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Cleveland Browns Fantasy Football News 2017

The Browns plan to play 1st-round pick Jabrill Peppers at SS, while also finding him roles on offense and special teams, according to beat writer Scott Petrak. Peppers grabbed just 1 INT over 3 years at Michigan but displayed impressive versatility. That included spending most of his junior season at LB. Don't be surprised to see Peppers in the box often, which should help his tackle numbers. He'll certainly be worth a look in IDP drafts -- whether you're playing dynasty or redraft.

The Browns spent their 2nd pick of Round 1 on Michigan's Jabrill Peppers. A safety primarily, Peppers lined up at 15 different positions over the 2016 season, according to ESPN. He'll likely play safety almost exclusively in Cleveland. Peppers grabbed just 1 INT over 3 seasons with the Wolverines but also delivered 13 tackles for loss as a LB last year, including 3 sacks. There's IDP upside as long as Peppers' name doesn't boost his fantasy ADP too high.

The Browns defied the storylines and chose Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett 1st in the 2017 NFL Draft. Garrett will likely play an OLB spot for Cleveland, which dings his IDP value a bit. But he certainly has the talent to deliver plenty of fantasy football production there. He should also have a clear path to lots of immediate playing time. Expect Garrett to sit near the top among defensive players when our dynasty rookie rankings hit the site.

The forecast for today's Browns-Bills game calls for a slight chance of snow but winds of 20-30 mph. That's certainly enough to impact the passing games. Hopefully you're not relying on any part of Cleveland's passing attack. Downgrade Bills QB Tyrod Taylor and WR Sammy Watkins a tad, but both are still fine fantasy starters. Expect a heavy dose of RB LeSean McCoy today.

The forecast for today's Bengals-Browns game calls for 1-3 inches of snow and winds of 10-20 mph. We start to worry about the passing games when winds get over 15 mph, so this is a slight concern. Both teams figured to go run-heavy anyway, and the weather will only push them farther in that direction.

Browns S Ed Reynolds (knee) is active for today's game against the Giants. He put in only limited workouts Wednesday and Friday, though, sandwiching a Thursday spent on the sideline. That makes too much risk for a low-level, early-career IDP option. CB Tramon Williams (knee) is inactive after also entering the day questionable.

11:35am EST 11/20/16

Browns CB Tramon Williams (knee) is inactive for today's game against the Steelers.

The forecast for today's Steelers-Browns game calls for a 30% chance of snow with winds of 27-29 mph and gusts up to 40. That wind is a significant concern. We'd avoid both kickers and downgrade the passing games, especially the guys who rely on downfield stuff. Bang it here for updated projections for the Steelers and Browns.

Browns CB Jamar Taylor (groin) has been ruled out for Thursday night's game against the Ravens. That takes Cleveland's slot corner out of the lineup but doesn't significantly alter anyone else's fantasy outlook on either side otherwise.

11:45am EST 11/6/16

Browns CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is active for today's game against the Cowboys, despite entering the day questionable. He managed to put in limited practices all week and should be fine to use as you normally would in IDP leagues.

Browns CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Cowboys after putting in limited practices all week. We'll check on his game status Sunday morning.

The Patriots have traded LB Jamie Collins to the Browns. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Cleveland's giving New England a 3rd-round compensatory pick. (The upcoming NFL Draft marks the 1st time those picks will have been tradeable.) Collins is in the final year of his contract, so New England clearly didn't believe it would re-sign the young LB. The trade also indicates that the Patriots figured the league compensatory-pick system would have given them something later than a 3rd-rounder for losing Collins. Thirdly, this suggests the team is happy with rookie LB Elandon Roberts, who has seen his role grow this season. Collins should start quickly for Cleveland. We'd guess he'll take over for veteran ILB Demario Davis. The Browns will also need to re-sign Collins to make this a worthwhile move. New England gets a Week 9 bye before a Week 10 game against Seattle. Dont'a Hightower figures to be the top Pats LB for IDP owners in that game and likely the rest of the way. Keep an eye on Roberts' role and production, however. The move takes a playmaker out of New England's defense, though FOX's Michael Lombardi pointed out that Collins has done more freelancing this year than the Pats would like. For now, we're not adjusting the team D's outlook.

Browns S Jordan Poyer had to be rushed to the hospital Sunday after taking a hit that lacerated a kidney, reports. That injury -- the same that ended Andrew Luck's 2015 season -- will likely cost Poyer the rest of the year. He was also being evaluated for a concussion.

11:56am EDT 9/25/16

Browns CB Joe Haden (groin) is inactive for today's game at Miami. That only helps the Dolphins' passing game for fantasy purposes, which didn't need any help to begin with this week.

Browns DE Carl Nassib suffered a broken hand in Sunday's loss to the Ravens and could miss multiple games. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the rookie will have surgery, and then doctors will assess how long he'll miss. Nassib had started well after a strong preseason. A bad Cleveland D will only be worse without him on the field.

Browns DE Desmond Bryant had surgery Tuesday to repair a pectoral muscle he tore while working out. He's expected to need 5-6 months to recover, and the team has confirmed that he's likely to miss the season. Bryant led the 2015 Browns with a career-high 6 sacks, despite missing 2 games. He would have sported some fantasy appeal in deep IDP leagues. Instead, rookie Carl Nassib and 2nd-year man Xavier Cooper will face increased opportunity -- and pressure -- when camp opens later this month. We'll see who (if anyone) can step up as IDP targets in Cleveland.

ESPN's beat writers are projecting their 53-man rosters this week, and Pat McManamon's Browns projection doesn't include CB Justin Gilbert. "He had moments, but struggled with technique," McManamon wrote after saying Gilbert got a "long look" this spring in Joe Haden's absence. "His spot is in jeopardy, though he could earn it back in preseason with sound, consistent play on defense and/or special teams." HC Hue Jackson spoke well of Gilbert's work recently, and we'd still bet on the former 1st-round pick finding a spot -- barring a terrible summer on the field. But Jackson's regime has no allegiance to a guy drafted by the previous staff who has busted thus far. Gilbert's not on the IDP radar in any format at this point.

The Browns spent their 1st pick of Round 3 in the NFL Draft on DE Carl Nassib. At 6'6 and 272 pounds, Nassib seemed to project as more of a 4-3 DE, so it'll be interesting to see whether Cleveland puts him at end or OLB. That'll probably matter more for his position designation in fantasy than his actual stat outlook. Nassib's 15.5 sacks in his lone starting season at Penn State makes him an intriguing edge player.

The Browns kept the 1st pick in Round 2 of the NFL Draft and chose OLB Emmanuel Ogbah from Oklahoma State. Ogbah racked up 22.5 sacks over the past 2 years and 29.5 total tackles for loss. He should start right away for a Cleveland D that finished 28th in the league in sacks last year. Ogbah's a decent IDP target for dynasty rookie drafts.


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