By The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
Transaction: The Cleveland Browns acquire QB Tyrod Taylor from the Buffalo Bills
2018 Fantasy Outlook: I love this move so much, I want to find a place in this country that will allow me to marry it and make beautiful moves like it in the future. Okay, that was weird, but it gets my point across. I’m happy for Taylor that a team wants him and saved him from a team that clearly didn’t.
Over the last three years, according to Pro Football Focus, Tyrod Taylor has ranked 12th, 13th, and 14th among QBs in the NFL. Can you honestly look at those statistics and tell me this man is a bad QB? Look, he’s not Montana or Brady or Peyton Manning, but the dude is a damn good QB and certainly doesn’t deserve the type of treatment he’s received from Buffalo and their fans. Since becoming the starter in Buffalo, Taylor has finished as QB16, QB11, and QB19 in fantasy. He’s a serviceable option in deeper leagues, but if you take out the games he’s missed, either by injury or benching for Nathan Peterman, he’s a top 15 option on a points per game basis.
The one thing he does as well as any QB in the league is limit the number of turnovers he commits. Since 2015, he has the fewest number of interceptions thrown among QBs with 40 starts or more. He may not have the most wins, but let’s be honest, outside of RB LeSean McCoy, what other legitimate playmakers did Taylor have to work with on offense? Sammy Watkins? He played 21 out of 32 possible games. I stand by my belief that Taylor is a solid NFL QB and that with good weapons around him, he’ll be a solid starter in this league and approach top 12 status as a fantasy QB.
Now, going to Cleveland is typically considered a death sentence for players, especially quarterbacks. They have started 28 different QBs since they “became” a franchise in 1999 — not counting their time as the Browns before moving to Baltimore and becoming the Baltimore Ravens — and Taylor will be number 29. What Taylor has that none of those other QBs had is talent around him. Superstar-when-not-suspended WR Josh Gordon, newly acquired WR Jarvis Landry, former 1st round pick WR Corey Coleman, 2017 1st round pick TE David Njoku, 3rd down back extraordinaire RB Duke Johnson Jr., and newly signed RB Carlos Hyde make up one of the better skill position groupings in the NFL. Did you ever think you would read something like that about a team in Cleveland? Me neither.
Tyrod Taylor has the potential to be a top 12 option at QB in fantasy in 2018. How much HC Hue Jackson wants to utilize him as a runner remains to be seen, but he’ll likely get at least 400 yards on the ground because he can, which will be a nice 40 point boost to any fantasy owner willing to draft Taylor as a viable option.