League Winner Series: Marquise Brown

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

Hollywood started his NFL career behind the eight ball, as he missed much of the offseason rehabbing a Lisfranc injury. This essentially cost Brown crucial and valuable experience a rookie needs while getting acclimated to the pro level. Hollywood despite the injury was still the first receiver selected in the 2019 draft, as he was highly regarded as a game wrecker. It is easy to see why he was regarded this way by looking at the damage he did in 2018 in his final year at Oklahoma. Hollywood was highly productive during that 2018 season accounting for 30% of the teams receiving yards, while averaging an insane 19.1 yards per reception, showcasing this game breaking ability. Hollywood then showed everyone that the missed time during the offseason wasn’t going to slow him down, as he showcased his game wrecking ability in his NFL debut in Miami. In that week one matchup Hollywood only played on 18% of the team’s offensive snaps. On those snaps Hollywood was involved on 35.7% of the plays. Hollywood turned 5 targets into 4 catches, 80% catch rate, for 147 total yards, avg. 36.8 yards per reception, and two touchdowns.

The next 4 weeks that followed we saw an uptick in play, as Hollywood played on an average of 66% of the teams total offensive snaps. In those four games Brown didn’t look nearly as explosive as he averaged 8.5 targets per game catching 50.2% for a game average of 44.5 yards, totaling 179 yards and one touchdown during the span. It was clear Brown had suffered a bit of a setback, which was confirmed by him missing weeks 6 and 7 prior to the teams week 8 bye. Brown then returned week 9 and finished the season playing less than 100%, in dealing with an ankle injury. During these last 9 regular season games Brown played on 58.5% of the teams total offensive snaps. Brown received 32 targets catching 25 for a total of 258 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Then the team had a first round bye to set up a meeting against the Titans where the team finally unleashed Brown. Now self admittedly Brown has said he played that game with screws in his foot and around 80% healthy. In this game Brown saw his most playing time and volume as a Pro. In that game Brown played on 85% of the team’s offensive snaps while receiving 11 targets. Brown caught 7 of those targets for a total of 126 yards securing a catch rate of 63.6% and averaging 18 yards per reception.

So what did Hollywood’s first season as a pro show us? It showed us that he is tough playing the majority of the season injured and below normal playing weight, 17.5 pounds lighter. Brown was far from a full time player when active and missed two games in his rookie year, yet he still put up a 46-584-7 line off of 71 targets, while having a catch rate of 64.8%. This is pretty promising for future success, as he finished in the top 85th percentile for rookies who ran at least 20 routes per game, with 1.8 receiving yards per route, according to PFF. Brown also led receivers in passer rating when targeted with a 134.4 rating.

Entering 2020 Hollywood is going to be one of the best values in fantasy, as he has that injury discount we like to exploit. Brown currently has an ADP of a late 6th round pick in 12 team PPR leagues, as the 33rd receiver off the board. We currently have him sitting as our 29th wide receiver in redraft making him a late fifth round pick. This is where you will have to take him to ensure he is part of your team in 2020. Many are ignoring Brown because the Ravens are a run heavy offense that uses the tight ends more than the receivers when they pass. It is highly unlikely this team goes (14-2) again this season and be as dominant as they were in 2019. This would mean the rushing attempts may come down and the passing attempts go up. Lamar has already stated he will run less and become more focused as a passer. Lamar threw the ball on average 23.14 times in the games the team won. In the 3 games they lost (KC, CLE, and TEN) Lamar averaged 45 attempts. With no other real competition at the receiver position Brown should be in line for healthy target numbers. We know the upside is there, we just don’t think he has top ten upside in 2020, but his floor is higher than most speedy deep threat receivers, making it likely for him to smash his current ADP. So it’s this safe floor, weekly upside, and current ADP which has us confident and wanting Hollywood on our team in 2020, as he will be a league winner.