Should you select Amon-Ra St. Brown in fantasy drafts?

As the 2022 NFL season rapidly approaches with the preseason underway, what is Amon-Ra St. Brown's ADP, and does his projection match the cost on draft day?

The 2022 fantasy football season is truly underway as drafts fire off across the nation, meaning now is the time to dive into Detroit Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown’s ADP to determine whether or not managers are receiving a value in fantasy drafts. Ending as one of the hottest receivers on the planet last year, can St. Brown find the same success on a deeper Lions offense?

Amon-Ra St. Brown ADP | Is he worth his current price in fantasy drafts?

As we draw closer to the prime draft season for fantasy football, St. Brown currently has an ADP of 66, coming off the board as the WR25. For a comparison, St. Brown is going 75 picks ahead of DJ Chark as the WR52 and 114 picks ahead of rookie Jameson Williams (WR64). In PFN’s 2022 fantasy football redraft rankings, St. Brown is currently the WR27, with Chark at WR60 and Williams at WR90. Be sure to check back as rankings will fluctuate between now and the start of the season.

I can go back to when St. Brown was balling out at USC and knew he was special. There is an element of concern about whether the roster at the time allowed for this to happen, and he could struggle in 2022. I get it, but I am not entirely buying into it as cream rises to the crop, and the Lions’ depth chart doesn’t scare me off St. Brown despite the additions.

I come in just a touch lower on St. Brown in my rankings as the WR33. Now that has nothing to do with him. There are simply a few others I like slightly better. That would include players such as Darnell Mooney, Adam Thielen, Gabriel Davis, Jerry Jeudy, Brandon Aiyuk, and Chris Godwin. The wide receiver position is absurdly stacked, and his tier might be the deepest of them all, with more names I even left off.

Even at his ADP of 66 or 67 in PFN’s rankings, St. Brown is a fantastic No. 3 WR to target. Although he does not carry the same ceiling as others, which is why he is a touch lower for me, his floor is both relatively high but should be stable. May the blessings of the Sun God shine on your fantasy team in 2022.

Amon-Ra St. Brown’s projected fantasy value in 2022

I want to be clear about something. There should never have been 16 WRs selected above St. Brown in the NFL draft. It was ridiculous at the time and made it very clear to everyone in our company Google Meet while watching the draft. However, he did, and St. Brown was the lone bright spot for the Lions as the season came to a close.

How good was he, I hear you ask? Well, from Weeks 13-18, the only wide receiver to outscore him was Cooper freaking Kupp. Does that work? 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/game. Yeah, I think this kid might be good at football.

St. Brown thrived when the offense was depleted

However, it wouldn’t be right for me not to address the elephant in the room, which is the depth chart at the time. There is about to be a bunch of numbers thrown in here but bear with me because it’s worth it. After all, contextless stats are worthless.

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 on 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/game. In contrast, it ballooned to 11.3, 8.3, 84.6, 0.67, and 21.6 during the three games without them. Those three are Weeks 14, 15, and 16. Right in his blowup.

Things changed when just one of Swift or Hockenson was off the field too:

  • With Swift (12 games): 6.1 tgts, 4.8 recs, 39.8 yards, 0.09 TDs for 9.55 PPR/game
  • Swift inactive(four games): 11 tgts, 8.2 recs, 94.8 yards, 0.8 TDs for 25.26 PPR/game
  • With Hockenson (11 games): 6.4 tgts, 4.9 recs, 47.6 yards, 0.17 TDs for 11.81 PPR/game
  • Hockenson inactive (five games): 11.5 tgts, 8.75 recs, 85 yards, 0.75 TDs for 22.4 PPR/game

Sure, maybe things just clicked for St. Brown right at the same time injuries kept Hockenson and Swift off the field. However, it’s a reasonable conclusion to assume the lack of competition led to St. Brown’s explosion, and he had the skill set to maximize it.

This is also not the same depth chart as last year, as the Lions not only added Chark in free agency but also drafted Williams. Early in the season, only Chark is the player to watch as Williams is still recovering from an ACL tear he sustained in the national championship.

Yet, if Williams makes it back in the middle of the season, I don’t think Jared Goff and this Lions offense can maintain the fantasy upside of roughly five players. Someone in the passing game will be impacted, with a more likely scenario being they all see their ceiling dip in the process.

St. Brown will still be a productive asset in fantasy

Having said all this, of the Lions’ pass catchers, St. Brown is the only WR I am targeting. Unlike Chark and Williams, who are more vertical assets, St. Brown’s intermediate route running and strength after the catch make for a perfect combination with Goff’s conservative playstyle.

The targets will be there for St. Brown, with my projections having him eclipsing 115 in 2022 to lead the team by a wide margin. As a fantasy asset, I’ll happily select St. Brown. However, I do so not expect to draft the player we saw at the end of last season. Perhaps this will be a different story in 2023 with a new QB under center.

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Related Articles