight end.
Devante Parker, WR, MIA
With the trade, Parker is now the de facto No. 1 wide receiver for the Dolphins. Or is he? How many of you would believe me that Kenny Stills has more receiving yards and touchdowns than Devante Parker since 2015? To be fair, Stills’ numbers were put up in five more games than Parker played, but the point is valid.
Parker’s dynasty value has been a roller coaster this off-season, but these past few months have really seen public opinion turn against him. However, he’s still going in the sixth round and we are now three seasons into his career without much to show for it. I’d be still selling Parker based on the trade news hoping someone in your league thought he was about to see an enormous target share.
Kenny Stills, WR, MIA
As you can probably infer from what I just wrote, I’m a believer in Stills’ talent. I think people forget how young he is because he’s been in the league five seasons. However, he was will only be turning 26 this year. Miami just signed him to a contract extension last off-season, and clearly likes what they have seen from him.
Stills may not be a PPR dynamo, but with Landry gone, he is likely to see more targets. He’s going five rounds after Parker even though he has been better fantasy wise for the past two seasons. If I was going to take a shot on either of these guys it would be Stills.
Leonte Carroo and Jakeem Grant, WRS, MIA
As it stands one of these two guys is going to inherit the slot role for the Dolphins. Most bets are on Carroo to take over, but you could really pick your poison between these two. According to March DLF ADP, they are going 238 and 266 overall. Both are solid stashes at that price.
These trades continued what has been a very active off-season for the NFL with a few trades occurring already. In case you missed it, Torrey Smith was traded to the Panthers earlier Friday. It will certainly be interesting to continue to off-season shake out with free agency open soon and the rookie draft coming up quickly.
DeShone Kizer, QB, Packers
Not to get lost in the vast amount of trades that the Browns have executed is that Deshone Kizer was shipped to the Packers. This is good news for Kizer fans as he will now compete with Brett Hundley and Joe Callhan for backup duties to Aaron Rodgers. This may be exactly the fresh start Kizer needs. Those in 2QB or Superflex leagues could do worse than trying to acquire Kizer cheap just in case.
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