The Cleveland Browns were the laughing stock of the NFL in 2015 with showing no progress once again. They went from losing a game on Monday Night Football to a field goal being blocked to a new alias of Billy Football as the quarterback.
Did the front office really think this guy would be the future or even someone the team could lean on in 2015? He has played with Arizona, Detroit, Oakland, Carolina, Chicago, Tampa Bay, and now Cleveland. Last time I checked playing on seven teams, as a back up the majority of the time, is not who you want running your offense. He has a chance to start the 2016 season as quarterback, he didn’t really hurt the team in the games he played. Looking at his stats they are very similar to when Marc Trestman was calling the plays in Chicago.
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In his stats alone he just doesn’t do enough to win a game. Cleveland needs someone who can take over and be the face of the team. In 2015 alone he averaged 1.5 passing touchdowns a game. We can call him a glorified backup, that somehow still getting reps and playtime.
You kind of feel for the guy. He is obviously still very young and does have some growing up to do. However, Mike Pettine looked like a guy who would find any reason to bench Manziel. The organization needed him to play to find out what they have in the young quarterback. There really hasn’t been enough for teams to give good offers for him. He started in just six games in 2015 and started two in 2014. Manziel has said he wants out of Cleveland and can you really blame him, a team that has just three wins and showing no progress.
Let’s be honest, he is gone this off season. Many seem to think Dallas is a landing spot, but it could come as late as an injury in training camp or even a preseason game. The Browns won’t release him, well actually they might, they are the Browns.
Coming into the NFL as a undrafted free agent he had a lot to prove. He showed a small glimpse as a quality back up in St. Louis. He started in eight games in St. Louis and gave a team like Cleveland promise of a backup quarterback.
He was kind of overlooked when it comes to the fantasy world. With a crowded backfield going into the season, many had low expectations of what to expect from anyone in this backfield. I wouldn’t say Crowell had a great season, but he surprised some people by finishing as a Top-30 running back. The offense had so many ups and downs and quarterbacks switching it was really hard for the offense to really take off. Crowell filled the role of the early down back for the team and gaining over 700 yards on the ground.
Let’s take a look at his rookie and second year stats.
He finished nearly the same in back-to-back seasons so this gives you sort of an idea of what to expect next season. His receptions and targets are up but he really didn’t serve as the third-down back. The big thing to look at is he started in four games in 2014 and nine in 2015. Starting and handling fewer attempts in 2014 his stats really aren’t good.
Duke Johnson Jr.
In an offense where Johnson and Crowell were pretty much the only two running backs, the team only had one other running back record one carry. Johnson is clearly the fantasy back to own on this team. He had an average-at-best rookie season, but has a lot of promise. The coaching and usage of players in Cleveland was just awful this season. Johnson finished two games with double-digit carries of 12 and 13. He did not record a rushing touchdown but was primarily used in the passing game. He finished the season as 23rd-best PPR back.
|Att Yds Yds/Att TD Targets Rec Yds TD Fum Lost PPG Points
104 379 3.6 0 74 61 534 2 1 0 6.5 164.30
If and when they use him more next season he has the opportunity in PPR formats to be a Top-15 running back.
Easily one of the biggest surprises this year in fantasy and some in redraft leagues were able to pick him up off waivers. He finished the season as the 30th-best receiver and a lot of that has to do with QB change. He could have finished higher if he had worked with the same quarterback week-in and week-out building that rapport. Benjamin has played his whole career with Cleveland and they finally gave him a chance to shine. You could also say it was because they lack wide receiver talent on the team that let him shine a little bit. He is heading into free agency this off season and will most likely be paid a lot more than he should.
I might be the first person to write about Josh Gordon in 2016 and I’m loving every minute of it. We are all familiar with his previous seasons’ antics and he was suspended for the 2015 season. With hopefully a new quarterback in the horizon or even McCown relying on him big time. He should be a huge fantasy stud and I will go out there and say 2016: Fantasy Comeback Player of the Year.
There isn’t a whole lot of fantasy value here and he is really only used in deep leagues or bye weeks. His season wasn’t anything special, he could potentially play the slot next year with Gordon and Benjamin outside.
The Browns had intentions for Hawkins in more of a long term. They signed him to a four-year deal and he battled with injuries most of the season. His value could not be any lower and he has potential to be a WR4 when the fantasy season is done. I know that’s not appealing as you want to lock in better receivers, but if you can get him tossed in on a trade somehow, I would do it.
A true Cleveland Brown! Everyone thought he had the talent and he was in a bad situation in Kansas City. That couldn’t have been any more from the truth. He didn’t start a game this season and finished the season with five catches for 53 yards. Oh yeah, he appeared in seven games. He was a healthy scratch near the end of the season. He might be able to get picked up by another team and be revived, but it’s Cleveland, so he is is a goner.
I will go ahead and admit, I was wrong. I knew a tight end would be a steal and a big play this season in Cleveland. I was all in on Rob Housler. I own him in a lot more shares than I really care to talk about. Barnidge led the team in receiving which isn’t anything to really brag about. He had a very nice season and surprised a lot of people. He posted six weeks in a row of double-digit fantasy points. He also showed he has a nose for the end zone with nine touchdowns. He finished as the No. 2 tight end.
|Rk Player Team Points
1 Rob Gronkowski NE 183.60
2 Gary Barnidge CLE 158.30
3 Jordan Reed WAS 157.20
Obviously Gronkowski is going to be the top tight end, but to finish the season ahead of guys like Travis Kelce and Greg Olsen is very impressive. Barnidge is going to stick around and be part of their rebuild. I love what the future holds for him.
- 20/20: Just Missed - February 5, 2016
- Dynasty Capsule: Cleveland Browns - January 17, 2016
- Bowl Game Previews: December 26 (Part Two) - December 26, 2015
would you go after Gordon in trade with a young asset like K white etc even though we have no idea about the suspension etc?