Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

Offseason Primers: Cleveland Browns

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Sometimes when teams lose they change quarterbacks. When that doesn't work they change head coaches. When that doesn't work they change front-office executives.

Well, the Browns have been losing for a long time. So last year they went all the way with their change. They have a new owner as well as a new team president, new general manager and new head coach. But in the most twisted of ironies, the quarterback of the Brownies remains the same. For now.

2012 Touches Leaders
724 total touches (rush attempts + receptions)
Trent Richardson 318 (267 car., 51 rec.) 43.9%
Montario Hardesty 67 (65 car., 2 rec.) 9.3%
Greg Little 55 (53 rec., 2 car.) 7.6%
Josh Gordon 50 rec. 6.9%
Benjamin Watson 49 rec. 6.8%
All Others 185 25.5%

What matters for Fantasy Football is that the ultra-conservative Pat Shurmur is gone and creative play caller Rob Chudzinski is in at head coach. With him is veteran offensive mastermind Norv Turner. Chudzinski and Turner are veterans of the NFL and have a pretty darn impressive track record when it comes to getting players to produce big stats. Chudzinski was Cam Newton's first offensive coordinator, worked closely with Antonio Gates (while Turner was the Chargers head coach) and way back when was the Browns offensive boss when Derek Anderson and Braylon Edwards has their breakout years. Their credibility is strong and they'll need every ounce of it to squeeze life out of this offense.

The passing game is a major question mark heading into 2013. Brandon Weeden, who turns 30 this October, is currently slated as the starter but as soon as the Browns add another passer he'll be on shaky ground. His accuracy was a trainwreck last year, especially when throwing past 10 yards (47 pct. completed). Receiver Josh Gordon holds some promise but through two years Greg Little has shown, uh, little to make anyone think he can be a threat. The Browns need playmakers to help Weeden the same way the Bengals do for Andy Dalton -- the difference is the Bengals have a great one in receiver A.J. Green and a couple of promising role players.

At least the Browns struck gold at running back with Trent Richardson, and you better believe Chudzinski and Turner will lean on him. Richardson totaled 1,317 yards and 12 touchdowns as a rookie, and that was while playing with a broken rib and missing all of training camp with a gimpy hamstring! There's no doubt that he'll remain a heavy volume workhorse for the Browns as they transition to a better offense that should feature him prominently. Running behind a very good offensive line, there's obvious potential in Richardson, making him a Top 5 Fantasy choice and potentially the only Browns player you'll draft this summer.

Now, if the rest of the Browns can follow Richardson's lead -- and that includes the defense as they switch back to a 3-4 front under excellent defensive coordinator Ray Horton (formerly in Arizona) -- then they might not make any changes anytime soon.

Greg Little -- Bust

2012 Target Leaders
566 pass attempts
Josh Gordon 96 17.0%
Greg Little 91 16.1%
Benjamin Watson 82 10.2%
Trent Richardson 70 7.2%
Jordan Cameron 39 6.9%
All Others 188 33.2%

I'm pretty sure the Greg Little Bust Memo went out to everyone who plays Fantasy Football but just in case, here are some reasons why you can find a receiver better than Little in drafts. One, he's played a ton over the past two seasons and has six touchdowns to show for it along with 114 catches for 1,356 yards. That's 3.5 catches and 42.4 yards per game. Making that stat uglier is the reality that he's caught just 53.8 pct. of his targets, meaning he's been thrown at plenty. And from our friends at Pro Football Focus, Little's had 23 drops in two years. You can do the better than this. Heck, the Browns can do better than this.

Josh Gordon -- potential breakout

For a kid who wasn't drafted an April, didn't participate in the offseason program and was behind in his homework in training camp, Gordon had a pretty good year. He led the Browns in receiving yards (805) and receiving touchdowns (five) while converting nearly one out of every four receptions into a catch good for at least 20 yards. That's the good news; the bad news is that four of his scores and almost 30 percent of his receiving yards came during a three game stretch last year. So while his final stats were at least respectable with some potential for a big follow-up, he was woefully inconsistent. Enter Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner, two men who have found mismatches for their quarterbacks to exploit. Turner especially likes fast outside receivers who can pick up 17 yards or more on average, and that's right in Gordon's wheelhouse (he averaged 16.1 yards per catch last year). Even if the Browns can't work some magic at quarterback, at least Gordon has a chance to become consistent with a better offensive system to match up with his abilities. He's worth a late-round pick.

