7/11/14 Cleveland’s Nickname is “Mistake On The Lake”?

And just like that, Johnny Manziel is the second-biggest name bringing his talents to Cleveland.  But despite the pressure the Browns will experience to play Johnny Football as soon as possible, Manziel may be playing second fiddle again… but this time, to Brian Hoyer.

You might remember Hoyer playing well for a few weeks last year.  If you don’t remember it, then you’ve probably heard about in on TV or read about it on a website.  As it stands now, Hoyer is the first QB on the Browns depth chart.  In fact, a few weeks ago head coach Mike Pettine said Hoyer was “securely ahead” of Manziel.  So what are the fantasy implications of the Cleveland QB situation?    I generally avoid drafting rookies altogether, but what about this Brian Hoyer guy?  Was he as good as I remember?

Looking at Hoyer’s fantasy performance from week 3 and 4 of 2013, it really is a mixed bag.  In week 3, he scored a decent-sounding 18.64 fantasy points (according to NFL.com); a total that made him only the 14th best QB that week.  In fact, in week 3, Hoyer was outscored by sub-par fantasy QB’s like Jake Locker, Geno Smith, Christian Ponder, and E.J. Manuel.  Well, that doesn’t sound impressive.

In week 4, Hoyer improved to 19.46 fantasy points, but still was out-paced by Locker and Alex Smith.  Hoyer cracked the top ten that week, as the 9th best fantasy performer.

However, put those two weeks together, and a new picture emerges.  His 38.1 fantasy points were enough to place Hoyer at 6th overall on the fantasy QB list.  Okay, now we have something here.

Then I wondered, “Was it all Josh Gordon?”  Checking Gordon’s stat-line, again I found mixed results.  Gordon exploded for 23.8 points in week 3.  Certainly that would enhance Hoyer’s output.  But in week 4, Gordon only accounted for 7.1 fantasy points.  Can’t accuse Hoyer of being the beneficiary of two great performances then.

Hoyer’s 19.05 point average during weeks 3-4 would have put him on a pace to have a 300 point season… a top 3 QB!??!  Naturally, it would have been unlikely that he would have maintained that pace, but it’s fun to imagine the possibilities of Hoyer picking up where he left off, and Manziel turning into another “Mistake on the Lake.”

Manziel’s a rookie.  Hoyer’s body of work is too small to draw an accurate picture of what to expect.  And both will be without Josh Gordon.  Personally, I’m not drafting either of them at this point.

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