The Cleveland Browns could be without one of their top pass-catching options when they open their season on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Eighth-year wideout Odell Beckham Jr. is listed as questionable for the season-opener with a knee injury, which is concerning for fantasy managers after a torn ACL held him to seven games last season.
After Beckham was limited in Friday's practice, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski told reporters that Cleveland will keep an eye on the veteran and announce his status 90 minutes before Sunday's 4:25 p.m. EST kickoff.
If Beckham is ruled out for Sunday's game or can't handle his full workload, wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Donovan Peoples-Jones are the most likely to benefit. In other words, both wideouts' fantasy outlook has received a considerable boost.
Jarvis Landry Fantasy Outlook
Landry is entering his fourth season with the Browns and was always considered to be one of Cleveland's top pass-catching options. He's played in all but one game over the past three years, recording 236 catches for nearly 3,000 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.
Landry already proved last year how he benefits from Beckham's absence. When Beckham was in the lineup for Cleveland's first seven games, Landry averaged just 5.6 targets per game while recording 367 yards without a touchdown. In the eight games that Landry played without his counterpart, his targets increased to 7.8 per game and he put up 473 receiving yards and 3 TDs.
The Browns and Landry will face a Chiefs defense that was solid against the pass last season, surrendering just 231.8 yards through the air per game (12th). Fortunately, this week's game script benefits Landry. Cleveland will have to keep up with Kansas City's potent offense, which means that the 28-year-old wideout could see a lot of looks as the No. 1 wideout — with or without Beckham in the lineup.
Donovan Peoples-Jones Fantasy Outlook
Like Landry, Peoples-Jones should certainly see a bigger workload unless Beckham is miraculously healed by Sunday. The former 2020 sixth-round pick was decent in his rookie season, hauling in 14 balls for 304 receiving yards and 2 TDs in 12 games (two starts).
Peoples-Jones didn't make a single reception until Beckham's injury, which isn't a coincidence. The situation allowed him to show what he could do and he made the most of it — especially towards the end of the year. In his final four games of the 2020 NFL season, Peoples-Jones recorded 232 receiving yards and a touchdown on 9 receptions.
Peoples-Jones certainly has flex appeal given Beckham's situation. Landry should draw most of the Chiefs' attention, which should open up the sophomore wideout for more favorable opportunities. The game certainly has the potential to be a shootout and if that's the case, Peoples-Jones fantasy owners could reap the benefits.
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Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.