Fantasy Football Week 3 Dark Horse Sleeper: Brian Hoyer

By Brad Berreman
Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns have been in the news this week, from an injury to quarterback Brandon Weeden (thumb) that will sideline him for at least Week 3 to the surprising trade of running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday.

The Browns signed Willis McGahee to replace Richardson on Thursday, and Brian Hoyer will start in Weeden’s place on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. McGahee may play on Sunday and is worth adding in most fantasy leagues, but how should fantasy football owners view Hoyer this week?

Hoyer has only made one start in his NFL career, in Week 17 of last season with the Arizona Cardinals when he went 19-for-34 for 225 yards with one touchdown and one interception against the San Francisco 49ers, and 19 of his other 62 career pass attempts came the previous week against the Chicago Bears.

With McGahee possibly inactive or surely seeing his snaps limited in his first game of the season, Bobby Rainey and Chris Ogbonnaya may see a lot of action in the Browns’ running back rotation on Sunday. That means Hoyer is likely to throw the ball plenty, for better or worse, in a potentially favorable matchup against the Vikings.

Minnesota enters Week 3 allowing 18.5 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks (tied for ninth-most, ESPN standard scoring). It’s worth noting that the two signal callers they’ve faced (Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler) are more proven than Hoyer and have better weapons at their disposal, even with the return of Browns’ wide receiver Josh Gordon from an early season suspension.

Hoyer is not a sure-fire waiver wire addition in fantasy leagues right now, since Weeden will reportedly not need surgery on his thumb and could return as soon as Week 4. But I think owners in deep two-quarterback leagues that are looking for an option this week can consider using Hoyer, based purely on volume (40-plus pass attempts?) and the possibility of some garbage time production.

Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.

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