After spending six seasons with the Cleveland Browns, we in the dynasty football community pretty much know what to expect from David Njoku. But after putting up one of the best seasons of his career, is there more to him?
The Cleveland offense took a major leap forward with the addition of Deshaun Watson, and Njoku was one of the biggest beneficiaries. Having signed a four-year extension during the 2022 offseason, it looks as though both parties are benefitting from the deal.
2022 In Review
Finishing as the TE10 in PPR leagues, Njoku set a career mark in receptions (58) while falling eight targets and eleven yards short of his career bests. After having the best quarterback of his career throwing him the ball, it only makes sense for Njoku to have a big year.
With Watson not seeing the field until Week 13, Njoku caught passes from Jacoby Brissett for most of last season. Having been fed at least six targets in six weeks with Brissett, Njoku finished his ‘22 campaign with four games of five-plus targets from Watson.
Even with Amari Cooper on the field, Njoku had this type of success, so the game plan to feature Njoku has reigned true. With all signs pointing to another consistent workload this year, Njoku may be getting into ‘safe’ territory.
Having added Elijah Moore, Marquise Goodwin, and rookie Cedric Tillman, the Browns have a few more weapons for Watson to target. This also means that Njoku will need to compete with a few more bodies for his targets – but nothing that you should worry about.
There are three stats from 2022 that support Njoku’s case moving forward – slot snaps, red zone targets, and air yards.
When comparing Njoku and Moore, Moore only had 138 more snaps from the slot, both ranking in the early 20s. That shows that while Moore likely will see an uptick in slot snaps, Njoku’s role won’t change much.
Secondly, Njoku was one of the most targeted TEs in the red zone last year (20 targets, 12 receptions), second-most. This stat shows that Njoku was consistently counted on in the red zone, and ‘23 should be no different.
Finally, with air yards – his 547 air yards ranked 13th last year, but it was a jump-up of 167 yards from ‘21 to ‘22. This stat helps show that Njoku’s route tree is more developed than in previous years and that the offense values him in almost every passing situation.
David Njoku – TE— Matt Gruber (@FF_Worm) July 11, 2023
📍 2022 TE11
📍 10.1 ppg (TE8)
📍 2023 ADP TE9
📍 Higher volume passing?
📍 Build off great year
I think Njoku could realistically become the second favorite target this season. Big body, athletic. Going back of the 9th, you could do worse waiting on TE
Current Dynasty Trade Value
- David Njoku & David Montgomery for Dallas Goedert & 2024 2nd
- David Njoku for 2024 3rd
- David Njoku for Romeo Doubs
The dynasty community can’t agree on Njoku, which is quite clear when looking at the DynastyNerds Trade Browser. These above trades were made in a 1QB, PPR format, and people value Njoku differently.
If you have the opportunity to move Njoku and a solid RB2 for probably a TE that is only a few spots higher than Njoku and a future second-round pick, definitely pause before pushing accept. The tight end position for fantasy football fails to have a ton of difference when comparing TE7-15, so this is not the value you think it may be.
The final two deals are for pretty much the same value, at least at this point in the offseason. Romeo Doubs could turn into something, but he could also fall behind Christian Watson and Jayden Reed, so tread lightly.
If you are looking for a solid upside tight end with a higher floor, Njoku is the right choice. At his current ADP, Njoku has an interesting amount of value baked in, not something typically found with tight ends.
Coming off the board as TE9, Njoku is drafted in the middle of the 10th round, a steal for a dark horse top-five candidate. While there are some concerns still about how the Cleveland offense will look with a full season of Watson at the helm, the price is more than worth it.
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