Britt's fantasy stock in Cleveland depends on Terrelle Pryor
The Cleveland Browns are expected to sign veteran wideout Kenny Britt, according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan. It’s a somewhat unexpected landing spot for Britt, and it could spell the end of Terrelle Pryor’s time in Cleveland.
Throughout his career, Britt has been an unreliable player who has, at times, flashed brilliance. But 2016 was undoubtedly Britt’s best overall season. He caught 68 of 109 targets for 1,002 yards and five scores. He finished as the No. 24 receivers in fantasy leagues.
Britt was also Los Angeles’ best receiver by a long shot. Britt was virtually as effective as the team’s two next-best receivers (Tavon Austin and Brian Quick) combined. Austin and Quick combined for 1,073 yards and six touchdowns.
How the Rams will replace Britt’s production remains a mystery, but the team does have a number of young receivers — namely Michael Thomas and Pharoh Cooper — who could see extended looks. Quick also figures to see a more expansive role in the offense if he re-ups. But no matter how you slice it, Los Angeles’ receiving corps is a brutal mess right now and completely avoidable in fantasy.
Cleveland has a young playmaker in Corey Coleman who — unlike Tavon Austin — hasn’t been given enough time yet. I want to say that Britt’s arrival assuredly signals the end of Pryor in a Browns uniform, but the Browns have so much money to spend, that it’s not unrealistic for them to keep both. Pryor was Cleveland’s best receiver last year, as he caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards and six touchdowns — not unlike Britt’s stat line.
The Browns invested a first-round pick in Coleman in the 2016 draft, so they likely envision him as their future No. 1 wideout. If he improves as a second-year player — the year in which wideouts truly break out — then Britt and Coleman could be a surprisingly effective duo. If Pryor sticks around, then the Browns have a tremendous group of receivers — but nobody to throw them the ball.
Also, don’t look for Cleveland to bring Josh Gordon back to town if he’s reinstated by the league. It’s fun to think about (and Coleman-Pryor-Britt-Gordon on the same team would be Madden-like), but it’s unlikely to happen.
Britt’s fantasy value relies largely on A) whether or not Pryor stays in Cleveland and B) how much progress Coleman makes as a sophomore.
If Pryor leaves and Coleman makes minimal strides, Britt will be the team’s No. 1 receiver and should put up another 1,000-yard season to again flirt with WR2 status in fantasy. If Pryor leaves and Coleman becomes the team’s true No. 1 option, Britt would be a flex player in fantasy.
If Pryor stays, Britt will find himself in a crowded situation. If the Browns had a great quarterback, this wouldn’t be such a bad thing. But with a Pryor-Britt-Coleman trio, Britt would have fringe flex value with a capped ceiling due to all the mouths that would need to be fed.