The Cleveland Browns will have Josh McCown starting over Johnny Manziel on Monday night football as the team takes on the Baltimore Ravens in Week 12. Players like Gary Barnidge, Travis Benjamin, Duke Johnson, Dwayne Bowe, Isaiah Crowell and Brian Hartline are start or sit options for fantasy football owners as the AFC North rivals battle on Monday.
McCown is back in as the starting quarterback after he was replaced by Manziel, who was supposed to get the chance to start for the rest of the season. Head coach Mike Pettine opted to make the change after reports of Manziel partying over the bye week for the team and now he will have to earn back some trust if he wants to start again. McCown has put up some solid numbers this season for the Browns, throwing 11 touchdowns and just four interceptions while completing 65 percent of his passes.
McCown coming back could boost the fantasy prospects of some players, including Gary Barnidge and Travis Benjamin. Barnidge is a START option for Monday night, as he has been one of the best tight end options in fantasy this season. Barnidge comes in with 48 catches for 667 yards and seven touchdowns and he has scored a TD in two of his last three games. ESPN Cleveland writes that Barnidge has been "more successful" while McCown has been under center and that gives him a boost in Week 12 as a top TE option for Monday night.
Travis Benjamin is the top WR option for the Browns and he is a start pick this week for fantasy owners. Benjamin had a strong game with seven catches on 11 targets for 113 yards before the bye week and he could be a big performer against a banged up Ravens team on MNF. Benjamin comes into the game with 48 catches for 736 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games this season and while he has not found the endzone for a receiving touchdown in weeks, he could be due for a big game in Week 12.
Dwayne Bowe is a SIT option for the Browns this week, as he has simply not been consistent enough for fantasy owners to use. Bowe has only appeared in four games and has three catches for 31 yards and even if he does play on Monday, chances are he will not get many targets. Brian Hartline is a WR3 START option or a flex pick for fantasy owners, as he comes in after one of his best games of the season with six catches for 77 yards against the Steelers.
Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell have split touches for the Browns this season and both players come in after tough performances against the Steelers. Both players are solid start options for fantasy owners, but if only one choice is an option, Johnson should be the pick, as he has done better catching the ball out of the backfield this season and could be more productive.