Many Cleveland Browns fans (or any home teams' fans) like to feel like they have inside knowledge about a particular player on their team when it comes to fantasy football. In the past, it might have been something as simple as nabbing TE Evan Moore in the final round of a draft, or just relying on good-old Phil Dawson to be your token Browns representative because he simply wasn't going to miss any of his attempts.
This year could be different, though. The Browns have looked energized on offense in training camp and during the preseason, to the point where many national media pundits are starting to believe in their potential. A few weeks ago, it might have been easy to take TE Jordan Cameron at the end of your draft, but that isn't the case anymore, after his two-touchdown performance against the Lions last week.
Listed below, using data from Yahoo Fantasy Leagues, we will take a look at what rounds people are typically drafting members of the Browns. Please note that the data on "round selected" does not necessarily apply if you are drafting in a league with all Browns fans; that data is more relevant if you are the Browns fans among a league of fans from other teams.
- QB Brandon Weeden - On average, Weeden is going undrafted, so it's a safe bet that you can get him in the final round or as a free agent pickup if that's what you desire. Consider the fact that he'll start off the season without WR Josh Gordon, though. Weeden should be trending upward for his statistical output in 2013, so you should cross-reference what week your starting quarterback has a bye on, and see if Weeden faces a porous pass defense that week. If he does, he might be worth a backup spot.
- RB Trent Richardson - The average draft position for Richardson is at pick 12.8 overall, which is right at the beginning of the second round. Realistically, that means he could go at any point of the first- or second-round.
If you have something like the 8th pick overall, you might be able to pass on Richardson and then get him as well in the second round. You'd be taking a risk in losing him, though. Richardson is expected to get a bigger workload offensively this year, but Cleveland's offensive line does excel better at pass blocking than they do at run blocking. Fortunately, Richardson catches a lot of passes and scores down near the goal line.
- WR Josh Gordon - The average draft position for Richardson is at pick 112.7 overall, which is around the 12th round. Gordon is poised to be Cleveland's best receiver statistically this year. Even though he is suspended for the first two games of the season, those 60-yard touchdown catches are tempting because they are an automatic 12 points every time.
- WR Greg Little - The average draft position for Richardson is at pick 127.8 overall, which is around the middle of the 13th round. There is an odd statistic that says he's only being drafted in 3% of the leagues, though. As much as I like Little as a receiver, he doesn't seem to be a significant fantasy threat -- inconsistent in yardage, and not enough touchdowns to make up for that. I'd leave him undrafted.
- TE Jordan Cameron - The average draft position for Cameron is at pick 129.3 overall, which is around the 14th round. If we're comparing Little and Cameron, there's no question who has more breakout potential -- Cameron. Tight ends aren't drafted very high to begin with, but I think Cameron's ranking is a reflection of his performance prior to the Lions game.
Recent data indicates that he is trending as the second-most tight end who people are picking off of the free agent wire. That means more people are going to start drafting him too. If you really feel like Cameron can do something crazy and be the next Antonio Gates or something, feel free to make this your "reach of the draft" and shoot for the 8th or 9th round.
- K - The fact that Shayne Graham has been drafted by 7% of leagues shows you how little people care about their kicker when preparing for fantasy drafts. The Browns haven't even named a replacement for Phil Dawson yet. Hell, if you're feeling nostalgic and still want to feel like you're taking a Browns player, go ahead and still draft Dawson.
- DEF Cleveland - The average draft position for the Browns' defense is at pick 125.9 overall, which is around the 13th round. Cleveland's defense appears to be pretty stout, but are still an unknown commodity since this is their first year in Ray Horton's defense. If there aren't any Browns fans in your league, I imagine Cleveland's defense can be picked up in the final round of the draft, if you're interested in them.
SPECIAL BUY: WR Travis Benjamin - With Gordon out the first two weeks, Benjamin could get the start. We've seen out explosive he can be on punt returns, so Benjamin could make for a sneaky start during that stretch. If he does wow people, too, perhaps you can dump him in a trade after that.
To summarize, Richardson is by far the Brown who you'll have the hardest time getting. If you really want Gordon or Cameron, you might have to reach a bit to safely secure them around rounds 9-11. The other players probably won't even be drafted.
This is only based on Yahoo's data, though. If you have already held your own fantasy football drafts, would you kindly post in the comments section what pick and round members of the Browns were drafted? Also, state if it was in a Browns league or a non-Browns league.