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That’s a good stretch you’re getting in there helmet. Well done.

One of the biggest surprises from week one of the NFL preseason was the outstanding performance of Arizona Cardinals rookie wide receiver John Brown. Throughout their dominant preseason victory over the Houston Texans, Brown continuously ran circles around defenders on his way to an impressive 5 catch, 87 yard performance. Even more astounding was the fact that he likely would have had a touchdown catch as well, if not for Arizona’s untimely quarterback inaccuracy. Nonetheless, it was quite the rookie debut for an overlooked and largely unknown receiver, who could make a huge impact as a late-round steal in your fantasy football league.

Drafted in the third-round of the 2014 NFL Draft from Pittsburg State, Brown was relatively overlooked as a pre-draft prospect. Yet, throughout Cardinals’ Training Camp, Brown has been reportedly labeled as the “un-guardable receiver” by Arizona’s stellar secondary and defense. That’s an incredible compliment, given the number of exceptional athletes currently residing on Arizona’s offense. Remember, this is a unit that features prolific receiving threats like the great Larry Fitzgerald and former first-rounder Michael Floyd.

Still, with all the training camp-hype surrounding the Cardinals’ third-round pick, it seemed fair for most fans to wonder just how well Brown would respond to a real-game scenario. While it may seem premature, the young man from Pittsburg State is already answering any and all doubters and critics with his ability to separate against NFL talent. Now, it should be an interesting test to see whether Brown will be able to continue his progression and parlay his spectacular preseason play into regular season opportunities. After all, the departure of Andre Roberts seems to have created an opening in Arizona’s receiving core over the offseason.

If Brown win’s the Cardinals’ No. 3 job behind Fitzgerald and Floyd as expected, he could have considerable upside as a late-round sleeper in fantasy football this year. Everyone knows that Head Coach Bruce Arians isn’t afraid to air it out with quarterback Carson Palmer under center, but with Andre Ellington – who is a solid receiving option himself – expected to take on the starting running back duties as well, Arizona might quickly transform into a high-flying offense capable of keeping defenses on their heels.

Additionally, Brown’s value increases substantially in PPR (Point Per Reception) League’s, as well as Dynasty and Keeper League’s. While the young man certainly has the ability to take the top off of a defense, he will likely find himself running more intermediate and crossing routes as a slot receiver in the Cardinals system. However, that shouldn’t discourage fantasy owners in the least. This 5’10” 180 pound sparkplug has more than enough speed and acceleration to score in a variety of ways, making him a valuable commodity in the long-term. Therefore, if you’re looking for a late-round pick with upside or a possible waiver wire gem early in the year, look no further than John Brown.

Jarrod Patterson is a Sports Writer for Razzball.com and RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @J_M_Patterson or on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

 

  1. Allan says:
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    Jarrod got a keeper question for you. In a 14 team non ppr we can keep one. I can keep Lacy in the 3rd or Keenan Allen in the 16th or Ellington in the 16th. What do you think?

    • Jarrod

      Jarrod says:
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      Allan- That’s a tough question. On the one hand, it’s tough to stack a team with solid RB’s in a 14 team league. However, in this case, I would go with Keenan Allen in the 16th. The non-PPR aspect nullifies Ellington a bit (though I think he WILL have a solid year) and while Lacy had a solid year production-wise last season, he may take a step back with a healthy A-Rod likely to re-establish dominance over Green Bay’s offense. In the end, you really can’t go wrong! But I do believe Allen in the 16th gives you the best value, though only by a fraction. He’s going to be special! Thanks for reading!! @Allan:

  2. DiRo says:
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    Who has the bigger year; Brown, Cooks, Benjamin, Evans?

    I am in a dynasty league and looking to find some nice late round talent to draft. Not trying to bank on too many rookie WR’s breaking out.

    • Greg says:
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      @DiRo: Cooks, hands down. Runner up Benjamin shearly bc Carolina has nothing else at WR.

    • Jarrod

      Jarrod says:
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      I am a HUGE Brandin Cooks fan!! Evans has questions at quarterback as well as with his weight/conditioning apparently, but should be pretty good eventually. Benjamin does have the advantage of being the ONLY option at receiver in Carolina, but that also means defenses will be able to double him. As I said in the article, I REALLY like John Brown’s upside, but it isn’t nearly as high as Cooks. Plus, Cooks has Brees at QB and a plethora of weapons to take the heat off him. With Sproles departing over the offseason, Cooks basically has a tailor-made spot in the Saints offense and should contribute from day one! Unfortunately, you may have to shoot a bit higher than the end of your fantasy draft for Cooks, looks like a mid-round option at this point. Thanks for reading!! @DiRo:

      • @Jarrod: Looks like Jay moved Cooks 33 spots down from ADP in PPR rankings. That dude’s gonna catch screen passes out the ass.

        • Jarrod

          Jarrod says:
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          @James R: I agree! picture a guy with better acceleration and top-end speed than Darren Sproles, that’s what the Saints have in Cooks! Plus, the guy has looked phenomenal so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets Offensive Rookie of the Year! Thanks for reading!

