In the aftermath following the disaster that was Johnny Manziel’s first start...
Five Cleveland Browns Who Could Make a Big Fantasy Football Impact in 2014
With the 2014 NFL Draft in the rear view mirror and training camp on the horizon, fans and analysts are already gearing up for the NFL regular season. In the fantasy football world, it is no different. In recent years, the Cleveland Browns offense has not produced much to be excited about, outside of last year’s emergence of Josh Gordon. This year under Kyle Shanahan, however, that trend could come to a quick and abrupt end.
With offenses that consistently rank in the Top 10, and often in the Top 5, Shanahan will get the best out of this Browns offense. The big question is, where will the production come from?
Anthony Armstrong, Wide Receiver
The Cleveland Browns may lack their explosive deep-threat in Josh Gordon during the 2014 season, but it will not stop Shanahan from unleashing deep routes to test the defense. In that role will likely be former Redskins’ standout, Anthony Armstrong, who has shown great flashes of speed and veteran saavy this Summer. If Gordon indeed misses time, look for Armstrong to average 70 to 90 yards with a 60 percent likelihood of a touchdown per game.
Projected Round: 10th
Terrence West, Running Back
With Ben Tate on the roster, it is likely that the Browns third-round rookie back will start the season rotating in from the depth chart. With West’s dynamic ability to run, block and catch, combined with the frequent injuries to Tate over his career, it seems that the value for West would be much higher in the second half of the season. It is no secret that Shanahan wants to build the Browns offense by setting up the pass through the run, and it is only a matter of time before West is the bell-cow of the Cleveland backfield.
Projected Round: 6th
Jordan Cameron, Tight End
Coming off a Pro Bowl season last year, Cameron is set for only bigger and better things in 2014. Shanahan’s offense massively features the tight end, and especially if Gordon is out, Cameron is in line to see a lot of action. While Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski might go higher by name alone, Cameron just might surpass both of them this season to become the top tight end in the league. Last year, he fell just seven receptions short of topping Graham, but his touchdown totals were not even close. With Gordon out, expect Cameron to be the unquestioned redzone threat.
Projected Round: 3rd
Brian Hoyer, Quarterback
Everyone will be grabbing up Johnny Manziel around the sixth round this year, but the real value will be Hoyer. Manziel has the flash and talent to be an exciting and dynamic passer this season, but with how good Hoyer has looked since returning from surgery, “Money Manziel” might not get that opportunity. Pettine has made many references to his desire not to start a rookie QB, and Hoyer will have every chance to run with the job this season. Many have made comparisons of Hoyer to Matt Schaub, and in Shanahan’s system in two seasons, Schaub dropped over 9000 yards and 53 touchdowns. With the pedigree under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, Hoyer could end up surprising a lot of people around the league this year.
Projected Round: 10th
Andrew Hawkins, Wide Receiver
Hawkins has been the unquestioned offensive star in Cleveland Browns camp this offseason. Heaped with praise by everyone from Justin Gilbert to Mike Pettine, Hawkins has been virtually unable to be covered by defensive backs in camp, and has been turning heads everywhere he does. With his small stature, Hawkins plays larger than his frame dictates, and he has a quick first-twitch that has affectionately earned him the nickname “Jitterbug” from teammates.
Hawkins has solid and consistent hands, and combined with his precise routes, he has already become a favorite target of Hoyer. In New England, Hoyer saw first-hand the value of a certain small slot receiver’s effectiveness, and he will likely look to Hawkins as his safety valve this season. With Gordon out, it will likely be the Cameron and Hawkins show, and Hawkins is a threat to score any time the ball is in his hands.
Projected Round: 8th
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