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The Cleveland Browns will look to replace Josh Gordon‘s production as the veteran wideout nurses a hamstring injury, with Jarvis Landry and the rest of the receiving corps expected to step up in his absence.
Landry, a three-time Pro Bowler, will always get his looks, but he may be leaned upon even more with Gordon absent while others keep the opposing defense honest.
That means Antonio Callaway, David Njoku and Co. will see more action.
Cleveland took a chance on troubled Florida wideout Callaway in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL draft. While his off-field issues continued when he was cited for marijuana possession in August, he has the talent to be a difference-maker in the passing attack.
Callaway put up 1,399 yards and seven touchdowns in two seasons with the Gators, showing off his big-play abilities by averaging 15.7 yards per reception, but he will have to prove the team can depend on him.
Meanwhile, Njoku is coming off a solid rookie campaign. The 2017 first-round pick hauled in 32 catches for 386 yards and four scores during his first year as a pro. While those numbers won’t jump off the page, the 6’4″, 246-pound tight end is just scratching the surface.
Between having a year of NFL experience to the upgrade to Tyrod Taylor from DeShone Kizer at quarterbackand Gordon’s injury, Njoku should be an intriguing fantasy football option moving forward.
They aren’t the only ones who should see an increase in targets, though. Duke Johnson Jr., who has had 50-plus catches in each of his first three seasons, becomes even more valuable to fantasy owners in points-per-reception leagues. Rashard Higgins and Darren Fells also figure to get more passes thrown their way.
The Browns (along with some fantasy owners) will undoubtedly miss Gordon’s presence and playmaking abilities. In the meantime, the injury will give Njoku, Callaway, Johnson and others a chance to prove their worth.