TE David Njoku - Cleveland Browns
|6-4, 246||Born: 7-10-1996||College: Miami (Fla.)||Drafted: Round 1, pick 2017|
Week 21: bye week
Recent Stats and Projections
Weekly Performance vs TE 1, TE 12, TE 24
David Njoku's percentile rank in each category, among TE with more than 50 fantasy points.
Recent Game Summaries
2018 Week 17 vs BAL (7 / 3 / 62 / 0 rec)
Njoku's first catch didn't come until the third quarter. He made an excellent contested catch downfield for a 42-yard gain, out-jumping his defender to make the grab. Later on that drive he drew an end zone target but Baker Mayfield was rushed on the throw, leaving it too far wide left for Njoku to catch. On the first drive of the fourth quarter, Njoku made a short catch near the line of scrimmage, broke a tackle, and turned it into a 13-yard gain. It looked like he had a one-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter as he went up and caught the ball in the end zone on a fade. As he went to the ground he pinned the ball to his hip and officials ruled that he didn't maintain possession. It was a close call that could have gone either way. On the final drive of the game, Njoku drew a deep target, which a Baltimore defender did well to break up.
2018 Week 16 vs CIN (4 / 3 / 73 / 1 rec)
Njoku saw the first target of the game but it was thrown too high for him as the pass glanced off of his fingertips on a leaping attempt. He found the end zone on a three-yard reception where he high-pointed a pass from Baker Mayfield. After the catch, the Cincinnati defender wanted a flag on Njoku for pushing off but he didn't get one. In the fourth quarter he drew another end zone target but the play was nullified by an offensive holding penalty. Even if there was no penalty, the pass was too high for him to catch. Njoku helped ice the game for the Browns with a 66-yard catch-and-run at the end of the fourth quarter. He caught a short pass and took off down the field, ultimately getting tackled at the Cincinnati three-yard line. He broke an initial tackle at the catch point, which helped lead to the long gain.
2018 Week 15 vs DEN (5 / 3 / 30 / 0 rec)
Njoku turned in another quiet game, finishing with just three catches. As has been the case with Jarvis Landry, Baker Mayfield's tendency to spread the ball around has cut into Njoku's production. It seems like ages ago, but Njoku saw 23 total targets back in Weeks 5 and 6. His first catch was a big one as he went for a first down on a 3rd-and-13. He later saw a deep target down the middle of the field but the defender made a nice play to deflect the ball at the last minute. Njoku drew an end zone target early in the second quarter but Mayfield was rushed and threw way too high for Njoku to make the catch. In the third quarter, Njoku made a diving catch for a first down on 4th-and-three. His final catch was a five-yarder on 3rd-and-six. It appeared he stretched to get the first down but a bad spot coupled with inconclusive camera angles on the replay challenge forced the Browns to punt on fourth down instead of being awarded with a new set of downs. Njoku remains one of the top athletes at the position but his inconsistent usage has cut into his production this season.
2018 Week 14 vs CAR (4 / 3 / 35 / 0 rec)
Njoku had a 28-yard reception on a good catch in the second quarter but he was mostly quiet other than that. His first catch of the game went for no gain and his only other catch was a seven-yarder in the fourth quarter. He did get open on the right side of the field in the third quarter but dropped a pass. The pass was a little high but it was a catchable ball that Njoku should have been able to convert. The spread-the-wealth offense being run by the Browns has cut into Njoku's workload of late but he remains a high upside player due to his athleticism and run-after-the-catch abilities.
2018 Week 13 vs HOU (6 / 3 / 8 / 0 rec)
Njoku wound up turning in a disappointing stat line against a Texans defense that has struggled to cover opposing tight ends. He lost five yards on his first catch of the game. In the second quarter, he had a target nullified when he drew a defensive holding penalty. He did see an end zone target on one of Baker Mayfield's three interceptions. Mayfield saw Njoku in the end zone but the pass was overthrown, giving him no chance to make a play. In the fourth quarter he appeared to be open in the middle of the field but the ball was tipped at the last second by Tyrann Mathieu. His final catch went for nine yards. Njoku has been up-and-down of late but he remains one of the top-two options in the team's passing game.
