Cleveland looks like a team on the rise. Despite going 2-6 as the starter last year, Colt McCoy looked like he could be the answer at QB for the Browns. He performed well in his first game, which just happened to come in Pittsburgh. After not putting up much in a win in New Orleans, he posted three straight quality performances against the Jets, Patriots and Jaguars. Then he missed a few games, but came back for another monster effort in Cincinnati before capping the year with two duds against Baltimore and Pittsburgh. But I’m not here to talk about McCoy — at least, not anymore. I’m here to talk about the two guys that could wind up as his top target this year, Jordan Norwood and Evan Moore.
One of the big knocks against McCoy is his arm strength, and it’s reasonable to expect him to have more success throwing the ball short to slot receivers and tight ends than down the field to his flanker and split end. Moore is the No. 2 TE behind Ben Watson, but he’s the team’s premier passing threat right now. He had an excellent training camp (named the offensive MVP by one writer), resulting in Vic Carucci to predict that Moore will lead the team in receptions this year.
Norwood is dealing with a knee injury that may curtail any early value he has, but he’s inherited the Danny Amendola role of the offense as the slot receiver. Amendola, of course, finished last year with 85 catches for the Rams, the team new Browns coach Pat Shurmur left behind this offseason. Shurmur himself connected the dots between Amendola and Norwood, which is good news for this super-sleeper if he can get over the injury hump.
Either way, Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie haven’t done much in the Browns offense when given a chance, and Greg Little still looks like he needs developing before making consistent contributions. That could leave Moore and Norwood as the early season favorites for big fantasy numbers, especially with Cleveland’s cake schedule early in the season (seriously, check it out; I’ve already added the Browns D in my league).
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R.J. White is the head editor at the Cafe, writes for FanDuel and Razzball and has previously written for FanHouse. Catch up with him in the forums under the name daullaz. Follow him on Twitter; don't follow him in real life.
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