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Dynasty Capsule: Cleveland Browns

As part of the premium content package, we’re unveiling dynasty capsules for every team in the NFL all Spring and Summer. This year, we also have a precursor to every team capsule, with more detail on one of our favorite pieces – the dynasty sleeper. We continue our alphabetical journey through the NFL with the Cleveland Browns.

Quarterbacks

Brandon Weeden

Nearly all the focus on Weeden this offseason is what he isn’t and that’s young. As a 28 year old rookie, Weeden saw his stock drop from a potential top ten draft selection to a late first rounder. There are a lot of dynasty owners who are blackballing Weeden based on his advanced age and avoiding him in their rookie drafts.

Let’s stop for a moment and focus on what he is for a change.

Weeden is an accurate and effective quarterback. Over his last two years at Oklahoma State, Weeden completed just under 70 percent of his passes for over 9,000 yards and 71 touchdowns. He’s also proven winner, guiding the Cowboys to a 23-3 mark over the past two years. Make him 22 or 23 and he’s a late first or early second round pick in a rookie draft.

If you’re looking for an accurate and strong armed developmental quarterback, Weeden could be your guy. Sure, he’s going to have some growing pains and his career will be shorter than others. However, how many quarterbacks have been taken highly in dynasty leagues, then flamed out two years later? Personally, I’d rather take a chance on Weeden in the late second or third round of a rookie draft (or even later) and deal with his career being a little shorter.

After all, how many players do you realistically draft and keep for duration of their entire careers. If he pans out, he’ll be a nice piece for a contender down the line.

Colt McCoy

It’s hard not to feel bad for McCoy. It seems like every time he takes a step forward, something happens that takes him two steps back. In short, the Browns obviously don’t believe in McCoy as their long-term solution at the position and there’s little doubt that Weeden is the starter in week one. The bigger question is likely more if McCoy is even going to be on the team at that point as the Browns have been rumored to be shopping him around the league.

McCoy’s numbers aren’t bad. For his career, he’s completed just under 60% of his passes for 4,309 touchdowns, 20 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. That’s pretty much the epitome of average.

In a dynasty league, you’ve missed the boat on trading McCoy. He’s worth holding on to for now as he could end up on a roster where he has a chance to compete, but his lack of arm strength is likely going to be a limitation for his entire career.

Seneca Wallace

There was a time when Wallace was a nice roster stash as a talented, multi-dimensional quarterback. That time is not 2012.

Running Backs

Trent Richardson

Here we go.

Richardson is one of the most polarizing figures in dynasty leagues right now as many owners feel he could be the next big thing at the all-important running back position.

Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way immediately.

Richardson is a phenomenal athlete. Those salivating at having the chance to get him in the future weren’t disappointed in his production as the full time starter for Alabama last season. After all, posting 1,679 rushing yards, 338 receiving yards and scoring 24 touchdowns in the SEC is no joke. He’s fast, strong and skilled enough to draw comparisons to Adrian Peterson and be heralded as the best running back to come out of college since Peterson himself.

Now to the questions.

Richardson has been the source of great debate in the DLF Forums. Some claim that going to Cleveland is awful for his value since they haven’t exactly been a haven for great offense in some time. Those same detractors aren’t in love with the fact the Browns and Richardson will be playing against the Ravens and Steelers for 25% of their games each year. Those on the side of Richardson cite an improving offensive line and the fact the Browns simply haven’t had anyone this good for some time.

Now to the ridiculous.

We have Richardson generously ranked as the ninth overall player at the moment in the top 400 rankings. That list shouldn’t be confused with a true ADP list, but it’s not uncommon to see Richardson go in the later part of the first round or early part of the second round in start up drafts. However, we’ve recently seen him being taken ahead of the likes of players like Ray Rice or LeSean McCoy in the top five picks in startups. If you draft Richardson, it’s with the hopes he can produce like those two players eventually. Assuming that he can hit that level early on and actually be a better fit for your dynasty team now more than those two is more than just a little risky. Giving up the chance at a guaranteed top tier running back to get the chance of a top tier running back is the definition of “riverboat gambler.”

Montario Hardesty

It’s a tough luck story for Mr. Hardesty. He has real talent, but his ability to stay healthy is pretty much non-existent. Every time he gets to full strength, it seems he goes down with a significant injury. While he has value to Richardson owners as a handcuff (if you believe in that philosopy), his chances of ever making a long term impact are about the same as his ability to play an entire season – not good.

Brandon Jackson

Jackson was once a heralded rookie pick in dynasty leagues based on his combine performance and measureables. Unfortunately, he had chance after chance in Green Bay and failed to deliver. While he likely has more long term value than Hardesty, his ceiling is going to be as a change of pace back or injury fill in for Richardson.

Chris Ogbonnaya

If you play in a league with players who have a silent “g” in their names, he’s a first round pick. If not, he’s waiver wire fodder.

Wide Receivers

Greg Little

Simply put, Little is the single greatest hope for the Browns receiving corps in both reality and fantasy. He had a limited body of work in college, but most had seen enough in his one most productive year to see that Little had a tremendous amount of natural ability. He was pretty good in his rookie season, playing all sixteen games and posting 61 catches for 709 yards and two touchdowns.

