Buy Me? The Case for Donovan Peoples-Jones
To start, it pains me to write about Donovan Peoples-Jones (DPJ) as a buy. Nothing against the player but it ultimately goes against one of my unwritten rules in fantasy football…never acquire a player with a hyphenated last name, especially in the case of wide receivers. Not to point fingers but I have been burned by the likes of Juju Smith-Schuster, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Dorial Green-Beckham, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling to name a few.
With that being said, I still think DPJ is still a sneaky buy. For those of you who follow the podcast, website or twitter handle, you most likely know I listed DPJ as a buy to start the 2021 season in addition to Darnell Mooney and Gabriel Davis. If you listened to me, you would be sitting pretty now with Mooney and Davis both coming off solid 2021 seasons and primed for huge roles in 2022. However, the opportunity to buy those ships at a reasonable price has since sailed but you still have an opportunity to get DPJ.
So Why Do I Believe He Is Still a Buy?
At the top of the list is his raw athletic talent. You may not know this, but he was the #1 overall wide receiver recruit coming out of high school when he committed to the Michigan Wolverines. Ultimately, his development was stunted at Michigan by the play calling and poor quarterback play (i.e., Shea Patterson). However, that athletic talent which translated to a 4.48 40-yard dash, 44.5 inch vertical and 139 inch broad jump, all at 6’2” 212 lbs., has remained present. During his first two years in the NFL you have seen this explosive athleticism translate on the field even with a limited target share. He is a threat to take it to the house on every play as evidenced by his YPC of 21.71 in 2020 and 17.56 in 2021.
The next reason to buy is opportunity. OBJ is long gone and Jarvis Landry is likely out the door as well. In 2022 the Browns can save almost 15 million dollars toward the salary cap by cutting Landry. Furthermore, I do not believe DPJ has anything to fear from the Browns 2020 3rd round pick, Anthony Schwartz. He is just a deep ball threat with otherwise uninspiring college film and a limited route tree. Now I do anticipate the Browns bringing in another wide receiver in free agency and/or obtaining one through the draft but there still will be an increased target share for DPJ in 2022 nonetheless.
Finally, I expect to see improved QB play from the Browns this upcoming season. Whether this is trading for a big name QB (Rodgers or Wilson) or more likely seeing a return of a healthy Baker Mayfield. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a Mayfield truther, but we did not see
the true Baker last year. I do believe the shoulder injury affected his play significantly and the offensive line did him no favors either. I think in 2022 Baker will come in with a huge chip on his shoulder during his contract year and have a great bounce back season.
This should translate to improved numbers across the board for DPJ.
So what price am I paying to get a few shares of Donovan Peoples-Jones? Honestly, I believe you can sneak himinto another deal as a throw in player. As for straight up pricing, he may be available for just a third rounder, especially during draft season with rookie fever.
In short, he is cheap and most likely available. Make it happen!
Please let me know your thoughts. Also, I am interested to see if you have any unorthodox or crazy unwritten rules of fantasy football like my “never acquire any wide receivers with hyphenated last name” rule. Hit me up on Twitter @TheDynInterview.