A.J. Brown Fantasy Outlook: Why He Could Win 2023 Offensive Player of the Year

He's an Offensive Player of the Year candidate in the high-powered Philadelphia Eagles offense. What is A.J. Brown's fantasy outlook in 2023?

At PFN, we’ve researched more than 350 fantasy football players, trying to identify which ones are overrated, underrated, and priced right. With that in mind, here is Philadelphia Eagles WR A.J. Brown’s fantasy outlook for 2023.

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A.J. Brown’s 2023 Fantasy Outlook

Last April, Philly made a franchise-defining transaction that helped elevate them from mere playoff participants to Super Bowl contenders. It was a masterclass in high-yield trading — the kind of move that most teams dream of making, if they only had the personnel and draft capital to optimize its payoff.

Only a year earlier, in the aftermath of Jalen Hurts officially replacing Carson Wentz toward the end of the recently completed season, Philadelphia seemed far away from a title. Hurts was still a work in progress, to put it mildly. The Eagles had gone 4-11-1.

Their three top wideouts were Greg Ward, Travis Fulgham, and Jalen Reagor. Fulgham never caught another NFL pass after that season. Ward caught only seven. And Reagor might never again be more than a No. 5 WR.

So consider how far this franchise came in only one year, almost completely transforming their passing attack through the rapid development of Hurts, as well as the acquisitions of Brown and DeVonta Smith.

It’s hard to know which WR — Brown or Smith — will have a better career. If either one played on another team, the other could be on par with Justin Jefferson. That’s not hyperbole. Both are that talented.

Since this article is about Brown, let’s try to understand his fantasy outlook and, specifically, why he might be a strong candidate for Offensive Player of the Year.

For starters, Brown only just turned 26 years old. If he’s in his prime, he’s barely begun it. His size and quickness are indisputable, helping him break tackles as effectively as anyone.

With solid hands and exceptional after-the-catch playmaking, Brown is one of the few fantasy wideouts with strong weekly 20+ point potential. Seven of his 11 TDs last season came from beyond the 25-yard line. He puts the “big” in “big-play receiver.”

Brown also operates in a top-heavy aerial attack. Smith and Dallas Goedert form his biggest downfield competition. The low-floor, boom-bust Quez Watkins is a distant No. 4 option.

This is not a spread-the-ball offense. Brown was ninth in WR targets last year, Smith was 13th. They combined for 56% of Philly’s targets. There’s room to grow here — if not in percentages, then at least in raw numbers.

That’s because we haven’t yet seen the best of Hurts. Not even close, in my opinion. Barely 25 years old, he’s still developing as a passer, as evidenced by his rapid and sustained progress since 2020.

Sure, the addition of catch-friendly RB D’Andre Swift might steal Hurts’ attention more than Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, or Boston Scott did last season. But if you believe Hurts hit his ceiling in 2022 with 3,701 passing yards and 22 passing scores, think again. Hurts averaged only 30.7 throws per game, placing him squarely in the bottom third of the league. Yes, there’s room to grow here, too.

Brown is still in ascension in an offense that probably has nowhere to go but up. He’s coming off a blistering 88-1,496-11 campaign. It wouldn’t be a stretch to assume 5%-10% increases across the board in an offense that defenses still haven’t figured out how to stop. Simply put, Brown should be viewed among the elites heading into 2023.

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