Monday, September 17, 2007

Every once in a while it's fun to be a Cleveland fan

Hindsight's 20/20 but it's great fun to see the so-called experts get it wrong. Here are some predictions published before the Browns offense went entirely Andersontastic:

The Expert: Brad Evans
Lowdown: Not even a bionic man composed of Bernie Kosar and Brady Quinn DNA could rescue the Browns from Bengals annihilation. The Bengals tattooed the Ravens on Monday night, forcing six turnovers, including a Landon Johnson 34-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. Their sparkling 21-point fantasy output in standard Y! leagues was the third-highest team defense yield in Week 1. This week the Bengals travel northeast on Interstate 71 to face intrastate rival Cleveland. The Browns offense was dreadfully woeful in 60 blunder-filled minutes in their opener against Pittsburgh, posting a pair of sixes in turnovers and sacks. If Cincinnati aggressively blitzes Derek Anderson like they did Steve McNair, the Bengals will again score top-five team defense numbers.
Fearless Forecast: 7 points allowed, 208 total yards allowed, 5 sacks, 3 turnovers

The Experts: Hector & Victor
Yeah, dude ... Cleveland certainly does not rock. Derek Anderson goes up against a Cincy defense that we're thinking should get three fumbles and four sacks.

The Expert: Christopher Harris
Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-1)The Browns traded their starting quarterback for scrap metal two days after proclaiming him the best guy they had. What happened? Charlie Frye was never going to be Superman, and as my college football partner in crime Stephanie Taylor (a Browns fan) said, "Frye was terrible in college, so I'm not sure why we thought he'd suddenly be a great pro." Still, heads are no doubt spinning in the Cleveland locker room. Derek Anderson gets the start this week, and Brady Quinn is coming. And in redraft leagues, I wouldn't touch either.
Fantasy Up: Not that you wouldn't normally do so, but play your Bengals. Carson Palmer, Rudi Johnson and Chad Johnson are in for big weeks. The Cincy defense, which created six turnovers, two sacks and scored a touchdown last week, might yield a few yards on the ground to Jamal Lewis, but they're eminently startable nonetheless. Heck, for those in insanely deep, two-TE leagues, you could even keep an eye on Daniel Coats, an undrafted rookie out of BYU. He only caught one pass for 9 yards in Week 1, but the Bengals like him. … Kellen Winslow's knee is clearly fine, and he's my No. 2-rated tight end this week. Cincinnati's linebackers aren't their strength anymore, and as a defense they allowed the third-most fantasy points to TEs last season. … You have to start T.J. Houshmandzadeh, because no matter the state of his knee, Palmer's looking his way a lot. But Housh didn't get much separation against the Ravens, as his nine catches for 50 yards indicate.
Fantasy Down: Braylon Edwards is the big loser in this QB derby. Fully healthy almost two years removed from his ACL tear, Edwards would be a fantasy threat on almost any other team in football. You have to worry about how the kid will react to this tough situation (he threw a sideline tantrum last season), and while I'm not going to be surprised if he busts open the occasional huge play, it seems like that'll only happen a few times this season. He's only a flex option right now. … Jamal Lewis looked like a dog against Pittsburgh. He carried it 11 times for 35 yards, and those numbers hardly tell the tail of his badness. All the flowery pieces about how dominant he expected to be are now so much kindling. The offensive line didn't do much against the Steelers, and that was to be expected, but Lewis himself was as tentative as ever, and his first-quarter fumble helped put the Browns in a deeper hole early on. Cincy isn't particularly stout against the run, so I won't be shocked to see Lewis register a moderately successful day, but hear me: You don't want him on your fantasy team. … Shayne Graham's hip prevented him from kicking freely in Week 1, and he didn't practice Wednesday. He might play, but I'd have another option ready, just in case.

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