Amon-Ra St. Brown fantasy outlook, ADP, and projection for 2022

What is Amon-Ra St. Brown's fantasy outlook and projection for 2022, and should you look to draft him at his current ADP?

One of the top rookies last year in the NFL and fantasy football, Detroit Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown projects to be an early pick as his 2022 fantasy outlook rivals the top players in the game. With the NFL season and fantasy drafts closing in, what is St. Brown’s fantasy outlook in 2022, and could he prove to be a value at his current ADP?

Amon-Ra St. Brown’s fantasy outlook for 2022

There should never have been 16 WRs selected above Amon-Ra St. Brown in the NFL draft. It was ridiculous at the time and still is today. The guy did nothing but dominate at USC, and that talent shined last year, especially at the end of the season when he went ballistic.

From Weeks 13-18, the only wide receiver to outscore him was Cooper freaking Kupp. St. Brown totaled 51 receptions in his final six games on a whopping 67 targets for 560 yards and five touchdowns. On a per-game basis, that’s 11.2 targets, 8.5 receptions, 93.3 yards, 0.8 TDs, and 25.2 PPR points per game.

It seemingly came out of nowhere to an extent, as from Weeks 1 through 12, he only had 52 targets, let alone receptions. Why did this happen? St. Brown didn’t have much competition.

When St. Brown had his blowup, it came when either one of D’Andre Swift or T.J. Hockenson were inactive due to injuries. For most of it, both were out, leaving St. Brown the only reliable option in the offense. In the 13 games in which St. Brown, Swift, and Hockenson were on the field, St. Brown averaged 6.8 targets, 5.3 receptions, 50.6 yards, 0.23 TDs, and 12.81 PPR points per game. In contrast, it ballooned to 11.3 targets, 8.3 receptions, 84.6 yards, 0.67 TDs, and 21.6 PPR points per game during the three games without them. Those three were Weeks 14, 15, and 16. Right in the middle of his blowup.

Undoubtedly, it could just be that things clicked for St. Brown right around the same time injuries kept Hockenson and Swift off the field. However, we can’t discount the possibility the lack of competition led to St. Brown’s explosion, and he had the skill set to maximize it.

This is why I am bullish on St. Brown but not pushing him inside the top 24. But do I want him on my team? Well, does the sun rise every morning?

How the Lions depth chart impacts Amon-Ra St. Brown’s fantasy projection for the season

Speaking on the players around him, the Lions have a sneaky talented offense. Well, maybe not so sneaky with them being featured on Hard Knocks. Swift is a top-10 RB for fantasy, and his running mate Jamaal Williams has mid-round value with 150-opportunity upside.

As for the receivers, D.J. Chark is an interesting addition. He broke out in his second year (2019) as Gardner Minshew’s top target, catching 73 of 118 targets for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns. Chark had a letdown season in 2020 as Minshew’s accuracy was impacted due to a thumb injury, and then sustained a gruesome ankle fracture in Week 4 of last season, ending his year. The 6’4″, 198-pound receiver is now healthy and should be an explosive option for the Lions as a dynamic vertical threat who ran a 4.34 40-yard dash and recorded a 40-inch vertical jump at the Combine.

Why I say it is intriguing is they signed Chark to a one-year deal but have Jared Goff at QB, who is ultra-conservative and had the lowest average intended air yards of any QB last year (6.6). Does the addition of Chark signify Goff taking more shots, or will Chark simply be an intermediate option over the middle and try to get him in space? Chark is my WR56 at the moment, as I need to see what happens before I buy into the resurgence.

Chark was not the only addition this offseason. In the NFL Draft, the Lions selected Jameson Willims from Alabama. Williams could have been the No. 1 WR off the board if not for a torn ACL he sustained in the National Championship Game against Georgia. On Tuesday, the Lions placed Williams on the reserve/NFI list.

An NFI designation means he will miss the first four games of the regular season and must be cleared before returning to practice. Depending on your fantasy league format and available IR spots, Williams might be worth a stash on the IR for when he comes back. However, I don’t think we see his actual upside until 2023 when they have a new QB under center.

Amon-Ra St. Brown’s ADP for 2022

With an ADP of 63, St. Brown is coming off the boards as the WR22 in PPR formats at the moment, placing him around the middle of the fifth round in 12-team fantasy leagues.

In PFN’s 2022 fantasy football redraft rankings, St. Brown is the WR27 and 66th overall ranked player. While PFN’s rankings are a consensus, I am ever-so-slightly lower as he is my WR28 and 60th overall player in my rankings. Be sure to check back, as rankings will fluctuate between now and the start of the season.

I’m all-in on the Sun God for fantasy. While the additions of Chark and Williams will come into play at some point, neither operate in the same window as St. Brown. As noted earlier, the splits aren’t great, but his talent is.

While I could move him higher, there are other receivers who I do like just a touch more or have more upside, like Gabriel Davis, Darnell Mooney, Adam Thielen, or Allen Robinson. As a WR3, St. Brown is a fantastic addition to any team, even if we do see a regression from his incendiary finish last year.

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