2012 Team Outlook: Cleveland (Page 2)

 
 
 
 
Football > Preseason > 2012 Team Outlook: Cleveland

2012 Team Outlook: Cleveland

A fantasy football preview of the Browns this year. Profiled players include Brandon Weeden, Colt McCoy, Chris Ogbonnaya, Trent Richardson, and Montario Hardesty.

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After Greg Little and Mohamed Massaquoi, Cleveland's depth chart is unclear at wide receiver. The Browns drafted Travis Benjamin out of "Da U" in the fourth round. He'll have to earn his playing time which means he won't have much of a role to start the season. Rookie receivers don't often explode onto the scene and if they do, they're almost always first round selections. Benjamin will need to slow cook on the Cleveland sidelines before fulfilling his potential. He will get his feet wet in 2012 and play sparsely, but it's highly unlikely he cracks the starting lineup.

Update (8/12): Head coach Pat Shurmur feels Benjamin will contribute as rookie.

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On one hand, Greg Little struggled with drops in his rookie campaign. He didn't score a touchdown until Week 12, even though he received a ton of playing time in the preceding 10 games. On the other hand, one could argue Cleveland now has a better quarterback, running back and offensive line after what appears to be a pretty good draft. This should take pressure and attention away from Little who is now entering his second year. He likely won't make the jump to household name status in 2012, but there's enough to like to take a chance on him as a sleeper WR3.

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With 41 receptions for 518 yards and four scores, Josh Cribbs' 2011 season was his best yet. Better known as a kick return dynamo, Cribbs seemed to embrace his new role at receiver because his team needed him. Fantasy owners, on the other hand, should take note that even at his most productive, Cribbs wasn't even averaging three receptions per game. The emergence of Greg Little and stiff competition from Jordan Norwood will relegate Cribbs to WR4 or worse.

Update (8/12): Cribbs is unlikely to have much of an impact on offense as a wide receiver.

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Succeeding in Cleveland as a wide receiver is no small feat. Supplemental draft pick Josh Gordon has a legitimate shot to break that barrier and be a contributor as a rookie. This 6'3", 225-pounder from Baylor University has already ascended to the No. 3 spot on the Browns' depth chart. He currently is placed behind Greg Little and Mohammed Massaquoi but Cleveland has to be very high on the rookie since they were willing to spend a second round choice on him. Gordon likely needs a year of experience before he begins to fulfill his full potential yet that doesn't mean he won't have a couple big games this year.

Update (08/27): Gordon has taken over as the No. 2 wide receiver.

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"Consistently underwhelming" aptly describes Mohamed Massaquoi. His 2011 season was an all new low with career worsts in receptions (31), receiving yards (384) and yards per reception (12.4). The only saving grace is that there is still the fleeting potential this offense improves with Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson in the fold. That said, you can still leave Massaquoi undrafted and in the waiver wire; no one in your league will bat an eye.

Update (8/12): Massaquoi suffered yet another concussion. This could potentially really open the door for rookies Josh Gordon and Travis Benjamin.

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This second-year tight end out of USC has reportedly been one of the most improved players on the Cleveland Browns roster. With No. 1 tight end Ben Watson limited this off-season with injuries, Cameron got a long look from the coaches and has the inside track to be the primary backup. Consider giving him a look in deeper dynasty formats for now and hope he earns more playing time this season.