A lot of players have been getting hyped up during the offseason, including Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron. But after digging deeper, unlike many overhyped players, Cameron deserves every bit of the praise and excitement being thrown his way. Here are the three main reasons why Cameron is going to shine and be a great TE in fantasy football this year.
New Offensive Scheme
The Browns replaced offensive coordinator Norv Turner with Kyle Shanahan this offseason, which concerned many fantasy players. However, though Turner does utilize his TEs heavily, so does Shanahan. Over the course of his career, Shanahan has shown that he values the tight end position as more of a pass catcher than a blocker.
Owen Daniels produced well while Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans from 2008 to 2009. While Shanahan was with the Washington Redskins, Fred Davis was on pace for over 1,000 yards receiving in 2011 before being suspended for four games.
In the eight games last season where he was healthy, Jordan Reed averaged six receptions for 60 yards per game as the third-best receiving option on the team. Cameron is the Browns’ No. 1 receiver despite being a TE and should be heavily involved in the new offensive scheme.
Josh Gordon’s Absence
Another knock on Cameron going into 2014 has been Josh Gordon’s pending suspension. It’s still unknown how many games Gordon will miss, but the concern is that without Gordon there to draw away the defense, Cameron won’t produce as well as he did last season. If anything, Cameron did better and had more targets without Gordon last year.
Cameron excelled in Weeks 1 and 2 of 2013 when Gordon was suspended. In the course of those two games, Cameron averaged seven receptions on 10 targets for over 100 yards and 0.5 TDs per game. I have faith that Cameron will do just fine in 2014 even with the mediocre supporting cast of WRs in Cleveland. Oh, and that was with Brandon Weeden under center, which brings me to the next factor.
Weeden is now with the Dallas Cowboys, and the starting QB gig in Cleveland is up for grabs between Brian Hoyer and rookie Johnny Manziel. Reports out of the Browns’ training camp say that Hoyer is taking the first-team snaps and is excelling.
If Hoyer does win the starting job, Cameron will get plenty of looks. In Weeks 3 and 4 of 2013 when Hoyer started, Cameron averaged eight receptions on 11 targets for about 80 yards and two TDs per game. With Hoyer under center, Cameron would get plenty of red zone targets and scoring opportunities.
If Manziel becomes the starting QB, there’s a little more uncertainty, as it’s a difficult transition for any rookie QB to play in the NFL. However, love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny that Manziel has the talent needed to succeed. Even if it takes a while for Manziel to learn the ropes, Cameron is the perfect safety blanket and a check-down option at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds. I’m not worried about Cameron’s QB play whether it’s Hoyer or Manziel.
All the pieces are in place for Cameron to improve on his 2013 performance. He will be a key player in the offense, and Cameron is possibly the most talented receiver the Browns have, not to mention the biggest red zone threat. I have Cameron ranked as the No. 4 TE in 2014, and he should be well worth his current sixth-round price tag.