Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
I just returned from the Fourth of July holiday weekend and found my email filled with friends/acquaintances/fantasy owners sending me new pictures of Johnny Manziel's latest "exploits."
For all those people ... please STOP!
Unfortunately, the most "famous" NFL quarterback never to have thrown an NFL pass is on the minds of many, so I will relent this one time to give you my opinion on his fantasy value for the upcoming season.
After this, you won't hear anything more from me unless he breaks his leg in training camp or leads the Cleveland Browns offense to great heights with his passing and scrambling skills.
Let's begin with his latest off-the-field adventures.
I don't care!
I don't care what Manziel has done during this down time between OTAs and training camp. I love Las Vegas and I'd vacation there if I could, too. No, I wouldn't want to be photographed with Justin Bieber, but that's me. I don't even like using his name in this story.
But none of this relates to his fantasy value, only his PR value.
Before selecting Manziel at your fantasy draft, you have to realize the opening day job is not his ... at least not yet.
All early indications are that Brian Hoyer, who's coming back from a torn ACL, is the early favorite. And I believe Hoyer will start the Browns' first three games - at Pittsburgh and home against New Orleans and Baltimore.
They are three very tough games and the Browns will be underdogs in all of them. The Hoyer-led team will likely be 0-3 heading into its bye and that's when the team will make the change at quarterback to Manziel.
Manziel will start the remainder of the season, barring injury or complete collapse.
So fantasy owners will be "buying" a 13-game quarterback. They'll also be selecting a quarterback without the team's top weapon - Josh Gordon. One of the most talented wide receivers in the league, Gordon is chased by demons that have gotten the best of him and he's likely to be suspended for the entire 2014-15 season.
Manziel will be throwing to the likes of Miles Austin, Andrew Hawkins, Nate Burleson and tight end Jordan Cameron. Cameron is a quality tight end, but the outside guys are mediocre at best.
If everything goes perfectly, I think Manziel can throw for 2,925 yards with 19 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He has excellent scrambling ability, so let's say he rushes for another 390 yards. All told, he'll score 204 fantasy points (four points per touchdowns, minus-2 per interception, three points per 300 yards passing bonus).
His point total would rank in No. 27 last season. His latest fantasyfootballcalculator.com ranking is 136.0 - the 18th quarterback off the board.
That 136.0 ADP tells me fantasy owners in mock drafts must believe he'll start from Day 1 or believe Gordon won't be suspended. Or have no clue whatsoever as to what's happening in the real world. That's simply too high.
In Round 12, you should still be choosing players who will help you more than one week in a season. Or, if you are seeking a backup quarterback, I'd rather have Eli Manning (ADP 148.8) or Carson Palmer (153.7).
In my way of thinking, Manziel is no better than a low-end fantasy backup to be used only as a bye week or injury replacement.