With the start of the NFL season almost upon us, the start of fantasy football comes along with it. One player that comes with a lot of question marks is Oakland Raiders wide receiver, Antonio Brown. Brown has been one of the best fantasy wide receivers over the last several years, but he’s coming off a tumultuous offseason and finds himself on a new team. That’s not to mention that he’s battled a foot injury and missed most of training camp.
Another thing that will have fantasy football players worried is that he’s leaving Ben Roethlisberger, a top quarterback in the NFL. He’s traded Big Ben for Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr. If this was 2016, then there would be nothing to worry about. However, Carr is coming off a couple of down years. In his defense, he’s been surrounded with subpar talent and had a new coach in 2018. With Brown, Carr will have the most talented receiver he’s ever gotten to throw to. Plus, there are talented wide receivers Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow that are new to the roster. That should free up some space for Brown. Some may count him out because of the new team and the drama, but he’s still an elite talent and he’ll get a lot of usage in Oakland.
Antonio Brown Fantasy Football Projections: Outlook & Preview
According to Fantasy Pros, Antonio Brown is the 10th ranked wide receiver and 22nd overall player. That’s a steep drop off for a player that was the fourth-ranked wide receiver a year ago and led the league with 15 receiving touchdowns. In PPR leagues, he put up 323.7 points and he missed the last game of the season. It’s easy to forget that Brown was the top wide receiver in PPR leagues from 2014 to 2017 because of his antics.
It seems like the foot injury and helmet drama has scared off fantasy football players from the productive receiver. It’s important to know that his foot injury doesn’t seem to be an issue any longer. It’s also come to light that Brown will play regardless of what helmet he has to wear, per his agent. There’s no reason to believe that he won’t be on the field versus the Denver Broncos in week one. Now, if you look back at how Amari Cooper did with Derek Carr, you’d know that he hasn’t been the best with number one receivers. That being said, Brown is a different beast and he’s not going shutdown if he doesn’t get targets. He’s going to be a focal point of the offense. He probably won’t reach the heights that he did from during his run with Pittsburgh, but he should be one of the five best receivers in the NFL statistically.
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When to Draft Antonio Brown in 2019 Fantasy Football
This decision will come to whether or not you trust Derek Carr to get him the ball. As previously mentioned, the foot and helmet issue shouldn’t be a problem once the season starts, so if that’s what’s holding you back from drafting him, it shouldn’t. If you can get him in the late second round, he could be a complete steal as he’s been one of best fantasy players over the last decade. Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver, Keenan Allen, is ranked ahead of Brown, but he’s not nearly the touchdown threat.
The Action Network projects Brown to get 93.4 receptions, 1,182 yards and 8.5 touchdowns. If they’re right, this would be his worst statistical season since 2012.
There are too many unknowns to take him ahead of receivers like Micahel Thomas or Mike Evans, but he could easily have better stats than them by the end of the season. With the risk involved, it would be best to wait until the second round to pick up Brown.