Oh do I like me some Antonio Brown this year. In fact, I was on Brown at the beginning of last season as he absolutely lit it up in the pre-season. I can still remember most “experts” telling me that Emmanuel Sanders would be more productive than Brown. I like Sanders a lot, but how did that work out? Fantasy-wise, I even like Antonio Brown more than Mike Wallace long term. I think Brown will easily be a top 10 fantasy WR this year with top 7 potential….that’s right…..TOP 7. Considering that Brown’s current ADP is WR25 with pick 5.10, Brown is a huge value for savvy fantasy owners.
It is real easy to say a bunch of players will break out then take credit for those I get right and forget about those I miss. Fortunately, these posts stay up on the site so I am not hedging my bets here and will only declare five players this year as breakout candidates. Brown is my first breakout candidate and let me list the reasons why:
- Brown did not really get significant playing time until week 7 last year. From week 7 through week 15, Brown was the 5th ranked WR in fantasy football with a ppg average of nearly 13.2….more than Larry Fitzgerald.
- Brown put up great catch and yardage totals of 69 for 1108 and 2 TDs in limited starts. Over a 16 game season, his stats from 2011 project to about 90 catches for 1500 yards and 4 TDs.
- Brown’s TD production will go up as Big Ben gets more comfortable with him. No Hines Ward will also help get him more red zone targets.
- Brown is the Steelers’ most complete WR. He is a great vertical threat, but can run the entire route tree effectively. He has excellent hands and is terrific after the catch. Brown has decent size for a WR at 5’10” and 186 pounds (almost identical to Greg Jennings).
Whether the Steelers make things work with Mike Wallace or not, I like Antonio Brown the same. He is a very confident receiver and has the skills to back it up. Sure, the Steelers will likely run more this year but they will still be among the top AFC teams in pass attempts as their defense is in transition. Don’t sleep on Brown and dynasty/keeper owners need to get this guy now before his value skyrockets.