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The Spotlight Series
A Footballguys Spotlight is an in-depth look at a player. His plusses and minuses are examined, and we give you our bottom-line stance on his 2022 prospects. If a player listed below doesn't yet have a link, don't worry. It's coming soon.
Shockwaves rippled throughout the league this offseason as wide receivers changed teams at a blistering pace.
- Davante Adams traded to the Las Vegas Raiders
- A.J. Brown traded to the Philadelphia Eagles
- Amari Cooper traded to the Cleveland Browns
- Tyreek Hill traded to the Miami Dolphins
- Christian Kirk signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars
- Allen Robinson signed with the Los Angeles Rams
- JuJu Smith-Schuster signed with the Kansas City Chiefs
- Robert Woods traded to the Tennessee Titans
And last but certainly not least, Marquise Brown was traded from the Baltimore Ravens to the Arizona Cardinals. The fourth-year receiver quietly requested a trade. The Ravens’ front office not only granted his request but sent him to the Cardinals, where he re-unites with Kyler Murray, his college quarterback at Oklahoma.
A Divisive Player
Opinions vary widely about Brown and his fantasy prospects in Arizona. He currently has an ADP of WR20, putting him squarely in the WR2 category in both 10-team and 12-team drafts. But among the consensus top-25 receivers, only Courtland Sutton has a wider range of expectations among Footballguys staffers.
TABLE: Top 25 Ranked Receivers, Sorted by Standard Deviation of Staff Ranking
|20||Michael Pittman Jr||IND||12.3||8||15||1.84|
Our staff ranks Brown as high as WR16 and as low as WR44. These volatile players often can be the most important to understand. Some of our staff would pound the table at his ADP, while others would strongly avoid drafting him.
If you’re excited about drafting Marquise Brown, it’s likely because you believe the following:
1) A run-first offense in Baltimore limited him
2) Kyler Murray is a better passer than Lamar Jackson
If you’re worried about Brown, your reservations likely center around the following:
1) Brown couldn’t crack the Top 20 last year despite 145 targets
2) The Cardinals have a deep receiving corps and spread the ball around
Let’s quickly examine each of these contentions.
A Run-First Offense Limited Brown
In his first two seasons, the case could be made. The Ravens ranked dead last (32nd) in attempts in 2019 (440) and 2020 (406). Although Brown was targeted frequently, he totaled fewer than 100 targets in 2019 (71) and 2020 (99). Last year, however, Brown was targeted 145 times. Despite ranking 9th in targets last season, Brown only finished as WR21 in PPR scoring. Of the 34 receivers with 100+ targets in 2021, Brown was among the least productive on a per-target basis.
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