As a local market representative and league manager of one of 16 teams invited to be a part of Crown Royal’s inaugural Fantasy Football League dubbed “First and Crown,” I will be using this spot every Sunday before the Browns kick off against their respective opponent to tell you who I’ll be watching during this Week’s contest.
This week’s spotlight shines on: Barkevious Mingo
Just two weeks after getting spot duty in his NFL debut, rookie outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo could find himself on the field of play more often than not. The team had initially planned on easing the sixth-overall pick into action—this plan netted a mere two sacks, plenty of quarterback hurries a near blocked punt that resulted in a holding penalty. Today, injuries to both Quentin Groves (ankle) and Jabaal Sheard (concussion) mean that spot duty will be no more.
How will the rookie fare without rest? Relying mostly on speed in his pursuit of passers, will Mingo be prone to fatigue? The coaching staff in Cleveland thinks the exact opposite—Mingo’s athleticism will allow him to flourish for four quarters while heavier, strength-based pass-rushers would otherwise begin to teeter.
One player who would greatly appreciate his coaching staff being accurate with their assessment is Joe Haden. The third-year cornerback will be tasked with covering über athletic Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver AJ Green. Presently, Green has averaged 19 yards per catch against Haden the Browns, adding four touchdowns for good measure. Mingo’s presence on the outside should help ensure that the amount of time Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has to find his Pro Bowl receiver is minimized. If the Browns are to enter Sunday with their second-consecutive win, having knocked off the AFC North-leading Bengals, Mingo will have no choice but to go from raw rookie to persistent pro. As Cincinnati fans obnoxiously yell “Who Dey” along the lakefront, Mingo’s presence may emphatically allow Browns fans to reply with “We Dey.”
Previous Spotlight Players:
Josh Gordon, WR