The Johnny Football era has finally officially arrived in Cleveland. Per reports, the Browns have confirmed they will enter week 12 following their bye week with Johnny Manziel as their starter for the remainder of the season.
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) November 17, 2015
It’s a move that makes perfect sense, as the Browns have no hopes of a playoff run at 2-8 and need to evaluate Manziel and whether or not he’s their future at the quarterback position. The real question is why the team didn’t fully back their second-year passer sooner, but a run-in with the law and various distractions could have slowed them in the process.
Manziel also hasn’t been completely amazing when he’s gotten the nod. He was serviceable in relief of an injured Josh McCown in week one and even helped the Browns to a win in his first 2015 start in week two, but was inconsistent in his second start against the Bengals in week nine. This past week Manziel flashed his best ability to date, however, as he made countless solid throws from inside the pocket, as he carved up the Pittsburgh Steelers for over 370 passing yards while completing 73% of his passes.
Manziel was only able to generate one touchdown, but moved the ball quite well on a decent defense in a hostile environment. Manziel will now have Cleveland’s week 11 bye week to get ready for a huge week 12 clash with the Baltimore Ravens.
The harsh reality is that Manziel needs time to grow and he’s got a few brutal matchups on the schedule down the stretch. That being said, this is a move the Browns had to make and now he gets six starts to state his claim to the starting quarterback job in 2016. He did look good this past week and has flashed solid ability dating back to this past summer. Manziel still misses reads and gets too jumpy in the pocket, but he appeared to improve greatly in both regards in week 10. He could still easily face plant the rest of the way, but he’s shown a gamer’s mentality and offers some upside due to his athleticism and penchant for the big play. He’s going to take sacks and turn the ball over, but in a plus matchup he could help you out of a jam if you need help at quarterback.
Manziel especially is an interesting option as long as he remains cheap on daily fantasy football sites like DraftKings. He was able to put up a healthy 21 fantasy points in week 10 and two weeks from now will get a bad Ravens secondary. He’ll be worth considering as a streaming option in regular leagues and if cheap, will be worth a look in DFS leagues, as well.