Fantasy Reaction: Marquise Brown Traded to the Arizona Cardinals (Fantasy Football)

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During the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals made a splash by trading for former Ravens WR Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. Arizona traded the 23rd overall pick to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for Hollywood and the 100th overall pick. As part of the corresponding deal, Arizona confirmed they will pick up Brown’s fifth-year option. Prior to the start of the NFL Draft, the Cardinals were linked in mock drafts to several first-round WRs, but they fill the need by trading for the former 2019 1st Round pick in Hollywood Brown, who now steps into an every-down role alongside DeAndre Hopkins.

In his third year as a pro last season, Brown set career highs in targets (145), receptions (91), and yards (1,008) en route to the WR23 overall fantasy finish in 2021. Brown joins his former college QB in Kyler Murray to play in a Cardinals offense that was up and down last year. From Weeks 1-7 prior to the Hopkins hamstring injury, Arizona was among the best offenses in football, ranking 4th in points per game while going 7-0. Then, the wheels fell off. Hopkins got injured, and Kyler missed three weeks with an ankle injury while struggling down the stretch.

With Hopkins and Kyler now back to full strength and the addition of Brown into the lineup, this offense now has a chance to return to top-five status, and as a result, produce top-tier fantasy numbers. Specifically for Brown, this move is likely one that will result in high upside but come with elevated variance. Of course, he’ll be competing with DeAndre Hopkins for targets, but where Brown can really produce for fantasy is down the football field. A year ago, Murray was tied with Tom Brady for the most 20+ yard completions (35), completing a league-leading 49.3% of those attempts. With Christian Kirk now in Jacksonville, Brown should step into the field stretcher role for this offense. Kirk led Arizona with 16 receptions of at least 20 yards last year, tied for 13th most in the league. Expect Brown to have plenty of downfield opportunities, which should lead to some spike weeks, but it’s likely he’ll be difficult to trust on a weekly basis.

The biggest question mark here is what happens with Rondale Moore, who the Cardinals took in the 2nd round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Prior to this trade, Moore had a legitimate opportunity to operate as a near every down slot WR for this offense, but with Hopkins, A.J. Green, and Hollywood all now on the roster and Zach Ertz back as the team’s receiving TE, it’s going to be difficult to find the volume and potentially playing time for Moore in 2022.

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