Cover Photo: Getty Images
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield finally got on track to close out his first NFL season, but it took the absence of Hue Jackson in order to do so. With Jackson nowhere near the Cleveland city limits, and Freddie Kitchens now the head coach, could Mayfield become a top-10 fantasy quarterback in 2019?
Baker Mayfield pre-Freddie Kitchens as his OC: 130-of-223 (56.5%), 1,471 yards, 8 TD, 6 INT.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 9, 2019
Baker Mayfield with Freddie Kitchens as his OC: 180-of-263 (68.4%), 2,254 yards, 19 TD, 8 INT.
The answer, according to the tweet above, is a resounding yes. If you extrapolate those second-half numbers out over 16 games (you just double them), Mayfield was on pace for 4,508 yards, 36 TD and 16 INT.
The stat of a lifetime: With Freddie Kitchens as OC the Browns offensive line allowed 7 QB hits on Baker Mayfield in their last 8 games.— Johnny Kinsley (@Brickwallblitz) January 9, 2019
With Hue and Haley they allowed 61 QB hits in the first 8.
This is why Kitchens is now the HC.
Not only that, but Kitchens made sure to emphasize more pass protection for Mayfield by running more two-tight-end sets. As you can see from the numbers above, Jackson and then offensive coordinator Todd Haley, basically left Mayfield out there as dinner for the wolves.
The guys on the left of the green line were the top 10 fantasy QBs (according to @FanDuel fantasy points) in 2018. If @bakermayfield didn't have to deal with Hue Jackson and Todd Haley for 8 games, would he have cracked the Top 10? pic.twitter.com/FLxzYSMDSN— The Duel (@TheDuelSports) January 9, 2019
Not only did Kitchens and Mayfield click together, but so did the rest of the team, as they went 5-3 in the final eight games. The Browns pulled together and won more games under Gregg Williams in those final eight games than Jackson was able to produce in multiple years.
One thing we know is that this Browns team is on the rise, having rejuvenated the hope within the whole city of Cleveland. Whether they make the playoffs in 2019 remains to be seen, but they will sure as hell be a blast to watch.
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Al Walsh is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Al Walsh also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username 14AdotWalsh. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.