With Ben Tate out of the picture, the Cleveland Browns have simplified their backfield playing time to two primary running backs, Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West.
As we have an eye towards the fantasy postseason, can we trust Cleveland’s lead runner Crowell? In terms of talent, he is considered the more rugged and with higher upside. Crowell has been very productive since the coaching staff ended its low-snap count punishment for week 11 fumble.
However, Pettine said something almost Bill Belichick-an when regarding the then 3-headed monster approach several weeks ago. Pettine said they would play the running back based on the offensive game plan and how to best attack the opposing defense. Remember Terrence West has had some good games this year as well. He is considered the more balanced (blocking, etc.) running back of the two. He was also drafted in the 3nd round, while Crowell was a UDFA. Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has deployed an RBBC at previous stops. Perhaps all along, this was what the Browns wanted to deploy.
In ESPN fantasy leagues, Crowell was started in 58% of leagues in week 12. If Crowell is your flex he is a good gamble, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Pettine would feature West in some fashion in any of the upcoming weeks.