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Cullen: Browns' Little could have big year

Scott Cullen
8/22/2012 12:16:23 PM
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There is little to like about the chances of the Cleveland Browns this season and there is the possibility that they will have both a rookie quarterback and rookie running back (if healthy) touching the ball most often on offence.

In the midst of this rebuilding offence, second-year wide receiver Greg Little is appealing as a possible breakthrough performer.

The 23-year-old is 6-foot-3 and had 61 catches for 709 yards as a rookie last season, ranking fifth among all rookies. He was forced to sit out the 2010 season, what would have been his senior year at North Carolina, after his dealings with an agent violated NCAA rules, so that production, after a year on the sidelines, was impressive.

There were 17 wide receivers to accrue more than 1000 yards receiving last season and only three of them came from non-playoff teams which, unfortunately, appears to be where the Browns are headed this season.

It also doesn't help Little's case that Brandon Weeden, the 28-year-old rookie who is slated to start at quarterback for the Browns, has struggled to some degree in his first two preseason games (15-for-29 for 180 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception).

Whether it's Weeden or Colt McCoy under centre, though, the expectation remains that the Browns are going to be trailing in the majority of their games, which means Little is going to have an opportunity to put up numbers as Cleveland is forced to pass.

Little was 17th in the league in targets last season, with 115. With some improvement in the percentage of balls he receives -- he was tied for second among wide receivers with a dozen drops -- the former collegiate running back could approach 1000 yards and maybe add half a dozen touchdowns if all breaks right for him.

If there are quarterback troubles that inhibit his production, Little should still be at least as productive as he was during his rookie season, a range that makes him a viable third or fourth receiver on most fantasy teams. 

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.



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