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Overreactions from the Preseason – Browns Edition

If you caught the Browns preseason game last night then you saw some pretty fun stuff to overreact to, including Terrelle Pryor catching a 50 yard touchdown where he looked like Secretariat at the Belmont. That was definitely a fun play to watch, and maybe it’s even the case that Pryor will have some fantasy relevance this year. I’m not really targeting him anywhere for now just because it seems like Corey Coleman and Josh Gordon are still more likely to lead that team in targets. My guess is that Pryor’s odds of passing Coleman in the target pecking order are very low. Maybe he could pass Gordon if Gordon stumbles with his return to football.

But there actually was a nugget of information that I am incorporating into my draft thinking and that is related to Robert Griffin III. He had 36 yards rushing in just a partial game. To refresh your memory on what’s happened in Griffin’s career up to this point, here’s a table from the Screener.download

Things were not moving in the right direction for Griffin and it always seemed like he was having a tough time coming back from his ACL tear in the 2012 playoffs. In fact my thinking up to this point in the offseason is that Griffin’s legs are likely toast and that they would keep him from being a viable QB in 2016. I was just making the assumption that without his legs he wouldn’t be a good enough QB in real or fantasy terms. But that 36 yards rushing in a half provides, in my opinion, a valuable piece of evidence to contradict my earlier stamce. If Griffin is a guy who can run around racking up even six yards per carry, adding 30 to 40 yards on the ground each game, then it totally changes his fantasy outlook. Maybe the best thing is that Griffin is so cheap that you’re paying streaming QB prices for a guy who could actually bust out of that huge middle tier of QBs (the tier that comprises seemingly every franchise QB who gives you roughly 20 points per game on average).

Griffin has never played a full season in the NFL, so maybe you’re just renting him if you draft him at QB25. But the price is really so cheap that you can’t go wrong. I don’t know whether he makes sense in MFL10s, just because that format seems to have some pretty specific tradeoffs you have to make between safety and risk in order to win. But in a re-draft league I could absolutely see using an end of draft pick on him as part of a late round QB strategy. If you compare Griffin to someone like Marcus Mariota, they’re probably pretty similar even in terms of injury risk, and Griffin is the cheaper QB with the seemingly better weapons. The WRs Griffin is throwing to include Josh Gordon, who has one of the best WR seasons in the last five years, as well as Corey Coleman, who was the top WR pick in this year’s draft. So how long could Griffin provide a potentially high upside despite his low cost? Who knows? But he’s so cheap that you could draft him and then just pick up another QB if Griffin goes down.

Also, if this seems like an overreaction I should say that it takes very little evidence for me to get behind a QB that could rack up rushing yards. Especially if I think that QB has some chance to get up into the 40 rushing yards per game range, which seems possible for Griffin.

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