Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


The Antonio Brown Effect in New England

Life gives us many questions to ponder. What is the meaning of life? If time heals all wounds, how do you explain belly buttons? And the age-old question from the Spitballs podcast, would you rather have to give up ride-share services the rest of your life or food-delivery services? But for our purposes here and for the importance, which is fantasy football, our question is who does Antonio Brown truly affect most in the Patriots offense?

Some think it will be Josh Gordon's value that suffers most. Others think everyone in the passing game. Some may even think it takes away from the run game they were trying to build. But the answer may not be so simple - it could be all of the above. This, of course, assumes he is on the field the rest of the season. For our sanity, we will not go over all the scenarios of different amounts of games played. We will simply assume he will be there for the remainder of this season. Just as we do not want to project for injury, we also do not want to project for suspension. Besides, do we ever know what is going to happen with NFL discipline?

Now that all those details are out of the way, let us now try to figure out the situation in New England to see if they might finally win another Super Bowl this season. More importantly, will their skill players help fantasy owners win a championship or will AB sink their hopes just as he did the Raiders?

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


Mr. Big Chest On the Scene

Let us start by getting the obvious out of the way first. Antonio Brown, for as long as he is there, is exactly what we thought he was. A WR1 on a weekly basis. The jersey doesn’t matter as much as the talent does. And he has talent in spades.

Now, if the first game of his tenure is any sign, Brown will take a lot of work from both Edelman and Gordon in this offense. Sure, he is talented enough to do this. But it is certainly not what the Patriots want in order to have success. This is why it will not happen.

The Patriots were favored by 19 points in this game. They were playing a team who was completely outmatched and also has completely given up on the season. This was a great game to get him acclimated, which is exactly what happened in this one.

Josh Gordon only had two receptions for 19 yards and Julian Edelman finished with four for 51. Moving forward, both of these numbers should move upwards. Brown will have his six or seven catches for 100 yards and will also probably have a touchdown in most weeks. But especially Edelman is not going anywhere. The comparison people are making is when Randy Moss came to the team in 2007. Even in that season, Brady still used his best friend Wes Welker enough to feed him 112 receptions for 1,175 yards. The same thing will happen in 2019 with his new best friend. Julian Edelman is the piece which holds together the offensive scheme. Maybe not the player, but the position. This means his role is as solid as Tom Brady’s Hall of Fame enshrinement five years after he retires. So, maybe in 2035 or so.


The One to Worry About

The player who might see his value affected the most is Josh Gordon. We know the team loves him. They have seen him through the past year of his struggles and re-signed him not knowing if or when he would be back on the field. This shows loyalty, which is something Bill Belichick doesn’t have for many. He will continue to get work but it will be minimized with the addition of Brown.

If Brown grows up, he might even be a good influence. At least when it comes to showing Gordon how to practice and play on Sunday. If he can do this, the Patriots will have another stud number one receiver next season after Brown inevitably moves on. But for this season? It might be more of a learning experience and less production. Which is terrible for those who took a chance on him in the fourth or fifth round of your fantasy drafts.

For all intents and purposes, Gordon and Brown fill the same position in the offense. Sure, Gordon has more size. But Antonio Brown is still the best, or close to the best receiver in the NFL today, He can do far more than Gordon in the offense and provides more for Tom Brady to work within the offense. His touchdown potential makes him a perfect fit in the hole left by the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, making him even more lethal.

As stated, Josh Gordon does have the size at 6’3 and 220 pounds and he can be a big body in the red zone. So, he will be on the field in scoring situations. This could make him have some value as a WR3 or a very high-end flex play. But his days of being a mid-level WR2 or a low-end WR1 in this offense are behind him. Again, this is assuming Antonio Brown is there all season. As for Julian Edelman? He is still a solid WR2 and as long as he has Brady throwing him the ball, this should not change much.

As far as Phillip Dorsett, N'Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers or any other receiver on the team, you would simply be hoping for a touchdown or looking at a desperation bye-week flier once you get to the fourth or fifth receiver on any team, even the mighty Patriots.

