Don’t worry about Amon-Ra St. Brown

Keep an eye out for Amon-Ra St.  Brown in your imaginary draft.

Keep an eye on Amon-Ra St. Brown in your imaginary draft.
Picture: beautiful pictures

As the fantasy draft season ramps up, there are plenty of questionable decisions that must be made at each point.

Do you risk Christian McCaffrey getting another injury and sidelined for most of the season, or opt for the safer option of Jonathan Taylor? Do you beat Travis Kelce in the first leg, or do another backflip with a backside like Javonte Williams or D’Andre Swift?

When the middle rings come in, most of the time those decisions revolve around which wide receiver has the biggest advantage. That’s where the Amon-Ra St. Brown’s second year of the Lions appeared.

We have seen his rise. In six games spanning Weeks 13 to 18, only Cooper Kupp scored more fantasy points than St. Brown. He is the absolute tournament winner and thus has flown up the fantasy draft 2022 board.

However, in the time since those games evolved, the fanatical fascination with St. Brown has turned suspicious. Will St. Can Brown continue that streak of dominance with a healthy TJ Ho Chickenon and D’Andre Swift? What about the new acquisition of DJ Chark? How much longer is Jameson Williams healthy enough to play and rob the target? There’s no way St. Brown can score 5 touches in 6 games in such a low level foul, right?

These are all legitimate concerns. I think the most prevalent is the availability of targets, right? Swift and Hockenson will get theirs, and with such a good offensive line, it’s likely that the Lions will try to run the ball a lot early in games. I wouldn’t expect St. Brown to continue his dominant streak, but I wouldn’t be too worried about him. Based on how other players in similar situations to St. Brown in the past have performed later in their careers, St. Brown should be viewed as nothing lower than a WR2, with massive WR1 upside.

Drafted in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL draft, St. Brown earned a get point of 79.4 from Pro Football Focus. Here’s a list of every broad receiver drafted in the third round or after, who scored an 80.0 or higher in their rookie season:

The tweet included Amon-Ra St. Brown on the list. Not that, although he’s very close and definitely deserves to be included in the same conversation as the guys on the list.

This is another fact. Kupp has a rookie score of 78.5. That was 2017. He got injured and missed half of the season in 2018. In the next full season, Kupp finished WR4 in both standard and PPR . format. Who is his midfielder? Jared Goff. Midfielder of St. Who is Brown now? You will get points.

What’s even crazier is that Kupp caught up with his 2019 season in 2018. In half of the games in 2018, Kupp accumulated 48.8% of the receiving yards in 2019, 60% of touches. ball in 2019 and 42.6% of receptions in 2019. If Kupp continues that pace in 2018, he will finish that season with 80 tackles, 1,132 yards and 12 touchdowns – good gives 267.7 imaginary points (when you factor in his 25 yards of dash). That also assumes that Kupp will get absolutely no rush work in the eight weeks he’s not playing. That total would rank Kupp 10th in the PPR fantasy score for that season.

Of course, there are arguments to be made. For one, the criminal Rams were elite that year. Sean McVay made Goff seem like an MVP candidate, and now we all know that’s nowhere near the truth. Dan Campbell also promotes a much heavier attack. It is unlikely that the 2022 Lions will pitch as much as the 2019 Rams did. However, as I said earlier, I don’t look at the ceiling of St. Brown, I’m trying to tell everyone that his floor isn’t as low as some people think. Kupp had to compete with Robert Woods for the catch in 2018 and 2019. As talented as Ho Chickenon and Swift are, they’re not a receiver and probably won’t steal many targets from St. Brown as we think.

Also, I’m not worried about DJ Chark… like a bit at all. The man is on the verge of an injury that forced him to miss 15 games last year. When healthy, he’s reduced production every last three seasons, and his biggest competitors for goals over the past two years have been Marvin Jones, Keelan Cole and Laviska Shenault. He can steal some targets in the red area (after all, Chark is 6 foot-4), but beyond that, I think Campbell and company will build around the guy with the explosiveness that they saw for the first time last year.

The biggest question around St. Brown is when Williams will return to action. The rookie recipient has been included in the group’s NFI list and will miss the first four games of the season. Even when Williams returns soon after, rookies often take a while to adjust to their new scheme. Justin Jefferson didn’t play until Week 3 in 2020. He made just five 70-yard catches in the first two weeks, and that’s with full training time. Let’s assume the worst and say Williams broke out in the Lions’ seventh game after that, which would put him in the same timeline as Jefferson. In that 2020 season, Minnesota’s Adam Thielen still finished as WR10 in that year’s PPR format, and that was with a healthy Jefferson all season. St. Brown is younger and more explosive than Thielen in 2020. To think that a team can’t sustain two fantasy-related players in the same season is ludicrous. It might drag Ho Chickenon and Swift down a bit, but St. Brown has the talent to stay relevant even as Williams becomes the next Jefferson.

The situation of St. Is Brown perfect? No. Like I said, there are legitimately important questions to be answered, but if you’re one of those people who’s been working on your draft for the next few days and dropped the St. Brown down your big board, worried about how far he might fall in Detroit, move him back now.

Follow ESPN ADVERTISING, St. Brown is now becoming a low-end WR2, being picked around pick 65 as WR24, around the likes of Darnell Mooney, DK Metcalf, and… Marquise Brown (total). He’s upside down, too, with a floor that seems pretty safe to me. Do whatever you want to do, but unless he’s injured, there’s plenty of reason to suspect that St. Brown will finish 2022 as one of the top 10-15-WR in fantasy.

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