Antonio Brown is back making headlines once again.
For once, it is not because of something he said, or did, and not because the cops were at his front door. Instead, it is because his most recent suspension of 8 weeks will be over following next Sundays slate of games. The question is not whether he will get looks and consideration from different franchises, but rather should you consider him as an addition to your fantasy line up.
We all know what kind of player he can be, but realistically, will Antonio Brown make an impact on this particular fantasy season?
Does AB Still Provide Value?
In short, the answer is yes. Just how impactful he will be exactly will depend quite a bit on his landing spot.
There are many things that can be said about Antonio Brown, but one constant that remains true is that he does have a high football IQ, and has crazy athleticism. He has been staying in shape and continuing to improve his football skills during his time away from the game. He has made this evident through a myriad of social media posts and YouTube videos. I have zero doubt about his ability to step onto the field and contribute right away.
Concerns are Valid – Push Through Them
I understand if you need some convincing, as we have seen situations like this before.
Take Josh Gordon for example. He is another big, freakishly athletic wide out who has had more than one instance of making his return to play. With Gordon, it never goes that well fantasy wise. He is good for a one off touchdown, but typically is off the field just as quickly as he got back on it. At this point, very few people are willing to use a precious fantasy spot on a guy like Josh Gordon.
Lucky for us, we are talking about Antonio Brown here, and Brown is not Gordon. There are vast differences between these two players.
Gordon was never considered the best WR in the NFL. Brown held that title for more seasons than one. Gordon has never played a full 16 game schedule, while Antonio Brown had some seasons where he could have legitimately been talked about as an MVP candidate. Gordon has struggled to remain on the field and focused since the very beginning of his career, while Browns troubles really only started very recently.
Real Life vs Fantasy
There is a real point to be made about brining in Antonio Brown to your franchise, and if his on field contribution is worth all the other things that come surrounding him. Leave those tough choices to the real life GMs who are paid millions to make these decisions. All you and I have to do, is simply click a few buttons. There are no morale conflictions. No salary considerations. No team chemistry to worry about.
There is no reason not to give this guy a roster spot on your team.
Even if he does not put up big numbers in the first week or two, fantasy playoffs are already right around the corner. He’ll be a very nice option to have if your team is borderline and you need some big time numbers in a make or break situation.
He is also a valuable commodity to have in case one of your players gets hurt, or is still not back from injury.
Brown’s body is fresh. His legs are going to be ready and he will have eight less weeks of wear and tear than anyone else on the field.
The Ideal Situation
The ideal landing spot for him, in my mind, would be the Seattle Seahawks, and it looks like from most reports, they are the most interested and in the best financial shape to bring him in. We have already seen what DK Metcalf, a very similar type of receiver, has been able to do out there with leading MVP candidate Russel Wilson at the helm. Brown would not need to step in and be the top option, or even the second option in Seattle. I don’t care who you are, or how versed he is in the play book, if Antonio Brown is seeing the defenses third best cover guy, he is winning that battle more often than not.
If it’s not Seattle, I’m still not worried. Brown will find a home and find success somewhere. Currently, Brown is only rostered in 4.2% of ESPN leagues. I’m sure this number is set to spike with the recent news.
Reminder: Brown Does Possess Greatness
Do not forget what Brown was able to do not so long ago. From 2013-2018 he did not have a single fantasy season where he scored less than 300 points (PPR).
Within those years, he averaged 335.55 points per season, highlighted by 380.9 and 382.2 point performances in 2014 and 2015 respectively. To put that into perspective, only one receiver in the NFL even broke the 300 point mark in the 2019 season (Michael Thomas), and just five guys total have done it dating back to 2016.
If your team has been battling injuries all season, or you are currently 3-3 or 2-4, what do you have to lose? Put your personal feelings aside, hit that add button, and watch the points pile up.