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Friday, August 12, 2011

Fantasy Football is no place for "Homers!"

It’s that time of year – yep, Fantasy Football Draft parties are starting next week. And frenzied managers are looking all over the internet for tips and tricks to get the best players in their league.

Well, I would just like to remind everyone that: Fantasy Football is no place for “Homers!”

I’m a “Homer.” I love the Cleveland Browns and think that they can win every week. I cheer for them and talk trash with my friends that are fans of other teams. And believe me, there’s lots of trash-talk - especially during Browns-Steelers week. That is my Holy Week… a week of name calling and bad jokes and crazy bets.

I’m much more practical when it comes to Fantasy Football. I’d love to have a few Browns players on my roster so that when they win on Sunday I also score a ton of points in my league. And I don’t want any Steeler or Ravens on my team because I just can’t root for them to do well. It’s a dilemma. But lucky for me, there’s plenty of talent in the NFL so I can field a pretty good team without any Steelers or Ravens.

If I put my “homer” status aside, are there any Browns that are truly worth picking up in Fantasy Football? And what about actually starting? I’m here to tell you there are 3 that should be starting in every Fantasy Football league, and a few more guys that could turn out to be starters by the end of the season, or at least good bye-week replacements.

The Obvious first choice is Peyton Hillis. Cleveland’s own Madden cover-boy is ranked 4th best RB overall in most of the online stat comparison’s I’ve seen from last year. With Hardesty still recovering from the knee injury, Hillis will be sharing carries with Brandon Jackson.
While Jackson looks to be a good 3rd down back, Hillis should still be getting the majority of the carries as well as the goal line shots so his fantasy numbers will remain strong this year.

Next, and this one may surprise you, is Phil Dawson. This is a team with a new Head Coach learning a new offensive scheme in a shortened practice season. I anticipate it will take them a while to get everything clicking so in the meantime; Dawson’s field goal kicking will be a big part of the offense.

Finally, at tight end we have Ben Watson and Evan Moore. While Ben did well with the fantasy points last year, Moore has been burning up training camp. He’s clicking with Colt McCoy and is showing that he wants to be the man this year. The Browns also have some questionable talent in the wide receiving group, so while they are sorting that out, the tight ends will be the “go to” guys for Colt on his progressions. Watson is the smart choice for a fantasy starter but Moore is a great pick up if you want to hedge your bets for later in the season.

As a “homer” I hope and pray that Colt McCoy becomes fantasy gold. But this year if you want to take a chance, pick him up in later rounds. This offense could start clicking mid-season and you might find you’ve got a good bye-week or injury replacement. Also, if he does prove to be the QB of the future, he would make a good Keeper for next year. As for Josh Cribbs, it’s hard to know exactly how he will be used this year. As a kick returner? With the new NFL rules on kicks I don’t see many opportunities for the big run-back for a TD so that hurts Cribb’s value. As a WR? Too risky for me. But again, he is a guy you could grab in round 14 and hold on to “just in case.”

So to all you wannabe NFL Managers out there… don’t overlook the Browns.
Don’t assume that because they’ve been knocked down to the 28th position in the NFL power rankings that they don’t have a few stud players. Because they do. And that should give all “Homers” like me the hope that the Browns have some great pieces to build around and that the future is nothing but bright for the team and all of my fellow “Homers.”

Respectfully Submitted,


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