Shark Bites

Browns RB Kareem Hunt was cited for speeding this week, and police found small amounts of marijuana during the traffic stop, according to multiple reports. Hunt avoided drug charges in the situation, which seems minor given that he didn't even get arrested. It's more notable, however, because off-field issues got Hunt booted from Kansas City. We'll see if this impacts his run at restricted free agency this spring.

Browns WR Odell Beckham underwent core muscle surgery on Tuesday, the team announced. He reportedly played the entire 2019 campaign with a sports hernia. That helps to explain OBJ's disappointing season, although there were certainly other issues. We'll keep an eye on his rehab -- and then how he's fitting into new HC Kevin Stefanski's offense. Beckham could be a value in 2020 fantasy drafts and is an interesting trade target in dynasty leagues this offseason.

The Browns are set to hire Kevin Stefanski as their new HC. Stefanski has spent the past 14 seasons in Minnesota under multiple coaching staffs. He took over as interim OC late in the 2018 campaign and was named OC for 2019. The Vikings ranked 16th in total yards, 10th in yards per play and 8th in points this past year. They were the league's 3rd run-heaviest offense -- although assistant coach Gary Kubiak seemingly had a lot to do with that. We'll keep an eye on Stefanski's plans for a Browns offense loaded with talent.

The Browns have fired HC Freddie Kitchens. He seemed overmatched in his 1st go-around as a HC, leading the Browns to a disappointing 6-10 campaign. We'll see who Cleveland tabs as Kitchens' replacement. There's plenty of talent on this roster, so a big step forward in 2020 is plenty possible.

Browns DT Sheldon Richardson (back) and DE Olivier Vernon (knee) are active for today's season finale against the Bengals. Richardson looks good for normal IDP usage. Vernon, on the other hand, hasn't played a full game since Week 9. He previously made it through just 10 snaps in a Week 13 attempt at returning from the knee injury. He'd be a high-risk IDP option -- albeit with sack upside.

Browns WR Odell Beckham is questionable for today's finale against the Bengals primarily because of food poisoning late in the week, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. But Rapoport adds that "the believe is his condition has improved enough so he can be on the field today." Sounds like we could very well get a weakened version of Beckham, though -- from the already disappointing version we've gotten all year.

Browns TE David Njoku is a healthy scratch for the 2nd straight game today. It's been a lost season for the 23-year-old.

Browns DT Sheldon Richardson (back) is active for today's game against the Ravens. DE Olivier Vernon (knee) is out once again.

Browns TE David Njoku is inactive for today's game against the Cardinals. It's a "coach’s decision," according to insider Mary Kay Cabot. Njoku misses a prime matchup vs. the league's worst TE defense. If you're desperate for a replacement, Demetrius Harris is the best bet among Cleveland TEs.

The Browns have ruled DE Olivier Vernon (knee) out for Sunday's game against the Cardinals. Vernon already missed multiple games with the injury. He then played minimal snaps in his return to the lineup. His absence should mean more playing time for Bryan Cox Jr. Chad Thomas is the only Cleveland DE worth a lineup look for fantasy, though.

Browns DE Olivier Vernon (knee) is inactive for today's game against the Bengals. He barely played in last week's return from a 3-game absence for the injury, so Vernon's knee clearly wasn't ready. DE Chad Thomas is the upside IDP play on the Cleveland D-line.

Browns TE David Njoku (wrist) is officially active and in the starting lineup for today's game against the Bengals. He’s just a fantasy flier in his 1st action since Week 2. But an encouraging outing today will make Njoku a strong option in next week’s dream spot against the Cardinals.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Browns WR Odell Beckham is "playing through a painful sports hernia that will need surgery after the season." That couldn't certainly help to explain why the star WR has underwhelmed all year. Beckham indicated earlier this week that the issue has dogged him since training camp. Beckham remains a fantasy starter for today's matchup against the Bengals. But you might want to consider this news as you make the close calls to finalize your Week 14 lineup.

3:12pm EST 12/7/19

The Browns have activated TE David Njoku from IR, making him eligible to play in Sunday’s game against the Bengals. It’s an upside spot, but it’s tough to know how much action Njoku will be ready for. He’s a risk/reward fantasy play for Week 14

Browns DE Olivier Vernon is questionable for Sunday's game against the Bengals. He put in limited practices Wednesday and Thursday before missing Friday's practice. Vernon barely played in last week's return from his knee injury and doesn't look like a good bet for IDP lineups this week, even if active.

Browns QB Baker Mayfield (hand, ribs) isn’t listed on the final injury report. He practiced all week, including full workouts on Thursday and Friday. Mayfield has some spot-start appeal in Sunday’s plus matchup against the Bengals’ 26th-ranked QB defense.

Browns TE David Njoku (wrist) is expected to be activated from IR and play against the Bengals this weekend. We'd try not to use him in his 1st action since Week 2. But Njoku is worth stashing for next week's matchup vs. the Cardinals' league-worst TE defense.

Browns QB Baker Mayfield confirmed that he expects to play against the Bengals this weekend after injuring his right hand in Sunday's loss to the Steelers. HC Freddie Kitchens called the injury a contusion. “The X-rays were negative, so that’s good news," Mayfield said. "Just got a little numb, took some medicine and went back out there. So we’ll see.” Mayfield went just 8 of 15 for 98 yards, 0 TDs and 1 INT after returning from the injury for the 2nd half in Pittsburgh.

Browns QB Baker Mayfield smacked his right hand on a follow-through on a late 2nd-quarter pass in Sunday's game against the Steelers. He headed back to the locker room with trainers. We'll see if Mayfield is able to return for the 2nd half or if Cleveland is forced to turn to QB Garrett Gilbert.

Update: Mayfield returned for the start of the 2nd half.

Browns DE Olivier Vernon (knee) is active for today's game against the Steelers. He missed the past 3 games and returns to a lackluster sack matchup. But Vernon's OK for IDP consideration. Cleveland also made the surprising move of making FS Damarious Randall a healthy scratch. Randall reportedly didn't even travel with the team. Scott Petrak of BrownsZone.com writes that "it's likely a disciplinary measure." Juston Burris and Sheldrick Redwine will likely start at safety against the Steelers. Neither is a strong IDP option.

 
 
 

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