Fantasy Reaction: Desmond Bryant Signs With Cleveland
The Browns signed DT/DE Desmond Bryant to a five-year, $34 million contract with $15 million in guaranteed money. This is a fairly heavy investment, but it won’t be for nothing. With that money, the Browns are getting themselves a polished interior lineman who graded out sixth among all defensive tackles here at PFF last season. Bryant bolsters a suddenly potent front seven for new defensive coordinator Ray Horton.
In his final year in Oakland, Bryant had his best season to date in terms of overall PFF grade (+16.5) as well as his grade in the pass-rush department (+16.8). The Harvard product also recorded a quarterback hurry or hit in all but one game in 2012, and finished the season strong by netting a sack in each of the Raiders’ final four games. That overall effort gave Bryant a Pass-Rushing Productivity Rating of 7.8, which was the fourth-best among defensive tackles last season.
Bryant’s numbers didn’t exactly translate to fantasy production. In balanced-scoring IDP formats, Bryant finished 28th in total points among defensive tackles. He only recorded two games with double-digit points, as his tackle and sack totals were just too low to make a true difference in IDP leagues. Bryant did, however, block a kick for the second time in as many seasons. Still, if you were to bank on a player doing that every year, you would be living dangerously.
2013 Fantasy Outlook
The good news is new head coach Rob Chudzinski views Bryant as an athletic lineman who is versatile enough to remain in the game in the subpackages. That alone could elevate Bryant’s snap total from the 645 he saw last season, which in turn gives him many more chances to log fantasy points.
But the unfortunate part is that it’s not going to matter. As a five-tech in a 3-4 defense, Bryant will have defensive end eligibility. Ends in the 3-4 notoriously score fewer fantasy points than their 4-3 counterparts. Bryant will be in a much better position to put up fantasy points overall than he was a season ago, especially with attention being paid to line mates like Paul Kruger and Jabaal Sheard, but it’s tough to advocate him as anything more than a DL4 at this point. If your league classifies Bryant as a defensive tackle, he could provide nice value. Otherwise, don’t look for much.