With McCoy being replaced with Weeden, the hope for Little continues to grow. After all, it seems he would stand to benefit from a stronger armed quarterback. His value is all over the board depending on where you look. We have him right around the late twenties or early thirties in our wide receiver rankings, but he has a chance to move up with a solid Sophomore campaign. In other words, he has a whole lot of upside.

Mohamed Massaquoi

Massaquoi reminds me a ton of Josh Morgan, only with a much tougher name to spell. It seems like every year brings us this renewed hope that Massaquoi (much like Morgan) will finally break out and be a producer in dynasty leages.

We’re disappointed every year.

In his three years in Cleveland, Massaquoi has produced a total of 101 catches, 1,491 yards and seven scores. There is more hype around him again this year, but it’s tough to put a lot of stock into a player who has disappointed so much in the past three years. In addition, he’s suffered at least two serious concussions over the past two seasons. The injury risk and disappointment combined make a lot of other players worthy of a flyer.

Jordan Norwood

Norwood has received a lot of interest in dynasty leagues in the past, but a lot of the sizzle has fizzled, so to speak. He finished last season with 23 catches for 268 yards and one touchdown. He should compete with Travis Benjamin and Josh Cooper for slot duties and is worth monitoring, but he’s really not roster worthy in shallow dynasty leagues at the moment.

Travis Benjamin

If there’s one thing we know about Benjamin, it’s that he’s very, very fast. He’s undersized at just 5’10” and 175 pounds, but he raised eyebrows by running a sub 4.4 forty in pre-draft workouts. You would think he’d be best suited for the slot, but there’s some talk he could actually be pushing for a role on the outside. Since the Browns are so thin at the position, Benjamin is surely a player to monitor. At least we know he can run.

Carlton Mitchell

Much like most of the Browns receivers, Mitchell was once a hot sleeper in dynasty leagues after being a sixth round pick out of South Florida in 2010. Three catches and 31 yards later, the only people sleeping are the ones waiting to see him bust out. At 6’3″, 215 pounds and with a speed element to his game, you’d think he’d be more productive. He’s battling for a roster spot at this point.

Josh Cribbs 

Cribbs was once a great asset in leagues that reward return yardage, but the new rules have hurt his value a bit. In addition, he’s already 30 years old and it sounds like his role on offense is going to be minimal so he can really focus on special teams. It’s time to move on from Cribbs as he’s simply eating a roster spot on your team that could be used for a higher quality sleeper or depth player.

Josh Cooper

We focused on Cooper in our Cleveland Browns sleeper article.

Tight Ends

Ben Watson

Watson was decent last year for the Browns, posting 37 catches for 410 yards and two touchdowns. Now 31, it’s tough to expect any more than that in a given year, though. In fact, he may not make the team this year with Evan Moore and Jordan Cameron in tow. Move along.

Evan Moore

Moore has been relatively productive when he’s played, but the corps of Browns tight ends seems pretty deep at the moment. There’s a good chance he’ll improve on his numbers from last year (24/324/4), but expecting him to grow into much more than a TE2 is asking a lot.

Jordan Cameron

Cameron is a converted basketball player and has shown a lot of ability and growth this season. He’s a good candidate for a sleeper this year and is worth keeping tabs on for sure. He ran a 4.59 forty at last year’s combine and is a very good athlete. If his football skills can catch up with his athletic ability, the Browns could really have something here. Potential is a very dangerous word, but Cameron fits the bill. He has the lowest floor of the Browns tight ends, but he has the highest ceiling as well.

Dan Gronkowski

When you draft your team, make sure it’s ROB that you take in the first or second round, not DAN.

We’ll continue our team-by-team capsules with the Dallas Cowboys up next.

Ken Kelly
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Chris Crane
9 years ago

As a Saints fan, I feel Cleveland pain, hence the reason I root for them. Random comment since they aren’t good enough to attract any other comments

Zach Levitt
9 years ago

What’s Little’s ceiling? Could he potentially be an elite WR or just a WR2?

Chris Crane
Reply to  Zach Levitt
9 years ago

WR2… not elite skills, just a pretty good situation. Im waiting for the big couple weeks and shipping him off

Jon Baker
9 years ago

As a life long Browns fan and season ticket holder I really hope Weeden and T-Rich can make the Browns watchable on offense. I know everyone is going to think I’m crazy but I traded Foster for T-Rich, Ronnie Hillman and a 1st and 2nd round pick in the 2013 rookie draft. I love fantasy football but love the Browns more and if T-Rich is even close to as good as his hype, the trade is well worth it to me. The way I look at it is, fantasy football is supposed to be fun and if I have a chance to grab the Browns first possible elite player on offense since they’ve been back in the NFL I’m doing it! I would love to hear others thoughts on my trade, but please, go easy on me.

JBlake
Reply to  Jon Baker
9 years ago

Post this in the forum and you’ll get plenty of feedback. I like Hillman’s upside for the Broncos, so if your team is bad this year and those picks are high ones next year, that’s not a bad trade.

Chad Benner
9 years ago

I like the trade and think you did well.

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