Kickoff: Sunday, September 27th at 1:00 PM ET
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH
Betting Odds: CLE -7, 44 total via Oddsshark
Washington Football Team
Dwayne Haskins (Sit)
Cleveland has allowed the 4th most fantasy points to QBs this season, but Dwayne Haskins simply hasn’t looked good at all in his two starts for the Washington Football Team. Some of that is due to the terrible offensive line, but Haskins has been inaccurate and overthrown receivers more than a few times already. Washington is the fourth-worst offensive line according to Football Outsiders, and they will be without starting left tackle Brandon Scherff in this one. That’s bad news for a team that has already been sacked 7 times in two weeks and will have to deal with Sheldon Richardson and Myles Garrett rushing all game long.
It’s a good matchup, but starting Haskins simply isn’t a risk I’m willing to take unless I’m in a 2 QB league or desperate for a spot start. There is upside potential here but I hope you have a better option than Haskins in Week 3.
Antonio Gibson (Start, Flex), J.D. McKissic (Sit), Peyton Barber (Sit)
Antonio Gibson leads the team in carries, yards, and receptions through two weeks, and is the most talented back in this offense. Most of the carries were given to Peyton Barber in Week 1, while J.D. McKissic received more targets in Week 2, so it’s been a crapshoot as to which back will be most valuable in any given week. The only problem with Gibson is that he’s still new to the position and therefore still has a lot to learn. It’s going to take some time before he is the true lead dog in this offense, and I’m not sure it’s going to be this week. Sure, he should get a majority of the touches against a poor Cleveland defense, but McKissic and (potentially) Barber will still get enough work that Gibson’s ceiling will be capped.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Terry McLaurin (Start, WR1), Steven Sims (Sit), Logan Thomas (Start, TE2)
Terry McLaurin ranks 8th in the league with 186 receiving yards already, and he’s a must-start against a Browns defense that has allowed the 8th most fantasy points to wide receivers so far this season.
Steven Sims was targeted five times last week but fumbled a punt return that proved to be the turning point of the game. Sims is more valuable in leagues that reward return yards, but he did pop off in the last few weeks of the season last year as the slot option in the offense. We haven’t seen that yet in 2020 but more targets could come his way as early as Week 3. I wouldn’t bank on it, and until we see him put up a noteworthy fantasy day he should stay on your bench.
Logan Thomas was shut down by De’Vondre Campbell last week in Arizona, who was signed specifically to cover tight ends and he shadowed Thomas all day. He was still targeted nine times and continues to be heavily involved in the offense. Cleveland has already allowed the most PPR points to tight ends this season, making Thomas a great option this week. Haskins’ inaccuracy will hold Thomas back, but he should be a solid TE2 with TE1 upside as long as the looks keep coming his way.
Baker Mayfield (Start, QB2)
Washington has allowed the 5th most fantasy points to opposing QBs despite also leading the league in sacks. Baker is going to get hit this week, but he’s the type of guy that can take a hit and not be afraid to go out and sling it on the next play. He was much more efficient in Week 2 than his Week 1 outing, but as always with Baker, you’re most likely going to get about a 1:1 TD: INT ratio if you start him this week. I think this Washington defense is legit, and I’m not feeling confident that Baker can roll over his success into this week while he’s running for his life and throwing the ball away. If you have to start him he’s a QB2 at best, but you may want to look elsewhere if you can.
Nick Chubb (Start, RB2), Kareem Hunt (Start, RB2)
Nick Chubb leads the team in carries, while Kareem Hunt has been getting the work through the air, which is pretty much what we expected to happen this year. Washington’s defense has given up the second-fewest fantasy points to RBs this season, and if you’ve watched any of their games you know that their front seven is legit. They are vulnerable through the air, however, so I’m willing to bet that Hunt will have the better day this week. If you have Chubb you’re starting him, but Hunt will get his work too.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Odell Beckham Jr. (Start, WR2), Jarvis Landry (Start, WR3), Austin Hooper (Sit)
As I just mentioned, Washington’s defense is good but they’re vulnerable through the air. They’ve allowed the 13th most fantasy points to WRs on the season. Odell Beckham finally showed some life last week with a 43-yard touchdown pass, his first of the season. Jarvis Landry may not be aware that the season has started yet, but he has been a disappointment for those of us who drafted him as a WR3. I want to fade Beckham in this one, but if you drafted him you’re probably starting him. Landry is also tough to recommend but he showed such good chemistry with Mayfield last season that it’s bound to pick up at some point. I wouldn’t bet the house on it, but it could return this week and he should at least produce WR3 value.
Austin Hooper is a guy who, on the other hand, has shown zero chemistry with Mayfield and until further notice should be riding your bench. If Hooper is your TE1, go check to see if Logan Thomas is available because he’s going to be the much better TE in this game.
-Ben Brown (@FelixTheDog23 on Twitter, iamatechnician on Reddit)