Last week marked my first time projecting fantasy stats. It was a little bit of a shot in the dark, but to my surprise, there was some success. (Article Found Here)
I’ll be looking to improve this portion of the site each week. Typically, I’d like to have this article posted no later than noon on Sunday. Hopefully the more you read this, you more you realize that I’m onto something here, therefore using BrownsGab.com as your last stop check before you set your final rosters.
Each week I’ll look at the projected top fantasy players from the Browns and their opponent, along with some other players I think will do well for your fantasy teams.
I know it’ll take a couple weeks before you really start to trust my projections, but for the first week, and first time ever, I didn’t do too bad.
Here’s how it went…
For the Bengals…
QB Andy Dalton
BrownsGab (BG) Projection: We projected Dalton with 14 completions for 185 yards and throwing for both a TD and INT. Early on in the game, Dalton played well and out-performed his counterpart, Colt McCoy. Later in the 1st Half, however, Dalton was forced out of the game with a wrist injury.
How he really did: Dalton completed 10 passes for 81 yards and a TD before his injury. Otherwise, he may have went on to put-up even better numbers against the Browns lackluster defense.
Recommendation for the Future: Dalton is a rookie, which isn’t exactly the type of QB you want leading your fantasy team. Now you add in his wrist issues (which was to his throwing hand) and you probably want to steer clear of Dalton. If you insist on playing him, at least give him a few weeks to see how he’s going to pan out.
RB Cedric Benson
BG Projection: We knew heading into this game that the Browns were susceptible against the run. For the most part we were proven wrong, as the Browns D kept Benson in-check. Based on the fact that the Browns a prone to giving up yards on the ground, we projected Benson for 75 yards and a TD. (3 rec. 14 yards)
How he really did: Through the first three quarters, the Browns had only given-up around 70 yards on the ground to Benson. Then, in a blink of an eye, Benson changed all that. He finished with 121 yards and a TD.
Recommendation for the Future: In 2009 the Bengals swept the AFC North with a sound running game and solid defense. That’s exactly the formula they used to defeat the Browns on Sunday. Benson is the feature back in Cincinnati, and is going to be a workhorse for the Bengals moving forward. If he’s available in your league, he’s a solid back-up. (The Bengals o-line still has some issues.)
WR A.J. Green
BG Projection: Green was bound to have issues on Sunday, matched-up against one of the best cover corners in the league, Joe Haden. For about 55 minutes of the game, Green was held without a single catch, and had been frustrated by Haden all game long. We were thinking 4 catches and 52 yards for Green.
How he really did: Green just could not get it going against Haden, who was a nightmare in the secondary with 5 pass break-ups. In one play – or half play – Green managed his first NFL reception and touchdown all in one play. He finished with one reception for 41 yards and one TD.
Recommendation for the Future: Green isn’t going to face a “Joe Haden” type player every week. Throughout the game, the rookie WR was targeted four times and only caught one pass – though it went for a score. With a more experienced QB in Bruce Gradkowski, there’s suddenly an opportunity for Green to make a fantasy impact.
TE Jermaine Gresham
BG Projection: With Dalton in the game, the thinking was that Gresham would be his go-to guy in the passing game. That was pretty much true before Dalton’s wrist injury took him out of the game for good. We had Gresham catching 3 passes for 34 yards, with no touchdowns.
How he really did: Gresham doubled the projected reception total we gave him, and was more of a factor in the passing game than we originally thought. Playing in the west coast offense is going to benefit Gresham, though the style of WCO in Cincinnati is tailored towards the run game. He finished with 6 receptions for 58 yards and a TD.
Recommendation for the Future: Like Green, Gresham should benefit from a more experienced QB if Dalton is out for any length of time. With Dalton, the offense is likely to rely heavily on the running game. With Gradkowski, they’re likely to lean on the running game, but passing the ball suddenly becomes more of an option. Gresham is probably worth a start, especially if you’re thin at tight end.
And for the disappointing Browns…
QB Colt McCoy
BG Projection: McCoy was projected to have a big game for the Browns, albeit in a win that was led by the offenses 34 points. That didn’t happen, but it wasn’t McCoy’s fault. Despite the rest of the team’s troubles, McCoy played well most of the time but looked like he was playing with too much pressure on his shoulders at others. Our projection before the game for McCoy – 19 completions 199 yards and 2 TDs.
How he really did: A lot of fantasy goers will look at the box score from the game and view McCoy’s 40 pass attempts as a sign that the Browns want McCoy throwing the ball near 50 times a game. Not true. The 40 pass attempts were a result of being down late. Although the team lost, McCoy managed 19 completions for 213 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT.
Recommendation for the Future: As a whole, the Browns looked horrible. The offense (aside from the 2nd Qtr.) looked confused and unprepared. McCoy finished the game with solid numbers, but completed less than 50% of his passes. Typically, McCoy’s accuracy is what sets him aside from other young QBs. Give him a couple weeks, as I don’t think his performance this week will be his best of the year – or the team’s.
RB Peyton Hillis
BG Projection: We heard all week about how the Browns offense was of the pass-first type, but that Hillis was still going to get his touches. He received a fair amount of carries (17), but should’ve seen the ball more given the in-game situation. We were thinking about 20 rushes for 97 yards and a TD. We also thought he’d contribute to the passing game, with 5 catches for 28 yards.
