Browns rule out RB Trent Richardson, QB Brandon Weeden
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Browns rule out RB Trent Richardson, QB Brandon Weeden

With so much concern in fantasy football circles that many playoff-bound teams may rest their stars this Sunday, perhaps no team will look more different than the Cleveland Browns in Week 17. That's because quarterbacks Brandon Weeden @bweeden3 and Colt McCoy @ColtMcCoy, and running back Trent Richardson have all been ruled out for the upcoming game against the Steelers. None of the three players practiced this week. Weeden and McCoy are both nursing injuries to their throwing shoulder while Richardson has a sprained ankle. That means quarterback Thad Lewis' first NFL action will come in a start, and Montario Hardesty @MoHard20 will start in the backfield.

Fantasy Analysis:

Who is Thad Lewis? He's a 25-year-old practice squad player from Duke. But you don't need a scouting report on him, because you are not starting him in your league's championship in Week 17. This also means Josh Gordon needs to be off your radar in the season finale. Hardesty is a low-end flex option as he has looked good in spurts this year, but the Steelers are strong against the run, and I expect them to key on stopping Hardesty first. The Pittsburgh defense is an awesome play against this depleted Cleveland offense.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

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Brian Murphy -
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Los Angeles, CA
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2002
Follow me on Twitter: @Spokes_Murphy.

I have played fantasy sports since 2001, specializing in fantasy football and baseball. I wrote for FFToolbox from 2002-2005 and re-joined in 2009.

I am a journalism/mass communication grad student at Cal State University, Northridge. I am aiming to be a sports reporter for a website, newspaper, magazine, anything. I am a graduate from the University of Central Florida. I make my home in Long Beach, Calif.

While I grew up in California, my favorite football team has always been the New York Giants.
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