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Fantasy Football ADP Battle: Courtland Sutton vs A.J. Brown

With the 2020 season approaching, the fantasy football draft season is underway. This wide receiver class is so deep that you could avoid them through the first two rounds and still get solid WR1 value. There are the obvious first round talents, but when it comes to taking your WR2 for the fantasy season, the decision gets harder. Players like Courtland Sutton and A.J. Brown for fantasy are a little tougher to evaluate, since there are questions with both.

We’re dealing with two young wide receiver talents, one going into his second season and another going into his third. Brown has a somewhat established quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, while Sutton has a young guy who has not yet proven himself, in Drew Lock. Both receivers could be solid WR2s on your fantasy team this season, but when it comes to securing that playoff spot and possibly the championship, who’s better off? 

Courtland Sutton Broncos
Credit: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Courtland Sutton Fantasy Outlook 

ADP: WR18 | No. 44 overall 

Sutton is a tremendous fantasy talent and great pick for the Broncos in the 2018 Draft. In his rookie season, he certainly didn’t shock many, but he still put up solid numbers, reeling in 42 receptions for 704 yards and four TDs. But in his breakout second season, he jumped into a new group of receivers who needed respect. He surpassed the 1,000-yard mark, with 1,112 yards on 72 receptions all while catching six TDs. 

Sutton was the fantasy WR19 last season, when he was nearly the only option for Joe Flacco and, eventually, Drew Lock. Now, the Broncos have added some new faces to the wide receiver room, drafting both Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler, so the target share should be interesting for the offense in 2020. Sutton should be the clear WR1 for the team, but his overall production could see a hit. 

The quarterback situation is still up in the air as well, with Drew Lock trying to fit into the NFL game speed. With additions like Melvin Gordon and the newly-drafted receivers, the overall offensive scheme is uncertain, and ultimately less dependent on Sutton to be a target-hog in 2020. 

A.J. Brown titans
Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

A.J. Brown Fantasy Outlook

ADP: WR16 | No. 39 overall 

Brown certainly proved to the league that he is a franchise wide receiver that can add a whole different dynamic to the game. After finishing as the WR21 in his rookie season, there is much room for improvement and potentially a breakout season for the 22-year-old star wideout. Brown has shown flashes of brilliance and the ability to make big plays when the team most needs it, but is he a true WR1 for the Titans? His second year will tell us all wanting to draft him high if he’s going to be a consistent fantasy player. 

Brown surpassed the 1,000-yard mark by 51 yards in 2019 with Tennessee, and there seems to be only improvement from here on out. He was targeted 84 times and hauled in eight TDs, with one of those being a 91-yarder. Unfortunately, the Titans are a run-first team, with star back Derrick Henry leading the way, so Brown’s fantasy value is limited to an extent. Through the last six games of the season, Brown averaged about 101 yards per game while reeling in six of his eight TDs in that span. 

If the Titans have the same high-powered offense as they did in 2019, Brown is looking at the same target share and some. He’ll likely still be the WR1 and certainly the guy to make big plays for the offense. Brown finished just outside the top 20 for WRs in PPR last year, but it’s very likely he sneaks into the top 20 this year, and has a major top-15 upside. 

Fantasy Decision: Courtland Sutton 

Although his target share will likely decrease slightly with the new additions of Jeudy and Hamler to the offense, Sutton is still the guy to depend on, especially for fantasy. He’ll see red zone opportunities, due to his size and strength. If Lock improves and works on small areas of the game, Sutton will see more touchdown-worthy plays.

I’d be very comfortable taking Sutton later in the fourth round rather than Brown right at the beginning of the fourth. Sutton has only improved each season he’s been in the league, so his ceiling is tremendous at this point. Pull the trigger, it might win you your league.  


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