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Is Baker Mayfield Still Fantasy Relevant?

Should you play Baker Mayfield against Seattle in Week 6?
Photo: Tony Avelar/The Associated Press

Photo: Tony Avelar/The Associated Press

On Monday Night Football, the Browns lost to the 49ers 31-3 thanks to Baker Mayfield throwing two interceptions, losing a fumble, and recording negative fantasy points.

I'm not sure if this game was a crumbling of Cleveland or more of an impressive showcase for the San Francisco defense, but I'm leaning towards the former. I think it's time to admit that Baker Mayfield isn't who we thought he might be.

Alright, I'll give him some credit here. This one should have been caught by Antonio Callaway, but I digress.

Rewind back to the 2018 season. Mayfield had an impressive year respectively. He threw for 3,725 yards, 27 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, and a 63.8 completion percentage. He had himself a decent year without having concrete weapons surrounding him.

Now in 2019, the Browns bring in Odell Beckham Jr. In addition to OBJ, you have Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, and Kareem Hunt, who will return after his suspension. That should make for a high-powered octane offense this year, right?

Well so far, not quite. Baker Mayfield has only thrown four touchdowns through five games in 2019 and has yet to throw multiple touchdowns in a single game. Saying it's abysmal is putting it lightly.

Mayfield has thrown an interception in EVERY game this year, twice throwing two or more. He's also put up under ten fantasy points in three out of the Browns' five games.

His two impressive outings came in week two against the Jets when he put up 325 yards and one touchdown and in week four against the Ravens when he threw for 342 yards and one touchdown. He averaged 16 fantasy points in these two games, which is solid if you remove the other three games the Browns have played where his average drops below ten fantasy points.

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So, is Mayfield still fantasy relevant? My thoughts are: yes. There is too much talent on this Cleveland team to be stagnant all season, and Baker has shown he can throw in those two aforementioned games.

I think he's a matchup play. If the opposing defense is struggling or not worth a second-guess, then hell yes, plug Mayfield in. However, the Browns' schedule isn't all that kind. Here are their next four games on the slate:

  • Week 6 vs. Seattle
  • Week 8 @ New England
  • Week 9 @ Denver
  • Week 10 vs. Buffalo

Seattle looks like a team destined for the postseason right now as they appear to be one of the most complete teams in the league. Russell Wilson is having an MVP-caliber season, so you know the Seahawks are going to put up points, which means Mayfield will have to step up big time.

New England has the number one defense in the NFL so far this year. They have yet to allow an opponent to score more than ten points and have an interception in each game this year. In weeks two and four, they had four interceptions!

Even though the Broncos are struggling, traveling to Mile-High stadium is always difficult and the Broncos could be desperate for a win come week nine.

Don't underestimate the Buffalo Bills' defense either. They have yet to allow an opponent to score more than 17 points and they have five interceptions and three fumble recoveries. They are a solid squad.

The Browns have a tough stretch ahead. Personally, I would stay away from Baker Mayfield until the Browns' week eleven matchup with the Steelers. If you're looking for a quarterback for week six, then look no further than Teddy Bridgwater. He's only rostered in 10% of ESPN leagues and just had an outstanding 314 yard, four-touchdown performance in week five.

Featured Photo: Tony Avelar/The Associated Press