2013 Team Outlook: Cleveland Browns (Page 2)

 
 
 
 
Football > Preseason > 2013 Team Outlook: Cleveland Browns

2013 Team Outlook: Cleveland Browns

A fantasy football preview of the Cleveland Browns this season. Profiled players include Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell, Dion Lewis, and Bobby Rainey.

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Willis McGahee still has something left in the tank. Just don't expect him to have enough for a road trip and keep it under the speed limit. The former Miami Hurricane is in his 11th season. At 31 years of age, he'll be used sparingly and is certainly worth an add in bigger leagues. In his first game, he had eight carries for nine yards. McGahee will probably need a game or two to get his sails full of wind and should be rostered in every competitive league.

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Chris Ogbonnaya should be a somewhat-familiar name to fantasy owners. Back in 2011, he joined the Cleveland Browns to start a few games early in the year. He was nothing more than a waiver wire add then and he might not even be that this season. In his first action of the season, he was limited to two carries for 23 yards. Ogbonnaya is only an option if there's a serious injury ahead of him on the depth chart.

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The Browns opted not to re-sign WR Josh Cribbs because second-year man Travis Benjamin can be an excellent punt returner. Endowed with sub-4.4 40 yard dash speed, Benjamin can stretch the field and challenge defensive secondaries deep. His production was very sporadic last year, so there's little immediate evidence he will make the jump into fantasy relevance.

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In today's NFL, knucklehead receivers who can't stay out of trouble and injury-prone primadonnas dominate the news. Guys like Josh Gordon, who put together a very promising rookie season, seem to stay under the radar. Gordon saw 96 targets last season and that number should increase in 2013. New head coach Rob Chudzinski is expected to install a more pass-happy offense, which could translate into Gordon making the leap from a flex option to regular WR2. Big upside is limited though since the former Baylor Bears wideout will live and die by his quarterback play and there doesn't appear to be much difference between QBs Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell.

UPDATE (9/23/2013): The Browns are actively seeking out a trade partner to deal Gordon to the highest bidder. After already having served his two-game suspension, another off-field problem would result in a possible one-year suspension. Coming off an excellent Week 3 where the former Baylor Bears receiver caught 10 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown, Cleveland is ready to deal to shore up their future prospects.

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After a solid rookie season in 2011, Greg Little took a small step back last season. QB Brandon Weeden seemed to favor WR Josh Gordon, even if only slightly, and Little's production declined. Now entering his third year, Little is still growing as a player, but unfortunately this offense must show some kind of spark in order to validate taking Little with a late-round flier. He is someone that will likely spend most of the season near the top of the waiver wire in most leagues.

UPDATE (08/16/2013): Little has been putting in extra work this offseason. He doesn't have much to show for it yet, only catching three balls for 31 yards through two games.

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Davone Bess is a solid pro and has consistently made the most of poor situations while with the Miami Dolphins. Now on a new team, his role is more or less the same. He is a possession receiver that will catch about three or four balls per game for minimal yardage. Bess will work the slot, so his targets could spike this season if Cleveland is able to improve on offense. Bess will likely be rostered in deeper formats and would serve as a low-end backup.