Cleveland Browns Fantasy Football News

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  • Deshaun Watson Could Be Pining For DeAndre Hopkins

    Headshot for Deshaun Watson

    It's unknown whether the Cleveland Browns will make an attempt to sign free-agent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and reunite him with quarterback Deshaun Watson, but Watson has shopped the Browns to Hopkins as a potential landing spot. Watson said, "of course we would love to have him," but that those decisions are made "out of my range." The addition of Hopkins in Cleveland would definitely make Watson a more intriguing low-end QB1 in fantasy, but it would also be bad news for wideouts Amari Cooper, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Elijah Moore. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported on Thursday that Hopkins is open-minded about teams league-wide, and he's prepared to be patient. Minicamp could be considered a soft deadline for the 30-year-old to pick a new team, while training camp would be more of a hard deadline.

    Jun 1 · Source via Cleveland Browns Deshaun Watson DeAndre Hopkins
  • Jakeem Grant Sr. Limited In OTAs This Week

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    Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jakeem Grant Sr. (Achilles) was a limited participant in organized team activities on Wednesday after spending the first week of OTAs exclusively with trainers. Grant worked on a side field mostly catching kicks on Wednesday, and his path to returning from a torn Achilles and trying to make the final roster will be via the return game on special teams. The 30-year-old didn't play at all in 2022 because of his injury. He's never really been a threat as a pass-catcher in seven NFL seasons, with his career year coming in 2020 with the Miami Dolphins, when he caught 36 passes for 373 yards and one touchdown in 14 games (four starts). Grant will be well off the fantasy radar come draft season this fall.

    Jun 1 · Source via Cleveland Browns Jakeem Grant
  • Browns Intent On Feeding Elijah Moore

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    It's clear from organized team activities that the Cleveland Browns are intent on feeding new wide receiver Elijah Moore this year. He was frequently targeted by quarterback Deshaun Watson during practice on Wednesday, mostly on quick passes. Moore has been lining up in different spots and going in motion a lot. It's still unclear on how exactly his role will shake out, but it's clear the Browns want to get him the ball on short passes to let him create with the ball in his hands in space. "(Moore) has great flexibility; inside and outside flexibility," offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said. The 23-year-old impressed as a rookie with the Jets in 2021, but he fell out of favor last year and was traded to Cleveland, where he has a nice chance to bounce back. Moore is quickly becoming a trendy sleeper target in fantasy drafts this year, especially in PPR leagues.

    Jun 1 · Source via Cleveland Browns Elijah Moore
  • Browns Prioritizing Deep Passing Game

    Headshot for Amari Cooper

    Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said that the team is making improving their deep passing game in 2023 a priority this offseason. The Browns are looking for more explosive plays deep down the field this year, which should be good news for quarterback Deshaun Watson, and wide receivers Marquise Goodwin, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore and Amari Cooper. In 2022, Watson completed only 23.1 percent of passes that traveled 20-plus yards down the field. After a lengthy suspension to begin last season, Watson was pretty inconsistent in his six starts down the stretch, completing a career-low 58.2% of his passes. In Year 2 in Cleveland, he should be more effective. Target him as a low-end QB1 in fantasy drafts.

    Jun 1 · Source via Cleveland Browns Amari Cooper Marquise Goodwin Elijah Moore Donovan Peoples-Jones Deshaun Watson
  • Nick Chubb Lacks Top-End Speed But Has Plenty Of Power

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    Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb lacks the top-end speed that many of the most explosive runners in the league have, but he has the ability to run through tacklers with power, and his top gear packs sneaky get-away burst. Chubb led the league with 47 runs of 10-plus yards in 2022, but his success rate was lower than many expected due to Cleveland's poor blocking giving him a low expected yards per carry (3.8). Of his 1,525 rushing yards, 1,177 came after contact, which ranked third in the NFL. He was also the only qualified RB to have double-digit first downs gained over expected. The 27-year-old continues to run hard in an offense that loves to run the football, so he'll easily remain a top-10 fantasy RB heading into the 2023 campaign.

