Wednesday, May 23, 2012

32 in 32: Cleveland Browns

The Browns were absolutely anemic on offense last season, but played surprisingly well on defense. Unfortunately, they did not generate enough turnovers to become a real valuable fantasy defense. They added a plethora of important pieces in the draft this year, so they could be a much improved team in the future. Again unfortunately, it seems very unlikely that these pieces will translate into wins this year, but they could have some fantasy impact, starting with this guy.

Trent Richardson is easily the biggest fantasy addition from the draft. Last season the Browns had an absolute disaster at running back, scoring only 4 rushing touchdowns on over 350 attempts. Trent Richardson should see 250-300 touches this season, hopefully rushing for 1100 yards and 6 touchdowns or more. This guy will be a true featured running back, but if he gets injured the Browns will go back to Chris Ogbonnaya and Montario Hardesty or the recently acquired Brandon Jackson. Don't fool yourself into thinking any of these backups will be fantasy relevant.

I really like Colt McCoy. He played admirably, despite having a terrible receiving corps. I think McCoy can beat out Weeden as the starter this year, IF the coaches are willing to give him a fair shake. Weeden is too unpolished this season, but they might make the switch to appease the fan base. I truly believe that McCoy can be borderline fantasy-relevant if he is given the opportunity. If you take a look at his numbers, they are actually decent. He does need to work on ball security and making faster reads, but that is something that comes with time. Bet on McCoy this season over Weeden.

Greg Little is the one guy who might make an impact this season. This will be his second year in the league, and he should be a decent late-round guy. Odds are that he will spend his season warming fantasy benches, but he should be able to outproduce most free agent receivers. Josh Cribbs might show some flashes this season, but he never really lived up to his recent contract extension. He is louder than he is successful outside of the return game.

I don't typically talk about kickers, but Phil Dawson made 7 of 8 attempts over 50 yards last season. He also made 7 of 8 from 40-49 yards, so he definitely has the ability to kick the ball. The worry here is that he will never get into field goal range. This could be the closest thing we see to David Akers from last season, so I would give this guy a shot if you need a kicker in the 15th round. I'll probably draft him in 2-4 leagues.

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