This was a pretty dreadful piece to write last season, when I said that there were only three players on the Cleveland Browns worth considering for fantasy football, which included RB Peyton Hillis, TE Benjamin Watson, and K Phil Dawson. While Dawson wasn't a bad bet, after the season ended, people who drafted Hillis or Watson watched them do nothing for their roster.
Have things changed in 2012? It looks like they could, but the issue again on the Browns is that there are too many unproven commodities. Which of these receivers is going to have the best fantasy season: Greg Little, Josh Gordon, Mohamed Massaquoi, or Travis Benjamin? If you can't answer that question quickly, then there is no point in starting any of them on gameday. The same thing goes with the tight end position: even though Jordan Cameron has been having a great camp, for example, who is to say that he'll take a back seat once Watson and Evan Moore are both back at the same time?
After the jump are a few fantasy football strategies to consider when taking members of the Cleveland Browns.
Hot Commodity - RB Trent Richardson
Despite having arthroscopic knee surgery, odds are that Trent Richardson will be ready for the Cleveland Browns' Week 1 game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Richardson is a dynamic running back who can get the yardage on the ground or as a receiver. Even though Tom Heckert has said that he wants to limit Richardson's touches to 20-25 per game, he should be in for a nice season if he avoids the injury bug. I think he is expected to be a third-round pick.
Sleeper Pick - TE Jordan Cameron
Unless you have a Browns fan in your league, nobody is going to draft a Browns tight end. There are three guys who could potentially have value, but if you're going to take a last-round flier on one of them, let it be Jordan Cameron. He has been the team's offensive star during training camp and has seen a lot of reps with the first- and second-team offense. I'm not saying he's going to break out into the next Rob Gronkowski or anything, but Cameron has delivered in practice, the Family Fun Night, and the first preseason game. All signs point to, "he'll deliver in the regular season as well."
Stay Away From Everyone Else
If if makes you feel good to be a homer and draft players on the Browns, then so be it. Even if Brandon Weeden has a solid rookie season, he is not going to put up Cameron Newton numbers, and there will be plenty of better quarterbacks available. Travis Benjamin is the most intriguing option at wide receiver because of his big-play potential and the fact that he's been catching every pass thrown his way. Phil Dawson could be a more attractive kicker this year if Richardson gives the Browns some more red zone opportunities. It is hard to encourage anyone to draft the Browns' defense due to injuries (Phil Taylor, Chris Gocong), and suspension-related issues (Scott Fujita, Joe Haden).
Feel free to discuss which rounds you have taken members of the Browns in, or if you plan on drafting any players from the team.