  3. Drussss says:
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    Hey Jarrod!

    Need to keep 4 players 1 Point PPR league. Starting lineup has

    1 QB WR, WR, RB, RB, TE, W/T, W/R/T slots

    Passing Yards -> 30 yards per point; 2 points at 300 yards; 4 points at 400 yards . -2 for Interception Passing Touchdowns 6

    Rushing Yards ->10 yards per point; 2 points at 100 yards; 4 points at 150 yards Rushing Touchdowns -6

    Reception Yards ->10 yards per point; 2 points at 125 yards; 4 points at 175 yards PT 6 points

    Pretty RB heavy,

    Jamaal Charles

    CJ Spiller

    Zac Stacy

    Adrian Peterson

    Gronk

    Vincent Jackson

    Torrey Smith

    Matthew Stafford

    Thanks!

    • Jarrod

      Jarrod says:
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      @Drussss: Sorry for the late reply! You have quite a decision ahead of you, that’s for sure! I think Stafford is a top 5 QB by season’s end, WAY too many weapons not to have another 5,000 plus yard season! Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles are both MUST keep players. The only question mark I see is your 4th spot, Spiller and Gronk both have the most upside, but also come with injury history. I’d like to think Gronk will STAY healthy, but he is already having trouble with that forearm again. Tough call, but I’d go with Gronk in the 4th spot and hold your breath!! Thanks for reading!

      • Drussss says:
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        @Jarrod:

        Thanks a lot Jarrod :)

        I was thinking Gronk too but in the razzball ranking TOP 200 1 ppr league he was way way way below in the hundreds I think. So I was quite confused.
        Also no love for Zach Stacy? I thought I would have to choose between him and Gronk!

        • Jarrod

          Jarrod says:
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          @Drussss: No prolem! I know Gronk is ranked low this season, and the truth is, it’s entirely based on the health of his forearm. If it holds up, he’s a top 2 TE and a top 10 player. As far as Stacy is considered, he’ll be ok but Tre Mason should steal the majority of goalline carries. Might even take the starting job by midseason

          • Drussss says:
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            @Jarrod:

            Woah thanks for the Stacy insight ! Going with the ones you advised on:)
            Looking forward to reading your columns rest of the year. Cheers

          • Drussss says:
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            @Jarrod:

            Hey Jarrod
            sorry to bother you again but my LM has made it only 3 keepers now :(
            Gronk or Stafford now ? Thanks :D

            • Jarrod

              Jarrod says:
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              @Drussss: While Gronk can be REALLY special when healthy, I’d have to say Stafford here. He’s one of the few fantasy QB’s capable of putting up “elite” numbers week in and out. Plus, the Lions have added young players like Golden Tate, Eric Ebron, Ryan Broyles and Theo Riddick the past year or two which should only add to Stafford’s firepower! Remember, he’s basically been putting up 5,000 yard seasons with Megatron, a couple talented RB’s, and a handful of scraps! Gronk’s coming off of a torn ACL and a broken (and re-broken) forearm this offseason, making him a serious health risk. Hope that helps!

              • Drussss says:
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                @Jarrod:

                It is going to hard to let Gronk go but you put a strong case :)

                Thanks again!!

  4. Clint says:
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    Great article. Couldn’t agree more on Brown. I drafted Palmer late last year and gave up on him before he really took off in that offense. Here’s hoping the Cards continue to fly!

    • Jarrod

      Jarrod says:
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      @Clint: thank you very much! I’m glad to see so many others starting to pick up on Brown and his ridiculous talents! Arizona’s entire offense could really surprise people if their offensive line can be consistent and healthy this year

  5. Mike T says:
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    Hey Jarrod, love the John Brown hype.

    I need your opinion, I’m in a dynasty league and i have only two available roster spots. Who am I keeping into the regular season? Wheaton, Dobson, Amendola, or John Brown?

    • Jarrod

      Jarrod says:
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      @Mike T: I really like Markus Wheaton’s upside, I think I’d definitely keep him. After that is tricky, Amendola is a great PPR option, but has a lot of trouble staying healthy. I honestly think I’d go with Brown in the second spot with an eye to the future. While Amendola may have single game performances that make you regret giving him up THIS season, Brown will too. Plus, I believe he is more durable and ultimately has a higher upside with Bruce Arians coaching Arizona. Hope that helps!

      • Mike T says:
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        @Jarrod: I was also leaning towards Wheaton and Brown. I like Wheaton’s upside as well despite the “lack of chemistry” with Big Ben this preseason and I love the long term potential in Brown… Well thank you Jarrod and Greg for the feedback, I truly appreciate it!

  6. Greg says:
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    this is truly a tough call…. curious as to Jarrod’s thoughts. My gut says wheaton this year, brown next year… however, arians side brown will be on the field for 60percent of offensive snaps.. so i am truly torn. its either wheaton or brown for sure, i just don’t know which one.

    • Jarrod

      Jarrod says:
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      @Greg: Luckily, I think he gets to keep both (: but I would agree if forced to choose, Wheaton this year, Brown long term.Thanks for reading!

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