A.J. Brown Fantasy Outlook: Time to trust your WR1

A.J. Brown has gotten off to a slow start, but it's not all bad. This is the week to trust Brown in your fantasy football lineup.

Hey, so I’m sorry about that A.J. Brown draft pick. When you took Brown in the first two rounds of your fantasy football draft this year, you were hoping for a star wide receiver that would anchor your fantasy roster for the duration of the season. It’s worked out about as well as a vegan cheeseburger trying to pass for the real thing. It just hasn’t passed the test.

What are we doing with the young wide receiver for Week 7? Let’s take a look at his fantasy outlook for today’s game.

You have to start A.J. Brown in fantasy

I know you’re frustrated — I am too. Brown missed Week 4 with an injury and failed to top 49 receiving yards in Weeks 1-5. Furthermore, he hadn’t gone over 4 receptions in a game during that stretch, and he had a mere 1 touchdown on the season. Besides his 12.9 half-PPR score in Week 1, his game log reads more like a backup wide receiver than a superstar. 5.8 points, 0.3, 5.3 … ew.

But hey, there’s hope on the horizon. In Week 6, Brown finally put together a solid game. He caught 7 of 9 targets for 91 yards, leading to 12.6 points in half-PPR points. All that game was missing for Brown was a touchdown.

Also, Brown reportedly played through some brutal food poisoning in that game that he attributed to Chipotle, having to receive IV fluids on the sideline. He’s reportedly good to go for this week’s game, and a return to elite wide receiver form awaits him.

During the Week 7 #Byepocalypse, you have to play Brown. I’m here to tell you that there’s reason for optimism about his outlook this week.

The matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs is a good one

Brown and the Titans take on a Kansas City Chiefs defense that has been beatable this year. They’re surrendering the sixth-most passing yards per game at 277.3. We know this offense runs through the success of Derrick Henry on the ground, and he’s poised to do what he does in this matchup. Still, the Titans will have to put up points, and Brown should be a large part of that equation.

Kansas City’s offense has looked a little out of sync this season, but it clicked into place in the second half of last week’s game. They turned it on, with Patrick Mahomes going 19-of-24 for 175 yards and 2 TDs through the air after halftime.

As mentioned above, the Chiefs are allowing the sixth-most passing yards per game. Likewise, the Titans are right behind them at seventh-most.

Both defenses have been soft this year, creating a recipe for a high-scoring affair. All of this paints a picture for Brown’s fantasy upside. Much like the game script that saw Brown tie his season-high 9 targets last week, Brown figures to be heavily involved in today’s game.

While Julio Jones is a high-risk play with his hamstring injury, I’m locking Brown into my starting lineup and treating him as a fringe WR1 with the slew of bye weeks and injuries taking place around the league. You should do the same.

Jon Helmkamp is a fantasy football and NFL contributor for Pro Football Network. You can find him on Twitter: @JonHelmkamp and find more of his work here. Don’t forget to listen to the PFN Fantasy Football podcast and check out our free fantasy newsletter.