Fantasy football season is just around the corner, which means drafts have begun, mock drafts are in full effect, and degenerates everywhere are preparing for the season. Every year, there are a few rookies that have fantasy value, not just in dynasty leagues, but in redraft as well. Last year, we saw Le’Veon Bell, Eddie Lacy, and even guys like Cordarrelle Patterson and DeAndre Hopkins contribute in year one. Who will it be this year?
This is part eight of a 32-part series, where one offensive rookie from each team will be analyzed, and their fantasy value will be determined. Each player’s ADP, college statistics, depth chart status, and more will be broken down, and a proper value will be placed on each player.
Without further ado, part eight of Rookie Profiles. Meet Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Height: 6 feet
Weight: 207 pounds
Manziel may be the most interesting prospect we have seen in a long time. For every single reason, he has been critiqued, ridiculed and adored. But as far as a fantasy prospect for this season, what is he worth?
In college, Manziel was one of the best players we have ever seen, and he played in the toughest conference the game has to offer in the SEC. Manziel dominated Alabama, he won awards, he set records. He has the playmaking ability, but can he get on the field this year?
Currently, Brian Hoyer is ahead of him on the depth chart. Whether or not that will change remains to be seen, but assume he is named the starter for the Browns. His current ADP is listed at 132.2, or the 18th quarterback drafted. If his ADP stays the same (it will rise if he is named the starter) he is well worth that value. Why is that? For those of you who have been advocates of quarterbacks who can make plays with their legs as well as their arms, they are golden in fantasy football. Even Tim Tebow was a QB1 for a stretch. Manziel will make a lot of mistakes, but the potential for his abilities is a sure QB2, maybe even a QB1 when he gets on the field. Throwing for 300 yards and rushing for 60 is not out of the question, and with Jordan Cameron in the red zone, he has the ability to throw for touchdowns as well.
His potential is well-known, but can he actually do it?
If Josh Gordon were to play this season, Manziel’s value in fantasy football would have been astronomical, but considering the top receivers on the Browns depth chart are Andrew Hawkins, Miles Austin, and Nate Burleson, his value would decrease. Hawkins is an excellent slot receiver, as his talents are shown in this incredible video, but he is not an outside guy. Austin and Burleson have the potential to be, but they are both best suited in the slot as well. It looks like the top target for Cleveland will be tight end Jordan Cameron.
It all depends on if you like him or not, but if Manziel is named the starter, and his ADP is still in the 12th round, I would take him any day of the week. Think about this: 225 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and 60 rushing yards and a TD. That is doable for Manziel each week, and that equates to 23 fantasy points in standard leagues. Take value where you can get it, and a playmaking quarterback in the late rounds oozes value.
Projection: 3400 yards for 20 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, 550 yards and six touchdowns rushing.
Statistics via NFL.com, FantasyFootballCalculator.com, Ourlads.com