Let’s face it. There are players you don’t want on your fantasy football team but in this case this is an entire team you want no part of. That team is the Cleveland Browns and they are this edition of Fantasy Flatliners.
Cleveland seems to be in a perpetual rebuilding mode and is best at accumulating high draft picks. This year was no exception as they picked up RB Trent Richardson and QB Brandon Weeden in the first round. (I’ll tell you why not to draft Richardson later.)
The AFC North is a brutal division to play in. Playing the tough NFC East in cross-conference action doesn’t help either. They may only have two winnable games all year (Week 3-Buffalo, Week 7-Indianapolis).
At the quarterback slot, they have Colt McCoy, Seneca Wallace and 28-year-old rookie Weeden. Raise your hand if you think any of them are viable fantasy options. Not all of you at once.
After Richardson, the running back pool thins out to Montario Hardesty and Chris Ogbonnaya. Richardson will get the lion’s share of the work, reducing the others to fantasy fodder. None of the Browns rushed for more than 600 yards last season.
Even at the wide receiver position, Joshua Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi offer little in terms of reliability. Tight end Ben Watson doesn’t add anything to your fantasy team.
Greg Little led the way with 709 yards on 61 catches but it drops off steeply after that to Cribbs (41 rec, 518 yards), Watson (37 rec, 410 yards) and Massaquoi (31 rec, 384 yards). None of the Browns’ wideouts scored more than 4 touchdowns in 2011.
All told, Cleveland scored a meager 218 points last season. Only Kansas City (212) and St. Louis (193) were worse.
Defensively, linebacker D’Qwell Jackson is a monster with 158 tackles (116 solo) last season but the defensive unit offers little to nothing. Yes, the Browns held their opponents to 307 points. It’s a middle of the road number but the weak offense really tarnishes this unit.
Placekicker Phil Dawson is the best offensive weapon the Browns have. He’s hit around 25 field goals a season for the last eight years but no one wins a fantasy league with a kicker, let alone the Cleveland one.
When you put it all together, the Browns’ inept offense makes them irrelevant in fantasy football in 2012. Just like they have been in 2011, 2010, 2009…