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TE David Njoku - Cleveland Browns

6-4, 246Born: 7-10-1996College: Miami (Fla.)Drafted: Round 1, pick 2017

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Photo: Jake Roth, US Presswire

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Preseason player page

News you need to know

General News (Thu Dec 13): practiced fully on Thursday and is not on the team's injury report. He will be available to play this week.

General News (Wed Dec 12): practiced fully on Wednesday.

General News (Tue Dec 11): practiced fully on Tuesday.

Week 15: at Denver Broncos

All TE vs DEN

FBG says: Good matchup. Baker Mayfield has excelled since the Browns fired Hue Jackson and Todd Haley and elevated Freddie Kitchens to offensive coordinator. Over the past five weeks, Mayfield has completed 73.2% of his passes, averaged 281 passing yards per game, and thrown 11 touch-downs against 4 interceptions. He has shown tremendous pocket presence and downfield accuracy, emerging as one of the most exciting young quarterbacks in the league. Since the coaching change, the Browns offense has been run-heavy in wins. Mayfield averaged just 22.3 passers per game in wins over Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Carolina. However, in the two losses, Mayfield averaged 42.5 attempts. Jarvis Landry has been especially impacted by the differing game scripts. In the three wins, he saw just 4.6 targets per game while seeing 8.0 in the two losses. Cleveland is a road underdog against Denver and may be forced into a more pass-heavy offensive approach this week. Denver has struggled mightily against the pass in recent weeks. The Broncos allowed back-to-back 400-yard games to Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger in Weeks 11 and 12 and have not improved since then as over the past two weeks, they've allowed unheralded backups, Jeff Driskel and Nick Mullens, to throw for 236 and 332 yards, respectively. The Broncos have the league's best pass rushing duo in defensive ends Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. Denver ranks 7th-best in the league in sack rate almost entirely due to the two ends as Miller has 13.5 sacks while Chubb has 12.0. The cornerbacks have been susceptible to the big play, which is a big reason why Denver has allowed the 7th-most passing yards (264 per game), and the recent loss of their best cornerback Chris Harris has not helped matters. Of the 31 touchdowns, the Broncos defense has allowed this season, 23 have come through the air. Denver will have its hands full against Baker Mayfield and the improving pass offense of the Browns.

Recent Stats and Projections

12 at CIN 43 5 63 1 0 12.3
13 at HOU 46 3 8 0 0 0.8
14 vs CAR 43 3 35 0 0 3.5
15 at DEN PROJ-Dodds * 4 * * * *
15 at DEN PROJ-Tremblay * 4 * * * *
15 at DEN PROJ-Bloom * 4 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs TE 1, TE 12, TE 24

Percentile ranks

David Njoku's percentile rank in each category, among TE with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

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.


Latest News

Browns | David Njoku ready to play (Thu Dec 13, 02:41 PM) - Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku (knee) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 13, and is not on the injury report for Week 15.

Our View: Njoku has a great matchup this week against the Broncos defense that George Kittle just owned last week.
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Browns | David Njoku practices in full (Wed Dec 12, 05:13 PM) - Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku (knee) was listed as a full participant in practice Wednesday, Dec. 12.

Our View: The math this week is simple. Njoku is healthy and playing against the Broncos. Denver historically struggles to cover the tight end (see George Kittle last week) Fantasy GMs can lock Njoku in as a TE1 in Week 15.
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Browns | Wednesday's practice report for Cleveland (Wed Dec 12, 05:07 PM) - Cleveland Browns TE Orson Charles (ankle), OL Austin Corbett (foot), C JC Tretter (ankle) and CB Denzel Ward (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, Dec. 12. CB Phillip Gaines (knee) and DT Larry Ogunjobi (biceps) were listed as limited participants, while CB Juston Burris (shoulder), LB Jamie Collins (shoulder), CB Terrance Mitchell (wrist), TE David Njoku (knee), DT Billy Price (Achilles'), LB Joe Schobert (knee) and CB Tavierre Thomas (ankle) practiced in full.

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Browns | David Njoku has full practice (Tue Dec 11, 06:18 PM) - Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku (knee) participated fully in practice Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Our View: The Broncos struggle to stop tight ends historically (see George Kittle's 200-yard performance just last week). Njoku is the latest tight end to get to go against the Broncos. The Browns travel to play in Denver on Saturday and Njoku is a TE1 for Fantasy GMs.
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Browns | David Njoku finishes with three grabs (Sun Dec 9, 05:25 PM) - Cleveland Browns TE David Njoku posted three catches for 35 yards on four targets in Week 14 against the Carolina Panthers.

Our View: Njoku was in the middle of his modest range of outcomes and didn't help fantasy teams this week, but he could still be a viable streamer next week against the Denver defense that George Kittle tore apart this week.
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More News

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15@ Denver Broncos
16vs Cincinnati Bengals
17@ Baltimore Ravens