After totaling just four catches on six targets for 39 scoreless yards through two weeks, David Njoku put up a career-high nine catches on 10 targets for 89 yards and a score and is rostered on just 51% (Yahoo), 34% (ESPN), and 16.6% (NFL.com) of leagues. So will the real David Njoku please stand up?
Y’all act like you’ve never seen David Njoku before, jaws on the floor, like Travis Kelce just burst in the door.
And why not? Even though he became the fourth-highest paid tight end per year after signing a four-year, $56.75 million extension during the offseason, it initially seemed like the rise in pay wasn’t going to correlate at all with production.
But the 2022 Browns are a prime example of a team with new personnel needing a little time to find its rhythm. Heading into Week 3, there was a clear gap between Njoku’s production and his potential. The potential had to show up at some point.
In Jacoby Brissett‘s first game as a starter for Cleveland, it was clear that chemistry was lacking in the offense’s first real game action.
Amari Cooper only saw three catches for 17 yards on six targets that week, even though Cooper was constantly getting open during the game.
Brissett righted the ship and Cooper’s next two games saw lines of 9-101-1 and 7-101-1 on 10 and 11 targets, respectively.
Njoku’s results have a similar pattern, except the breakout happened a week later than Cooper’s.
Not that we should expect games like this from Chief Njoku all the time, but David is as good of a candidate as any other player on the Browns offense to be the No. 2 receiving option.
His Week 3 outing matches the production people expected much more than weeks 1-2, considering the combination of Njoku’s elite athleticism and Austin Hooper‘s departure. And as the only NFL game on that day, David’s performance stands out even more.
WAIVER WIRE VALUE
So, if he is available on your Week 4 waiver wire, his FAAB value will be peaking. It’s realistic to expect someone to drop 25% of their budget when there isn’t enough consistent positional production to guarantee a tight end anchor for every fantasy team.
Speaking of a position where it’s tough to find consistent production, there is also another possibility:
Surely, if your roster’s weak spot is tight end, an overpayment is justified in order get a player who might solidify the position moving forward.
If that’s not you, then remember that this game could also be Njoku’s high mark for the season. Perhaps acquiring him allows you to use him as a sell-high piece in a trade, or even keep him and try to trade your stud tight end for a haul, if you dare.
Either way, if the position is shored up for you, don’t be surprised if the needier at a thin position ends up outbidding you.
Keep up with The Wolf’s Rest Of Season Big Board, updated weekly, to monitor the Chief’s ranking as it’s sure to rise from his current TE22 spot.