Corey Davis is opening training camp on the PUP list. This should only increase the demand for A.J. Brown, who looked pretty special as a rookie. Brown is one of those second-year pass catchers who could be ready to emerge as a true superstar.
Once upon a time, Davis (picutred) was a top-5 overall pick, and he’s shown flashes of that kind of talent during his career. He’s come up huge in home wins against the Patriots and Eagles a few years back, and he caught a couple of touchdowns in a playoff loss at Foxboro when he was a rookie.
But Davis has had problems with injuries and simply wasn’t productive enough last year. Ryan Tannehill got that passing game rolling pretty good last year, but Davis wasn’t much of a factor during that run. In his 12 games with Tannehill at quarterback, Davis caught 33 passes for 432 yards and 2 TDs. Yawn.
No surprise that the Titans declined to pick up his fifth-year option (which would have put him under contract for $16 million in 2021). He’ll be a free agent next spring. (Contract-year guy, if that’s your thing.)
The Titans haven’t disclosed the injury causing Davis to be sidelined at the start of camp. Presumably he’ll be healthy long before the opener, but he looks like nothing more than a late-round gamble for fantasy purposes (a player who won’t even be selected in many drafts).
Brown looks like the clear No. 1 option in this passing game now. He made a ton of big plays as a rookie, catching 52 passes for 1,051 yards and 8 TDs, plus a 47-yard touchdown on a run. He’s not a speedy burner but still averaged an eye-popping 20.2 yards per catch.
For Brown to put up elite-type PPR numbers, however, he’ll likely need to see a larger workload. He caught only 52 passes last year, and that kind of player doesn’t tend to dominate in fantasy formats giving points for catches.
In the last 20 years, only six wide receivers have finished with top-20 numbers while catching fewer than 60 passes.
Brown is a neat player. I like the talent. But with Tennessee having a conservative, run-oriented scheme, I’m leery of him being able to put up numbers on par with where he’ll be selected.
|TOP-20 RECEIVERS WITH FEWER THAN 60 CATCHES|
|2018||Tyler Lockett, Sea.||57||965||16.9||10||222.4||16|
|2008||Vincent Jackson, S.D.||59||1,098||18.6||7||217.7||19|
|2007||Greg Jennings, G.B.||53||920||17.4||12||217.0||18|
|2010||DeSean Jackson, Phil.||47||1,056||22.5||8||211.0||20|
|2011||Laurent Robinson, Dall.||54||858||15.9||11||205.8||20|
|2017||JuJu Smith-Schuster, Pitt.||58||917||15.8||8||197.7||20|