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2016 Antonio Brown Fantasy Football Stock Profile

Name (team): 

Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers)

The Wolf’s PPR Ranking: 

WR1, Overall #1

E.C.R (Differential): 1 (same).    ADP (Differential): 1 (same)


Fantasy Stock Score:

Talent: 10

Among the best route runners in the history of the game, with silky smooth breaks, rapid feet, and convincing double moves. Pair this with the speed to attack every level of the field, insane body contortion skills in contested situations, a sixth sense for the defense’s soft spots, and hands of glue, you’ve Madden Created an impossible cover. Brown’s truly elite and will be in the running for the NFL’s top receiver each season.

Opportunity/Usage: 10

Consistently peppered with double digit targets each week — 195 last season (over 12 a game) and 182 the year before (over 11 per contest). In fact, in 2015 Antonio Brown never dipped below double digit looks in any of Big Ben’s starts, only falling below this number when Landry Jones or Michael Vick were behind center. As the apple of Ben’s eye (targeted an absurd 23 and 18 times on separate occasions in 2016), Brown’s weekly and seasonal usage floors are the highest in the fantasy game. Will see even more volume in Weeks 1-4 during Le’Veon Bell’s suspension.

Scheme: 10

Todd Haley is among the brightest offensive coordinators out there, consistently having his team towards the league’s lead in scoring. While Brown certainly does his part in finding space, Haley’s creative route trees definitely helps. Will keep the ball in the air even in the red zone, which is great for a body contortionist of AB’s level.

Surrounding Talent: 10

Brown plays alongside one of the game’s great QBs in Big Ben, who seemingly looks to Brown on his first, second, and third reads. This not only keeps Antonio’s floor high, but also creates a MASSIVE ceiling– 23 targets, 17 catches, and 284 yards in one week levels of upside

No other receiver has a QB this talented and this willing to chuck it their way. AB also benefits from the presence of Le’veon Bell, as defense’s cannot just scheme the elite receiver out of the game. A strong, mostly returning core group of offensive line provides the time needed for AB to dazzle corners and find the holes in the coverage.

Risk: 9.5

While AB’s floor has been emphasized throughout, let’s really drive it home: Entering October 2015 (when Big Ben went down and Brown dealt with the gaggle of Landry Jones and Mike Vick), Antonio had been riding a 35 game streak of at least 5 catches, and 50 yards. 35 GAMES! You’re essentially guaranteed double digit fantasy points each week, and still get to roll out a week-winning ceiling: 4 games with 185+ yards, again reiterating that insane 17 catch, 284 yard effort.

Plus, he’s been an iron-man, playing in all 16 contests in 4 out of the last 5 seasons. No one else in the NFL can come close to matching this floor / ceiling combination. Really, the only blemish on AB’s value is not his own health, but that of his QB. As mentioned, his insane 35 game catch/yard streak was only broken once Big Ben was out of the lineup. Given the massive QBs reckless style of play and reluctance to go down, this does remain a slight concern for 2016. AB has not proven fully QB Proof quite yet.

But when you’re only real risk is someone else’s well-being, you’re a pretty damn safe prospect.

Overall Stock Score: 49.5 / 50, Elite.

Ceiling Projection: 155 catches, 2100 yards, 15 TDs

Floor Projection: 130 catches, 1800 yards, 10 TDs

Bottom Line:

No one else should be on your mind at #1 overall, in any format but especially PPR. Brown’s floor/ceiling combination is unparalleled, and his ceiling is even higher in the wake of Le’Veon’s early season suspension. Brown put together a brilliant 136 catch, 1,834 yard, 10 TD season in 2015, despite a quarter of his season being tanked by the Vick and Landry show. This suggests we may not have even seen Brown’s highest seasonal ceiling yet.

Consider this: in the 12 games Big Ben played in 2015, Brown recorded 119 catches, 1599 yards, and 10 TDs. Those are elite, WR1 numbers for a full season slate. A full season at this pace? 158 catches, 2132 yards, 13 TDs. Historic. With Le’Veon’s suspension and a full slate of games from both AB and Ben, these numbers aren’t overly far fetched. Brown will be a cornerstone on countless fantasy rosters, and will make owners look foolish should they pass him up at #1.

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