Cleveland Browns Team Capsule
What Went Right
Oh, it was mostly good for the Browns in 2007. The passing offense, with Derek Anderson, Kellen Winslow, and Braylon Edwards, went absolutely bananas. Anderson was the most surprising top performer since he wasn’t a starter until Week Two. In fact, his taking the reigns from Charlie Frye was about the most frightening prospect for fantasy owners. Okay, Frye maintaining the starting gig would have been scarier. Still, Anderson came out of nowhere to lead Edwards and Winslow to more than 1,100 receiving yards each. Oh, and Jamal Lewis ran for 1,300 yards and nine scores. We have no idea how that happened. Perhaps he was trying to outrun the law again.
What Went Wrong
Really, trying to find a negative aspect to the Browns’ fantasy performers is tough, and anything said will sound nitpicky. Obviously, the defense was, well, crappy. But that’s good for the offense. Anderson got 527 attempts and most of those came with the Browns needing to put up huge point totals. Also, we’re talking about defense? Please. The Browns were a fantasy goldmine in 2007. Hell, even Phil Dawson was a beast. Phil Dawson!
The Browns’ front office didn’t do too much to the offense, which is a good thing, we guess. The brass did bring in wide out Dónte Stallworth to compliment Edwards on the other side. Stallworth was his usual inconsistent self, and his injury prone label didn’t really change at all. Still, having another weapon that defenses have to at least pay attention to can’t hurt. Other than that, the only other big offensive news was the cutting of LeCharles Bentley. If Bentley played at all with the team, it might have been a more worrisome issue.
Umm, since the Browns didn’t even have a first-day selection, we can just bypass this section, right? No? You want a random, yet hysterical video? Okay, try this.
State of the Team
Quarterbacks – Anderson was lights-out for fantasy owners last year, except for a couple points. First of all, he struggled over the last part of the season. This isn’t a deal-breaker exactly, but his last three games featured more interceptions than touchdowns. Maybe this because of the fault of cold-weather games, or maybe the league started to figure him out a bit. It’s probably one of those glass-half-empty things. The other red flag was his completion percentage. It wasn’t good. In fact, Tavaris Jackson beat him in this category. Ultimately, it was Anderson’s first season as a starter, and if a highly-touted first year guy (say, Brady Quinn) had that kind of year, we’d be calling him the next Manning.
Running Backs – Lewis was re-signed and he will get the carries as long as he’s healthy. Unfortunately, we refuse to believe whatever happened last season was true. It had to be a mirage. The Lewis we remember was slower than Eddie George and had fewer moves than Ron Dayne. Sorry, Dawg Pound, we don’t see nine scores for Lewis this season.
Wide Receivers – Edwards was possessed last season. Normally, 16 receiving touchdowns would be good enough to lead the league. Unfortunately, a certain wide out in New England was doing a little better. Still, Edwards should be a top three receiver in every scoring system. Stallworth is an okay second backup, as he will have a couple big games during the right matchup.
Tight Ends – Winslow, perhaps against the odds, has been one of the more consistent elite tight ends for the last couple seasons. He seems to be a lock for over 1,000 yards and five or six scores if healthy.
Defense/Special Teams – One of the reasons the Browns didn’t have any real draft picks this season is because they brought in Shaun Rogers, who will be expected to make a big splash on the defensive line. That would be great, as long as he doesn’t do too much to keep Cleveland in low-scoring games. Also, Josh Cribbs — try no returning kicks for scores this season! You are a fantasy thief, and no one likes you!