You may not be terribly familiar with Vincent Brown of the San Diego Chargers, but by the end of the season, his name is one you'll know quite well. And if he's inexplicably still on your fantasy football league's waiver wire, do yourself a favor and add him now before he blows up.
How many yards will Brown have in 2013?
Brown doesn't have much of a resume, of course. In his rookie year in 2011, he caught just 19 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns. His 17.3 yards per catch was certainly enticing, but his overall production wasn't anything to write home about.
Last year, he entered the season with huge expectations, but he never played a down in the regular season after fracturing his left ankle in the preseason.
But to listen to the San Diego Chargers and their coaches, Brown is a player worth getting excited about this season. Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt made the following comments on his young receiver, via Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune:
The feeling I've gotten around here is a lot of excitement about Vincent Brown. We saw a lot of things in the spring that I was very excited about, and it's unfortunate in Chicago we had him on a double-move wide open. We didn't get it off. We complete a pass like that, and we're really excited about it.
He made a catch against Arizona, a contested catch where he came out of a break, and Philip made a good throw to him. Those are the kinds of things that you see that you really like about him, his aggressiveness to the ball. He's physical. We're going to need that. When you're going to play some tight coverage like we're going to see in this game, that's what's going to have to happen. ...
I'm excited to see what Vincent can do.
He isn't the only one. There are a lot of people who believe big things are in Brown's future, including former Chargers boss Norv Turner, who thinks Brown will be a star, according to Nathan Zegura of CBS Sports.
Oh, and his quarterback, Philip Rivers, thinks he has special talent as well. Check out the comments he made about Brown in August, via Gehlken:
I'm trying to think of how to describe him... He's everything you'd want in a wide receiver.
He runs great great routes, he's strong to the ball, he has huge hands, he has range, and he's a guy you trust. I know he's anxious to play. He probably feels like it's taken forever to get his career started, and in a lot of ways, it feels that way.
We always talk about 'Vincent Brown, Vincent Brown.' The guys know him, how good he is. You'd think he's played for four or five years, but he really hasn't.
There are targets to be had in the San Diego offense. Danario Alexander is out for the year with a torn ACL. Antonio Gates isn't the player he once was. Robert Meachem was cut. Malcom Floyd has always been a steady target for Philip Rivers when healthy, but he isn't a No. 1 receiver. Ryan Mathews is inconsistency defined.
Add it all up, and there is room for Brown to develop into this team's most dangerous playmaker.
In ESPN leagues, Brown had an average draft position of 127.6, making him a 13th-round pick in 10-team leagues. Pretty good value for a player who could very well end up being a WR2 by season's end. Scratch that—who will be a WR2 by season's end.
Expect Brown to blow up this season and for you to look very, very smart if you either drafted him or picked him up on waivers.