It’s time to continue our fantasy player profile series on key Baltimore Ravens players. For each piece, I look back at each player’s 2019 fantasy performance. I then analyze factors that will affect their 2020 fantasy performance. Lastly, I will give my fantasy rankings for each player and suggested ADP value to help you target each player for maximum value. This time around, I will dive into Marquise “Hollywood” Brown.
Marquise Brown in 2019
Brown finished his rookie season with 46 receptions for 584 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 regular season games. He also added another seven receptions for an impressive 126 yards in the Ravens playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round.
These numbers are viewed critically by some, as he failed to keep up with the gaudy numbers from some of the other wide receivers from the draft class.
In comparison, A.J. Brown had 52 catches for 1051 yards and eight touchdowns, becoming just the eighth rookie wide receiver to surpass 1000 receiving yards since 2010, according to Sports Illustrated, and the 18th overall. Terry McLaurin finished with 58 catches for 919 yards and seven touchdowns. D.K. Metcalf had 58 receptions for 900 yards and seven touchdowns. Deebo Samuel had 57 catches for 802 yards and three touchdowns.
While Marquise Brown’s numbers were solid for his rookie year, it’s worth noting that the other receivers listed above were all drafted in the second round or later in the 2019 NFL Draft. Brown meanwhile, was the first wide receiver taken, at 25th overall.
On the other hand, optimists will point to Brown playing injured throughout his entire rookie season. He played with a screw in his foot after undergoing surgery to repair his Lisfranc injury leading up to the 2019 NFL Combine. Brown never seemed 100% last season, often actively avoiding contact after the catch and not fighting for extra yards.
Despite this, he had a very strong start and finish to his season. In his first game as a pro, Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins, Brown dominated with 147 yards and two touchdowns on just four receptions. He followed that up with an additional 86 yards on eight receptions in Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals.
It’s accurate to say that Marquise Brown was an explosive, if an inconsistent playmaker as a rookie. He showed his ability to make big plays downfield, while also showing his talent for making clutch contested catches in some key situations.
2019 Fantasy recap
Hollywood Brown as the WR45 in both Standard Scoring (STD) and Half-PPR leagues, while finishing as the WR46 in PPR leagues, according to Fantasy Pros. This made him fifth among all rookie wide receivers. He was a good FLEX option at the beginning of the fantasy season, but nearly unplayable at the end of it.
He actually outperformed his Average Draft Position (ADP) rankings in 2019, being constantly drafted outside of the top 55 wide receivers, per Fantasy Pros. It is always tough to expect consistent value from any rookie wide receiver, but more will be expected of Marquise Brown in Year 2.
Key factors for 2020
Below I will explain three key factors that will affect Hollywood Brown’s fantasy performance this year.
The health (and body) factor
As I mentioned above, Brown played through a major foot injury in 2019. He missed two games last year and was limited in practice almost every week.
He had a screw removed earlier this off-season and should be full-go by Week 1. We may be able to see what Brown is truly capable of for the first time.
What’s been even more impressive is Brown has seemingly bulked up this off-season. He had a noticeably thin frame as a rookie. Brown has been posting some of his workouts on social media, as well as photos of his current physique, such as this one from his Twitter account.
This should be a good thing for fantasy owners this year, as a bigger and stronger Hollywood Brown could mean more durability for him this year.
The wide receiver room factor
Hollywood Brown will undoubtedly go into the season as the Ravens number one wide receiver. This should make fantasy owners enticed about drafting him. When looking at the entire projected wide receiver group, it is made up of mostly young players with some upside, but are inexperienced overall.
The Ravens hope that Miles Boykin can be that complimentary “X” big-bodied possession receiver to complement Brown’s explosiveness. Willie Snead is the lone true veteran who will get consistent playing time this year, and he should continue to be the sure-handed possession slot receiver he has been in previous years. After that, they have Chris Moore, who is more valuable on special teams.
The Ravens added two receivers in the NFL Draft this year, drafting Devin Duvernay and James Proche in the third and sixth rounds respectively. Both come with tons of speed and sure hands. It will be interesting to see if one or both of them can find consistent playing time as rookies, and how their games fit next to someone like Brown.
Fantasy owners should also be wary of how these two rookie receivers, and the growth of Boykin affect how many targets Brown gets this year.
The playing time factor
Fantasy owners should expect Marquise Brown to see more time on the field this year. When we dive into the numbers, we can see there is room for optimism.
According to Pro Football Reference, in 2019, Brown played in 51% of the offensive snaps. He was targeted only 71 times all season. In comparison, fellow rookie D.K. Metcalf played in 84% of all offensive snaps and was targeted 100 times.
Expect Brown’s snap counts to increase this season as he grows into a true WR1 option and stays healthy.
Count me among the optimists on Brown’s 2020 fantasy projections. He showed special explosiveness at times. With improved health and a stronger physical frame, expect to see more explosive plays this season.
Naturally, there are expectations for Brown to develop a more complete route tree in his second year. Brown and quarterback Lamar Jackson already have instant chemistry. With more playing time Brown should take his game to the next level.
Last year, Brown was a possible FLEX option depending on the weekly matchup. This year, I expect Brown to be a consistent WR2 option in all scoring formats.
Expect Brown’s ADP to be somewhere in the WR28-35 range, regardless of scoring format. Fantasy owners who want Brown on their team should expect to draft him beginning in the 6th round of 10 or 12 team leagues.
Brown should represent high value for any fantasy owner. He very well could be the breakout fantasy star of 2020.
- PPR – WR20
- Half-PPR – WR19
- STD – WR19