After a breakout season that sent Antonio Brown to the Pro Bowl in 2011, it appeared he was ready to emerge as a top-15 fantasy receiver in PPR leagues this summer. At that time, Mike Wallace was mired in a prolonged holdout and the odds were against him to make an impact through the first half of the season.
Brown, on the other hand, was given a new contract and looked to be picking up Todd Haley’s new offense with ease. A favorite target of Ben Roethlisberger on third downs a year ago, Brown was slated to be the team's top possession man, and I expected him to make a run for 100 receptions.
Thus far Brown has been a disappointment as he’s produced outside the top 20 receivers in PPR leagues but we can’t point to lack of activity in the passing game as a reason why. Through seven games Brown has 40 receptions off of 64 targets (13 overall among receivers) proving he is still the top possession receiver in Pittsburgh.
The problem is he’s only totaled a 12-yard-per-catch average (16.1 last year) and continues to struggle in terms of touchdowns with only one this year. This was a problem for Brown a year ago as he totaled two touchdowns for the entire season.
I thought because of his role in the offense and his growing maturity as a receiver in the NFL, we would see Brown’s touchdown total go up to around seven or eight by years end. Perhaps that will still happen, but for now his lack of production is hurting fantasy owners and we should look to Health Miller’s six touchdowns on the season as a possible reason why he’s failed up to this point.
This suggests that Brown is still getting most of his work outside of the red zone, or at least is the odd man out close to the goal line because he doesn’t posses the ideal size of Miller or leaping ability of Wallace. Until things change, view Brown as a WR3 play in PPR leagues and possibly a WR4 option in standard scoring leagues going forward.
Jordy Nelson’s Hamstring Issues
While it appears Nelson will test out his hamstring on Friday, I shouldn’t be surprised if the Packers hold him out this week. Nelson was out last week against the Jaguars, and while Green Bay has struggled to blow average teams away this season, I’m sure the coaching staff is tempted to sit Nelson knowing they have a bye week coming up after the game.
Keep an eye on Nelson’s progress later in the week because if he plays you will want him in the lineup against a floundering Cardinals team.
|1||Brandon Marshall||@ Titans|
|4||Percy Harvin||@ Seahawks|
|5||Demaryius Thomas||@ Bengals|
|6||Vincent Jackson||@ Raiders|
|8||Miles Austin||@ Falcons|
|9||Eric Decker||@ Bengals|
|13||Jordy Nelson (I)||Cardinals|
|15||Mike Wallace||@ Giants|
|17||Calvin Johnson (I)||@ Jaguars|
|18||Larry Fitzgerald (I)||@ Packers|
|19||Steve Smith||@ Redskins|
|21||Stevie Johnson||@ Texans|
|22||Dez Bryant (I)||@ Falcons|
|23||Titus Young||@ Jaguars|
|24||Torrey Smith||@ Browns|
|26||Mike Williams||@ Raiders|
|27||Antonio Brown||@ Giants|
|28||Dwayne Bowe||@ Chargers|
|29||Jeremy Maclin||@ Saints|
|31||DeSean Jackson (I)||@ Saints|
|32||Cecil Shorts||@ Packers|
|34||Andre Roberts||@ Packers|
|36||Anquan Boldin||@ Browns|
|37||Brian Hartline||@ Colts|
|39||Ryan Broyles||@ Jaguars|