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What You Need to Know:
-From a real life perspective, Baker rebounded from a bad 2019. Under 1st-year HC Kevin Stefanski, Mayfield posted the 10th best Pro Football Focus passing grade (81.6). He was at 72.4 (QB21) in 2019.
-Mayfield finished 10th in QBR, just behind Tom Brady and Russell Wilson.
-Low volume limited his fantasy contributions, though. Among 16-game starters, only Ryan Tannehill attempted fewer passes than Mayfield (486). Baker posted only 4 QB1 weeks, with the first not surfacing until Week 7.
-Mayfield finished as the QB3 in both Week 13 (at Tennessee) and Week 14 (vs. Baltimore). His only rushing TD of 2020 surfaced over that stretch.
-Odell Beckham missed 9 games with an ACL tear. He’ll be a full go for Week 1.
-Mayfield faced pressure at an acceptable 33.4% rate. Pro Football Focus slotted the Browns’ O-line 1st in pass blocking grade.
-The unit still looks strong on paper, especially with 2020 Round 1 pick Jedrick Wills returning to man LT. In fact, all 5 starters return.
-Mayfield missed Odell Beckham for 9 games last year (ACL tear). He’s expected to be fine for Week 1.
-The Browns return Jarvis Landry and depth pieces Rashard Higgins and Donovan Peoples-Jones. Anthony Schwartz arrived in Round 3 as a bona fide field stretcher.
-Baker’s proven durable, despite a smaller frame. He’s yet to miss a game due to injury through 3 seasons.
-With Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt returning — plus the Browns fielding one of the league’s top defenses — Mayfield’s volume figures to remain very low. Current projections have him at ~31 attempts per game. Not ideal.
Draft Sharks Bottom Line
Baker finished as the QB17 last year. With low pass volume and scant production on the ground, he simply wasn’t positioned to perform well in fantasy.
Other than the return of Odell Beckham — post-ACL tear — not much changes for 2021. Expect Mayfield to remain a spot-start QB1.