Draft Strategy

Marquise Brown Fantasy Preview for 2023

Marquise Brown

Marquise Brown Fantasy Preview for 2023

It doesn’t feel good to be drafting any players from this Arizona team that currently has a 4.5 over/under on wins for the season, but that’s the exact reason that you should be. This team is almost certainly going to be bottom of the barrel, but that means you can get the few fantasy-relevant players they have at a significant discount. This year, Marquise Brown is one of only a few Cardinals players that I’m looking to add to my roster, and I’m surprised that he hasn’t been getting more hype so far this off-season.

Last year, a solid part of the fantasy community was in on him at his price because of DeAndre Hopkins’ six-week suspension. The thinking was that he would dominate when he gets the bulk of the work as the WR1 for the team, and that turned out to be true. Now, the Cardinals have moved on from Hopkins, and somehow Brown’s ADP has fallen multiple spots lower than it was at this point last year. That’s a bit baffling to me, but it gives fantasy managers a great opportunity to grab him at a discount for this season.

 

Latest Odds

  • Over/Under: 900.5 Receiving yards
  • Over/Under: 4.5 Receiving TDs

It’s usually tough to take the under on 900.5 receiving yards for a team’s WR1, but with Brown, I prefer it. That’s not to say he can’t hit that mark or far exceed it, but I’m saying the probability isn’t there. He’s only gone over that line once in his four-year career, so it’s historically more likely than not that he doesn’t hit it. I do generally tend to believe in Brown for this season, however, so this is a line I would avoid betting on altogether.

As for the touchdowns, I’m comfortable taking the over. He’s hit that mark every year of his career except last year, and he had three through the first six weeks of the season last year before going down with an injury. Had he stayed healthy, he would’ve comfortably surpassed that line and he’d be 4/4 on beating that line in his career.

Current ADP

  • ADP: 81
  • Position: WR33

As it stands right now, Hollywood Brown is going as the WR33 and the 81st overall player in ½ PPR league formats. That’s ludicrous to me. He already finished higher than that in points per game last year, and now for this season, he won’t have to compete for targets with DeAndre Hopkins and he’ll presumably be healthy from the foot injury that forced him to miss significant time last season. For reference, when he was healthy and Hopkins was off the field last year in the first six weeks of the season, Brown was the WR6 overall. That’s pretty incredible. He scored more total fantasy points than players like A.J. Brown, Jaylen Waddle, CeeDee Lamb, and DK Metcalf in that stretch, and while I don’t expect him to keep up that kind of a pace for an entire season, it seems pretty clear that he’s almost a lock to outproduce his ADP if he can stay healthy and on the field.

Fantasy Insight

The situation surrounding Brown is less than ideal. I mentioned at the start of the article that the Cardinals are projected to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this year, and I absolutely believe that to be true. They lack superstar talent on both sides of the ball, and they’re not going to be coming away with a lot of wins this season. All of that is true, but believe it or not, these things may give Brown even more value for fantasy purposes.

I mentioned the lack of talent on the team overall, and that’s especially true amongst the pass catchers. There’s just no proven commodities outside of Brown. His biggest competition for targets will be rookie Michael Wilson, 5′7″ slot-receiver Rondale Moore, 32 year-old Zach Ertz (coming off a torn ACL), and 5′7″ Greg Dortch, who has less than 500 career receiving yards. Safe to say, Brown is the top receiving option on this team, especially with DeAndre Hopkins no longer being on the roster. We saw what that did for him in the first six weeks of the season last year, when he was averaging 10.7 targets per game, which would have put him THIRD in the NFL if he continued on that trajectory for the entire season.

My main concern with his situation is with QB Kyler Murray’s health. He tore his ACL towards the end of the season last year, and it’s still unclear if he’s going to be ready for Week 1. Brown was significantly better in games that Murray played in last year, and it could lead to a rough start for him if his QB has to miss the first 4-8 weeks of the season. We should get more clarity about Kyler’s health as we continue to get further into training camp.

 

Fantasy Value

Based on everything I just outlined, it’s impossible for me to not consider Marquise Brown a screaming value in fantasy leagues this year. It’s not just because of the elite volume that I project him to get as the team’s top receiver this year, but it’s also because we’ve seen him be great on the football field before. I already mentioned his WR6 pace before he got injured last year, but we haven’t even talked about how he’s a former first-round receiver who Arizona traded a first-round pick for just a couple of off-seasons ago. Granted, they also got a third rounder in that deal, but it still just goes to show that this team actually likes him and both wants and needs him to play a big role in this offense. 

I view Brown as one of the safest picks you can make in fantasy football. When you combine his guaranteed volume with his discounted price, you get someone with low bust potential that could easily end up being a solid WR2. If you start a draft light on WR’s, and you need someone reliable that you can plug-and-play in your starting lineup every week, I’d be looking for Hollywood in rounds 6-8 every single time.

Dynasty Value

I’m bullish on Brown’s outlook in redraft formats, but I don’t think the picture is quite as rosy in dynasty leagues. He’s still young and has a fair amount of talent, but there are a lot of red flags that make me tend to avoid him in dynasty formats. To start, he’s coming into a contract year in 2023, and he’s coming off of a season where he missed real time with a foot injury. That means if he gets injured again this season or underwhelms from a production standpoint, he might not get a desirable contract in free agency next year and could end up in a bad situation. Even worse, he could re-sign with the Cardinals, who are widely expected to be one of the worst teams in the NFL for the next few seasons. 

His trade value is pretty middle of the pack, but I’d be looking to trade for him if you’re a roster that’s competing now. His short-term outlook and value excites me, and I like him as a ‘trade-for’ candidate this season and I think he’s good enough to move the needle for a team that’s ready to compete for a championship. He’s not a guy I’m looking to add to a rebuilding team, but the 26 year-old certainly has his place in dynasty leagues.

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