So last night’s game was…interesting… and here with the quick team specific breakdown we start with the Cleveland Browns.
Brandon Weeden is back, much to the dismay of Browns fans everywhere and while the Browns did come away with the win there are several things that give me pause about Weeden not just as a fantasy QB.
The ball to Ogbonnaya looked like it was registered to be in the Americas Cup it sailed so well. Those passes are flat out dangerous and as a Josh Gordon owner myself I became worried for his safety should he be the recipient of a pass down the middle.
The Browns D/ST was terrible, then great, then iffy, then amazing. With 18 points in standard scoring the 2 touchdowns they produced certainly eased the minds of fantasy owners after they gave up a quick TD. Most D/ST units will be rather consistent from week to week, with the occasional dud performance, and the occasional outburst for 2 TDs. Lucky for Browns owners the dud game also had the two scores to turn it back to great.
Back to Weeden. He sure looked slow with his decision making. Where Hoyer chose one of his first 2 reads and fired the ball out quick, Weeden seemed to hesitate and, “burp the baby” that’s a real term in football look it up. All of this means that more talented secondary units (Sorry Bills fans) will get a jump on routes as he stares down his receiver before either A) getting sacked or B) throwing a pick 6. Brandon Weeden is not back, he isn’t improving, and his receivers all take a hit in rankings until Hoyer is back and hopefully starting.
And the Bills lost so they couldn’t have done anything to write home about right? Well not quite.
Sorry for that unintended rhyme there but as we jump in we can say that Fred Jackson looked pretty great out there. He hit the hole with the authority of the Fred Jackson that many believed to be long gone. This running back ability split is probably what the Bengals imagined their backfield would be like. Spiller (Bernard) being the home run threat with quick cuts and Jackson (Green-Ellis) being the tougher guy who can grind out the tough yards with both men being able to flip roles to keep defenses guessing. Well they have the whole package in Giovani Bernard and meanwhile if healthy, and that’s a pretty big if, the Bills have two fresh RBs who can swap out at any time.
Stevie Johnson exited the game due to injury and that meant the Joe Haden had a rather relaxing day booking an extended stay for Robert Woods on Haden island. However, Woods looked alright grabbing 5 passes for 64 yards. Here’s the deal though, Woods’ value is somewhat dependant on Stevie Johnson suiting up and completing games. Woods will someday be a great WR in the league but it isn’t today. Being a 1WR on a team is a huge responsibility, and it provides tremendous value, but only if that player can outperform 1CBs that he will face each week. I think Woods can slip the D sometimes as a #1 but I’d be so much more happy if he has a team’s second best cover man on him. That being said he gets a boost in dynasty leagues now as his opportunity here will only speed up his development of moves to get off the press at the line.
EJ Manuel wasn’t your starting QB in fantasy so the Jeff Tuel appearance doesn’t change any of that for fantasy.
Last, and this is a more niche fantasy topic as it involves IDP, but read on as there is also just some plain football speak here. Kiko Alonso has got a heck of a motor hasn’t he? The leap to stop McGahee at the goalline garnered comparisons to Troy Polomalu and they’re spot on. Take all of (vintage) Troy’s top of the line athleticism and put it in your middle linebacker and you know who you’d have? Alonso. Sure the Bills D/ST isn’t a legit contender in fantasy but with that D-Line, potentially locking up Jairus Byrd, and having Alonso in the middle of it all is several gigantic steps in the right direction.
So that’s what we’ve got for you to cover the meaningful takeaways from Thursday’s game. It was another sloppy example of football and the NFL but since it doesn’t sound like the days are ending anytime soon we’ll just have to get used to them together. Feel like we missed something that concerned you? comment below or tweet us and we’ll answer any and all questions and put concerns to bed.
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