Antonio Brown isn't just good enough to be the top Fantasy receiver, he's good enough to be the No. 1 overall pick. In his past 41 games with the Steelers, Brown has posted 10-plus Fantasy points 30 times. His consistency along with the immense number of targets and catches make him an appealing choice. They don't come much safer in Fantasy Football. If there's a negative it's that his numbers really stunk without Ben Roethlisberger under center, and Big Ben is typically an injury risk for a couple of games per season. Other than that, he's a matchup-proof wideout capable of a great game every week. He's worth the No. 1 overall pick in PPR leagues and a top-five pick (if not No. 1 overall) in non-PPR formats.
Brown is among the Steelers' key players not slated to play in Thursday's preseason finale against the Panthers. The same applies to fellow starting wideout Markus Wheaton, which sets the stage for the team's secondary options at the position to jostle for depth slotting in Thursday's contest.
Brown caught four passes for 87 yards and a touchdown on four targets in Friday's preseason game against the Saints. Brown and Ben Roethlisberger played for the first time all preseason, leading the Steelers to 14 points on their first two drives. The second series was capped off by a perfect deep ball from Roethlisberger to Brown, who then outraced the defense for a 57-yard touchdown. With Le'Veon Bell (suspension) out for the first three weeks and Ladarius Green (ankle) perhaps joining him, Brown could be even busier than usual during the early part of the season, playing on a Martavis Bryant-less Pittsburgh offense.
Brown will not play in Thursday's preseason game against the Eagles, Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams will all be held out as a precautionary measure for the second straight week. Brown will probably make a brief appearance in Pittsburgh's third exhibition, but that may be the extent of his involvement this preseason. With Martavis Bryant (suspension) out for the year and both Le'Veon Bell (suspension) and Ladarius Green (ankle/concussion) uncertain for the early part of the season, Brown could be in line for massive September workload.
Brown, who is said to be hopeful that his contract situation will be addressed before the start of the season, will report to training camp Thursday, ESPN.com reports. Brown, who is coming off a fantasy-friendly 136-catch season in 2015, is scheduled to earn $6.25 million in base salary this coming season and $8.71 million in 2017. That's something of a bargain, compared to the salaries other top NFL wideouts haul in, but at this stage, there's nothing to suggest that he plans to engineer any sort of holdout. That's certainly good news for the Steelers, with fellow key wideout Martavis Bryant set to serve a one-year suspension and star running back Le'Veon Bell potentially facing a four-game suspension to start the coming campaign. In any case, a healthy Brown remains QB Ben Roethlisberger's top target and sits atop most fantasy wideout cheat sheets.
Brown (concussion) was inactive for the Steelers' game against the Broncos on Sunday. The Pittsburgh offense struggled without Brown, who followed his stellar 2014 season with an even better 2015 campaign. This season, Brown caught 136 of 195 targets for 1,834 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also ran for 28 yards on three carries and added 212 yards and a touchdown on 22 punt returns. Brown, who will be 28 when camp opens for the 2016 season, is well on his way to rewriting the NFL record book. He is the first player in NFL history with consecutive 125 catch seasons, and his 265 receptions are the most in any two consecutive seasons in NFL history. Since 2013, Brown has 375 receptions, the most in any three consecutive seasons in NFL history and, in 2015 he surpassed his own team record for receptions in a single season, and surpassed his own Steelers record for receiving yards in a single season. He has started 36 consecutive regular season games, the third longest active consecutive games started streak among NFL wide receivers, and has registered at least one reception in 84 consecutive regular season games dating back to October 2010.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||10/03||Kansas City Chiefs||21||23.44|
|5||10/09||New York Jets||19||22.75|
|7||10/23||New England Patriots||22||23.78|
|13||12/04||New York Giants||23||23.88|
|3 Year Avg||180||125||1677||10||79||13.42||230|