5 Cleveland Browns to target late in fantasy football drafts

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 11: Running back Duke Johnson
BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 11: Running back Duke Johnson /
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CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 11: Jamie Collins
CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 11: Jamie Collins /

Cleveland Browns Defense/Special Teams

Projected rank (Via Yahoo! Fantasy): 2533

It may seem crazy, but Cleveland’s defense has a chance to make some noise in the world of fantasy. No, they will not have an elite defense, but the most important thing for fantasy defenses is play-making ability, and that’s just what the Browns added this offseason.

After finishing dead last in fantasy points in 2016 (by a pretty decent margin), the Browns made their defense a very high priority this offseason. They selected DL Myles Garrett and DB/LB Jabrill Peppers in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, as well as adding veterans such as DBs Calvin Pryor and Jason McCourtey.

What do these two incoming rookies have in common? Elite play-making ability and versatility. Garrett racked up 31 sacks over his three-year career at Texas A&M per sports-reference.com. If he can continue to put opposing QBs in the dirt, the defense will rack up fantasy points quickly.

As for Peppers, not only can he make plays on defense, but he’s also expected to be involved in Cleveland’s punt/kick returns. According to sports-reference.com, Peppers accumulated 570 yards and a touchdown returning kicks and punts last season at the University of Michigan.

If Peppers can find the endzone a few times, it’ll be a big boost for their fantasy performance. Along with the rookies, NFL veterans DB Joe Haden and LB Jamie Collins are the leaders on the defensive side of the ball.

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Similar to the Kizer pick, this is a suggestion for very deep leagues. The Browns defense, at best, could be roughly a top-20 fantasy performer at the position. The Cleveland Browns’ defense/ST should be strictly viewed as a D/ST2 that is used on a matchup basis, but there’s still some potential.