Fantasy football outlook and projection: Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown

SideLion Report

Amon-Ra St. Brown was a fantasy league-winning stud late in his rookie season, but what will he do for an encore this year?

Upon being drafted into a Detroit Lions wide receiver room that looked pretty open last year, Amon-Ra St. Brown was easy to put somewhere on the radar as a fantasy sleeper. But it was not to be at the start, with less than 30 yards in four of his first six games.

Over his first 11 games as a rookie, St. Brown had 39 catches for 352 yards and zero touchdowns (WR62 in full PPR, WR83 in standard scoring and WR70 in 0.5-point PPR through Week 12).

But then, it all changed. St. Brown was used more out of the slot. Not that he should be pigeonholed as just a slot guy, but add that to better offensive design and it fostered a production boom.

From Week 13-17, with most fantasy leagues not going  in Week 18, St. Brown was WR2 in PPR scoring (0.5-point and full), behind only Cooper Kupp. He was WR3 in standard scoring, with Ja’Marr Chase narrowly overtaking him as WR2 over that stretch.

Over the final six weeks (Week 13-18), St. Brown had 51 receptions for 560 yards and five touchdowns as he averaged over 11 targets per game.

Amon-Ra St. Brown 2022 fantasy outlook

First things first. St. Brown will not maintain the massive target share he had down the stretch last year. DJ Chark was added in free agency. T.J. Hockenson and D’Andre Swift were out for all or a big chunk of the final games last season, and they will be two top passing game targets for Jared Goff. When rookie Jameson Williams (torn ACL) is healthy, he’ll command looks too.

With that out of the way, St. Brown is too good a player to just totally fade away and history based on what he did as a rookie is on his side. Where he’ll largely operate, in short areas in the middle of the field, was shown to be and still is a nice match for what Goff does best.

Here are St. Brown’s ADPs right now (Aug. 20).

Fantasy Pros: WR20, No. 55 overall (standard), WR25, No. 66 overall (PPR)
Fantasy Football Calculator: WR33, pick 7.06, 12-team full PPR)
Underdog Fantasy (via FTN Fantasy): WR31, pick 59.8

Fifth/sixth round looks to be the wheelhouse to draft St. Brown, possibly (if not likely) as your WR3. Previously, well back in the offseason, I drew a line around WR20 where he would cross into not being a good draft value.

A bet on St. Brown as the Lions’ target and reception leader this year is a better one than you may think. Even with a reduction in share, a better offense all-around will keep plenty of looks coming his way.

Amon-Ra St. Brown 2022 projection: 104 receptions, 1,093 yards, 6 TD

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