Marquise Brown’s career production
*Based on PPR rating
Marquise Brown was a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and was selected 25th overall by the Baltimore Ravens. He became the first wide receiver to be drafted in a class full of other star players like AJ Brown (51st overall), DK Metcalf (64th) and Terry McLaurin (76th). While he hasn’t built a career worthy of those three, Brown has offered consistent value to fantasy players.
Brown was a first-round pick after two impressive years in Oklahoma. He had at least 57 receptions for 1,095 yards and seven touchdowns each year with the Sooners. His 1,318 receiving yards in 2018 was the fifth-most in college football and third-most in the Big 12. His 10 receiving touchdowns was the fifth-most in the Big 12 conference in 2018.
Unfortunately, given Baltimore’s run-heavy offense, Brown’s fantasy career was limited. The Ravens had more running plays than passing plays in their first two years in the NFL. However, things changed last season.
The increase in passing plays, particularly in the red zone, was due to running back injuries. Baltimore lost JK Dobbins (ACL), Gus Edwards (ACL) and Justice Hill (Achilles) prior to Week 1 due to season-ending injuries. As a result, the Ravens turned more to passing without their top three running backs. Brown’s goal percentage in 2021 was nearly the same as in 2020, despite the Ravens demanding 205 more passing plays. Still, he had the best fantasy season of his career in 2021.
The Ravens traded Brown to the Arizona Cardinals during the 2022 NFL Draft. While everyone was surprised by the trade, Brown reportedly asked the Ravens for a trade after the 2021 season. He stated that the Baltimore system wasn’t for him and needed a change.
In Arizona, Brown is back with former college quarterback Kyler Murray. Additionally, he will be the #1 wide receiver in Arizona to start the 2022 season. Veteran DeAndre Hopkins will miss the first six games of the season with a suspension.
Brown has two years left after the Cardinals were given an option for the fifth year of his rookie deal. With Hopkins’ long-term future in question, Brown could become Arizona’s new No. 1 wide receiver for years to come.
Hopkins is coming off the worst year of his career with 42 receptions on 64 goals and 572 receiving yards in 10 games. Now that he’s suspended for the first six games of the 2022 season, Hopkins may need an impressive second half of the season to stay in Arizona.
Even if Hopkins returns in 2023, he’ll likely be a cap victim in the 2024 offseason. Cardinals save $14.9 million off salary cap by laying off Hopkins ahead of 2024 season With the money saved by cutting the 32-year-old wide receiver, the Cardinals can lock up Brown long-term.
General prediction for 2022 and the rest of the career
In contrast to the Ravens, the Cardinals are a very good passing team. They had 4,619 passing yards last season, the eighth-most in the NFL. More importantly, over 150 goals are available from last year’s roster.
Christian Kirk led the team last year with 103 goals and a 17.4% goal share. As a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brown will fill Kirk’s role in Arizona.
Additionally, AJ Green has re-signed and is only under contract for the 2022 season. As such, Brown could see even more targets in 2023 if Green and possibly Hopkins aren’t on the list.
More importantly, Brown has plenty of long-term upside potential. Hypothetically, if he were transferred to a team like the Detroit Lions or the New York Giants, Brown wouldn’t have a young star quarterback to throw the ball to him. But instead he has that in Arizona with Murray. While there was a lot of drama surrounding Murray’s potential extension, the quarterback would be a cardinal for most of his career.
After the first 1,000-yard season of his career, Brown is heading towards the prime of his career. The soon-to-be 25-year-old had the first top-24 result of his career in 2021. Now that he’s with the passing Cardinals and Murray for at least the next two years, Brown’s fantasy prospect is excellent.
The time to buy Brown is now as he has top-12s with Murray in Arizona for the 2022 season and beyond.
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Mike Fanelli is a featured author at FantasyPros. For more from Mike see his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.