It was recently reported that Brian Hoyer is in talks with the Cleveland Browns to sign a contract extension. Hoyer has three wins and no losses as a starter in Cleveland, and the Browns might’ve drafted very differently in 2014 had Hoyer not torn his ACL in Week 5 last year against the Buffalo Bills. So how does this impact the fantasy football landscape?
Despite the immense media frenzy over Johnny Manziel, there are no guarantees that Manziel will be the starting QB for the Browns in 2014, at least not at the beginning of the season. Earlier in June, head coach Mike Pettine announced to reporters that Hoyer is “securely ahead” of Manziel on the depth chart.
Talks of a contract extension only bolster the possibility that Hoyer may be the Browns’ starting QB for much of the 2014 season. The Browns are obviously banking on Manziel for the future, but the team could decide to let him sit on the bench and study up during his rookie season.
While it may be an unpopular move with fans and the media, Hoyer showed last season that he is a capable QB. During his two full games played in 2013, Hoyer threw for 590 yards, five TDs and three INTs. If Hoyer is the starter, he could be worth a roster spot in deeper leagues or in two-QB leagues.
The news of a possible contract extension for Hoyer also helps the fantasy value of TE Jordan Cameron. In Weeks 3 and 4 last year, when Hoyer was the QB, Cameron built a solid rapport with him, racking up over 150 yards and four TDs. Cameron will be a good TE option regardless in 2014, but he could be a top-5 TE if Hoyer is throwing to him.
In those two 2013 games with Hoyer against the Minnesota Vikings and Cincinnati Bengals, Cameron averaged 11.5 targets per game and scored more than half of his total TDs for the season. Assuming Hoyer holds onto the starting job, Cameron’s current sixth-round ADP would be a very cheap price tag to pay for his potential return.
In summary, Manziel is absolutely a worthwhile rookie draft pick in dynasty leagues, but it’s sounding more and more like Hoyer may be the guy to own in redraft leagues in 2014. And if that turns out to be the case, don’t be afraid to reach for Cameron as your reliable TE. He’s likely to see plenty of targets each game, particularly in the red zone.