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Super Deep Fantasy Sleepers: 2018 Cleveland Browns

Are you looking to gain an edge in deeper fantasy football formats? The team at RotoViz is here to help by taking a team-by-team journey to uncover the most buried and overlooked sleepers in the fantasy football landscape.

Next up, two deep sleepers for the Cleveland Browns.

MATT DAYES

Matt Dayes is a running back to keep on your radar in deeper formats. His very good receiving skills make him a solid fit to back up Duke Johnson who led the Browns in receptions (74) and receiving yards (693). The seventh-round draft pick out of North Carolina State had his most productive collegiate season as a senior.

Year Rush Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds TD
2013 63 252 4 4 10 173 1
2014 104 573 5.5 8 32 321 5
2015 134 865 6.5 12 24 172 0
2016 249 1166 4.7 10 32 271 0
Career 550 2856 5.2 34 98 937 6

Dayes’ workout metrics were poor with a 4.71 forty and 11.70 agility score, but he had eight games with 100 or more rushing yards. He also caught 98 passes in his collegiate career for 933 receiving yards while averaging 9.5 yards per catch.

The Browns have a crowded backfield that also includes recently signed RB Carlos Hyde and the 35th pick of the 2018 NFL Draft Nick Chubb. Both are better suited to handle the early down and goal line carries. Hyde caught 59 passes last year but hemorrhaged efficiency to the tune of 31 lost fantasy points.1. Chubb caught only 13 passes over his final three years at Georgia. Neither has the skill set to operate as the team’s passing-down specialist.

Dayes could be an asset if Johnson were ever to miss significant time. The Browns provided him with 5.22 targets per game over the last two seasons.

RASHARD HIGGINS

Higgins is a wide receiver who should be on your radar considering how he ended the 2017 season. He is only 23 years old and shaping up to be a someone who could make a significant impact in his third season with the Browns.

Higgins played 66.2 percent of the offensive snaps last season but was targeted on only 7.5 percent of them. He had his two best games in Week 2 (11 targets, seven receptions, and 95 receiving yards), after getting called up from the practice squad after missing the final cut, and Week 17 (four targets, three receptions, 68 receiving yards, and two touchdowns).

Higgins set collegiate records at Colorado State for receptions (239), receiving yards (3,649) and touchdowns (31). He’s impressed the Browns coaching staff so far in training camp and has developed a rapport with rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield. Both players have been getting reps in with the second team. Higgins was also part of the group of Browns offensive players that quarterback Tyrod Taylor invited to Los Angeles this offseason for informal workouts at UCLA and USC.

Jarvis Landry is entrenched as one of the Browns top receiving targets after signing a massive contract in free agency. Outside of Landry, the team has more questions than answers at the position right now. Josh Gordon will miss the start of training camp as part of his “overall health and treatment plan.” This is a big deal considering he has missed 54 of the last 59 games over the last three seasons to substance abuse issues and is almost five seasons removed from his league-leading 1,646 receiving yards in 2013.

Corey Coleman has missed 13 games in two seasons due to hand injuries, but has seen a favorable target share when on the field. Hyped, fourth-round selection Antonio Callaway will also be competing for a role.

Higgins needs a couple of dominoes to fall in order to be fantasy relevant this season. Gordon will need to miss significant time. Coleman will need to perform poorly in training camp and during the preseason. If these developments take place or Landry is lost to injury, Higgins would be in prime position to build on his big Week 17 finish.

What was most useful for you? Please leave a comment below or better yet reach out to me via Twitter @EricNMoody

  1. -31 FPOE  (back)

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