2018 Week 12 vs CIN (5 / 5 / 63 / 1 rec)
Njoku had a big game for the Browns, doing most of his damage on a 96-yard touchdown drive in the first half. Njoku ripped off two straight receptions on that drive, one for 24 yards and the second for 21. He was wide open on the first catch, trucking a few defenders for extra yardage after the catch. On the second catch he made an exceptional diving grab on a low pass. Njoku's six-yard touchdown reception was an exciting play. He caught a short pass behind the line of scrimmage, around the Cincinnati 10-yard line. He then attempted to leap into the end zone from around the five-yard line. He was caught and held upright by a defender. Once his feet returned to earth, he started churning his legs in attempts to reach the goal line. He got an assist from several teammates as they combined to help push him into the end zone. From watching the replays, it appeared Njoku attempted his leap a bit too far away from the goal line. Njoku, and the rest of the Cleveland passing game, was not needed in the second half with a big lead. Only four passes were attempted. Njoku continues to be one of the league's most athletic tight ends and should be treated as an every week starting option in fantasy.
2018 Week 10 vs ATL (1 / 1 / 18 / 0 rec)
Njoku surprisingly was targeted just once in his team's Week 10 win over the Falcons. The second-year tight end was heavily targeted over Baker Mayfield's first three career starts but has seen his targets steadily dip since seeing 12 back in Week 6. Njoku's only catch did allow him to show off his excellent run after the catch abilities as he dragged several Falcons defenders behind him en route to an 18-yard gain. Part of Njoku's slow game can be blamed on the Browns building a big lead and running clock in the fourth quarter and part can be blamed on Mayfield spreading the ball around to nine different receivers. Stay patient with the athletic tight end.
2018 Week 9 vs KC (5 / 4 / 53 / 0 rec)
Njoku bounced back from his goose egg in Week 8, finishing second on the team in receiving yards. The athletic tight end flashed his fantastic run after the catch skills on Sunday, tacking on additional yardage on two separate occasions while proving to be tough to bring down in the open field. He could have had a bigger game as he was wide open on the first drive of the fourth quarter but Baker Mayfield overthrew him down the middle of the field.
2018 Week 8 vs PIT (0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Njoku played the entire game without injury but he shows up on the box score without a single target credited to him. This was a product of the Pittsburgh pass rush forcing Baker Mayfield to make quick passes. As Njoku does most of his work in the intermediate and deeper parts of the middle of the field, there simply wasn't much time for Mayfield to look in his direction. He did see one pass come his way when he was targeted in the end zone. He was held by the defender on the play and drew a defensive pass interference penalty which gave his team 1st-and-goal at the Pittsburgh one-yard line. While he doesn't get credit for the target he helped his team and it is encouraging that he saw an end zone target in the game. The Browns fired Hue Jackson and OC Todd Haley on Monday in a move that can be considered a plus for Njoku. There's hope that new offensive coordinator, and former RBs coach, Freddie Kitchens, can get more out of the super-athletic tight end.
2018 Week 7 vs TB (6 / 4 / 52 / 1 rec)
Njoku's second-year breakout continued in Week 7. He finished second on the team in all receiving categories and scored a touchdown in his second straight game. He did struggle with his hands again in the game. In the first quarter, he failed to bring in a pass on third down. It didn't go down as an official drop but the ball, thrown a bit to his left, hit him in the hands. He later had another ball go through his hands in overtime, this time on a high pass. He had many good moments, as well, hauling in a 15-yard touchdown on a high-floating pass in the end zone. He simply overpowered the defender to make the grab. He also had a big 23-yard catch where he shook one open field tackle before trucking another defender to get the Browns into the red zone. While his hands have been inconsistent, Njoku is one of the team's top play-makers. He has been starting to see more red zone work, which has translated to more production on the field.
