• Baker Mayfield

  • QB
  • , Cleveland Browns
  • 27
  • 220 lbs
  • 6' 1"
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Scouting report

by Frank Ammirante

CLE QB Baker Mayfield - Week 6 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 6 vs. Cardinals

Mayfield had a bounce-back game against the Chargers last week, completing 71.9% of his passes for 305 yards (9.5 yards per attempt) and two touchdowns. He's currently ranked as QB22, held back by limited volume, as he's only averaging 29 pass attempts per game. Mayfield is only viable as a streamer in potential pass-heavy game scripts, where the Browns are forced to air it out as they play from behind.

Mayfield goes up against a Cardinals defense that ranks 3rd in pass DVOA and 8th in aFPA to quarterbacks. Arizona is a run-funnel defense, allowing 5.14 yards per carry, which means that the Browns are likely to remain run-heavy in this spot. I'd look elsewhere if I needed a streamer this week.

by Frank Ammirante

CLE QB Baker Mayfield - Week 5 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 5 at Chargers

Mayfield continues to disappoint as a fantasy quarterback, finishing as QB27, QB18, QB18, and QB31 this season. He put up a dud in a good matchup against the Vikings, completing only 45.5% of his passes for 4.7 yards per attempt. Mayfield needs the Browns to fall behind early for him to provide adequate fantasy production. He's a game script-dependent streamer.

Unfortunately, this projects as a run-heavy game script against this pass-funnel Chargers defense. While the Chargers are 10th in aFPA to running backs, they rank 25th in rush DVOA and are allowing 5.02 yards per carry (31st). The Browns are a run-heavy offense that should emphasize their running game, putting Mayfield off the streaming radar in this spot.

by Frank Ammirante

CLE QB Baker Mayfield - Week 4 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 4 at Vikings

Mayfield has finished as QB27, QB18, and QB18 so far this season, as he's been limited by the Browns' run-heavy offense. This team runs on 50% of their plays in neutral game scripts, which is tied for the fourth-highest rate in the league. Mayfield has been efficient this year, completing 73.8 percent of his passes at 9.8 yards per attempt, so if we ever see an uptick in passing volume, Mayfield could provide strong production.

This is the week where Mayfield can start showing more upside as a fantasy quarterback. The Vikings defense ranks 20th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed (aFPA). This game has a 51.5-point total, so there's a chance that we see a shootout here. Mayfield is a viable streamer in this spot in an exploitable matchup against a defense that has really struggled to stop the pass.

by Frank Ammirante

CLE QB Baker Mayfield - Week 3 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 3 vs. Bears

Mayfield has gotten off to a hyper-efficient start to the season, completing 81.6% of his passes while averaging 10.9 yards per attempt. The problem is that he's only averaging 24.5 pass attempts per game with only one passing touchdown. The Browns have run on 51% of their plays in neutral game-script, which is the fifth-highest rate in the NFL. This means that Mayfield will have to put up a much better touchdown rate if he's going to have fantasy value.

The Browns lost top wideout Jarvis Landry to injury, but it appears that Odell Beckham Jr. will make his season debut, giving the team a needed boost against this Bears defense. The Bears have struggled against the pass this season, allowing 9.43 yards per attempt, which ranks 27th in the NFL. They have been much more stout on the ground (3.81 yards per carry allowed), so perhaps Mayfield can pass a bit more in this one, especially if the game remains close. Having said that, it's risky to use him as a streamer against the Bears with how run-heavy this offense has been so far.

by Frank Ammirante

CLE QB Baker Mayfield - Week 2 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 2 vs. Texans

Mayfield is coming off a disappointing fantasy performance in a shootout against the Chiefs, finishing as QB27 after failing to score a touchdown. The good news is that he actually played really well, completing 21-of-28 passes for 321 yards (11.5 Y/A). His only blemish being the one interception. Mayfield's lack of touchdowns contributed to his poor fantasy output against the Chiefs.

He's now in a great spot against a Texans defense that ranked 24th in aFPA to quarterbacks last season. While this defense limited Trevor Lawrence to a 54.9% completion rate with 6.5 yards per attempt and three interceptions, they still project to be among the worst in the NFL. The risk with Mayfield here is that the Browns are 12.5-point favorites, so this projects as a run-heavy game-script, limiting the passing volume if the game gets out of hand. Still, Mayfield should be able to put together an efficient game, giving him streamer appeal in this one.

by Frank Ammirante

CLE QB Baker Mayfield - Week 1 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 1 at Kansas City Chiefs

Baker Mayfield looks poised for a career year with continuity throughout this Browns offense. He’ll get top wideout Odell Beckham Jr. back from injury. The Browns also have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. While they’re six-point underdogs against the Chiefs, they do have an implied total of 24 points, so this still looks like a good spot for Mayfield. The Browns should still remain among the most run-heavy teams in the NFL, but this is a game where we could see an uptick in passing volume as they try to keep pace with this high-octane Chiefs offense.

The Chiefs ranked 19th in aFPA allowed last season, so we could see an efficient game out of Mayfield. The risk is that the Browns come in with a run-heavy gameplan and are successful in playing at a slow pace, keeping Patrick Mahomes and company off the field. This would potentially result in low volume, which would be bad news for Mayfield’s outlook. Having said that, a shootout looks like the more likely scenario, putting Mayfield on the streaming radar as an upside QB2.

by Frank Ammirante

CLE QB Baker Mayfield - 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook

Fantasy Upside

Baker Mayfield completed 305-of-486 (62.8%) passes for 3,563 yards (7.3 Y/A), 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions as well as 165 rushing yards on 54 attempts (3.1 Y/A) and one touchdown, finishing as QB25 in fantasy points per game. As a quarterback with limited mobility in a run-heavy offense, Mayfield seems like a low-upside player, but if you dive deeper you see that he’s an intriguing target. Mayfield averaged 36.8 pass attempts with 1,713 yards (7.75 Y/A), 11 touchdowns, and one interception in his last six games, compared to 26.5 pass attempts per game with 1,850 yards (6.98 Y/A), 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions in his first 10. He finished as QB9 in fantasy points per game during that hot stretch. This is a young quarterback with first overall draft capital who showed improvement in his age-25 season, playing behind an elite offensive line and supporting cast, with continuity on his coaching staff. There is some untapped fantasy upside here.

Fantasy Downside

The Browns should remain one of the more run-heavy offenses in the NFL. According to RotoViz, the Browns passed the ball 51% of the time in neutral game-scripts, which ranked 28th in the NFL. While Mayfield should be able to eclipse his total of 486 pass attempts this season, it’s likely that his total will still be among the fewest in the NFL. As a quarterback who doesn’t run, this definitely caps his upside. Mayfield will need to be highly efficient in order to ascend to the Top-15 fantasy quarterbacks. The risk here is that we see the Browns play as they did prior to Week 12 and Mayfield plays at a QB20-25 level in fantasy points per game.

2021 Bottom Line

Mayfield was a highly touted quarterback coming out of college and he really took the next step in his development last season. While the Browns should be among the most run-heavy offenses in the NFL, there’s a chance that their offense could continue to function as it did from Weeks 12-17. The Browns passed the ball 59% of the time in neutral game scripts during this stretch, which tied for ninth in the NFL. We can reasonably project at least a modest increase in pass attempts for Mayfield. Currently being drafted as QB21 (157.5 ADP) in Underdog fantasy leagues, Mayfield is worth a look as a cheap quarterback in an elite offense.

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