Why You Shouldn’t Trust OBJ

Through the first 4 weeks of the season, OBJ has to be one of the, if not the, most controversial players in the fantasy world right now. Ever since he became a Brown we have become accustomed to seeing him underperform and meddle his way out of our starting lineups. And yet, here he is as the WR6. This can be attributed to his massive WR1 blowup last week, however it still seems so high for a player who disappointed 3 out of 4 weeks. I am here today to make sure you don’t fall into the trap and hurt your fantasy squads!

First off we’re gonna look at some of the bigger stats. We all know about catch rate, simply take a players catches, divide it by his targets and bam you get his catch rate. For OBJ he is sitting at just 53%, which in fact is his career low! Now you’re saying, well if he’s struggling to catch the ball, how is he the WR6?! Touchdowns baby. He is scoring touchdowns at an unsustainable rate of 18% of every touch he gets, his career high is 13.5% back in 2015 and he hasn’t hit above 9% since 2016. Needless to say, at some point he will regress to the mean. So with him struggling to catch the ball, and his touchdown production soon to slow down, he is about to plummet down the rankings fast.

Still believe in OBJ? Don’t worry, I got more. A more telling sign that his production is going to drop is his yards per target. Averaging 7.9 yards per target he ranks 84TH in the league! With numbers like that he needs to maintain a massive target share to stay productive and not be touchdown-dependent. So Cleveland is a good place for receivers to get big target numbers right? Wrong. They have thrown the ball the 3rd fewest out of anyone in the league thus far. The reason for that is simple, they let Baker be a gunslinger in 2019 and it led to him being a turnover factory. Their solution to stay competitive has been to hide him through heavy use of the run game and receivers running short routes, which in reality is an Odell’s owner’s nightmare.

So we see that Odell is struggling to catch the ball, his TD production is about to slow down, he doesn’t run a lot of deep routes and his offense doesn’t trust their QB. Add all of those factors together and you have a nightmare on your hands as far as potential production.

Thanks again to our stats guy here at RDFHQ, Andrew Metcalfe (@drewmet89), for helping me find all of these stats to help substantiate my argument. As well, if you like content like this, stay tuned to the blog we produce content like this all year. And finally, check out my podcast Cold Hard Sports Talk on Spotify for fantasy analysis in both football and hockey all year long!

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