Hey guys, I took the day off yesterday but I'm back and ready to roll! Here is my take on the Cleveland Browns key additions and key subtractions over the off-season. Once again, I'm going to keep my introduction in here so if anybody is new to my content they can get familiar with what I'm trying to do here. If you are already familiar with what's going on, skip the introduction, but if you are new, keep reading and welcome!
Introduction - Bringing the Fantasy Football Discussion to Steemit
I've been a diehard fantasy football player for nearly a decade now, and I am extremely active in my research all year around. I plan on sharing my thoughts by blogging on Steemit for the upcoming season, so if you like to play fantasy football, you should definitely follow me. I am active on Sleeperbot, which is a fantasy football app that sends updates in real time, but there is also a community there that is very knowledgeable. You can find me on there @USER00100000.
Before the season starts, I will be breaking down key moves around the league as they happen, I will share my draft plans and key targets for the upcoming season, break down key statistics, and anything else that I can think of. During the season, I plan on breaking down key statistics each week, look at trade values around the league, player matchups, start/sit, and again, anything else I can think of to help you win a fantasy championship this season.
So far, we've seen a lot of movement this off-season. I'm going to start off by highlighting some key additions and subtractions by each team. I'm not going to spend time on players that I don't think are worth discussing, so keep in mind these are not intended to be complete lists, just important players (and possibly coaches) that moved and may have an effect on other players fantasy production.
Lets dig in! Next up is...
Key Additions: Kevin Zeitler G, J.C. Tretter C, Kenny Britt WR, David Njoku TE, DeShone Kizer QB
Key Subtractions: Josh McCown QB, Robert Griffin III QB, Terrell Pryor WR, Andrew Hawkins WR, Gary Barnidge TE, Austin Pasztor G
The Browns may have lost a lot of QB and WR depth at first glance, but most of it is really addition by subtraction. QB's Josh McCown and Robert Griffin III had a combined PFF grade of 97.6. Meanwhile, presumed starter Cody Kessler had a PFF grade of 93.41 which ranked 8th among QB's this season.
At the end of the season, John Kosko of PFF wrote a fantastic article highlighting how underrated Cody Kessler was last season. Although the Browns drafted DeShone Kizer in the second round of this years draft, I fully expect Kessler to be the man, and that is a definite improvement for this offense. Kessler is currently not being drafted, so he has no ADP, but I would consider him in 2 QB leagues or as a streaming option. Keep an eye on him in all other formats.
The Browns also let a solid guard in Austin Pasztor to leave via free agency, but then replaced him with an absolute stud in Kevin Zeitler and they also picked up another stud for their offensive line in center J.C. Tretter. Cameron Irving really struggled at center last season, so Tretter will be a huge improvement. I've already highlighted the fact that Zeitler is a massive loss for the Bengals, so it goes without saying how much the Browns have improved their offensive line this off-season. For the record, the Browns offensive line was already pretty decent according to PFF's rankings, so they absolutely have a chance of being one of the best, if not the best, offensive lines in the entire NFL. This not only helps Kessler, but significantly boosts the value of Isaiah Crowell. Right now Crowell is currently the RB14 at 34th overall and I still think at this position he is a value pick.
Perhaps their worst move of the off-season was letting Terrell Pryor (78.6) leave, but they did a decent enough job snagging Kenny Britt (76.5), who had a pretty good season himself in 2016. Andrew Hawkins (60.0) was just another guy in that offense, but only worth mentioning because his departure frees up another 647 snaps and 54 targets out of the slot, although I'm not sure it's really worth targeting the slot receiver in this offense anyway.
Gary Barnidge leaving seems like a slight sting after putting up a great 2015 season, and what looks like a decent enough 2016 season, but ask any Browns fan and they'll tell you that he just did not look motivated out there and his production will not be missed. In the 2017 draft, the Browns took David Njoku with a first round pick and he should snap up the starting tight end job with no issues. Usually, rookie tight ends do not have any value, but that's usually because they have competition ahead of them. The path for Njoku is clear, he has a shot at being productive right off the bat in an offense that generously targets their tight ends (Barnidge had a combined 207 targets from 2015 to 2016). His current ADP is TE18 at 161 overall, so if you are the type of person that loves to take a sleeper tight end at the end of your draft, I think he's a fine pick.
The bottom line: As weird as it is to say, the Cleveland Browns have actually improved and will have some great fantasy assets this upcoming season due to their solid draft and free agent additions.
Draftable Key Additions: Kenny Britt WR, David Njoku TE
If you enjoyed this article and you play fantasy football, you should definitely hit that follow button and smash that upvote button! Next up, I will be evaluating the key moves on the Dallas Cowboys.
If you are new to this series, check out my addition/subtraction fantasy analysis on the teams below and be sure to read my future articles. I will be covering all 32 teams.
Fantasy Football Key Movement: Arizona Cardinals
Fantasy Football Key Movement: Atlanta Falcons
Fantasy Football Key Movement: Baltimore Ravens
Fantasy Football Key Movement: Buffalo Bills
Fantasy Football Key Movement: Carolina Panthers
Fantasy Football Key Movement: Chicago Bears
Fantasy Football Key Movement: Cincinnati Bengals