The Duel

Baker Mayfield Fantasy Outlook in Week 5 Held Back by Tough Matchup With 49ers

Jason Schandl
Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens
Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens / Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
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Baker Mayfield has had a poor start to the fantasy football season, not finishing better than 15th in fantasy scoring among quarterbacks in any of his four games. Overall, he ranks as only QB23 on the year, behind some seriously concerning names like Case Keenum (QB21) and Derek Carr (QB22).

A breakout could still be coming for the sophomore, but don't expect that to happen in Week 5 against the San Francisco 49ers.

This start has obviously been a huge disappointment if you drafted Mayfield in fantasy football, as he had an average draft position (ADP) of QB4 this summer, per FantasyPros.com.

Mayfield has yet to throw for more than one touchdown in a game, while also throwing at least one interception in each, notching four TDs and six picks so far. Accordingly, his 5.8 adjusted net yards per pass attempt are way down from the 6.8 he posted as a rookie, and that mark ranks only 25th among 35 qualifying QBs. It's not just his fantasy output that's worrying, he's just not producing well in 2019.

The 49ers have already had their bye week, so we only have a three-game sample on them, but their defense has looked stout so far. They've limited opponents to the NFL's fourth-fewest adjusted net yards per attempt (4.4), ranking second in Football Outsiders' pass defense DVOA rankings.

In Mayfield's defense, his early-season schedule has not been an easy one. That's not going to change any time soon though, because after the 49ers he gets the Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills.

Unless he seriously turns around his play, it could be over a month before we see Mayfield stand out as a strong fantasy play, and going beyond just benching him in Week 5, there's an argument to be made for releasing him entirely to save a roster spot since he's not producing any better than a typical streaming QB.


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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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