There's mild breakout potential for Browns third-year receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones. Sure, his 2021 stats aren't anything to write home about, but his top-two finish in air yards per target (15.4) meshed with his 24.1% explosive play rate (11th best among receivers) certainly suggests Peoples-Jones can be a big-play factor. His outlook would be rosier if Deshaun Watson weren't suspended for the first 11 games of the season, which means People-Jones will be on the other end of throws from Jacoby Brissett through most of November. That makes Peoples-Jones more of a receiver to consider off the waiver wire rather than draft-and-stash.
DPJ is a physically gifted 6’2, 212-pound WR. He garnered high-value targets last season: deep balls and red-zone looks. But he also had a big volume issue in an offense that lacked passing volume. Perhaps that shifts further in favor of the passing game in 2022, though the uncertainty surrounding Deshaun Watson clouds that aspect. Ultimately, Peoples-Jones looks nice as a late best-ball pick, where we can reap the spike weeks without deciding to start him. He’s not likely to be nearly so attractive when you’re setting a weekly lineup – especially in full-PPR formats.
Peoples-Jones entered the 2021 season ticketed for a situational role, but injuries and the Odell Beckham Jr. trade led to the 2020 sixth-round pick playing 78% of the snaps during 14 active weeks. The hefty playing time didn't lead to much fantasy production, though. Peoples-Jones primarily operated as a vertical target (his 15.5 average depth of target was second highest in the league), which helped him to 10.3 yards per target (sixth highest), but didn't allow much volume (4.1 targets per game). He had two weekly fantasy finishes better than 35th. The arrival of Deshaun Watson helps Peoples-Jones' stock, but first he'll need to fend of Anthony Schwartz and rookie David Bell for regular snaps behind Amari Cooper. The 23-year-old is best as a late-round flier in deep leagues.