1. Antonio Brown (Pit, 29)
Talent Overview: Brown has been one of the best all-around receivers in the game, despite his undersized frame (5’10”, 181 pounds). He’s always been a beast at making plays over the middle of the field, and he consistently beats up on top cornerbacks. He’s a big-play threat who is quick in and out of breaks and makes plays after the catch. Brown is a savvy route-runner who is effective underneath and in the short area. Despite his small frame, Brown isn’t afraid to get physical and mix it up with defenders, which helps his effectiveness in the middle of the field. He’s a fluid athlete who also plays with good awareness. Brown is the total package at WR, and his lack of ideal size hasn’t held him back at all, which says a lot about how talented he really is.
2016 Season/Stats Review: Business was Booming for Brown owners who took him with the #1 overall fantasy pick last summer. AB actually had his worst fantasy season since 2013, but it was still the best performance at the position in 2016. He averaged 20.5 FPG, a full 1.3 FPG ahead of Jordy Nelson for the top spot. Brown had his famous 5/50 receiving streak snapped last season after 35 games, and he didn’t attain that level of consistency this year, falling under 5 catches four times and under 50 yards twice. He also fell below 10 FP in three games, but he still had quite a few monster performances, hitting 20+ FP seven times. He finished the year with 106/1284/12 receiving on 154 targets (68.8% catch rate, 12.1 YPC) in 15 games, sitting out Week 17 with the Steelers locked into the #3 seed. He played 96% of the snaps, saw 26.0% target share, and had 14.06% of the team’s touches. Brown averaged an impressive 2.05 fantasy points per target – the league average for the position was 1.93. The Steelers transitioned from a pass-heavy team in the first half of the year to a Bell-centric squad in the second half. With the Steelers leaning heavily on Bell, Ben Roethlisberger didn’t attempt 37+ passes in his final six regular season games (Weeks 11-16), after doing it in six of his first eight games (Weeks 1-10). The change in philosophy did hurt Brown some, with all four of his 100-yard games coming in Weeks 1-10, but AB still averaged a healthy 18.7 FPG (4th) in Weeks 11-16.
Durability: Brown has been incredibly healthy and productive the last four seasons, missing his first game in that time in Week 17 of 2016 to rest in a meaningless contest before the playoffs. His 2015 season infamously ended on the dirty&...