Amon-Ra St. Brown's path to the overall WR1

Getting picked in around the 7th round a year ago, Amon-Ra St. Brown was a surprise to fantasy owners by finishing as a top 10 fantasy wide receiver in PPR formats. Now with the departure of TJ Hockenson, St. Brown should be set for a monster fantasy season.

Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown catches a pass during OTAs on Thursday, May 25, 2023, in Allen
Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown catches a pass during OTAs on Thursday, May 25, 2023, in Allen / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Picking up a nagging ankle injury during training camp can sometimes mean the end to production stability for one of your fantasy draft picks, but not in the case of Amon-Ra St. Brown. He picked up his injury early enough in camp that it is believed he should be ready to get out on the field in the NFL's opening game of the 2023 season versus the Kansas City Chiefs.

Amon-Ra St. Brown took a massive leap in year 2 of his career, going from just under 1,000 receiving yards in his rookie campaign to nearly 1,300 yards the next year. Yards are not the only key for St. Brown however, targets and receptions are his bread and butter. 106 catches on 146 targets were his 2022 numbers, and the targets should only be increasing. Are we really supposed to believe that Kalif Raymond is going to cut into his target share so much that St. Brown will just equal his 2022 stats?

I certainly don't think so. Unless a severe injury happens, the floor for his 2023 performance is his 2022 performance. With the vacated targets of TJ Hockenson leaving the Lions crowded offense for rookie tight end Sam LaPorta, it's reasonable to say a good portion of those targets will be between the Goff and St. Brown connection.

Finding the end zone has been something that that connection has struggled with in previous years. In his first two years in the league, St. Brown has averaged 5.5 touchdowns per year, a staggeringly low number for a team's top wide receiver. With most top fantasy options, you always have to worry about negative touchdown regression, but not St. Brown.

It is almost unfathomable that he gets any fewer touchdowns than his 5.5 average per year. Leaving only positive touchdown regression to be had. Obviously, St. Brown's path to the WR1 overall only truly exists in PPR fantasy formats. Being involved in a lot of short-yardage catches and limited yards after the catch, PPR is the most friendly format for the "Sun God".

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Finishing as the WR7 a year ago, and everything pointing up for St. Brown can only mean one thing, a top-five finish with WR1 upside.