Odell Beckham Jr. came out on Thursday and said he’s still dealing with a lingering hip injury that has kept him from going full speed — a scary notion for both the Cleveland Browns and fantasy owners of OBJ.
“It’s like an extremely fast car with a little alignment or something off, and it’s right in the center of what you need,” Beckham told reporters Thursday after practice. “Now the car can still go, but it’s dangerous.”
Baker Mayfield knows a thing or two about feeling dangerous, but this is the wrong kind of dangerous for Week 1 of the NFL season.
Beckham was likely taken at the top of most drafts because of his combination with Mayfield and what the duo are projected to do together.
In just 13 starts, Mayfield passed for a rookie record 27 touchdowns last season. 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.
Before being traded to the Browns in March, Beckham hauled in 390 passes for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns in 59 games with the New York Giants. However, he’s missed 16 games over the last two seasons with ankle and quad injuries.
While his production when healthy will be hard to replace, if you’re a fantasy owner of Beckham worried he’s going to be ineffective against the Packers in Week 1, take a look at these options.
Stay With the Browns, Bank on Rashard Higgins as Odell Beckham’s Replacement
Neither Beckham or Jarvis Landry caught a pass in the preseason, giving the team’s No. 3 option Rashard Higgins a chance to shine.
During the Browns first preseason game, Higgins led the Browns with five catches for 98 yards and a touchdown from Baker Mayfield.
Higgins has shown off some impressive chemistry with Mayfield, which goes back to last year when both were working with the second team for most of the preseason.
“I think it goes back to last year getting reps with him in camp in the second team, just building chemistry with him and being able to talk to him all the time and just knowing exactly what you are going to get out of him on every play,” Mayfield said.
Higgins was selected by the Browns in the fifth round of the 2016 draft and has been progressively better each year with the team. He went from catching just six balls for just 77 yards his rookie season to 66 in his next two combined.
Last year, the speedy wide out caught a career high 39 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns.
Higgins is only rostered in 2.5% of ESPN leagues but could be a strong addition for worrisome Beckham owners.
Cowboys Wide Receiver Randall Cobb Worth a Look
Yes, in case you weren’t paying attention this offseason, Randall Cobb — the former Packer — landed a one-year deal to play in Dallas this season.
Cobb, who is 28, ranks sixth in Packers franchise history with 470 receptions, and 11th in both receiving yards (5,524) and receiving touchdowns (41).
His a career year came in 2014, a Pro Bowl campaign where he recorded 1,287 yards and 12 TDs. He’s declined in production since.
Still, a change of scenery going from Green Bay to Dallas could do Cobb well as he fills in for Cole Beasley, who bolted to Buffalo in free agency. Playing out of the slot catching balls from Dak Prescott, Cobb could end up being a PPR star.
Cobb is rostered in just over 11% of ESPN leagues.
49ers WR Marquise Goodwin is Speedy Option With Big Play Potential
As one of the speediest wide receivers in the league, Marquise Goodwin will benefit big time with the return of 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
Last season was disappointing, with Goodwin recording just 23 receptions for 395 yards and four touchdowns over 11 games. But he’s listed as a starting wide receiver and will have opportunities in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. In 2017, he had 56 catches for 962 yards. The last two seasons he’s had a yards per catch average over 17.
Goodwin is rostered in just 5% of ESPN leagues.