Last updated: December 12th at 9:15am ET
Team Totals: Browns 25.5, Cardinals 22.5
A top-12 fantasy passer in just 3-of-13 starts, Baker Mayfield catches an optimal draw to briefly right the ship in a non-weather-impacted affair versus a Cardinals defense that’s yielded top-ten scores to 10-of-13 quarterbacks faced in addition to NFL highs in completion rate (72%) and touchdown passes (32). All of Baker’s weapons are in plus spots, while Cleveland’s skill players should endure opportunity spikes; offenses facing Arizona average an NFL-high 68 plays per game. Through 13 weeks, the Browns average 62 per-game plays, eighth fewest in football. … Nick Chubb faces a Cardinals defense enemy backs have tagged for a 147-total-yardage average on the year. Even as Kareem Hunt’s presence caps his ceiling, Chubb’s workload remains secure with 16-plus touches in 14-of-14 games. He’s a fringe RB1/2 against Arizona’s soft defensive front. … Hunt has commanded double-digit touches in 5-of-5 games, while the Cardinals have allowed five running back TDs over the past five weeks. Hunt has done his most damage in the passing game, while Arizona has yielded the NFL’s eighth-most running back receiving yards (632).
Mayfield’s Weeks 10-14 target distribution: Jarvis Landry 48; Odell Beckham 41; Hunt 28; Chubb 12; Demetrius Harris 8; Rashard Higgins 5; KhaDarel Hodge and Stephen Carlson 4; David Njoku 3; Ricky Seals-Jones 2. … Easily Cleveland’s most bankable pass catcher, Landry enters Week 15 with 60-plus yards and/or a touchdown in 11-of-13 games, including 75-plus yards and/or a touchdown in six straight. He’s a surefire WR2 play against Arizona’s leaky slot coverage. The Cardinals recently cut slot CB Tramaine Brock for ineffectiveness and are digging into their depth. … Although Beckham deserves to be downgraded into WR2/3 range based on his lack of to-date production, he is popping in Week 15’s Air Yards Buy Low Model against a Cardinals secondary that’s permitted the NFL’s ninth-most fantasy points to wide receivers. Cards top CB Patrick Peterson has struggled mightily all year, surrendering 31 completions on 39 targets (79.5%) for 440 yards (11.3 YPA) and three touchdowns. Beckham is nearing squeaky-wheel territory amid reports he’s unhappy in Cleveland. … Njoku came back from his fractured wrist in Week 14 but drew just three targets on 20 snaps. The good news is Arizona’s defense has been lit on absolute fire by tight ends, yielding the most fantasy points to the position by a wide margin. After shaking off the Week 14 rust, it would be surprising if Njoku were not elevated to near-full-time duties in the desert. Until we see hard evidence of that usage change, however, he’ll be a boom-bust TE1 play.
His fantasy season slowing to a halt with under 200 passing yards in three straight starts and mobility somewhat compromised by a hamstring pull, Kyler Murray is a high-variance play versus Cleveland, which held 8 of its last 12 quarterbacks faced to fantasy results of QB16 or worse. I’m leaving the light on for Murray as a DFS-tournament play; this game offers shootout potential in a friendly environment, and the Browns have permitted the NFL’s seventh-most QB rushing yards per game (18.8). … Although David Johnson chipped in a nifty Week 14 receiving score, Kenyan Drake kept Arizona’s lead-back job with 14 touches to Johnson’s 5 and Chase Edmonds’ 1. Drake dominated snaps (66%) versus Pittsburgh and is the Cardinals’ best running back play against a Cleveland defense that’s struggled to stop the run all year and got tagged for Joe Mixon’s 23/146/1 rushing line last week. Drake does risk losing increased work with Johnson and Edmonds healthy, however, rendering Drake more flex play than bankable RB2.
Murray’s Weeks 11-14 target distribution: Christian Kirk 25; Larry Fitzgerald 19; Drake 15; Pharoh Cooper 11; Andy Isabella 6; Johnson, Charles Clay, and Damiere Byrd 4. … Another reason for Kyler optimism is Kirk and Fitzgerald’s twin appearances in Week 15’s Buy Low Air Yards Model. Kirk popped in the model for his slate-breaking 6/138/3 receiving line at Tampa Bay in Week 10, and he is averaging a sturdy 8.5 targets over Arizona’s last six games. He’s a WR2 play against the Browns. … Fitz is a tougher sell with just one game above 60 yards since Week 6 and a single end-zone trip since Week 3, but his matchup is awfully tempting against frequent burn victim T.J. Carrie in the slot and opportunity on Fitzgerald’s side. I like him as an underrated WR3 option. … Isabella still can’t find his way into full-time work. He played 21% of last week’s offensive snaps and has 11 yards on six targets since Week 10.
Score Prediction: Browns 24, Cardinals 23