Cleveland Browns: 6 Browns You Want on Your Fantasy Team
In fantasy football, it's often looked down upon to draft a great number of players who play on your own team.
It makes you seem as if you don't really understand the game and the statistics and only care about the guys who line up on "your" side of the field each and every Sunday.
I don't happen to be one of these guys, but for Browns fans, these are the Browns you can pick up in a fantasy draft while protecting your reputation as a real football fan, rather than as someone who only picks their favorites.
1. Greg Little
A standout preseason and a lack of depth at the receiver position could really help Little stand out for the Browns.
In three years at North Carolina, Little had 86 receptions for 969 yards and 6 touchdowns. Had he been eligible for his senior season, Little could have seen a huge spike in his numbers.
Little was a home-run threat in Chapel Hill and could be that same guy for the Browns. While Brian Robiskie and Mohamed Massaquoi have proven nothing to say that they are anything more than "decent," Little could end up being the Browns No. 1 receiver by the end of the year.
Although I would wait until the late rounds to draft him, Little could be a breakout player this season and end up being fantasy football's biggest sleeper receiver.
2. Ben Watson
I must admit, although I did say that I was not a "homer," I pick this guy consistently in my fantasy drafts.
Watson is extremely efficient, and with a solid starting quarterback this season, I don't know how his numbers from last season would decrease at all.
His 68 receptions for 763 yards and three touchdowns led Browns receivers last year, and make him one of Colt McCoy's biggest targets coming into this year.
Watson will either stay put or improve this season, but either way, he's worth having even if he's a bye-week or injury plug-in.
3. Colt McCoy
Even with his preseason numbers, McCoy isn't topping any fantasy quarterback rankings this season. But that shouldn't mean that you shouldn't take a chance on McCoy, even as a backup.
His 320 yards, six touchdowns and 101.7 passer rating this preseason show that McCoy is ready to succeed in the NFL for many years to come and may have secured him a spot on your fantasy squad.
I wouldn't necessarily start McCoy, as he plays in a system where he may not really be "airing it out" week after week, but I would happily leave Colt a nice warm seat on the bench and play him during a bye week.
4. Joshua Cribbs
Why would you ever want Josh Cribbs on your fantasy team?
Cribbs has never been a fantasy player. He's been the face of the Browns franchise, the leading kick returner in NFL history and a great offensive weapon, but he's never been a great fantasy football pickup.
However, as Cribbs grows more and more integrated into the offense, and as he has become a much better receiver throughout the years, he is going to play a much bigger role on the offense this season.
We saw Colt McCoy's first touchdown of the preseason go to Cribbs, who made a spectacular catch against the Packers. I believe that was the first of many McCoy-to-Cribbs connections this season.
I wouldn't draft Cribbs, but wait until halfway through the season when he's surprising with his offensive production, then be the first to pick him up off waivers.
5. Evan Moore
Evan Moore could be a bit of a stretch.
He plays along side Ben Watson, which will definitely lower his production fantasy-wise, but even so, Moore still seems to me like he would be a good pickup in a league with a great number of teams.
In an eight-team league, he shouldn't leave the free-agent wire, but if you're in a 14-team league, Moore could be a guy to keep an eye on.
McCoy loves throwing to him, he's got tremendous size and some unbelievable mitts for a tight end, which ultimately could lead to quite a few red zone touchdowns for Moore this season.
Definitely a stretch, but Moore could produce quite a few fantasy points this season.
6. Peyton Hillis
Peyton Hillis is definitely a guy that needs to be on your fantasy team.
Many owners are apprehensive about Hillis, simply due to the fact that he had such a monster year in 2010 and that they are scared he won't be able to match those numbers in 2011. Clearly they have yet to read this: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/832554-cleveland-browns-will-peyton-hillis-repeat-his-2010-season.
Hillis is the 25th-ranked player overall in the 2011 ESPN Fantasy Football Draft Kit, and deservedly so. Especially with the loss of Brandon Jackson and the fragility of Montario Hardesty, Hillis is going to eat up a lot of carries and yards and reach his 2010 numbers yet again this season.
If you're going to have only one Brown on your fantasy team, it should probably be Peyton Hillis.