ESPN’s NFC West reporters were polled to see who the division’s rising stars are. Here’s what one had to say:
Terry Blount, Seattle Seahawks: For me, it’s Arizona wide receiver John Brown. It’s startling to think how good his rookie season could have been had quarterback Carson Palmer been on the field all season. Brown had three TDs receptions in the first six games when Palmer was playing. Brown had two TD catches in the final 10 games.
Regular RotoViz readers will remember that Brown was a favorite of Davis Mattek and Matthew Freedman last year. The interesting thing is that while all of the Arizona receivers saw pretty even usage last year – they were all somewhere around 100 targets – Brown is the cheapest to draft in MFL10s right now. When you consider that the MFL10 format is the most favorable format for a boom/bust receiver like Brown that makes him even more compelling. In a typical fantasy league I might have a difficult time knowing when, if ever, I should start a player who is on a 100 target pace for the season. But when that player is going to see deep targets and end up on the good side of some multi-touchdown weeks, then he’s probably a natural fit for the MFL10 format. You’re actually rewarded for that volatility because you’ll get some 25 and 30 point games into your ledger, rather than be penalized like you would be in a normal league where your competitors email you to say what an idiot you are for leaving the guy on your bench.
I realize that “in a best ball” is becoming the equivalent of “in a GPP” although in Brown’s case I think you have to agree it applies. He’s pretty cheap and his usage profile fits. Brown would have even more upside in the event of an injury to Larry Fitzgerald or Michael Floyd. Then he might start to see something closer to a 120 or 130 target pace.