Whether it’s a PPR league or a standard league, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown should be the first overall pick in fantasy football leagues this year. Brown, without a doubt, should be the first wide receiver off the board. But he is also an appealing option to be the top pick in many leagues in 2016.
Antonio Brown Should Be The First Overall Pick In Fantasy Football in 2016
Brown was the best fantasy player in all formats in 2015, and there is no reason why he can’t repeat that feat this year. Over the past three seasons, Brown has increased his reception total every year. The former Central Michigan Chippewa tallied a career high 136 receptions last season which was six shy of the NFL single-season record of 142 set by Marvin Harrison in 2002.
With teammate Martavis Bryant suspended for the entire 2016 season, Brown could see even more targets and could possibly break Harrison’s record this season. Brown has proven he can be dominant without Bryant on the field. Over the past two seasons, Brown has played nine games without Bryant, and has accumulated 70 catches for 1,065 yards with seven touchdowns. That’s an average of 7.8 catches, 118 yards, and just under a touchdown per game.
Brown’s Numbers Prove How Good He Is
In 2015, Antonio Brown accumulated 1,834 receiving yards with ten touchdowns for a total of 241 fantasy points according to CBSSports.com. Brown had double-digit targets in 12 of the 16 games played last season. In the four games Brown was not targeted at least ten times, starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did not play. Over his past 42 games, Brown has hit double-digit points 31 times in standard formats. While that’s impressive, Big Ben has a lot to do with that. Not taking anything away from Antonio Brown, but Roethlisberger throwing him the ball has paid off.
In the four games with Michael Vick or Landry Jones at quarterback last season, Brown averaged only four catches for 58 yards and no touchdowns. In the 12 games Roethlisberger was behind center, Brown averaged nearly ten catches a game, 130 yards and grabbed ten total touchdowns. For the most part, Big Ben doesn’t miss games and will most likely wind up playing the majority of the 2016 season. That will bode well for Brown’s numbers in 2016.
With Other Steelers Skill Players Missing Time, Brown’s Targets Should Increase
As mentioned above, the Steelers will be without Martavis Bryant for the entire 2016 season. But Bryant will not be the only starter that Pittsburgh will be missing. Star running back Le’veon Bell is facing a four-game suspension for violation of leagues substance policy, although it has been reported he will appeal. Missing Bell and Bryant will hurt, but having an All-Pro like Brown will help the Steelers offense in a big way. Brown could be in line for a massive September workload as Pittsburgh’s offense will need to lean on him in a big way.
Brown’s Size Won’t Matter
Antonio Brown isn’t the biggest receiver in the league (5’10”, 186 pounds), but he makes up for his lack of size with speed and quickness. Despite his small frame, Brown plays aggressive and is not afraid to go over the middle to make catches. He is a great route runner, and is very quick in and out of his breaks. Brown also has the ability to makes plays after the catch.
Brown is the total package at receiver, and does not have many weaknesses, if any. Those who participate in fantasy football should not hesitate to draft this playmaker with the top pick.
Antonio Brown 2016 Projections
ESPN: 131.7 catches, 1743.4 yards, 9.9 TDs, 240.9 fantasy points
CBSSports: 130 catches, 1759 yards, 10.3 TD’s, 229.8 fantasy points
NFL.com: 1601 yards, 10 TD’s, 218.10 fantasy points