The Browns will have a new look offense in 2012.
It appears as though the Colt McCoy era is over. Well, I guess I shouldn’t call it an era – that makes it sound like it was long.
Brandon Weeden is expected to be the starter in Cleveland this season. In an AFC North division with tough, physical defenses, we can’t expect all that much from him during year one.
But there’s another rookie in Cleveland that we can’t overlook. Trent Richardson is being hyped from a fantasy perspective even more than Adrian Peterson was. Is it for good reason?
The player going late that could make an impact in 2012 is…
Greg Little. He’s ranked anywhere between 40 to 50 in most rankings, which seems fair. But Little is a second year receiver that could have put up much better numbers in 2011 if he didn’t drop so many passes.
And yes, you can blame part of that on the fact that he may not be that talented of a pass catcher, or that he’s not there yet. After all, he didn’t even play football in 2010 after being ruled ineligible by the NCAA.
But he’s got a year under his belt, what looks to be a better quarterback, and a running game that will easily become something more than a struggling Peyton Hillis.
Little scored just twice in 2011, hindering the way many looked at him from a fantasy football perspective. But his catches (61) ranked 41st in the NFL, and was 2nd highest of any rookie receiver. His yardage (702), was 4th best among rookies.
He should be a bench player, but there’s always that chance that he, the best wide receiver in a low-tiered offense, could come out of the season as fantasy relevant.
I won’t fault you for drafting…
Trent Richardson. I’ve mentioned this plenty of times throughout this blog and in my book: Running back touches are at a premium. It wouldn’t surprise me, and many others, if Trent Richardson gets close to 300 carries this season. They need him to have a sustainable offense.
Which is why, even if his yards per carry is low, he should be owned and drafted early. I’m not a big proponent of drafting a rookie running back early either. In fact, the majority of rookie running back breakouts occur with players that were drafted in the late rounds of the fantasy draft.
If he stays healthy, I expect him to at least be a top 15 running back. Given his ability, I wouldn’t be surprised if he broke the top 7 or 8 in the league this season.
You should draft…
Phil Dawson. Come on. Just draft him. If you’ve followed my blog or read my book, you know you’ve got a shot at winning the championship. Why not let old Phil win one too?”
Man, this may have been more depressing than my Dolphins post.
The one word to describe the 2012 Browns is…
Rebuilding. The only player you should sincerely worry yourself with is Trent Richardson. Greg Little is a late round possibility, but if you don’t get him, I wouldn’t stress. Otherwise, stay away from the Brownies. They’re still a few years away.