Baker Mayfield fantasy football outlook for 2021 NFL season with Browns
As the leader of the Cleveland Browns and their run-heavy offense, quarterback Baker Mayfield has an interesting outlook in fantasy football. Mayfield has been up and down in his career but for the most part has been consistently above average. With the offensive weapons he has however, above average can look a lot better.
With wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. returning from an ACL tear that saw him sidelined for most of the 2020 season, Mayfield should see some more production this season. Mayfield had his fifth year option picked up in the offseason and will now be incentivized to perform better to earn a larger contract extension from the Browns.
With other quarterbacks from the 2018 draft class signing huge contract extensions, Baker will need to have a good season to ensure a big payday. Let’s take a look at Baker Mayfield’s 2020 season and then try to predict what his 2021 will look like.
2020 Fantasy Statistics
Mayfield came out of the gates cold in 2020, as the Browns and coach Kevin Stefanski struggled to utilize the pass game and the weapons they had at the wide receiver positions. However, Baker had a great stretch of games from week 12 until week 15 where he had over 18 fantasy points every week, including a week 14 game against the Baltimore Ravens where he put up 30 fantasy points. It seemed as though throughout the entire season Baker was very inconsistent in his production.
Mayfield had solid counting stats, putting up 3,563 passing yards with 26 touchdowns and only 8 interceptions for a season total of 247.62 fantasy points. In the offense that the Browns play under Stefanski, it will be hard for Baker to put up much better stats than that as most of the offensive production will run through Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
The other interesting situation involved in Cleveland is whether or not the Browns are committed to Odell Beckham Jr. During Baker’s best stretch in the 2020 season it coincidentally coincided with Beckham’s injury which some point to as the reason why Mayfield had a resurgence. While most things that come out of the Browns organization point to them wanting to keep Beckham, perhaps if they aren’t performing offensively the way they want to they could trade him mid-season.
Overall Baker Mayfield had a very inconsistent 2020 season, but if he can play to the potential that he has shown in the past then he could be a good pickup.
2021 Fantasy Outlook
While the Cleveland Browns offense will no doubt be a driving force in their success this season, there main source of production will most likely still be their star-studded duo of running backs. Baker may have the ability to put up huge fantasy numbers, but because of the lack of pass attempts he will have he may not be someone you want to trust as your day one starter.
The best way to utilize Mayfield would be to use him in a his best matchups, while using other quarterbacks when he finds himself in a tough game. Mayfield and the Browns are projected to have a difficult schedule, having to play a top 5 defense in Pittsburgh twice, as well as playing good defensive teams in Chicago, New England, and the Green Bay packers. With the strength of schedule being a concern for Mayfield, he may not be the best quarterback to use this season.
Rank at Position
ESPN has Baker Mayfield ranked as the 19th best quarterback in fantasy football for the 2021 season. They have him projected for a 265 point season and point to the lack of a pass attack from the Browns as the main reason for his low ranking.
Although the Browns are projected to be a good team this season, that does not mean that Mayfield will have a good fantasy season. Baker will have to be the leader of the Cleveland offense but that may mean that he has to sacrifice some of his personal stats for the betterment of the team. As the season goes on, it will be interesting to see if the Browns success in the run game has a negative impact on Baker Mayfield’s fantasy production.
Baker Mayfield really fits into the B- tier of quarterbacks, as there will be plenty of QB’s to put up similar stats to him. If you can pair up Baker with another quarterback of his stature and play the matchups then you will have success with him. However, if he is the only QB on your roster, then you won’t get the production that you need to go after your fantasy league championship.