Most Overrated Player: Tennessee Titans
Published by Michael Garrity
I can speak on behalf of every AJ Brown owner from Week 12-17 that he was an absolute game changer. In that six game span, Brown averaged high-end WR1 numbers with 21.2 fantasy points per game. While that number may seem fantastic for a rookie, we have to take a look at the whole picture. There are many other stats inside of that number that concern me, as well as other numbers that embodied Brown’s entire freshman season in the NFL.
Brown’s rookie season was very impressive from a statistical standpoint. Among rookies, Brown ranked first in receiving yards (1,051), fourth in receptions (52) and first in receiving touchdowns (8). 605 receiving yards, 25 receptions and 5 receiving touchdowns were recorded in Weeks 12-17. Notice how more than half of his receiving yards and touchdowns came within that five game span. Prior to those games, Brown didn’t have a very impressive rookie year. He posted only four double-digit fantasy point games, as well as three or less receptions in eight out of eleven games. This proves that Brown's consistency as a fantasy wideout wasn’t reliable on a week-to-week basis. In fact, his consistency rating on the season was 0.630. That ranked fourth worst among wide receivers.
Another number that concerns me is the percentage of fantasy points from BIG plays. 36.3% of Brown’s fantasy points on the season were from big plays. That totals out to nearly 80 of his 165.5 points. This number makes me nervous as it was the highest amongst any player at any position in the NFL. When you see a percentage that large, it is almost impossible for a player to progress. Regression is the most likely outcome for Brown this season, as we saw this same instance with other players. Tyreek Hill for example. In 2018, Hill posted a large big-play dependency percentage, as saw a 30.6% decrease in fantasy points from less big plays.
Along with the fourth worst touchdown dependency percentage among wideouts (24.9%), these numbers should show you every reason to be cautious when drafting Brown this year. While I have focused on the negatives of his Week 12-17 performance, I also have to give credit where it is due. His 15+ point performance in the final five out of six games was extremely impressive, especially for a rookie. Brown certainly has the upside of a Top-12 finish if he builds off how he ended last season, but I don’t see that as a possibility. With Brown being taken in the 4th/5th round, I don’t think the upside is worth the price. If you decide to draft Brown, make sure you have a solid-WR1, as well as a good WR3 and quality backups. I think it’s safe to say that AJ Brown can be categorized as a boom-or-bust for 2020.