Few NFL teams face as much fantasy football volatility as the Cleveland Browns. There's plenty of upside, especially with Kyle Shanahan's offense in town and a certain hyped rookie quarterback, but there's plenty that can go wrong. Luckily, we should know a bit about that once the league decides to announce the length of Josh Gordon's suspension.
Unfortunately, I didn't have that clarity in my latest draft but bought him anyway. On Tuesday, I participated in the Fantasy Football DraftBook magazine mock, which we're playing out. The PPR format was a 12-team, 16-player-roster PPR exercise, where I had Pick 3. I took Gordon in Round 8. I was comfortable with the investment and replacement value at that point should I have to cut him in the case of a season-long ban. If it's only, say, half a season … worth it. Hopefully, you're not drafting yet and can see what happens.
- More Browns news: Ben Tate was "nicked up" for much of minicamp -- all the more reason that Tate is a risky RB2 and that Terrance West should be on your middle- to late-rounds list of targets.
- Rob Chudzinski, new special assistant to Indianapolis Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, has plenty of experience in developing tight ends, which means if he gets in Pep Hamilton or Pagano's ear, Dwayne Allen (hip) and Coby Fleener could pay fantasy dividends. Of course, they'll more often than not cancel each other out in terms of production, despite the fact Hamilton will continue running plenty of two-tight-end sets. It would more directly raise Andrew Luck's ceiling.
- Watch for Gavin Escobar to have a bigger offensive role this year if the Dallas Cowboys don't add another legit wideout to support Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Terrance Williams. In that case, they'd probably join the increasing club of NFL teams that are embracing 12 personnel, or at least line up Escobar in the slot to create mismatches. Witten isn't going anywhere as a fantasy TE1, but Escobar could enter the Tyler Eifert-Jermaine Gresham club of occasional playability for desperate deep-leaguers.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.
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