Are we ready for some football!? Today, we’re taking an inside look at Amon-Ra St. Brown, wide receiver for the Detroit Lions. It was another rough year for the Lions, but their 2021 draft class provides a glimmer of hope. Penei Sewell played very well on the offensive line, and ARSB put together a fantastic stretch of games to end the season. The Lions are full of young talent. Will this be the year they put it together, and we see more success on the field? How will their success and new weapons affect Amon-Ra St. Brown in fantasy football?
Note: No Punt Intended will air on Wednesday, May 25th, with Special Guest Heath Cummings from CBS Fantasy! We will be covering the Jaguars, Lions, and Texans!
The Amon-Ra St. Brown Fantasy Football Breakout
A Look Back
Amon-Ra St. Brown was the 17th Wide Receiver taken in the 2021 NFL Draft, but few of those chosen before him have had the impact he’s had or as bright of a future ahead. Of course, not all rookies are ready for their big moment, but St. Brown has proven that he was by making big plays when his team needed him the most.
St. Brown set two franchise rookie records by making 90 receptions and 912 receiving yards. But that’s not all. He was the first rookie in NFL history to play six games in a row with eight or more receptions. NFL History! Additionally, he was the first rookie in Lions franchise history to score a touchdown in four consecutive games.
Not only did St. Brown set a string of records last season, but he was also an unselfish ballplayer. He was the team’s best rookie blocking receiver. Teammates, coaches, and analysts all say that this kind of well-rounded playing speaks to the character of St. Brown.
He’s quoted as saying, “Going into my second year, I think I have enough experience to have seen some things, and I just want to be able to recognize defenses quicker and be able to know what I’m doing before it even happens. Little things like that some players might overlook because they are so worried about the physical part of the game, but I think it’s so mental.”
A Look Forward
During the offseason, the Lions added DJ Chark and Jameson Williams. It’s been widely documented in team write-ups that St. Brown is excited to play with them both and thinks their speed on the outside will open up things for him across the middle. St. Brown has been quoted recently, saying, “I think adding guys like that is only going to help us.”
If St. Brown is feeling good about the future of the Lions’ offense, fans and analysts should too. When it comes to fantasy football, this could mean fewer touches overall for Amon-Ra but more wins in general for the Lions. It also could mean more fantasy points for Jared Goff, although he’s not the focus of this article.
You can compare St. Brown to the 49ers’ Deebo Samuel in how Detroit utilizes him. So expect to see that exact utilization this season too. Not only will he be looking for those receptions, but he’ll also be getting the occasional handoff because of what he can do with the ball in his hands. Certainly, Deebo had far more carries than St. Brown, but it just goes to show that he’s a very versatile player.
When a team finds ways to manufacture touches for a player, fantasy success soon follows. So while some fantasy analysts are scared off of St. Brown due to the new competition for touches, the talent he showed us in his rookie year should mean that the Lions will find a way to keep their young star very involved in 2022 and beyond.
A Look Inside the Detroit Lions
Editor’s Note: While we asked our writers to focus on one player, we don’t want to leave you hanging on the rest of the team. Here is a quick look at the rest of the Lions, prepared by either Josh Hudson or Ryan Weisse
Jared Goff: Goff is hardly the sexiest pick in fantasy drafts, and you’re likely only considering him as a weekly streamer or in a two-QB/Superflex league. We’ve seen peak Goff in a good offense (2018 Rams), and the Lions made it a point to give him some WRs that can stretch the field — D.J. Chark and rookie Jameson Williams. Hopefully, they’ll help Goff bounce back from the worst season he’s had since his rookie year. – Josh Hudson
D’Andre Swift: On a fantasy points per game basis, Swift looked like a top-5 running back last season. With the addition of more pass catchers and the loss of Anthony Lynn, there are questions about his ability to maintain his excellent receiving numbers. However, even if those do dip, we haven’t seen the full extent of what he can be as a runner, and more rushing attempts should help balance out any losses in the passing game. – Ryan Weisse
D.J. Chark: Chark was injured early in 2021, a season where his hype was already starting to overshadow his actual value on the field. Four seasons into his career, we are yet to see Chark appear in every game of a single season. That aside, Chark is a big-bodied receiver who is good at contested catches. He is a very different player than both ARSB and rookie Jameson Williams. As long as he remains healthy, he should see plenty of opportunities in Detroit. That said, don’t expect much more than a WR4 fantasy season. – Ryan Weisse
Jameson Williams: Williams is a part of a group of five rookie wide receivers that everyone ranks differently. He could be the best rookie in this very talented class. With speed that very few possess in the NFL, it’s hard to argue he is the best WR on this Lion’s team if he is healthy. Outside of his health, the primary issue is how Jared Goff will spread targets among five very able pass-catchers? Like most rookie wideouts, Williams will have a redraft ADP far too high. You should probably just let him be someone else’s headache in year 1. – Ryan Weisse
T.J. Hockenson: For the last two years, Hockenson has been a focal point of the Lions’ offense. After his late-season injury, rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown exploded onto the scene. This creates a massive debate amongst the fantasy community about how the Lions will distribute targets in 2022 and beyond. Hockenson is entering his fourth season, is coming off a season where he averaged seven targets a game, and saw his team further invest in the WR position. Is Hockenson just an ancillary piece as RB D’Andre Swift and the young WRs stake their claim? His current ADP of TE7 may not be such a worthy investment in hopes of finding out. – Josh Hudson
We hope you enjoyed our look at Amon-Ra St. Brown for fantasy football this season. You can find all of our A Look Inside articles here!
If you’re prepping for your dynasty drafts, you can also find our rookie consensus rankings here if you’re preparing for your dynasty drafts!