We've all heard the jokes which start out with "Two thirds of the Earth is covered by water, and the rest is covered by :::insert favorite cornerback here:::" Except we may have actually found a situation where it really does apply.
There is nothing more irritating than seeing the team of one of your players score in the 40s, but you find out the guy you owned barely contributed anything. Case in point: A.J. Green having just seven receiving yards yesterday. The reason for the low production? Two words: Joe Haden. Haden is good. Like, really good. Before shutting down Green completely yesterday, check out some other highlights of Haden's handiwork this year in the box to your right.
Wanna know how many TD passes Haden has allowed this year to a player he was covering? One. It came in Week 7 against Jordy Nelson when the entire Browns defense decided to take the day off in a lackluster 31-13 loss. Considering the names on the list, that stat is nothing short of astounding.
At first glance, it appears Torrey Smith got the better of him. However, Smith wasn't covered exclusively by Haden when the Browns met the Ravens this year. A good chunk of Smith's yardage in Week 2 came when Haden wasn't on that side of the field or the defense was in a zone that didn't allow Haden to blanket Smith on crossing routes.
So, what does all this mean? This isn't to suggest you should automatically sit your WR1 if he happens to be going against Haden, but it isn't a bad idea to temper your expectations substantially in that situation. The Browns have the Steelers at home this week, and Antonio Brown has been on a tear lately, eclipsing the 100-yard mark in each of his last two games and also scoring a pair of TDs against the Lions. The Browns and Steelers have yet to meet this season, but I'm confident in predicting Haden will keep him out of the end zone and somewhere south of 60 yards this week. Don't say I didn't warn you when you're scratching your head and looking at Brown's paltry sum in next week's box score.