With Hoyer starting, should fantasy owners even consider Manziel?
Johnny Manziel may be first in the hearts of talking heads everywhere, but he’s not first on the depth chart in Cleveland -- at least not to start the season.
Head coach Mike Pettine announced Wednesday that Brian Hoyer will start for the Browns when they kick off the regular season against the Steelers in Pittsburgh. According to Pettine, Hoyer’s experience broke what had to be a tie based on the duo’s preseason performance.
“He was the clear leader from the beginning,” Pettine said in a statement. “We’ve maintained all along that if it was close, I would prefer to go with the more experienced player. Brian has done a great job in the meeting rooms and with his teammates on the practice field and in the locker room.”
It always made sense for Manziel to sit at first, even if he does eventually take over as the starter this season. Hoyer could be the better choice for the Browns to win right now, and given the team’s strong defense and potentially sound running game, they could sneak up on some people in the AFC. A quarterback who is transitioning to the NFL isn’t necessarily the best fit for such a team.
Having said that, Hoyer is a career backup with all of four starts under his belt -- three of which came with the Browns last year. If he struggles -- and the Browns first three games are against the Steelers, Saints and Ravens -- the Johnny Football era could begin after the Browns’ Week 4 bye.
Interestingly enough, the player whose value increased the most is tight end Jordan Cameron. In the two games Hoyer started and finished last year, Cameron had 16 catches on 23 targets for 157 yards and four touchdowns.