IS Odell Beckham Jr. Worth Drafting?
Odell Beckham Jr. is a very polarizing player. He captured media attention with arguably the greatest catch in football history in 2014. For three years straight he averaged 1374 yards and 11.7 touchdowns. OBJ was a superstar. For example, until Michael Thomas broke the record, OBJ had the most receptions ever for a receiver in their first three seasons. Since then, however, he’s struggled incredibly with staying on the field. In 2017, he only appeared in 4 games. The next year he was actually having a very solid year until suffering an injury in week 12, forcing him to miss the rest of the year. As we all know, he was traded to the Browns in a move that many fans think was due to his personality and locker room presence. Personally, I think the Giants simply did not want to pay a wide receiver 20 million dollars when they were years away from contending. I do think the ‘locker room cancer’ idea of OBJ is overblown by the media.
Regardless, last year was his first healthy year in three years and it was, to say the least, disappointing. He managed only 74 receptions for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns. All three statistics were actually lower than the year before when he only played 12 games. It did not help that his new quarterback, Baker Mayfield, did not play nearly as well as he did in his rookie season. Perhaps, fans had too high of expectations for the second year pro and how quickly he would develop chemistry with OBJ. According to ESPN Consistency Ratings, Odell Beckham had the 40th highest “start percentage” at 25%, which is the number of games in which a player is deemed startable in a fantasy league game. For perspective, Michael Thomas and Deandre Hopkins had 87.5% and 68.7% start percentages, respectively. OBJ struggled to put up a consistently great performance week to week. That was one of the driving factors of why he finished as the 31st ranked wide receiver in total fantasy points in the 2019 season. He finished behind Davante Adams who missed four more games than OBJ. His current ADP is #29 and I think it comes with considerable risk. Beckham Jr. had what I would consider to be his worst season ever as a professional WR. Maybe he will never be what he was in 2016, but the fact remains that he can only go up from here. OBJ has all the talent in the world and could definitely bounce back. A full year with Baker to develop more chemistry is certainly going to help him. His upside is a top five WR in fantasy and his floor is WR31 as I think he can’t possibly have a worse season than last year in which his PFF rating was a 68.7. That rating was worse than Corey Davis and Danny Amendola.
OBJ is, for sure, a risk to draft in a fantasy league. It’s definitely concerning when his own teammate, Nick Chubb, was quoted saying he would rather take Jarvis Landry in a fantasy draft. Regardless, the talent is there and I am a big fan of Beckham Jr. personally but when you are drafting him, you are drafting the risk he carries as well. His ceiling is very high but his floor, at least recently, is not as high as one would want for their wide receiver one.