There probably hasn’t been a single dull week for the Oakland Raiders since they brought in wide receiver Antonio Brown. There has been headline after headline and now it’s looking like Brown might be facing a suspension, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. This comes just one day after Brown called out his team on Instagram for fining him. It’s obvious that general manager Mike Mayock was not a fan of that move.
If Brown was your top receiver in fantasy football, then this is really bad news to start the season. He’s one of the best in the league and has been a top fantasy option for years, but if he’s not on the field and isn’t making up for the headaches he’s causing. Official news should break well before the team’s clash against the Denver Broncos on Sunday. However, if it doesn’t, is it worth waiting to see if he plays in the game?
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Should You Start or Sit Antonio Brown in Week 1?
The fact of the matter is, if Brown is playing, you have to start him against any team. He’s just that good. The Broncos have a very strong defense and with the addition of Vic Fangio as head coach, it should be even better. They have a fierce pass rush with Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, so it’s going to be difficult to throw against them. The Broncos only allowed 348 points to wide receivers in advanced leagues during 2018, according to CBS Sports. That would put them as one of the top defenses against wide receivers in the NFL.
The Raiders playing on Monday Night Football complicates things. Most of the wideouts in your lineup will probably be playing on Sunday and if there’s no confirmation on Brown’s status, then it’s just up to chance. Considering how good the Broncos defense is against wide receivers, it’s best not to risk anything and take Antonio Brown out of your lineup immediately. He’ll probably end up getting suspended and won’t suit up on Monday. Luckily, there may be some solid replacements for him.
Waiver Wire Replacements if Raiders WR Suspended
Tyrell Williams, Raiders
Depending on how big your league is, Tyrell Williams is probably on a team, but if he’s not, you need to pick him up. He’s going to get a ton of targets with Brown potentially out. Williams will definitely be Derek Carr’s main target and could still put up good points against a stout Broncos defense. If Brown’s suspension exceeds one game, Williams is going to be a solid fantasy option moving forward.
Hunter Renfrow, Raiders
Now, the rookie out of Clemson, Hunter Renfrow, could still be available in a lot of leagues, so he’s worth picking up. He does have a daunting task ahead of him facing off against Chris Harris Jr. He’d be a risky start but has become a favorite of coaches and Carr throughout the preseason. He’s probably not worth a start against the Broncos but could put up good numbers if Brown misses more than one game.
John Brown, Bills
While Brown appears to have a higher ownership than both Williams and Renfrow, he’s currently listed as available in 49 percent of Yahoo Fantasy Football leagues. The Buffalo Bills wideout should see plenty of work right out of the gate and has big-play potential each time the ball gets in his hands. There’s a lot to love about Brown’s game and it’ll be interesting to see how he does in Buffalo.
DK Metcalf, Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks rookie DK Metcalf is another name worth monitoring. He suffered a knee injury this preseason, but has practiced this week and looks ready to go for Week 1. Barring a setback, he should be out there often for the Seahawks and has the upside to make a big impact catching passes from Russell Wilson.
Metcalf comes with a bit more risk due to the fact that his role in the offense is unknown, but he’s worth taking a flier on, even if his snaps are somewhat limited during Week 1 of the season.