2018 Week 6 vs LAC (12 / 7 / 55 / 1 rec)
Njoku's usage with Baker Mayfield under center continued to surge in Week 6. The second-year tight end is emerging as one of Mayfield's favorite targets and the Browns finally utilized him in the red zone this week. Njoku caught a one-yard touchdown from Mayfield in the fourth quarter. Mayfield simply threw the ball up and Njoku leapt up and reached over the defender to snatch the ball out of the air. Njoku looked unstoppable on the play and he could become a red zone monster if Cleveland starts to feature him near the goal line. Earlier in the game he saw another end zone target but the ball was thrown way too high for him to catch. He did commit a drop in the fourth quarter.
2018 Week 5 vs BAL (11 / 6 / 69 / 0 rec)
Njoku had his best game of the season and even out-targeted Jarvis Landry by one in the contest. Njoku was mostly used in short and intermediate routes where the Browns got him the ball quickly in hopes he would had room to run after the catch. He ripped off two big gains in the second quarter on consecutive plays, going for 19 yards and then 24. He did struggle with a few drops in the game, which has been an ongoing issue for him. That being said, Njoku has drawn 18 targets in Baker Mayfield's two starts. He hasn't been getting much red zone work but once the offense unlocks that aspect of his game, a mid-season breakout should follow soon thereafter.
2018 Week 4 vs OAK (7 / 5 / 52 / 0 rec)
Njoku turned in his best game of the season, showing off his impressive run-after-the-catch ability on several instances. He did commit another drop in what has been an ongoing issue for him. That play could have gone for a big gain as he was open down the seam. The pass was about 16 yards downfield and Njoku had some room to run after. He did make a good catch on a high pass in the first quarter, reaching up to snare the ball out of the air. In the third quarter he took a short pass with Baker Mayfield under duress and turned upfield for a 14-yard gain. The Browns still haven't been using Njoku much in the red zone as Carlos Hyde has been hoarding most of the goal line opportunities.
2018 Week 3 vs NYJ (2 / 2 / 36 / 0 rec)
Both of Njoku's targets came once Baker Mayfield entered the game. He caught Mayfield's second pass attempt, making a nice adjustment to haul in a ball that was thrown a bit behind him. That play went for 17 yards. Njoku then had an excellent 19-yard catch-and-run in the third quarter. The Browns have mostly focused on running the ball when they get close to the goal line, which has hurt Njoku, who profiles as one of the team's top red zone targets. He still has plenty of potential and the quarterback change to Mayfield should help him going forward.
2018 Week 2 vs NO (7 / 4 / 20 / 0 rec)
It was a quiet day for Njoku, who tied for the team lead with seven targets but only wound up with 20 yards to show for it. His first target didn't come until early in the second quarter. He had a step on his defender but he was overthrown by Tyrod Taylor down the left side. Through the first two weeks of the season, there have been plenty of chances for Njoku to break a big gain but he and Taylor have just had some trouble connecting. Stay patient with the athletic tight end as he has been getting open down the field. Once he and Taylor start connecting he will start delivering big plays for the Browns.
2018 Week 1 vs PIT (7 / 3 / 13 / 0 rec)
Njoku had a rough afternoon. The second-year tight end struggled with drops, committing two in a row during a third quarter series. He also injured his ankle following a catch in the third and stayed down on the field for a short while. He was able to return on the following possession so there shouldn't be much concern here. He did injure an ankle during the preseason, as well, although it is unclear whether it was the same leg on Sunday. Njoku came close to converting a big play on the first drive as Tyrod Taylor targeted him down the seam on a deep pass. The ball was thrown high and Njoku got his hands on it, but two defenders converged to assure he wasn't able to secure the catch. Better days will be ahead for the athletic tight end.
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