Cleat Geeks

Is The Cleveland Browns Offense Over Hyped?

730 days ago, everyone was looking at the Cleveland Browns offense and saw little to no fantasy value besides a stream or two throughout the season, and now the value of the Browns offense is through the roof, what has happened to create of this optimism?

First let’s take a look at how the offense has produced the past two years in fantasy matters, in 2015 they produce the number 32 ranked QB that helped produce the WR34 and WR84 and TE20. They also helped produce an RB14 and RB39. Without even going into the aspects of the player names and actual stat lines, it is pretty easy to tell that the offense only had 1 weekly starter and possibly a couple of streams from their TE and 2nd RB. That Cleveland Browns team would finish with the worst record in the NFL, going 1-15, but somehow with a sub-par offseason would be able to create optimism for the 2016 campaign fantasy wise.

Image result for 2016 Browns

Photo Creds: RantSports

Now let’s look at the hype back in August of 2017, many people believed Isiah Crowell could finally step into that RB1 category and still have Duke Johnson be a solid RB2 in PPR formats maybe even produce at a high RB2 or low RB1. The QB situation was still a disaster in most eyes, with a young unproven Deshone Kizer but some believed he had enough help around him to be average and hopefully keep the team in games. They lost Pryor but were really high on Coleman and the flirtation of Gordon coming back led to some optimism, plus the highly appraised 1st round pick David Njoku being the new Tight End. Overall, many people believed this team was approved and could have some small fantasy impacts on every teams’ season. Unfortunately, that was not the case what so ever, they produced the QB25, RB20, RB29, WR90, WR93 and the TE22. So, all in all, once again this team had little fantasy impact produced but still had some optimism in the preseason.

When comparing the 2016 offense versus 2017 offense we all could argue both were close to the same, depending on how you were going to rank the offenses. So, what does all of this have to do with the 2018 campaign for the offense?

Image result for 2017 Browns

Photo Creds: RedZoneSports

All of those facts were stated to show a trend for the Cleveland Browns organization and how; regardless of how they produce they will become hyped to some extent, but this season may have the most hype around the team in the past decade. It all started with the big offseason moves they made, they would acquire Jarvis Landry, Carlos Hyde, and Tyrod Taylor. Then they would draft Baker Mayfield number 1 overall and then select a Running Back in the second round named Nick Chubb. With all the moves they made, plus the return of Josh Gordon created a very optimistic environment. This has to be the dream case for the worse offense, being able to add-on all this talent and the better half of the talent returning? Let’s take a look at all of the projected starters and how each one finished individually in 2017. Tyrod Taylor finished as the QB16 in a run-heavy offense where he was already pushed out the door by midseason, and he even led the team to a playoff appearance. Running Back is where it gets a little iffy, but I’m going to project Hyde and Johnson as the starters, Carlos Hyde finished as the RB11 and Johnson finished as the RB20. Now moving to the Wide Receivers Josh Gordon only played 5 games and finished well outside the top 200 fantasy players, and Jarvis Landry finished as the WR14 plus David Njoku finished as the TE22. With all of those 2017 stats, it could very easily be seen that most of the players could and should improve in their respected positions. But, could we all be falling into the hype of the Browns like we always do?

Image result for tyrod taylor

Photo Creds: Akron Beacon Journal

If we account each players ADP and use that to see a projected finish to the season, the Cleveland Browns would finish the season with the QB25, RB35 (Hyde) RB41(Duke), WR24(Jarvis), WR17(Josh), and the TE13. If you looked carefully that is 0 players out of the top 50 in each position, which the Browns haven’t been able to achieve in the past 2 years and way farther down the line. How can an organization that has a combined record of 1-31 in the past two seasons, a one-win coach, and a bunch of new pieces coming together to be one of the most fantasy-friendly offenses this season? News check, it doesn’t, now let’s take a look into how and who will take a hit from the ADP and not produce as high and will fall victim to the typical hype. First, let’s look at Tyrod’s averages per game for the past three seasons:

Touchdowns Yards Interceptions Rushing Yards Rushing Touchdowns Completions
1.15 201.2 .36 28.63 .316 17.59

 

Those stats are nothing amazing when comparing them to the great QBs in the league right now but Tyrod’s projected finish should be pretty close the 25th, but these stats should cause head scratches on producing two WR2, TE2, and a PPR beast in Duke. Those are four hungry guys trying to produce with a QB only able to throw 200 yards a game and a little over 1 TD a game. So, if you divide all of Tyrod’s game stats in respect of each player saying David= 18%, Duke=20% and Jarvis= 22% Gordon =25% which would then leave the other 15% to the other guys on the team like Hyde Chubb and the other wide receivers. With that, these would be the projected finishes:

Player Touchdowns Yards Receptions
Josh Gordon 4.6 804.8 70.36
Duke 3.68 643.84 56.288
Jarvis Landry 4.048 708.22 61.91
David Njoku 3.312 579.46 50.65

 

Now with these projected season stats off of Tyrod’s career averages, each player looks alright on their respected position but not as high as their ADP would project them as due to all the talent around them.  Of course, we have to account for a more pass-heavy team in Cleveland then Buffalo and more talent around, I would expect these to be the floors of each player without injuries playing a factor, but regardless the jump shouldn’t be much higher than a 10%-20% increase which would result in higher stats but nothing extreme enough to make a huge impactful change.

There are two big arguments people may try to make their selection make sense: one being Baker will start and will have better stats, and second being the 2015 Jaguars did it with Blake Bortles under center. For the Baker fans, even if he starts, we rarely see a rookie QB throw more than 25 TDs so that would result from the best case being 3-5 more TDs than Tyrod and most Rookie QBs throw for around 3000-3500 yards which would be a total of 300 more yards than the projected stats from Tyrod which once again shouldn’t make big enough changes to the point that their ADPs are reasonable . The second argument you could hear is that 2015 Jaguars did it with a 5-11 record, but then we have to account a 35 TD season from Bortles, and they had no running game while the Browns have 3 RBs who are solid as long as they stay healthy. So, to summarize the statistical breakdown, it seems close to impossible for all of these ADPs to actually become a reality in their rankings. But if we take injuries into account I wouldn’t be surprised at least 2 of the 6 people finished around their ADP in the rankings.

Image result for jarvis landry and josh gordon

Photo creds: Dawgs by Nature

My Take:  This is where the fun begins, I get to put my personal beliefs into paper and try to help every Fantasy owner make the right selection on draft day. For all the PPR leagues I would recommend taking Jarvis over Duke due to the absence of Josh and having no clue when he will be coming back and Corey getting traded away should help his stock. Gordon to me right now is untouchable due to ADP and no one really knowing the whole situation behind him. For RBs I would stay away from all of them expect Nick Chubb as a deep deep sleeper since he has upside and was drafted after Hyde was brought in, so maybe they see something in him that we all don’t. My personal favorite player out of them all is one hundred percent David Njoku, I think he is this years Evan Engram, a RedZone specialist who is going somewhat late, I personally would pass up on taking a TE early and wait to snag David late and ride him all the way to a championship.

 

  • All rankings came from Pro Football Reference and Fantasy Football Calculator

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