Over his first two seasons, Marquise Brown has been the Baltimore Ravens No. 1 wide receiver. Being that in the lowest-volume passing attack in the NFL has led to huge numbers. But he did get to an even 100 targets last year (in the neighborhood of a 25 percent target share), with eight touchdowns. In standard fantasy scoring, he finished as WR32.
Brown had at least six targets in six straight games to start last season, with more than 9.0 PPR points five times in that span. But he topped 60 yards in just three of them, and was a WR3 for fantasy purposes (WR30-full PPR, WR33-standard scoring, WR32-half-PPR).
From Week 8-11 (four games), Brown totaled six receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown. Yes, I said totaled….17.5 PPR fantasy points over that span. When Lamar Jackson missed Week 12 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, it didn’t look good for Brown to get on a better track. Then Robert Griffin III was unable to finish the game. But a fluky 70-yard touchdown from Trace McSorley saved his day and launched him on a run.
From Week 12-17, Brown scored a touchdown in five of six games (WR9 in standard fantasy scoring over that span, WR13 in full PPR). Then he followed up with two nice playoff games, as he combined for 196 yards on 11 catches.
14.4 percent of Brown’s career catches have gone for touchdowns. Touchdowns by nature are unpredictable, and his run late in the regular season last year covered the fact he averaged 4.3 catches and 56.3 yards per game over that stretch.
Marquise Brown 2021 Fantasy Outlook
The Ravens may throw the ball more this year, but it’s not as if they’re going to deviate from a ground-focused formula with the best running quarterback in the league that much. The additions of Sammy Watkins, Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace assures Brown won’t see 100 targets or a 25 percent target share this year. He has topped 50 receiving yards in just nine of 30 regular season games for his career.
Brown’s current ADPs, via Fantasy Football Calculator (12-team leagues).
Full PPR: WR47 (pick 10.12)
Standard: WR37 (pick 9.01-9.02)
Half-PPR: WR46 (pick 10.09)
If his ADP holds into the teeth of draft season, it’s easy to see Brown as a bargain. But with target volume set to decline, he’ll need to at least maintain his touchdown efficiency to finish as a WR3 again. In best-ball formats, that makes him a fine option since his best weeks can be capitalized on. But in more traditional formats, the range of outcomes includes being shutout on two or three targets any week.
Riding the boom or bust wave is part of equation for having Brown as a fantasy wide receiver until shown otherwise. This year, there will be a lot more bust than boom. There’s no such thing as a 100 percent “do not draft” player in fantasy, just spots it’s not smart to draft someone. But Brown’s about as close as it gets to a hard “avoid”, as his arrow points down for 2021.