    May 31 · Source via Cleveland Browns Nick Chubb
  • Amari Cooper Returning To Action

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    Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski said that wide receiver Amari Cooper, who had core-muscle surgery in February, has been "great" with the young receivers and will "start doing stuff this week." Cooper didn't take part in organized team activities last week. The 28-year-old pass-catcher is working back into on-field drills for the first time this offseason, which means he should be at full strength by training camp this summer. Cooper finished as the WR10 in half-point PPR scoring last year, catching 78 of his 132 targets for 1,160 yards and nine touchdowns in 17 games played. In his second year working with quarterback Deshaun Watson, he should be able to develop more chemistry and is fully expected to be the No. 1 receiver yet again. Target him as a high-end WR2 in fantasy drafts.

    May 31 · Source via Cleveland Browns Amari Cooper
  • Browns On DeAndre Hopkins' Radar?

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    Few players who have remained unsigned as of Memorial Day in recent years match DeAndre Hopkins‘ profile, making the former All-Pro wide receiver’s eventual landing spot a frequent discussion topic during OTA season. A few teams have been connected to the 11th-year veteran since his Cardinals release. Most closely tied to the Bills and Chiefs, […]

    May 29 · Pro Football Rumors Cleveland Browns Amari Cooper DeAndre Hopkins Elijah Moore Donovan Peoples-Jones Deshaun Watson
  • Browns Unlikely To Pursue DeAndre Hopkins

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    The Cleveland Browns aren't expected to reunite quarterback Deshaun Watson with free-agent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins after the two spent three years together with the Houston Texans at the start of Watson's career. In those three years, the two combined for 264 completions for 3,343 yards and 25 touchdowns. The Browns already traded for Elijah Moore, signed Marquise Goodwin in free agency and took Cedric Tillman in the third round of the draft this offseason. Hopkins is a free agent now after being released by the Arizona Cardinals, and there will surely be plenty of suitors, but his cost will be an issue. The 30-year-old former All-Pro is no longer at the peak of his career, but he can still do plenty of damage in fantasy if he lands in the right situation.

    May 29 · Source via Cleveland Browns DeAndre Hopkins
  • Za'Darius Smith Addresses Vikings Contract, Recovery From Knee Injury

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    As expected, the Vikings moved on from Za’Darius Smith this offseason by trading him to the Browns. The veteran edge rusher recently spoke about his financial situation, which was the driving force behind his arrival with a new team for the third time in his career. Smith signed a three-year Vikings contract last offseason, but guranteed money […]

    May 28 · Pro Football Rumors Cleveland Browns Za'Darius Smith
  • Jordan Akins Eager To Work With Deshaun Watson Again

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    Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Akins chose to sign with Cleveland this offseason mainly because it would give him another chance to work with a quarterback he already knew in Deshaun Watson. Akins played his first three NFL seasons with Watson in Houston and enjoyed catching passes from him. The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder will give Watson another big tight end who can be a weapon in the red zone, and Akins is coming off his best season with five touchdowns for the Texans. While working with Watson in Houston, Akins caught 90 passes for 1,046 yards and three TDs in three years. The 31-year-old's familiarity with Watson is a plus, but unless David Njoku misses time with an injury in 2023, Akins won't have a ton of fantasy appeal.

    May 27 · Source via Cleveland Browns Deshaun Watson Jordan Akins
  • Elijah Moore Building Chemistry With Deshaun Watson

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    Cleveland Browns wide receiver Elijah Moore and quarterback Deshaun Watson are already building important chemistry early this offseason when Watson brought a few of the team's veterans to Puerto Rico last week. But Moore has continued to build chemistry with Watson in the first few days of organized team activities this week. He was a constant target for Watson in 7-on-7 work on Wednesday. "Different quarterback, different arm, seeing what he sees and just the communication around the team," Moore said. "Everyone communicates differently, but I feel like it's going to go well, so I can't complain." The 23-year-old former second-rounder appears headed for a nice bounce-back season as Cleveland's starting slot receiver in 2023.

