It remains to be determined if Cleveland Browns running back Isaiah Crowell can build on his 2014 success as a rookie. For the moment, it looks like he’s being given every chance to do just that, as he started Cleveland’s OTAs with the first team offense on Tuesday afternoon. Crowell enjoyed a mixed rookie season in 2014 as he dealt with fumble woes and lost touches to fellow rookie Terrance West, but still found a way to amass 607 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.
While Crowell flashed feature back ability last year, he only did so in spurts and struggled badly down the stretch with a 3.9 yards per carry average or worse in six of his last eight contests. He was specifically bad over the team’s final three games, when he ran for just 78 yards on 27 carries.
The entire Cleveland offense took a nose dive to end the year, so all of the blame can’t fall on Crowell. He was still an interesting talent coming into his rookie year and he did enough to get a shot at the starting gig again in 2015. The main question is, will he stick as the main man? The Browns were known for switching their offensive backfield up quite a bit last year, as Crowell, West and Ben Tate all saw time as the lead back. Now with explosive rookie rusher Duke Johnson added to the mix, it’s anyone’s guess how the Browns look offensively to start the year.
Crowell probably holds the most fantasy value right now, but the guy to target should be the electrifying Johnson, who has much more upside and can be had later in fantasy football drafts.