Forget projections, Manziel has fantasy sleeper appeal

Outlook on Johnny Manziel seems split: A recent column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel took a poll of 20 NFL personnel executives, 12 of which predicted Manziel would be a “miss” at the NFL level. Fantasy owners should pay this no mind, however, as wins and losses on the gridiron don’t mean much in the world of statistics and value. If it did, would anyone ever draft Toby Gerhart or Maurice Jones-Drew? In fantasy, all we care about are the stats … and Manziel has the sort of skill set that offers a lot of potential. I’d like to see him land with the Cleveland Browns, but all he needs is a chance to start as a rookie to become a huge sleeper in fantasy football.

Eric Ebron moving up draft boards: UNC’s Ebron is far and away the best tight end prospect in the 2014 class. In fact, NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock sees him as one of the 10 most talented players coming out of the collegiate ranks. Bleacher Report also suggests that the Jets, Dolphins, Cardinals and Packers are all candidates to trade up for a shot to draft him. Clearly, Ebron’s talent is top shelf … but fantasy owners shouldn’t go all in on him regardless of where he lands. Consider this little nugget: A total of 79 tight ends have been drafted since 2009. Of those 79, four have finished in the top 20 as rookies. Four. So while I wouldn’t mind taking a late-round flier on him as a TE2, taking Ebron as a TE1 in his rookie season is not advised.

Browns add a pair of quarterbacks: The Cleveland Browns added some depth to their quarterback position on Thursday, signing Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen to compete with Brian Hoyer for depth-chart position during training camp. Of course, it’s widely presumed that the team will add a rookie signal-caller in the draft (Manziel makes sense), so neither Young nor Thigpen figure to make much of an impact. Both are mobile quarterbacks, though, and would fit in with what offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan brings to the team.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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