Fantasy

Cleveland Browns 2010 Fantasy Analysis

Jerome Harrison is a third running back and spot starter on most fantasy rosters.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - In the next edition of the series, we head back to the AFC North and check out the Cleveland Browns. The Browns were 5-11 in 2009 with an offense ranked 29th of 32 teams at 15.3 ppg and a defense which yielded 23.4 ppg (21st).

Quarterback

Jake Delhomme - Delhomme had a disastrous season in 2009 (2,015 yards, eight TDs, 18 INTs in 11 games) and lost his starting job in Carolina. To expect him to rebound in Cleveland where he has less talent surrounding him is foolish. He should be good enough to beat out Seneca Wallace and rookie Colt McCoy, but he's not anywhere close to being a starting fantasy quarterback.

Running Back

Jerome Harrison - Harrison had three big games to end the 2009 regular season, so with many other positions to strengthen, what did Cleveland do but draft a running back early. That second-round pick makes it hard to take Harrison too high because of the fear of a shared backfield or one in which the rookie wins out. Harrison's ADP (Average Draft Position) is 67 and he's the 28th running back off the board making him a third back and spot starter on most fantasy rosters.

Montario Hardesty - Hardesty (ADP 105) definitely has talent (1,345 yards rushing at the University of Tennessee in 2009) but multiple knee surgeries make injuries a concern for fantasy owners who want to draft him as a starter. He's being drafted in the range with other backup running backs like Tim Hightower, LaDainian Tomlinson and Steve Slaton so it appears that fantasy owners don't think he'll be the starter. I don't either.

James Davis - It was just a year ago that Davis was the "young" running back in Cleveland that people were getting excited about. Unfortunately, he played just two games in 2009 before landing on injured reserve with a torn labrum. He'll have to play his way back into the minds of fantasy owners who are selecting him only as a late-round flyer (ADP 245).

Wide Receiver

Mohamed Massaquoi - Massaquoi showed flashes of ability, but it was hard for him to excel with the unstable quarterback situation of 2009. It will continue to be tough for him to produce fantasy-worthy numbers in this offense, and probably will stay that way until Colt McCoy takes over in a year or two. He's got an ADP of 155.

Joshua Cribbs - Cribbs is a multi-talented athlete who is still learning how to be a wide receiver. But he's very good once the ball gets in his hands, via reception, kick return or "Wildcat" offense. His fantasy value is primarily in leagues which include return yardage as his 2009 total of 536 yards from scrimmage isn't enough to make him fantasy-worthy. Currently he has an ADP of 166.

Tight End

Ben Watson - Watson used to have value as a tight end, but time and a change in quarterback from Tom Brady to Jake Delhomme should be enough to keep you from drafting him. There are simply too many better options at tight end.

Kicker

Phil Dawson - A kicker is only as good as the offense that gets him into field goal range and Cleveland won't do that often enough to make Dawson a viable fantasy option. He's not currently in the top-20 kickers being drafted.

Defense

The Browns defense did a decent job sacking the quarterback (40), but just 19 total turnovers (nine fumbles, 10 interceptions) left them in the bottom third of the rankings. Had it not been for four kick returns for touchdowns (three Cribbs kickoff returns and one Cribbs punt return), they would have finished 30th. Their first two draft picks were used to strengthen the secondary (cornerback Joe Haden, safety T.J. Ward), but they have a long way to go before becoming fantasy relevant.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.