But whether he will play is still the question on everyone’s mind following recent allegations of rape.
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Brown’s acquisition by the Patriots was controversial from the start given its close proximity to his release by Oakland and quick thoughts of possible collusion. The Patriots were reportedly “caught off guard” by the most recent drama from Brown and now the wide receiver faces possible suspension.
But if he is to dress against the Dolphins on Sunday, it might not be the dream debut Brown was hoping to have. He hasn’t played a game in eight months and had a slow training camp where he never strung three or more days of practice together with his helmet and feet issues.
Antonio Brown Fantasy Outlook: Matchup vs Miami
Brown has only played in two prior games against the Dolphins while a member of the Steelers. In those contests, Brown had a combined nine catches on 18 targets for 177 yards and a touchdown.
His 19.67 yards per catch against Miami is his highest versus any opponent he’s played. However, his 50 percent catch rate is tied for his lowest against any NFL team.
Brown has lined up for upwards of 80 percent of his team’s offensive snaps over the past several years. He was undoubtedly the Steelers WR1 and one of the highest-scoring fantasy receivers of the decade.
But let’s remember this is Brown’s debut with the team. Looking back at other notable receivers making their New England debut, Josh Gordon last season had just two catches for 32 yards in his first game with the Patriots. In 2012, Brandon Lloyd had five grabs for just 69 yards. And Brandon LaFell in 2014 had no catches on six targets in his Patriots debut.
But then there’s guys like Randy Moss. In his first game with New England, he caught nine passes for 183 yards and a touchdown. Or even Brandin Cooks, who in 2017 had three catches for 88 yards. It’s tough to tell how Brown projects to contribute but it hasn’t been mostly positive in past Patriots’ debuts.
Should You Start or Sit Brown in Week 2?
Antonio Brown has been one of the top point-producing receivers in fantasy for years now. And while his involvement in the Patriots offense is unsure, he had zero drops last season and is known to run good routes against tight coverage.
However, with the possibility of him getting placed on the exempt list because of the recent allegations against him, it might not be worth losing the points by placing Brown in your starting lineup.
Not to mention he hasn’t had a training camp to prepare, rather just a tumultuous week. Learning one of the most complex offenses in the NFL has his challenges as seen in past debuts, save for Moss.
To be safe this week, keep Brown on your bench. But if you want to risk it and start him, make sure you have other capable receiving options at your disposal.
Source: New feed