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Report: Browns to trade WR Donovan Peoples-Jones to Lions

Cleveland is sending the depth receiver to Detroit. We break down the deal and the fantasy football impact.

Donovan Peoples-Jones of the Cleveland Browns walks off the field after a win over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 22, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns are trading WR Donovan Peoples-Jones to the Detroit Lions, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. The Lions improved to 6-2 on the season with a 26-14 win over the Las Vegas Raiders on MNF in Week 8. The NFL Trade Deadline is set to pass at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Cleveland is receiving a 2025 sixth-round pick for DPJ, per reports. Let’s break down the trade from both sides.

NFL Trade Deadline 2023: Donovan Peoples-Jones to DET

Impact for Lions

This is a good depth move by the Lions, who have four receivers in the mix. Amon-Ra St. Brown and Josh Reynolds are the top-2 wideouts while Jameson Williams and Kalif Raymond operated as the WR3/4. Behind that group, the team really didn’t have much else other than Antoine Green, who was seeing consistent snaps. With DPJ in the mix, it could mean fewer snaps for both Williams and Raymond. It also provides some injury insurance if St. Brown, Reynolds or someone else goes down before the playoffs. The Lions are in good position to secure a top seed in the NFC this season. Peoples-Jones can be a good WR2/3 in the right situation.

Fantasy football impact

Peoples-Jones is worth picking up off the waiver wire if you had Williams or Raymond on your roster. Last season with Cleveland, DPJ had 839 receiving yards and three TDs in 17 games. When given the opportunity, Peoples-Jones has proven to be a productive wide receiver in the NFL. We should see DPJ jump Williams and Raymond on the depth chart and could even cut into Reynolds’ target share a bit.

For the Browns, it’s a bit odd. Despite having just eight catches for 97 yards this season, Peoples-Jones was leading all Cleveland WRs in snaps with 439. That’s a lot of snaps to go around. Amari Cooper and Elijah Moore will be the primary wideouts with DPJ gone. Marquise Goodwin and David Bell are the two receivers behind them. One of Goodwin or Bell could see more snaps/targets. It’s hard seeing either be fantasy football relevant.

Expect the Browns to simply play defense and use two-wide sets most often, leaning on the defense and run game. QB Deshaun Watson seems washed and likely won’t be 100% healthy the rest of the season. PJ Walker has been a train-wreck filling in at QB. If Watson can come back and look halfway decent, it’s a boost for Cooper and Moore in the passing game. The run game should remain the focal point with Jerome Ford and Kareem Hunt.