More Fantasy Football Analysis

More Recent Articles


Week 7 Start/Sit: Monday Night Football Matchups Analysis

Even if this doesn’t turn out to be great MNF game, at least it's a divisional game with some importance. This is what Jets fans need to tell themselves heading into their second Monday Night Football game of the season. With the New England Patriots coming to town off their annual semi-bye in which they... Read More

Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

It's Chase Edmonds' world, we're just living in it. Wait, what? Hopefully you added him, as suggested in this column the past two weeks, because even if David Johnson is deemed healthy enough to actually play, it's likely Edmonds continues to see action. In QB news, by the halfway point of Thursday night, we already had... Read More

Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 8

The regular season continues to advance at a relentless pace as we have now entered planning for Week 8. Some of you are ecstatic with the level of production that has been delivered by your running backs. But many of you have been contending with unwanted developments at this position including injuries, inconsistent usage, and... Read More

Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 8

We're heading into Week 8 of the NFL season. By now, some of y'all are getting a good sense of where you're at fantasy-wise, if you're heading to the postseason or playing for fun or, in a dynasty league, building for the future. This look at wide receivers is for all of you. As we... Read More

Week 8 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

A two-team bye week is a lot easier for fantasy football players to navigate than a four-team bye week. Fantasy owners are going to have to live without Dallas’ Jason Witten and Baltimore’s Mark Andrews in Week 8. If you have one of the those players as your starting tight end, the problem is that... Read More

Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 8

Tragedy struck a few top quarterbacks this week, as both Patrick Mahomes and Matt Ryan left games with injuries. We already know Mahomes will miss 3-6 weeks, while more will be revealed about Ryan's status later today. Either way, owners of these quarterbacks will need a backup plan in place, and this week the waiver... Read More

Waiver Wire Express - Week 8 Lightning Round

The better part of seven weeks is in the fantasy football books, making those early trends very real -- for better or worse. One must still consider the matchups played thus far and those to come, but usage and volume are becoming reliable. Week 8 sees the Ravens and Cowboys hit their bye week. To... Read More

Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 7 Will Fuller (hamstring) is expected to miss several weeks. Matt Ryan is out for the game with an... Read More

Week 7 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

NFL Matchup Ratings Tool - Weekly Player Projections

  If you see the red "Upgrade" button below, then you are not a Premium subscriber, or have not yet logged in. Learn more about our NFL Matchup Ratings and projections system. Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of... Read More

Week 7 Chat - Live Fantasy Football Game Day Q&A

It's Sunday Morning Week 7... Do You Know Who to Start? Each Sunday morning of the NFL season, RotoBaller's experts will be moderating the industry's leading live chat room and answering a bunch of your fantasy football questions, from around 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM ET. Come join in on the fun, and get your... Read More

Updated Week 7 PPR Rankings (Top 300)

Welcome to Week 7 RotoBallers. Below are our updated consensus Week 7 PPR rankings for fantasy football, including some running notes on relevant injuries, player news and rankings updates: Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison are both active. Todd Gurley is officially active, Malcolm Brown is out. Christian Kirk is not expected to play this week. David... Read More

Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 7

Welcome to our Week 7 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More

Wide Receiver Matchups To Target in Week 7

In Week 6, Julio Jones didn't score, but he came through with a decent fantasy day, going over 100-yards receiving. Brandin Cooks brutal Week 6 showing was a little bit of a surprise given his 2018 track record against the 49ers, but the Rams offensive line was overwhelmed which led to a rough day for... Read More

The King's Key Starters and Tough Calls - Lineup Spotlights for Week 7

Welcome to Week 7, RotoBallers! Below you will find some of my spotlight plays and tough lineup decisions for the upcoming week of the fantasy football season. These player selections are based off my Premium Weekly Lineup Rankings, available as part of the RotoBaller's NFL Premium Pass. Enter promo code KING at checkout for a... Read More