    May 27 · Source via Cleveland Browns Deshaun Watson Elijah Moore
  • Elijah Moore Energized By Trade To Browns

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    Cleveland Browns wide receiver Elijah Moore is happy to be out of New York with a chance to start new in 2023. "It feels good to be wanted, and it's going to make any player, any human, go harder. When you feel like that and you feel like you're around people who want you to be here, so I'm going to give it all I got every single day," Moore said. Cleveland sent the No. 42 overall pick of this year's draft to the Jets for Moore this offseason. Moore was invisible at times in a struggling Jets passing attack in 2022, causing him to request a trade. With Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones on the outside, Moore has the shiftiness and toughness to play valuable snaps out of the slot in 2023. He'll have to fend off rookie Cedric Tillman for targets, but the 23-year-old former second-rounder has a real chance to bounce back in his new digs.

    May 26 · Source via Cleveland Browns Elijah Moore
  • Amari Cooper Working On The Side At OTAs

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    Cleveland Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper (core) has been in attendance at organized team activities this week but has been working with members of the training staff on the side and hasn't participated in on-field practice. It's not a surprise given Cooper's experience level and the fact that he had core-muscle surgery in February. The 28-year-old won't be rushed back to football activities this offseason, but barring setbacks, he should be fully ready to take part in training camp at the end of July. In his first year with the Browns in 2022, Cooper had 78 receptions for 1,160 yards and nine touchdowns in 17 games. He should once again be quarterback Deshaun Watson's go-to target in the passing game, although the Browns did add receivers Elijah Moore and Marquise Goodwin in the offseason.

    May 25 · Source via Cleveland Browns Amari Cooper
  • Za'Darius Smith Standing Out At OTAs

    Headshot for Myles Garrett

    In his first year with the Cleveland Browns, pass-rusher Za'Darius Smith, who is the presumed starting left defensive end in 2023, has looked the part in organized team activities this week and seemed to be engaged and involved with his teammates throughout practices. The 30-year-old was acquired from the Minnesota Vikings this offseason and will be moving from a 3-4 defense in Minnesota to a 4-3 in Cleveland this year. He bounced back in 2022 to provide 44 tackles (32 solo), 10 sacks and a career-high five passes defensed. If Smith can stay healthy in 2023, he'll provide a big boost to the Browns' pass rush alongside Myles Garrett, and he should also be useful in IDP fantasy leagues.

    May 25 · Source via Cleveland Browns Myles Garrett Za'Darius Smith
  • Kareem Hunt Not Expected To Return To Browns

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    According to NFL Analyst Tony Grossi, the Browns aren't expected to bring back running back Kareem Hunt. Early in the offseason, general manager Andrew Berry didn't rule out the possibility of a return. However, it doesn't seem like it will happen, even with the Browns not addressing the backfield situation behind Nick Chubb. Hunt's production has dwindled over the years, recently finishing the 2022 campaign with only four total touchdowns, one of the lowest marks of his career. While the veteran could find a new team heading into training camp, he'll need consistent involvement to be a factor for fantasy managers.

    May 20 · Source via Cleveland Browns Kareem Hunt
  • Demetric Felton Jr. To Play As Running Back This Spring

    Headshot for John Kelly

    Cleveland Browns running back Demetric Felton Jr. is going to play as a running back this spring behind Nick Chubb and Jerome Ford. The Browns also have John Kelly and undrafted rookie Hassan Hall in the running back room. Hall likely needs to add muscle before he can be considered a candidate to play a meaningful role, but he's in line to see a lot of work this summer at training camp and has a chance to earn a spot on the practice squad. The 24-year-old Felton has also been used as a wide receiver and a return specialist on special teams, but none of those spots have really worked out for him. He has seven carries in his two years with the Browns, and he's unlikely to see a big role in the backfield unless Chubb or Ford get injured.