How he really did: Hillis made his presence felt when the opportunity presented itself, but the Browns coaching staff got away from their star tailback with the game on the line. With a chance to try and run some time off of the clock, Shurmur was hesitant to call Hillis’ number. He finished with 57 yards rushing, and 30 yards receiving.
Recommendation for the Future: I think the Cleveland coaching staff realizes the potential they have for success in the running game with Hillis as the starter, but it may take a few games before they realize they need to utilize their running game more. Hillis will be fine as a flex option for your fantasy team, but I’d wait a couple weeks to see how he’s used in the Browns offense before you make him a regular starter.
TE Evan Moore & Ben Watson
BG Projection: Again, we figured the Browns offense would compete at a higher level than what they actually did on Sunday. Watson was the team’s leading receiver a year ago, while Moore had been rumored to be McCoy’s favorite target on offense. The transition to the WCO is going to benefit Moore and Watson in the long run, we just thought they’d make more of an impact on Sunday. It was hardly their fault, as they don’t call the plays, but we figured 2 catches for 27 yards for Moore and 4 catches for 35 yards for Watson.
How they really did: When all was said and done on Sunday, the Browns tight ends did their part to help lead their team to victory. Unfortunately for them, they were about the only ones. Both had a couple drops, however – Watson, late in the game needing to convert for a 1st down, and Moore failed to make an all-out effort for a TD pass he could’ve easily caught had he used two hands. After the dust settled, Moore with for 35 yards and a TD on 3 catches, while Watson went for 45 yards and a TD on 3 catches as well.
Recommendation for the Future: McCoy is going to lean heavily on Moore and Watson throughout the season. With the lack of talent on display on Sunday at the WR position for the Browns, Watson and Moore may very well be the teams two best receivers. Moore will continue to create match-up problems for opposing defenses, and Watson should continue to be a reliable option in the passing game. Watson is more of a sure starter in the fantasy world, but keep your eye on Moore.
Aside from the player projections for the Browns and Bengals, I picked a player from each position that I thought would make an impact on your fantasy roster. Aside from Lance Kendricks (TE for the Rams), my projections were fairly close.
QB – Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay (Against Detroit)
BG Projection: 20 comp. 227 yards 2 TDs 1 INT; 36 rush yards
Actual: 28 comp. 259 yards 1 TD 1 INT; 26 rush yards
Quick Note: Freeman had a fairly productive day at QB against the Lions. He should continue to provide solid stats in the fantasy world, and is a decent option as a “Bye-Week” player.
RB – Chris “Beanie” Wells, Arizona (Against Carolina)
BG Projection: 18 rush attempts 97 yards 1 TD; 17 receiving yards
Actual: 18 rush attempts 90 yards 1 TD; 12 receiving yards
Quick Note: Wells is now the feature back in Arizona with the team’s departure of Tim Hightower and rookie Ryan Williams out for the year. Keep in mind, Wells plays in one of the weakest divisions in the NFL.
WR – Hakeem Nicks, NY Giants (Against Washington)
BG Projection: 6 receptions 84 yards 1 TD
Actual: 7 receptions 122 yards
Quick Note: Nicks looks to be the beneficiary from the departure of former Giant, Steve Smith (Phi). Though he didn’t score in the game, Nick’s 122 receiving yards were nice for fantasy owners. Nicks should continue to produce in the fantasy world, if healthy that is.
TE – Lance Kendricks, St. Louis (Against Philadelphia)
BG Projection: 4 receptions 56 yards 1 TD
Actual: 1 reception 18 yards
Quick Note: Clearly I missed on this one, as Kendricks was certainly a disappointment this weekend. With Sam Bradford’s future in question because of injury, it’s hard to tell how Kendricks will produce moving forward. Just one catch on four five targets isn’t good. He’s worth keeping an eye on, but from a distance.
Defense/Special Teams – Houston Texans (Against Indianapolis)
BG Projection: 13 points allowed 2 sacks 2 INT 1 fumble recovery 1 defensive TD
Actual: 7 points allowed 3 sacks 1 INT 2 fumble recovery 1 defensive TD
Quick Note: The Texans are out to prove that they are finally a force to be reckoned with in the NFL. Maybe they are just that good, or maybe – and more likely – the Colts are just that bad. Nonetheless, the Texans were worth a start in week one, and may continue to be worth of starts moving forward.
This Week’s Fantasy Studs
QB – Drew Brees (Saints): 32 completions 419 yards 3 TDs
RB – Mike Tobert (Chargers): 12 carries 35 yards 1 TD; 9 catches 58 yards 2 TDs
WR – Steven Smith (Panthers): 8 catches 178 yards 2 TDs
TE – Scott Chandler (Bills): 5 catches 63 yards 2 TDs
Defense/Special Teams – San Francisco ‘49ers: 17 points allowed 5 sacks 1 INT 2 fum rec. 2 TD
This Week’s Fantasy Surprises & Disappointments
QB – Cam Newton (Panthers): 24 completions 422 yards 2 TD 1 INT/ 18 rush yards 1 TD
RB – Chris Johnson (Titans): 9 carries 24 yars; 6 catches 25 yards
WR – Kenny Britt (Titans): 5 catches 136 yards 2 TDs
TE – Fred Davis (Redskins): 5 catches 105 yards
Defense/Special Teams – Pittsburgh Steelers: 35 points allowed 1 sack
There you have it, your week one fantasy wrap-up courtesy of BrownsGab.com. Check back Sunday at Noon for this week’s projections.
As always, we’re open to suggestions. Email us at BrownsGab@gmail.com with any ideas you may have!