Quarterback guru Ron Jaworski (click to PFR for some groovy 1980’s stat lines) is beginning to unveil his annual rankings of the position, and, Mary Kay Cabot at the Cleveland Plain Dealer is excited about Browns QB Brandon Weeden‘s ranking… a robust 26. Ok, maybe the number isn’t something to get hyped up about, but a number of Jaws’ comments stand out as good news for the team and for Weeden’s fantasy potential this season.
The former Monday Night Football analyst applauded Weeden’s poise (for a rookie), throwing ability, arm strength, and mechanics. Most notable from a fantasy perspective is how he feels about the 2nd year QB who will turn 30 this season’s ability to gel with Norv Turner’s offense: “I believe Weeden to be a rock-solid NFL starter in Norv Turner’s offense. It will feature a heavy emphasis on play-action and intermediate and downfield throws – that’s Weeden’s strength.”
All too often fantasy players rely on last year’s numbers to project this year’s returns, without considering the many variables that go into player output. The most relevant variable here is team context. While the 2013 Browns have similar playmakers on offense as the 2012 edition, the scheme changes.
Turner is noted for his skills in quarterback development and his overall offensive philosophy tends towards putting the ball in the air – and deep. He, and the team have been bullish on their plans to do just that this season and if Brandon Weeden is as good a fit for that philosophy as Jaworski perceives him to be it will certainly be good news for the team, and for those that take him at his zero risk ADP.
I presently have Weeden ranked as my 27th quarterback and it may be difficult to bump him much higher at this stage, but, at the very least he’s a player to keep an eye on through camp and the preseason. With Josh Gordon (post-suspension) providing a threat on the outside and Trent Richardson preparing for a more effective season the offense in Cleveland may be ready to take off, boosting the QB’s stock along with it.