    May 19 · Source via Cleveland Browns Demetric Felton John Kelly
  • Za'Darius Smith Likely To Start At Defensive End

    Headshot for Myles Garrett

    The Cleveland Browns likely view pass-rusher Za'Darius Smith as their starting left defensive end heading into the 2023 season. Myles Garrett has played around 80 percent of the team's defensive snaps over the last four seasons, but Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is 250 pounds and isn't an every-down player at defensive end. Alex Wright and Isaiah McGuire are also big enough to play inside in pass-down packages. Smith, 30, had 8.5 sacks in the first seven weeks in 2022 with the Minnesota Vikings but just 1.5 the rest of the way. He dealt with a knee injury from November on and continued to play through it, but his production fell off. If he can stay healthy this year in Cleveland, he could put up big numbers for fantasy managers in IDP leagues.

    May 19 · Source via Cleveland Browns Myles Garrett Za'Darius Smith
  • Jerome Ford Expected To Have Increased Role

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    Cleveland Browns running back Jerome Ford is expected to take on the No. 2 role this upcoming season. The departure of Kareem Hunt and D'Ernest Johnson have left the Browns without many options in the backfield. That being said, it appears the Browns are ready to see what they have in Ford. He'll likely handle a decent amount of the pass-catching in the backfield. However, Nick Chubb is likely to see a majority of the workload with the Browns being shorthanded. Ford only had 14 offensive snaps last season, so it's hard to imagine him being ready to take on the No. 2 role. It'll be interesting to see what happens during training camp.

    May 18 · Source via Cleveland Browns Jerome Ford
  • Za'Darius Smith Traded To Cleveland

    Headshot for Myles Garrett

    The Vikings traded linebacker Za'Darius Smith to the Browns on Friday. The 30-year-old appeared in 16 games for the Vikings last season, totaling 44 tackles and 10 sacks. However, he requested a trade a few months ago, with his tenure in Minnesota now ending after just one season. Smith is set to hit free agency next offseason. But for now, he joins Myles Garrett to comprise a potent pass-rushing attack for the 2023-24 campaign.

    May 13 · Source via Cleveland Browns Minnesota Vikings Myles Garrett Za'Darius Smith
  • Siaki Ika Could Have Big Role In First Season

    Headshot for Dalvin Tomlinson

    Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Siaki Ika could have the best chance of any of the team's rookies to have a significant role in his first NFL season in 2023. The Browns didn't have enough size or talent at defensive tackle last year, which is why they signed 325-pound Dalvin Tomlinson in free agency and used a top-100 pick on Ika, whose college weight fluctuated from 335 to 355 pounds. "You're not a dump truck anymore. You're a Ferrari now," defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz told Ika. The 22-year-old didn't impress scouts with his numbers at the scouting combine, but he has looked much more athletic on the field. Ika probably won't be an option in IDP leagues in his rookie year, but he should help improve Cleveland's run defense right away.

    May 5 · Source via NFL Draft Cleveland Browns Siaki Ika Dalvin Tomlinson
  • Browns Agree With Rodney McLeod

    Headshot for Grant Delpit

    The Cleveland Browns agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal on Thursday with veteran free-agent safety Rodney McLeod, according to a source. He will likely step into a key backup role in Cleveland's secondary behind starting safeties Grant Delpit and Juan Thornhill. McLeod was a key member of the Indianapolis Colts' defense in 2022 in his 11th year in the NFL, registering career-highs in pass breakups (eight) and tackles for loss (eight) while also leading the team with 96 tackles. The 32-year-old brings versatility and is equally comfortable playing either strong or free safety. He has played in 156 career games with the Rams, Eagles and Colts in his career, and he has a total of 688 tackles, 18 interceptions, 12 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries, 60 pass breakups, two sacks and three touchdowns in his 11 seasons.

    May 4 · Source via Cleveland Browns Grant Delpit Rodney McLeod Juan Thornhill
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