For your fantasy football draft prep and advice, continue to check on this page for updates regarding the Cleveland Browns.
"New" logo. New offensive coordinator. Same problems. Josh Gordon will miss the entire 2015 season after a fifth failed drug test. It is a shame for many reasons. As it relates to fantasy football, Gordon was the most promising skill position player on the roster. John DeFilippo was the quarterbacks coach for the Jets in 2009 while Mike Pettine was the defensive coordinator under Rex Ryan. That year, New York was 9-7 and made it to the AFC Championship. Unfortunately, this Browns team is far from a contender and also has a difficult slate of games during the fantasy post-season (@ Seahawks, @ Chiefs, and vs. Steelers).
Bye week: 11
Rookie impacts: Duke Johnson (RB)
He might be the most exciting fantasy football option on the roster. Johnson rushed for over 1,600 yards and caught 38 passes for 421 yards in his final season with the Hurricanes. If I had to choose one running back from this club, I'd roll the dice on the rookie.
Quarterback: Josh McCown
By no means is McCown a lock for the starting gig in Cleveland, but I would consider him the frontrunner. McCown was over 300 passing yards away from his career-high (2,511 in 2004 with the Cardinals). He did, however, set a new career-high with 14 interceptions in 2014.
Running back: Isaiah Crowell
Crowell was the TD-machine for Cleveland in 2014. Last year, he scored eight rushing touchdowns, double the amount scored by the second place running back. After Duke Johnson is off the board, Crowell should be the next Browns RB drafted.
Running back: Terrance West
It was close, but West won the contest for most attempts (171) and yards (673) in the Browns backfield. While West has shown flashes of talent, he will likely remain on the fantasy football free agent list until someone ahead of him drops in the depth chart.
Wide receiver: Dwayne Bowe
The good news: he is Cleveland's No. 1 receiver. The bad news: it was nearly decided by default. Even more bad news: Josh McCown will probably be his quarterback. Last season, Alex Smith threw for over 1,000 more yards than McCown. Also, while none of them went to a wide receiver, Smith threw seven more TDs. On the bright side, Bowe will be cheap in your leagues.
Wide receiver: Brian Hartline
After back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons with Miami, Hartline was severely underutilized in 2014 (474 receiving yards). Cleveland is hoping to spark a new life into the former Buckeye. Then again, Hartline could be as productive as Nick Swisher for the Indians. That's not a compliment.
Wide receiver: Andrew Hawkins
The Toledo Rocket alum (yes, I must mention that every time I write about him) led the Browns in receptions (63), targets (113), and yards (824). However, Hawkins is working with a new quarterback and better competition at the receiving corps. He is the No. 3 receiver on a bad passing team.
Wide receiver: Terrelle Pryor
You read that right. Pryor is training with Antonio Brown and Randy Moss with the hope of making the Browns roster as a wide receiver. He's virtually undraftable, but Pryor will be a funny selection if you are bored and want the draft room to laugh.
Tight end: Rob Housler
Jordan Cameron is in Miami. However, even with Austin Seferian-Jenkins in Tampa Bay, Josh McCown only targeted him 37 times for 21 receptions. Housler is outside of my top 20, and quite possibly my top 30 TEs for 2015. There are other options.
Placekicker: Carey Spear
While he has the best nickname for a kicker ever, "Murderleg," he is outside the top 16 kickers list. I expect some funny fantasy football team names in Cleveland, though.
Team defense (D/ST):
The Browns added Tramon Williams (formerly of Green Bay) to join Joe Haden in the secondary. Both should be great role models for Justin Gilbert. Cleveland used their first round pick on Danny Shelton to anchor the defensive line. I typically look at the team's first three, or four, games when drafting a last-round defense. Cleveland will face the Jets, Titans, and Raiders in Weeks 1-3.