Jordan Cameron -- potential late-round flier

Expected 2013 Draft Averages
Brandon Weeden Undrafted
Trent Richardson Top 5 pick
Josh Gordon 115-125 overall
Greg Little Late-round pick
Jordan Cameron Undrafted
Browns DST Undrafted

Here's a fun fact about Rob Chudzinski: He's a former tight end who has made a living turning tight ends into great Fantasy options. Players who have done well with him include Kellen Winslow Jr., Antonio Gates and more recently Greg Olsen. This is a guy who won't forget his tight end in the heat of battle like some play callers might. Surely, Chudzinski will look at Cameron's big 6-foot-5 frame and tinker with ways to use him against slower linebackers and smaller defensive backs. There are probably reasons why Cameron didn't pick up more playing time in the past -- he has eight starts and 26 catches in two years -- but if Chudzinski's track record is any indication, Cameron's reputation will be on the rise. Don't be surprised if training camp wraps and Cameron's getting high praise.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Dave at @daverichard and on Facebook .

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Jim Leonhard joins Browns
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:54 pm ET) Former Bills safety Jim Leonhard tweeted that he signed with the Browns. Leonhard played for coach Mike Pettine last year in Buffalo, making 41 tackles and four interceptions.

Packers claim Gerrard Sheppard
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:46 pm ET) The Packers claimed receiver Gerrard Sheppard off waivers from the Ravens and are now at the 90-man roster limit, reports ESPN.com.

Jace Amaro trying to figure things out
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:39 pm ET) Jets rookie tight end Jace Amaro had another rough practice Wednesday, reports ESPN.com. He ran some plays wrong, dropped a pass and got razzed by a defensive player. He also "got an earful from offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg," the report said.

Amaro played in a relatively simple offense in college and is struggling to learn the Jets' system.

"We know he's got the physical skills to do it," coach Rex Ryan told the website. "He's got to focus, and sometimes if your head is in other places and you're thinking (too much), it's hard to be at your best."


Chip Kelly says Mark Sanchez 'has been outstanding'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:28 pm ET) Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez "has been outstanding since he's been here," coach Chip Kelly told reporters. "I think he's starting to feel more comfortable in terms of what we’re trying to do."

Sanchez has played so well that there's no question he's the No. 2 QB, according to The Star-Ledger. "Every day he's here," Kelly said, "there is an energy you can feed off of from him."


Donald Thomas likely reinjured quad
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:15 pm ET) Colts guard Donald Thomas, who missed 14 games last season with a torn quad, is believed to have reinjured it during Wednesday's practice, reports the Indianapolis Star. The latest injury "could be bad," the report added.

Alex Smith will table negotiations at some point
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:10 pm ET) The Chiefs and Alex Smith continue to discuss a contract extension, but the quarterback said Wednesday that at some point he will table those talks, reports the Kansas City Star.

"You’re getting to the point where either way, you want it to stop being a distraction," Smith said. "You guys know how I feel about this, and it’s the truth."

Smith, 30, has one year left on his contract at $7.5 million.

"You’re finally gonna cross a line where it’s like, it’s just football from here on out and I’m done not only talking about it with you guys, but even behind the scenes as well," Smith said. "We talk about eliminating distractions and that’s a part of it. The focus needs to be on ball."


Vikings' QB race taking shape
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:04 pm ET) Vikings quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater are likely to get the bulk of the snaps moving forward, reports ESPN.com. That means Christian Ponder will get fewer reps.

"You can't work three [quarterbacks] for a long time, so the reps will get divided up differently," Turner said.

Turner added preseason games will factor "heavily" into the team's decision on a starter.


Alterraun Verner still out with hammy
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:38 pm ET) Buccaneers top corner Alterraun Verner remained sidelined Wednesday with a sore hamstring, reports the Tampa Tribune.

Cordarrelle Patterson practicing Wednesday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:34 pm ET) Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who dealt with a foot injury early in camp, is practicing Wednesday, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Patterson is working in team drills so he's apparently not limited in any way.

Jordan Matthews looks ready to move up to first team
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:29 pm ET) Eagles rookie receiver Jordan Matthews has been dominating Philly's second-team defense, according to Birds 24/7's Sheil Kapaida. "I think it's time for Matthews to move up to the first team and square off against [corner] Brandon Boykin," Kapaida wrote. "I know [coach Chip] Kelly wants to slow down the hype, but he looks ready."

Quarterback Mark Sanchez repeatedly looks to Matthews. "I would say roughly 94 percent of Sanchez's completions today were to Matthews. Perhaps I'm being conservative," Kapaida wrote.


 
 
 
Rankings