Fantasy Football 2022: Could Amon-Ra St. Brown finish as a WR1?
Amon-Ra St. Brown was in that class over the final several weeks of 2021, but could he have a full season finish as a fantasy WR1 in 2022?
Over the final six weeks of last season, Amon-Ra St. Brown was one of the most productive wide receivers in the NFL (51 receptions for 560 yards, five touchdowns; one rushing touchdown). Over that stretch (Week 13-18), he was WR2 across the board in fantasy scoring (standard, 0.5-point PPR, full PPR)–behind only Cooper Kupp.
St. Brown’s late season success was a credit to his development and a change in how the Lions did things offensively down the stretch. Running back D’Andre Swift and tight end T.J. Hockenson were also out for substantial chunks of those six games, leaving St. Brown with a target share that won’t be repeated if everyone’s healthy.
That’s why it’s easy to expect regression from St. Brown in 2022. It’s just a matter of what degree you might think it’ll be.
Fantasy Football 2022: Amon-Ra St. Brown finish as a WR1?
Dwain McFarland of Pro Football Focus is optimisitic about St. Brown. And Woodward Sports posed a subsequent question to fantasy managers.
St. Brown’s current ADP at Fantasy Football Calculator, yes very early, lands him at WR41 (pick 9.01) in 12-team PPR leagues. That’s mid-WR4 territory, and a heck of an adjustment based on Swift and Hockenson being healthy and additions the Lions made (DJ Chark, Jameson Williams).
St. Brown’s current aggregate ADP over at Fantasy Pros in full PPR, WR26, is more optimistic and feels about right near the low-end WR2/high-end WR3 border for a 12-team league.
St. Brown’s percentage share of the Lions’ targets compared to the last six weeks last year is going to naturally go down. But the offense should be a good bit better, after ranking second-to-last in the league in third down conversion rate last year (34.7 percent). So the pie will also naturally get larger, with drives better-sustained.
Here’s a pertinent food-based question, as it relates (or I make it relate) to St. Brown’s 2022 fantasy stock.
Would you rather be guaranteed to have 20 pieces of a 60-piece pie (a 33 percent share), or guaranteed 25 pieces of a 90-piece pie (less than a 28 percent share)? Mixed in with those extra 30 pieces (and possibly the five extra pieces you’re assured to get) will be pieces that look better or have more value (red zone opportunities, as the football analogy).
St. Brown elevating all the way to a full season WR1 (top-12) finish in fantasy this year is unlikely, and the answer to the question posed by Woodward Sports has to be an affirmative “No” for Lions’ fans. But he will be plenty useful as a WR2/WR3 (say WR22-36 when it comes to ADP)–on the higher end of that scale in PPR formats.