2013 Team Outlook: Cleveland Browns (Page 2) 2017 TOP 200 Fantasy Football Rankings, TOP 200 PPR Cheatsheets TOP 200 PPR Draft / Draft Rankings

 
 
 
 
 
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, Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden, Dion Lewis, and Montario Hardesty.

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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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With Trent Richardson out of town, Bobby Rainey figures to see a spike in playing time. After Week 3, he still has a lot to learn and prove on the field. He had five touches in his debut and it appears Willis McGahee has the starter's edge. Rainey is a guy to watch in dynasty formats, and he isn't likely to hit it big this year.

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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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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.

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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.