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Week 5 Disaster Recovery: Odell Beckham Jr.


Welcome to Disaster Recovery, where each week I'll examine why your studs played like duds. This isn't a place to find out why you should have sat a player for somebody on your bench. Disaster Recovery is to examine the guys who you didn't think twice about starting, and deciding if you should be panicking at all about their value moving forward.

This season we'll be focusing on one dud a week, and touching on a few others briefly. There will be two major qualifiers for these players: the player must have performed well below expectations without an injury, and the player must be considered a must-start in most formats.

Odell Beckham Jr's 89-yard touchdown against the Jets in Week 2 saved him from being the most colossal bust of the season. It's the only game all season that he had over 100 yards and scored a touchdown. What's going on with ODB?

 

Bust It Like Beckham

Odell Beckham's Week 5 stat-line:

  • Two receptions for 27 yards on six targets
  • Two rushes for 15 yards
  • 20 passing yards
  • Fumble on a punt return

Adding Odell Beckham to the Browns' high-powered passing attack was supposed to give them one of the most dangerous units in the NFL. Through five weeks, they've been the opposite.

Cleveland currently ranks 20th in the NFL in passing yards-per-game. The other stats are even worse. Cleveland ranks third-to-last in passing touchdowns and first in interceptions. When you're only throwing for 228 yards per game and less than a touchdown per game, there aren't a ton of fantasy points to go around.

Beckham is currently the WR35 in half-point PPR formats. He's trailing teammate Jarvis Landry despite having more receptions and touchdowns. He's hauled in just four of his 13 targets over the past two weeks. More importantly, he's averaging 23.5 yards-per-game over the past two weeks in games that had drastically different game flows.

The most alarming fact about Beckham's 2019 season is that Cleveland is trying to get him the ball. It's not like he entered a new situation and was forgotten. The Browns have been doing as much as they can to get Beckham in situations to succeed. He hasn't delivered so far.

In Week 5, Beckham threw a pass, ran the ball twice, returned a punt, and was targeted six times. He really only delivered on his passing attempt. Beckham straight up dropped his first two targets against the 49ers. Baker Mayfield hit him with a perfect pass down the sideline later in the game and he couldn't keep his feet inbounds. He didn't take advantage of his rushing attempts, and he fumbled on his punt return. He played a factor in why the Browns were blown out in San Francisco.

Beckham owners can hope that when the offense turns it around, Beckham's season will turn around. But Beckham had an even worse fantasy performance in the team's rout of the Ravens just a week earlier. In a game where the Browns scored 40 points and Mayfield threw for 342 yards, Beckham caught two receptions for just 20 yards. He was targeted on half of Mayfield's incompletions.

Beckham's 89-yard-touchdown genuinely saved his season from being bad to being an atrocity. Without that touchdown, he'd be averaging 8.7 fantasy points-per-game in half-point PPR. The touchdown play upped his average to 10.3, which is still only the 43rd-highest number among receivers this season. This is a guy that had an ADP of 14.9 this summer.

The sixth-year receiver is off to the worst start of his career by far. It's tough to have a positive outlook on Beckham for the rest of the season in an offense that isn't passing for many yards and isn't scoring many points. It's even tougher when you factor in that he hasn't even looked good when the offense is passing for a lot of yards and is scoring a lot of points.

Still, I cannot advise against benching Odell Beckham. Opportunity, performance, and talent are the most important factors for a fantasy football player in that order. Beckham is being given opportunities. Even if it isn't as many as we'd hope for, the Browns are looking his way quite a bit and he's been on the field for almost every one of the team's offensive snaps this season. The performance hasn't been there, but you can't doubt the talent. Beckham has opportunity and talent on his side. You have to keep rolling him out and hope the performance follows. He adds no value to your team on the bench. Either keep him in your lineup and trade him while you still can. You have to decide whether you want to jump off the sinking ship or hope the crew patches up its holes.

Panic Meter: 4/5

 

Other Players to Monitor

Let's take a look at some other notable busts from Week 5:

 

This is who he is: WR Julio Jones

I'd like to give a warm welcome to any first-time Julio Jones owners wondering why he's put up two duds in a row. For the returning Jones owners, welcome back! Anyone who has owned Jones in the past knows this is par for course with the Falcons' receiver. In 2016, Jones finished fourth overall in half-PPR points-per-game despite having four games with under 40 yards and zero touchdowns. Jones is bound to have a few duds through the course of the season. If you can't deal with him, trade him for somebody more consistent.

Remain Calm: WR Keenan Allen

Allen had a tough matchup against Denver's Chris Harris this week and had his worst game of the season. I'm not ready to panic on Allen whatsoever. If he has another dud next week, we'll revisit him.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯: WR Mike Evans

Tampa Bay's entire offense besides Chris Godwin was an absolute dumpster fire against New Orleans. Ronald Jones was the only other Buccaneer to have over 35 total yards. Evans caught the worst of it by recording a goose egg on three targets. Entering this game, Evans had 279 yards and four touchdowns in his previous two games. Nobody is benching Evans, but a goose egg is always a tough pill to swallow. Evans owners need to make sure they tighten their seat-belt. It might be a wild ride this season.

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