With a stellar rookie season behind him, Baker Mayfield is looking to make history during his second year with the Cleveland Browns, looking to guide the long-struggling franchise back into the playoffs for the first time 2002.
The former No. 1 overall kick is enjoying the role of being “the guy” in Cleveland. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
“This is the time that I looked forward to, being that guy,” Mayfield told reporters. “I’ve got to earn that respect from everybody. We’re going to have new faces in that locker room, and I’ve got to continue to work every day. It’s not like I’m just that guy now. I’ve got to continue to work every day and to show people that I have that same mindset.”
Mayfield is a candidate to have a huge breakout fantasy football season with the Browns, so here’s what to know if you plan on drafting him.
Baker Mayfield Fantasy Football Projections: Outlook & Preview
On paper, the Browns have one of the most explosive offensive units in the league. Mayfield got a huge upgrade in his wide receiver corps when the Browns added Odell Beckham Jr. via trade to play along side Pro Bowl pass-catcher Jarvis Landry. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt will hold it down on the ground, keeping teams honest. There will be plenty of points scored by the guys in the orange and brown this season.
In just 13 starts last season, Mayfield passed for a rookie record 27 touchdowns. The former Oklahoma Heisman winner also collected 3,725 passing yards and helped the Browns finish 7-8-1, winning five of their final seven games.
All those numbers should go up this season thanks to the savvy new additions to the roster and Mayfield having a year of experience under his belt.
What’s been the most important thing for Mayfield this offseason is getting in work and building chemistry with Beckham, who has been limited for much of the preseason with injury. However, the star wide receiver has stated he’s not worried about it.
“We talk every day,” Beckham told reporters “We talk football. We talk about just the little ins and outs of football. Even when I’m watching him make other throws, I’m still coming to ask him what is it that you’re seeing.
“So it’s not something I’m worried about. It’s two competitive, fiery people, just the way that he is, I don’t want to let him down. So I’m going to do everything in my power to be exactly where I need to be when I need to be there, and as I’ve seen already, he’s going to deliver that ball.”
When to Draft Baker Mayfield in 2019 Fantasy Football
Mayfield not only has the potential to improve on his stellar rookie season, but also to land among the elite quarterbacks in fantasy football. With a pair of Pro Bowl wide receivers, a solid pass-catching tight end in David Njoku and a strong backfield to bring some balance.
Head coach Freddie Kitchens — who will call the plays — and offensive coordinator Todd Monken both have a habit of wanting to go downfield, which will help Mayfield rack up the points.
Mayfield should be considered as an elite QB prospect and should be one of the first six passers off the board. Take Mayfield in the 5th to 6th round of 12-team, point-per-reception leagues.