Fantasy football: Browns trade for new-look offense

The Cleveland Browns started Friday just like any other day, but ended it with a new look to the offense.

The Browns traded for Tyrod Taylor and Jarvis Landry to help their passing attack and breathe life into their last-place scoring offense. The addition of those pieces can lead to bigger things down the road.

In Taylor you have a capable dual threat at quarterback, who isn’t a stranger to QB1 status in favorable weeks. In Landry you have one of the best, if not flashy, receivers in the league. He led the NFL with 112 receptions and scored nine touchdowns last season with downright bad quarterback play.

FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2015 file photo, Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) dives for the first down marker during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Carolina Panthers in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert, File)

Though Taylor passed for just 187 yards per game last season, he added 427 yards rushing and four touchdowns on the ground. Outside of LeSean McCoy, he didn’t have a lot of help in terms of pass catchers. Taylor’s fantasy value could increase with the trade. He’s definitely an upgrade over DeShone Kizer at this point.

The addition of Taylor and Landry to the offense not only changes their own fantasy value, but it could drastically affect the skill players already on the Browns.

Josh Gordon looks serious about turning his career around and caught 18 passes in five games for 335 yards and a score to end last season. If he gets together with Taylor soon, they could develop enough chemistry to make a big impact next season. The 26-year-old has a decent amount of quality years left if he can stay on the straight and narrow.

Second-year tight end David Njoku could provide a nice outlet for Taylor. As a rookie, Njoku caught 32 passes for 386 yards and four touchdowns. With Gordon and Landry on the outside, Njoku has potential for a breakout year.

An upgraded passing attack can do a lot to relieve the pressure on the running game, a running game that could feature the exceptionally talented Saquon Barkley should the Browns take the Penn State product with their first pick. The offensive line for Cleveland is actually one of their few strengths, so it’s easy to see why Friday’s moves got the league’s attention.

Penn State running back Saquon Barkley runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Friday, March 2, 2018, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

A lot of NFL players took notice as news of the trades broke. You can’t help but wonder if top free agents took notice as well. Could Kirk Cousins actually start taking the Browns seriously now that they have some real receiving threats? Is Taylor just an insurance policy if Cleveland doesn’t land this season’s free agency big fish? Time will tell. With the new additions, free agency and five of the top 65 picks in the draft, it looks like the Browns might finally have their ducks in a row.