A.J. Brown: Fantasy Football outlook for the 2022 NFL season
A new NFL (and fantasty football) season is just around the corner, and that means seeing familiar faces in new places. The 2022 offseason was one of the most hectic in recent memory, with star players changing teams across the league. The Philadelphia Eagles made one of the biggest splashes in the entire offseason by acquiring AJ Brown from the Tennessee Titans Titans.
Philadelphia made a surprising playoff appearance last season after a four-win season in 2020. The Eagles fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card Round, but fans were excited to see the team’s progress.
The Eagles came into the 2022 offseason with a desire to improve their passing game. They led the league in rushing offense with nearly 160 yards per game, but finished No. 25 in passing with barely over 200 yards on average. With an abundance of first-round picks, Philadelphia swung a massive trade on draft night to acquire Tennessee’s star receiver.
The Eagles not only traded for Brown, but immediately signed him to a four-year extension worth up to $100 million. Philadelphia is expecting Brown to put up big numbers, and so are fantasy football owners. Let’s take a look at Brown’s fantasy football outlook in his first season with his new team.
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AJ Brown 2022 Fantasy Football Outlook
The most attractive quality about AJ Brown is that he’s the undisputed number one option on his team. The Eagles had a noticeable hole at wide receiver in prior seasons but addressed it over the last two seasons. Adding Brown gives Philadelphia the game changer it has been missing at wideout.
The only pass-catching options that come close to Brown’s caliber are Dallas Goedert and DeVonta Smith. Goedert is a tight end and obviously plays a much different role than Brown. Smith plays a more similar role, but they shouldn’t take targets away from each other.
Brown’s availability is another positive. His injury history isn’t perfect, missing six games in three years and playing through minor injuries last season. However, he is durable enough to be a staple in the lineup in the strong majority of matchups.
Philadelphia’s schedule will also allow Brown to thrive. The Eagles have the third-easiest schedule in the league and play just six games against 2021 playoff teams. They play just two teams, the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, with top-10 passing defenses last season.
On the other hand, the Eagles play six games against bottom-10 passing defenses last season. This includes two games against Washington, which finished with the fourth-worst passing defense and allowed 254.9 yards per game. Brown has no shortage of chances to rack up big points against poor secondaries.
The biggest concern with AJ Brown from a fantasy perspective is Philadelphia’s offensive scheme. Head coach Nick Sirianni showed heavy emphasis on the run in his first season, attempting more runs than passes. This game plan works well for the Eagles but may be less appealing for Brown’s fantasy owners.
On the bright side, Brown proved he can thrive in a run-first scheme with the Titans. He had two 1,000-yard seasons with Derrick Henry as the focal point of the offense and likely would have a third if not for injuries.
Jalen Hurts, Brown’s new quarterback, is more of a question mark than a pro or a con for Brown’s fantasy outlook. He showed he can be a starter in the league last season, but he’ll want to bring up his 61.3% completion. Having a receiver like Brown to throw to should help on its own, though.
AJ Brown shows great promise from a fantasy perspective in his debut season with Philadelphia. He has a very high ceiling and his drawbacks shouldn’t prevent anyone from targeting him. If he’s available in the late third or early fourth round, selecting him is a wise decision.