In 2012, Andrew Hawkins made headlines as a slot receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals. Undrafted out of Toledo, Hawkins caught 51 passes for 533 yards and four touchdowns. The Browns signed Hawkins earlier this year to a high-dollar contract, figuring he could help them while his departure from Cincinnati would hurt one of their AFC North rivals. Andrew gained greater importance to the Browns when superstar Josh Gordon was suspended for the season. Can Baby Hawk soar up the fantasy board?
Hawkins is capable of turning short passes into long gains. So far in his career, he has already had three receptions of 50 yards or more. The only “sure thing” receiver on the Browns is tight end Jordan Cameron, but Andrew at least has a bit of a track record and will surely figure in Cleveland’s plans given his contract. It is quite easy to envision Hawkins as the number one wide receiver for the Browns. When the offense needs a catch on third down to keep a drive alive, they will look to Hawkins quite a bit, giving him the potential to emerge as a PPR asset.
Hawkins stands 5’7” and that means he probably won’t get a lot of red zone targets. Those will go to Cameron. The Browns also have Miles Austin, a capable player if he stays healthy. Speaking of staying healthy, with his tiny frame, Hawkins is no lock to play 16 games. He missed a good portion of the season last year with an ankle injury. Neither of Cleveland’s quarterbacks, Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel, played all that well during the preseason. Hawkins was able to have success in Cincinnati in large part because A.J. Green drew so much attention from defenses. In Cleveland, he will not have that luxury.
None of Cleveland's wide receivers have much in the way of upside. Hawkins might have a few big games, but outside of deep PPR leagues, it is hard to justify handing him a roster spot.