Is A.J. Brown playing tonight on Monday Night Football?

Is A.J. Brown playing tonight against the Bills on Monday Night Football? Brown is currently questionable -- should you start him in fantasy?

Update: As of approximately 6:00pm Monday, A.J. Brown has been declared “active” for tonight’s game.

Is A.J. Brown playing tonight? As of writing this, only a few people are privy to that information. But let’s take a moment to dissect what it might mean for fantasy football managers if he does play and the ripple effect his absence would have on fantasy-relevant teammates.

What does A.J. Brown bring to the fantasy table?

Last year, Brown was the No. 7 fantasy WR in points per game. Despite the addition of Julio Jones, many experts anticipated continued dominance for the high-flying 24-year-old. This was despite the fact that in 2020, Brown had the fewest targets of any top-22 WR. His 11 touchdowns were replicable, but also could be construed as an anomaly. Could Brown thrive if Jones took on a larger TD share than 2020 teammate Corey Davis did?

It’s been a rough season so far for the Titans, despite leading the AFC South with a 3-2 record and Derrick Henry dominating in the backfield. That’s because Tennessee’s passing attack hasn’t just faltered — it’s imploded. Last year, they had the fifth-best QB rating in the NFL (105.9). This year, they’re teetering just outside the bottom-third with an 89.7 mark.

Jones has managed to compete in only three games, in which he’s averaged 4 receptions for 68 yards and 0 touchdowns. From a fantasy perspective, Brown has been even worse, averaging only 2.5 catches for 32.5 yards while scoring once. The passing game seems out of sync, and the franchise’s top two receivers haven’t been able to stay healthy. Even if he gets back on track, it’s hard to see Brown as more than a WR2 alongside Jones, and perhaps even that’s ambitious.

What is Brown’s injury status for Monday Night Football?

This is where things get tricky. If you drafted Brown early, you might be stuck with him, because not many managers want to trade for an injured underperformer. He’s been battling a hamstring injury — an ailment that sometimes lingers for weeks. And yesterday, the team downgraded him to questionable. Did his hamstring issue act up? Is there an unrelated reason for the unusual Sunday redesignation?

What we do know is that if he plays, Brown probably won’t be at 100%. If Brown sits, Jones would be the de facto No. 1 WR, though even his fantasy production could be muted against the Bills’ tough defense.

Please check back later for updates. In the meantime, maintain a cautious approach with starting Brown tonight and even in the coming weeks.

BJ Rudell is the Fantasy Football Director for Pro Football Network. You can read all of BJ’s work here, listen to him on PFN’s Fantasy Football podcast, and check out his contributions in PFN’s free fantasy newsletter. Give him a follow on Twitter: @BJRudell.

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