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Article:Braylon Edwards: A Fantasy Disappointment

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Coming into 2008, Braylon Edwards was a hot commodity. This guy was like oil back in July. And as we come to the end of November, he’s followed the same precipitous path as oil in the past few months: a firm red arrow down.

It’s become quite apparent that he was completely overbought fantasy draft time and wasn’t worth the second or third round pick used to get him.

Perhaps we should have seen this coming. Most Michigan receivers never really step to the forefront of the NFL. Not that they’re complete disappointments—Amani Toomer has had an excellent career for the New York Giants —but many of recent years have been more like the David Terrell’s of the world; the first-round pick who was out of the league only a few years later.

Not Braylon though. After an injury-shortened rookie campaign and pretty solid second year, he exploded onto the scene in 2007 and was a huge part of the surprising resurgence of the Cleveland Browns organization. He finished with 16 TDs and many thought that in 2008, he’d take another step forward and firmly entrench himself as a superstar.

Then came the 2008 training camp. He missed nearly all of camp with an injury and came back rusty. In fact, so did the entire Browns’ offense. After Osi Umenyiora leveled Derek Anderson in the second preseason game, a concussion kept him out until Week One. So, naturally, the timing of the QB and WR was off.

But the one thing most puzzling has been Edwards’ hands in ‘08. Not sure what happened in the offseason, perhaps he wore out his grip signing autographs, but he’s put himself in T.O. territory—one of the league leaders in drops.

The main problem, though, is that he hasn’t been able to offset the drops with the big plays that Owens provides.

Aside from the N.Y. Giants’ game, he has been a bitter disappointment and none bigger than the game vs. the Ravens a few weeks ago. His untimely drops negated what would’ve been a stellar fantasy day and also ended Anderson’s tenure as the Browns’ QB.

Facing a 3rd-and-9 in the fourth quarter of a 27-27 game, Edwards dropped a potential 60+ yard TD that went right through his hands. A short while later, Baltimore’s Suggs picked off an errant toss by Anderson and sealed both the QBs and Browns’ fate in ‘08.

And this wasn’t the only time that Edwards has had crucial drops that affected his team. Against the Redskins, Steelers, and Cowboys he was instrumental in his team ending up on the short end of the final score.

So with a few games left, can Edwards tap into some of that 2007 magic and help people forget the majority of the season to this point? I don’t think so.

It’s probably too late for the Browns to get back into the playoff race and in fantasy, he’s now got a new QB in Brady Quinn who is going struggle. Notre Dame and first-round pick aside, this kid has never seen defenses as complex as he’s going to see now, and the Browns have had to scale down the play book for him.

And lastly, as evidenced by Edwards once again last Monday, the dropsies are alive and well, so unless he turns to some new gloves laced with super glue, do your self a favor and find another option or you run the risk of seeing your fantasy championship dreams slip right through your fingers.

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