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2019 Dynasty Price Check - Antonio Brown


When it comes to dynasty football leagues you know there is no offseason. Without the in-season worries of lineup setting and setting up waiver wire claims, dynasty league enthusiasts can focus their efforts on making trades to improve their teams and preparing for rookie drafts.

Today's column will take a look at Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown. We will start off with an overview of the veteran star and then take a look at analyzing his value in dynasty leagues. Then, to finish it off, we will propose some possible trades involving Brown to give you some ideas for either buying or selling him.

For all discussions regarding Antonio Brown's dynasty value, let's assume you are playing in a 12-team, one-quarterback, PPR dynasty league. As always, player values can shift quickly in dynasty leagues so be sure to stay on top of the NFL news cycle when proposing trades.

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Overview

Antonio Brown
Team: Oakland Raiders
College: Central Michigan
Height/Weight: 5'10", 181 pounds
2010 NFL Draft: Round 6, Pick 195

After spending the first nine years of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brown forced a trade to the Oakland Raiders after his relationship with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger deteriorated over the latter part of the 2018 season. Oakland sent just a third and a fifth-round draft pick to the Steelers for the seven-time Pro Bowler and rewarded him with a new, three-year contract worth just over $50 million. Brown, who turns 31 in July, is one of the best NFL wide receivers of his generation, racking up 837 catches for 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns in 130 career games.

Brown proved yet again in 2018 that he is one of the most dangerous wide receivers in the league. He finished last season with 104 catches for 1,297 yards and a league-leading 15 receiving touchdowns, despite second-year wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster taking a huge leap forward and cutting into his workload. While Brown is getting old for an NFL player, there's no reason to believe he can't continue to operate at an elite level in the 2019 season. The Raiders didn't pay Brown all that money to ignore him, so expect him to be peppered with targets in his first year in black and silver.

The main concern regarding Brown is his new team. For one, he goes from a Pittsburgh Steelers offense that was fourth in the league in 2018 in yards per game and sixth in points per game to a Raiders offense that was bottom 10 in both categories. This is a significant downgrade for Brown as he will not be in scoring position nearly as often as he was in his Pittsburgh days. While Derek Carr is a better quarterback than he has shown the past two seasons, he is still a downgrade from Roethlisberger, a future Hall of Famer.

The Raiders overhauled much of their receiving corps this offseason, adding deep threats Tyrell Williams and J.J. Nelson to incumbent Seth Roberts. They also cut veteran Jordy Nelson. Neither Williams nor J.J. Nelson has the skillset to challenge Brown as the team's alpha, No. 1 wideout, meaning Brown should be a lock for at least 120 targets this season. Williams and Nelson do have value as their deep speed should clear the field for Brown to run the short and intermediate routes that he specializes in.

 

Dynasty Value

From a dynasty value standpoint, Brown is in an interesting position. On a year-to-year basis, Brown needs to be treated as a WR1 in fantasy until he shows that he just doesn't have it anymore. As is normal with older players, Brown is of much more interest to a contender in dynasty then he would be to someone who is rebuilding.

According to Fantasy Football Calculator, Brown's current ADP is 20.6, making him a mid-second round startup pick in dynasty leagues. As such, he should be worth roughly the equivalent of two first-round rookie picks and possibly more depending on where those picks are projected to land. That being said, Brown had a first-round startup value at this time last season and, due to his age, will only continue to lose value rapidly as his career goes on. If his first season in Oakland doesn't go well, he has the potential to drop several rounds in dynasty startup value.

Dynasty teams that don't expect to contend in the next year or two should be looking to sell Brown in the next eight months. If you can't get a value you like this offseason, wait until September or October when the regular season games begin and see if you can get a contender to pay up for the veteran's services.

 

Possible Trades

From a draft pick perspective, if selling Brown, I would initially be looking for two first-round rookie picks, either in this year or next year's class. If the first-round picks are both mid-to-late, I would expect at least another second-round pick added to the deal. If buying Brown, I would lead with a late first and an early second and possibly upgrade that second rounder to an additional first to seal the deal if necessary.

If looking at acquiring a different wide receiver, I would look to package Brown with another lesser asset or a draft pick to try to snag a first-round startup wide receiver. Here at RotoBaller, we currently have Brown ranked as the WR8 in dynasty leagues. If you could move him and possibly a second-round pick to get a younger wideout in his tier, such as Davante Adams, Keenan Allen, Mike Evans, or Amari Cooper, that would be a move to make.

If you are trying to move Brown for a running back, try for a 1-for-1 deal to net an RB with a second-round startup value. Those players include Nick Chubb, David Johnson, Joe Mixon, Dalvin Cook, and James Conner.

 

Conclusion

When all is said and done, Antonio Brown will have turned in a historic NFL career. While he is approaching the twilight of that illustrious career, one or two elite seasons likely remain in the tank. Contenders should be aggressively pursuing his services, especially if they consider him the missing piece to a championship. Rebuilding teams have little use for Brown and should strongly consider shopping him over the next few months.

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