When it comes to fantasy football, few players can be labeled as “league winners.” A league winner is a player that can be drafted at their current ADP and so vastly outperform their ADP that they can single-handed carry your roster to a championship. There are one or two of these types of players a year. Last year we saw Lamar Jackson break the fantasy football landscape. There is reason to believe David Njoku will be the 2020’s, league winner.
Lets put some context behind David Njoku before diving all the way in. Njoku is a 23-year-old tight end who was drafted in the first round by the Browns in 2017. Just like many eventual league winners, there are reasons to be skeptical. Njoku spent most of the 2019 season on the IR dealing with various injuries. He only appeared in four games and only saw ten targets in those five games. Furthermore, Njoku has requested a trade from the Browns after they signed Austin Hooper pushing Njoku further down the depth chart. That’s where things get interesting.
There are reasons to be skeptical of Njoku’s ability to stay on the field and gel with his teammates. However, there are several reasons why Njoku has the upside to carry a fantasy team. 2019 was a wash of injuries for Njoku. That being said, if looking to 2018, David Njoku finished as the #8 tight end in fantasy and the 65th best player overall. This saw Njoku get 88 targets and converting them to 56 catches for 639 yards and four touchdowns. While those numbers don’t jump off the page, they were valuable for fantasy purposes. On the Browns, Njoku is blocked by Austin Hooper and had no hope of getting back to a productive player in 2020. That was before he requested a trade from the Browns.
When Njoku requested a trade from the Browns and requested he be traded before training camp, he re-opened his avenue to fantasy upside. He has a fantasy upside shown by his 2018 production. Hopefully, he escapes the shadow of Austin Hooper and becomes a #1 tight end on his new team, especially if that team is the Patriots. The Patriots have a clear hole on their roster at the tight end position. The current list of Patriots’ tight ends consists of Devin Asiasi, Dalton Keene, Danny Vitale, Matt LaCosse, Rashod Berry, and Jakob Johnson. Virtually two rookies and roster depth. If the Bill Belichek decides he needs to invest in a tight end to pair with Cam Newton, then Njoku shouldn’t cost much considering his request.
It is placing David Njoku in a Patriots offense run by one of the most brilliant minds in NFL history. An offense where he would be one of the best available pass catchers. An attack that has historically boosted tight end production (see Rob Gronkowski).
David Njoku has all the upside in the world, especially considering that you can currently draft him in the last round of every fantasy draft in every format. Njoku should obliterate his ADP once he is moved from the Browns. If he ends up on the Patriots, he could end up a top ten tight end in fantasy this year.
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