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Fantasy Info: Browns Running Back Jerome Harrison is on the Rise

Cleveland Browns v Buffalo Bills

Last season fantasy owners received bad info, when they found out the Brownie’s played below their lofty expectations. Some how Braylon Edwards could not catch a pass and Derek Anderson lost his magic touch. While Jamal Lewis still ran hard, the chemistry of the offense held him back from being effective.

In the off-season the Browns fired Head Coach Romeo Crennel and replaced him with Eric Mangini. With this move the organization is hoping the Browns can get back on the right track, after last years disappointing campaign.

From a fantasy point of view, I like Magini because this guy understands you need a strong offensive line for success as a team. With time to throw and busting holes to run in, your offense can control of the clock and score points.

Eric inherited a good offensive line that is headlined by Left Tackle Joe Thomas. The new head coach then upgraded the line in when he drafted, Center Alex Mack in the first round from the Cal Bears.

Jamal Lewis Has Ankle Surgery in Off-Season

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers

One would think with a good line Lewis would be primed to return to his 2007 stats. But this off-season Lewis had ankle surgery and now is coming back slowly.

Jamal is also working against father time, as he is now in his 10th season in the NFL. No.31 turnd the dreaded 30 years old this August as well.

“You can work the running back rotation a lot of different ways; I’ve done it different styles in New York, where Leon (Washington) was able to take some first and second down reps off the starter.” – Eric Mangini

With these factors working against Lewis, one would have to believe it is time for a committee in Cleveland.

Jerome Harrison is primed for more work in 2009
In Jerome’s three seasons with the Browns he has shown flashes of success. With a career 5.8 yards per carry average (7.2 last year) he’s shown effectiveness to take on more work.

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Harrison even showed capable receiving skills, with 12 catches for a 9.7 yard per catch.

While those stats above will be of service to he team, I have my doubts about Harrison every becoming a feature back. Much like Leon Washington in New York, Jerome plays at around 5’9 and 202 pounds. Every once in a while you see a runner become a top notch talent fantasy back like (Brian Westbrook, Tikki Barber) but it does not happen often.

Fantasy Football Outlook for Jamal Lewis and Jerome Harrison

If Lewis stays healthy
Look for Mangini to run Lewis and Harrison as he used Thomas Jones and Washington last year. This means that Jamal will still see around 20 touches a game and will get the goal line touchdowns.

Harrison will be used as the third down back and will give Lewis a breather at different times in the game.

If Lewis’s ankle holds him out of games
Jerome would be a fantasy worthy starter. Harrison has skill set to break the big run or even take a catch the distance. Coupled with a strong offensive line and talent in the passing game, Jerome stands a solid fantasy sleeper this season.

While I do not see the Browns going to the playoffs this year, expect them to play good football this season. With solid play on offense Jamal and Jerome will have value for any fantasy team this season.

Look to draft Jamal as a later #3 running back in standard leagues this season.
If you have room on your roster at the end of your fantasy draft, consider stashing Harrison as a sleeper.

Written By: Sean Douglas-

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