Fantasy football: It’s time to exploit Baker Mayfield’s soft schedule

There is nothing wrong with doing things the easy way. Why would anyone purposefully make a task harder than it needs to be, simply to avoid doing it easily? Makes no sense, right?

So, when game-planning what to do with your fantasy roster down the stretch of this season, why wouldn’t you look to make it easy? As in, identify players with easy schedules, and make sure you keep or acquire them.

Take a look at the Browns’ schedule. It presents a lot of opportunities at a lot of positions. But, chances are Kareem Hunt is already on a team and not going anywhere, Jarvis Landry has been scooped up, Nick Chubb hasn’t been dropped — despite his injury. But … you should be able to find Baker Mayfield.

Write off Sunday’s 122-yard, zero-touchdown as a wind-driven anomaly. The week before, Mayfield chalked up five TD passes. The toughest defenses vs. fantasy QBs he faces the rest of the way are — this is not a joke — the Giants and Jets.

Even without Odell Beckham Jr., Mayfield should post solid fantasy numbers the rest of the way. If you have been streaming or leaning on disappointing options like Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton or a banged-up Gardner Minshew, Mayfield is a nice replacement, and he is available in most leagues.

Tight end can be a tough position to fill. Eric Ebron could offer an out. Available in 40-50 percent of leagues, he could see a rise in production in the second half of the season. He gets a parade of favorable matchups over the coming weeks. Just make sure you have an audible in the playbook for Week 16 — when the Steelers face the Colts, the single toughest team vs. opposing TEs, on fantasy championship weekend.

Now, believe us, we don’t make this next recommendation lightly. You know the Madman, you know we despise Patriots running backs. It is like rolling dice every week trying to guess which, if any, will be the focus. But, things might be changing just a bit.

The Pats offense is not running smoothly when Newton throws the ball. But, they seem to have found a bit of traction in the ground game with Damien Harris. The second-year running back has topped 15 carries in two of his four games this season — including this past Sunday — and posted 100-yard games both times. And, he is averaging a healthy 5.7 yards per carry.

There is one wrinkle: Sony Michel eventually will return from quad (and COVID-19) problems. But, Michel being Michel, it is hard to envision him stealing carries from a capable RB, which Harris seems to be. And, outside of a Week 10 clash with the Ravens, the schedule breaks nicely for whomever is getting carries for the Pats.

So, as you plan for the remainder of the fantasy season, make sure you’re finding players who are going to have it easy. Because, sometimes, the easy way is the best way.

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