Antonio Brown will miss the first half of the 2020 season, the league announced Friday. He’s been suspended for eight games after the league concluded he violated the league’s personal conduct policy multiple times.
This isn’t unexpected. The league has been looking into Brown and various allegations for almost a year. But it at least brings some clarity to his situation. Now that teams know what they’re getting into, there’s probably an increased probability that somebody signs him.
Three quarterbacks have shown interest in working with Brown: Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson. Bruce Arians (who coached Brown in Pittsburgh) has pretty much ruled out the Bucs being that team. “Too much diva,” Arians said a few months back.
Brown wouldn’t look like a great fit with either Baltimore or Seattle. The Ravens have a run-dominated offense, and they’ve got a young wide receiver they’re looking to use a lot more (Brown’s cousin, Hollywood Brown). In Seattle, the Seahawks have a pair of good young receivers: Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.
Brown is 32, but he might still be one of the top half-dozen best wide receivers in the league. On Hard Knocks last summer, he seemed to be moving around just fine in his brief practice appearances with the Raiders, making impressive catches. With that talent, some team likely will bring him in looking for a boost in the second half of the season.
The Packers have a glaring need at wide receiver, but there’s been no reports of them being interested in him.
An injury on any number of teams, of course, could change their thinking.
For fantasy purposes, it doesn’t look like a great year to be selecting a player like Brown, parking him on a roster for the first two months of a season. With the COVID-19 situation, it’s more appealing to have roster flexibility this year to deal with the likelihood of more players having to miss more games.
But there is some talent. Over the last four years, Brown has put up the best per-game numbers of any receiver in the league. Using PPR scoring, he’s averaged 21.3 points in his last 45 games – over 2 more per week than any other wide receiver in the league.
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