So when we last left our intrepid Blurb, Denver was all broken down. Now, we’ll take a look at Cleveland and see what is worth starting – if anything – tonight.
Passing – If you were going to stick a first time QB into a game, this is a matchup you’d think about. In fact, you have to wonder if Crennel was just biding his time until this game to give Quinn a shot at survival. Well, maybe and maybe not. The Donkey bring the heat – they are ranked 9th in the league in sacks with 20, though the Browns have been stingy giving up sacks, only allowing 11 so far. Still, the Denver pass rush is pretty solid. That said, not much else is. Champ Bailey is hurt and he was about the best they had in a shaky secondary. The Doncos average a hefty 243 yards allowed per game, have given 12 TDs up and only picked off 3 passes. That’s bad, maybe even worse than bad. This is a good matchup for the Cleveland passing offense, but as you will see, they have their own question marks.
Brady Quinn – Come all without, come all within – You’ll not see nothing like the mighty Quinn. With apoligies to Manfred Mann (and my readership) I HAVE seen something like the Mighty Brady Quinn before, just not in the Pros. Quinn played well in college though he did turn the ball over more than his fair share. He has decent arm stength, though won’t be hitting anyone from his own goal line in the opposing end zone anytime soon. The fact is, we have no idea what Quinn can do at this level. Add to it the shaky state of the Browns offense – fragile Stallworth, cement-hands Edwards and occasionally angry and staph infected Kellen Winslow – and who knows what he can do. If you were caught with your pants down due to Schaub, Orton and Anderson and are desperate for a start Quinn is a guy with a good matchup and lots of question marks. You can start him in a desperate pinch but I would rather not. Then again, Buffalo in Week 11 is pretty grim too. Could be a long year for the Mighty Quinn.
Braylon Edwards – Edwards was far and away the most targeted guy in the offense through the first 9 weeks. Too bad that a) he is catching a horrific 40% of his targets and b) with Quinn in there, all past history is out the window. It isn’t going to help Edwards’ confidence to have a first time signal caller starting. Still, I think this is a game where Edwads can suceed. The Broncos secondary is pretty bad and he should get the seperation he needs to break a few big plays. While Edwards is no better than a #2 or 3 most weeks, he has a fair chance to play better than average this week.
Kellen Winslow – Really, the only other threat in the pass game, Winslow has been angry and bitter since his staph infection. But with a new QB, Winslow may have a shot to do some damage. Question is, does he care? There are multiple TEs I like better than Winslow – Clark, Gonzo, Gates, Daniels – but as bad as many other TEs have been, unless you have those guys, Winslow’s upside and ability make him a guy you can start.
The Broncos rush D isn’t much better than the pass D, giving up 144 yards a game on the ground and 10 Tds. In the last two games (bracketing the bye) they have allowed 300 yards. That would be…. not good. Good matchup for the Browns though.
Jamal Lewis – Lewis has been busting his tail every game this year and really showing me that he has some gas left in the tank. He may be old, but I think he still looks pretty good. The offensive line however has not been very helpful. Most of his points have been coming from dogged determination on Lewis’ part. The Broncos are giving up a bunch of points week to week to fantasy running backs and Lewis’ hard work should pay off this week. I think he;s a solid RB2 with upside and the only big question is – will Quinn be effective enough to keep 8 men out of a box. I think he will be just good enough to keep things clear for Lewis. Hopefully the Browns D will keep things close enough so that Lewis gets touches. I think Lewis is a solid start though and would encourage you to do so, depending upon who else you have in your stable.
That’s it for now – see you tonight on the Drive Block and tomorrow for the afternoon Fantasy Show!