Dynasty Update: Greg Little, WR, Browns
Little is a guy we’ve liked for some time. His strengths should be obvious to anybody who has seen him play. Little is big and strong and very athletic. He can elevate like a small forward and he runs very well for a man his size.
If Little has areas of weakness, it’s probably route refinement and hands. Not that I would call either one of these issues fatal flaws. I’ve seen improvement each year from Little and after a case of the dropsies early on in 2012, he closed very well, often showing the kind of athleticism we saw in college.
If Little can continue to get better, he could be a serious steal in 12-teams leagues this year. He’s going to draw less attention than Josh Gordon, who requires extra help in most cases. The development of TE Jordan Cameron could also draw coverage. The Browns have outstanding slot talent, with Travis Benjamin, Davone Bess and David Nelson. The ground game is potentially excellent as long as Trent Richardson can stay healthy.
Then look at the coaching changes. HC Rob Chudzinski and OC Norv Turner, have a history together and you can bet that they are on the same page. They will get the best out of the offensive personnel.
So, while we have some mild concerns over Little going through another adjustment, we love the possibilities of Little playing the role that Malcom Floyd was playing in San Diego. Little can be like Floyd, but with better after-the-catch ability and more route diversity due to his strength and athleticism.
As I said, Little is a guy we’ve always liked. Here’s what we said about him going into his rookie season....
"We love him for the long term, but he is a wildcard as a rookie in Cleveland’s developing passing attack. Not only did he miss time due to the lockout as all rookies have, but Little also missed all of the 2010 college season at UNC due to improper contact with an agent. He will clearly have a kink or two to work out. Once he does that, Little, with his size and play-making ability, has a chance to be Percy Harvin meets Terrell Owens. He is awesome with the ball in his hands and he has the physical tools to develop into a well rounded receiver."
He really has developed. I saw every snap he played last year and did some extra film on him recently. There’s no doubt in my mind that he turned a corner over the second half of 2012. Some of it had to do with Josh Gordon opening up the field for him, but a lot of it was Little playing closer to his potential.
- Crisper routes.
- Getting off the line more consistently.
- Catching the ball more consistently and away from his frame.
- Getting upfield after the catch.
Above all, he looked like the player we saw dominating at the collegiate level. He was playing fast and looking very dangerous once they got him the rock, which brings me to the main point.... They should be able to get Little the ball plenty in 2013, and, that’s the key. Once he’s got it, he is a threat.
The potential downside with Little is that he fails to adapt well to the new offense. While I tend to doubt that this happens, it’s a possibility. That could lead to Cleveland’s depth at the position costing Little snaps. After all, they went out and paid for Bess, and Benjamin is a very underrated talent. Little can’t afford to be slow on the uptake this offseason.
Let’s talk about value for a second.
Little is not going to be a stat-model darling, at least not on his face. He missed his final year of college. His stats did not improve in his second season as he regressed in all areas save for touchdowns.
That, and his well known bout with the drops and the buzz around Josh Gordon, should keep his value depressed despite his late season revival. Little’s ADP seems to back this up as he is not currently being taken in the top 15 rounds of 12-team redraft leagues.
Little’s upside alone makes him a steal that late (later than the 15th) and, though I think he’ll move up, I doubt he’ll move up all that much. As I said in our “Hello Cleveland” article, the madness surrounding the Browns could keep the value of their players down in 2013.
Greg Little may be the perfect example of this. Keep an eye on him in all formats, especially dynasty and long term leagues, where you could lock up a nice long term asset for next to nothing.