If there’s an aspect of Sunday’s game that fans seem to be looking forward to between the Browns and Titans, it’s likely the quarterback matchup between two former Heisman Trophy winners – Browns QB Johnny Manziel who will start for the injured Josh McCown, and Titans rookie QB Marcus Mariota, who threw for four TD’s in his debut last Sunday vs the Buccaneers.
Today we will give some predictions for those playing daily fantasy games, or even if you’re in a league in which you have one of these players and are debating playing them.
Here’s a quick breakdown for the key skill players on both teams.
QB Johnny Manziel – Johnny Football gets a shot to make up for all the detractors, even former Steelers running back Merril Hoge, who he had something to say about Friday. Manziel needs to take better care of the ball, and make sure not to put the ball on the ground when he scrambles or gets hit in the pocket, something he did twice last week. Overall, he’ll make some plays, but beware of Dick LeBeau’s new look Titans defense which confused Bucs rookie QB Jamies Winston last week. He was 13-for-24 for 182 yards a week ago with a TD and two picks.
Outlook: 175 yards, 1 touchdowns, 1 interception, 40 yards rushing
RB Isaiah Crowell – Ouch. We said last week that the Browns run game was a bit of a mess, and last week proved that and then some. This week the team can’t shy away from Crowell, and this could be the last chance he gets as a starter. If the run game fails as bad as it did last week, they will need to do something drastic at the position. I see Crowell having a bounce back effort, I think with all the focus on Manziel, the running back could be a surprise on Sunday for fantasy teams and a cheap option in one-day leagues.
Outlook: 85 yards, 1 touchdown, 22 yards receiving
RB Duke Johnson Jr. – Got a couple looks last week, and should get a couple more this week against a defense that can be had on the ground. Another possible sleeper to have a solid week.
Outlook: 55 yards rushing
WR Brian Hartline – Had an amazing one-handed catch a week ago, but like the rest of the team didn’t do all that much in his Browns debut. 2 grabs for 20 yards isn’t going to get the job done. Should be better in week two.
Outlook: 45 yards receiving
WR Andrew Hawkins – Last week Hawkins had 3 grabs for 24 yards, but needs better separation in order to give Johnny a chance to find him in space. Look for a modest effort with four grabs for 40 yards, but I think he scores a TD from Johnny.
Outlook: 40 yards receiving 1 TD
WR Dwayne Bowe – Will he play? That’s the big question after he was ‘limited’ in practice this last week. Last week he was a surprise inactive and it was explained his hammy wouldn’t allow him to play. No question stay away from him for a second straight week.
Outlook: Back on the Inactive List
TE Gary Barnidge – 3 grabs for 38 yards last week, I would expect the same type of effort this week, Manziel will again look for him during scrambles and when the pocket collapses.
Outlook: 35 yards receiving
K Travis Coons – Tough to go with a Browns kicker right now until the offense really shows some signs of life. Like last week I see the Browns scoring about 13 points, meaning two field goals and an extra point.
Outlook: 2 field goals 1 extra point