The last time we saw Odell Beckham Jr., he was scoring a touchdown in the Super Bowl before tearing his ACL and missing the second half of a Rams victory. Fast forward through months of rehab and a stadium tour that made him look like a highly-touted college recruit, Jay Glazer is reporting that Odell has been cleared for contact and has begun speaking with teams about a return for the stretch run.
Reports vary on where Beckham might end up, but supposed contenders include the Bills, Giants, 49ers, Rams, and Cowboys. Dallas in particular has been making a big public push for Beckham, with head coach Mike McCarthy saying he’s “always been a fan” of Odell and Jerry Jones saying he’d “look pretty good” in a Cowboys uniform, not to mention a social media push from some prominent current and former players.
Odell’s future team, which is expected to be the winner of a bidding war for his services, should be decided in the next couple of weeks. His rostered percentage jumped 19% to 42% this week as fantasy managers prepare for a comeback and pray he ends up in a good situation. But where will he land? And more importantly: which landing spot would be the best for his value as we approach the fantasy playoffs?
WHO CAN AFFORD OBJ?
Of the primary teams that have reportedly been linked to Beckham, here are their current salary cap numbers:
Cowboys: $6.95 million
49ers: $6.22 million
Rams: $4.23 million
Giants: $2.45 million
The Cowboys have the most money to work with out of this group, and they have more cap space than any team that’s currently over .500 except the Eagles, who seem to be all set at receiver. This situation, combined with the public comments from Cowboys leadership, seems to put them in the driver’s seat — but their competitors can’t be overlooked.
San Francisco made it clear from their acquisition of Christian McCaffrey that they’re all-in on 2022, and both the Rams and Giants have employed Beckham in the past. The Bills seem like a long shot from a financial perspective, but are arguably the most well-positioned team of these five when it comes to a Super Bowl push, so they’ll remain in the picture until the ink has dried on Beckham’s contract.
And even though there haven’t been any public reports linking Odell to any other teams, you still can’t count out a contender like the Chiefs ($4.95M in cap space) or a WR-needy team like Green Bay ($6.67M) making some noise in the OBJ Sweepstakes.
Those who have already scooped Beckham up off waivers likely have their own idea of where Beckham’s best situation would be. His prospects could be dicey with the Giants or 49ers, as both offenses are run-first and often suffer from poor QB play when they do try to throw the ball. Of those two, San Francisco is a bit more enticing, as they are more willing to throw overall, and Odell would slide in as the WR2 right behind Deebo Samuel.
Buffalo and the Rams are both relatively well-stocked at wideout, meaning Odell could slide in as a secondary option and benefit from good matchups with their opponents’ second or third cornerback. As the current Super Bowl favorites, Buffalo gets the edge here, and would be a scary proposition for any opposing secondary with Odell joining Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, and others, along with an ideally-healthy Josh Allen to get them the ball.
Then, we have Dallas. Michael Gallup hasn’t been what the Cowboys hoped he’d be for this offense since returning from his own ACL injury, meaning Noah Brown has essentially been Dallas’ WR2 all year. Brown has been solid, but isn’t talented enough to keep defenses from keying in on CeeDee Lamb, who has yet to log a 100-yard game this season. With a solid run game behind Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, a QB who’s looked good since returning from his Week 1 injury, and one of the top defenses in the league, Dallas truly may be a wideout away from challenging Philly and Minnesota for the NFC title.
Ultimately, Odell fantasy owners should be hoping for Dallas or Buffalo to step up and bring him in. San Francisco could potentially be lucrative as well, but that likely ends the shortlist of teams that will be in on Beckham and present a situation that’s beneficial for his fantasy value. At this point, all we can do is wait and see how things shake out.
Even without a team, The Wolf blindly slides OBJ in at WR49 (+35 vs ECR) on his Rest of Season Rankings.