The Steelers’ star receiver has put up eye-popping fantasy numbers over the last five seasons, and there’s little reason to think that will change in 2018. After leading all wide receivers in fantasy scoring in 2014 and 2015, Brown ranked third in 2016 and second in 2017. He finished only 4.5 points behind DeAndre Hopkins last year and surely would have finished No. 1 had he not missed the last two games of the regular season with a partially torn calf muscle. Brown’s seasonal averages over the last five years: 171.8 targets, 116.4 receptions, 1,570 receiving yards and 10.4 TD catches. In 2017, Brown averaged 15.2 yards per catch (his best mark since 2011) and had a league-high 27 catches covering 20 or more yards. An integral part of the Pittsburgh offense, Brown averaged 11.6 targets a game last season and has averaged better than 10 targets a game every season since 2013.
It’s hard to find any blemishes, but it’s possible that the emergence of young Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster could take a small bite out of Brown’s numbers. And while Brown can’t be considered an undue injury risk despite last year’s calf problem, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is now 36 and has absorbed a lot of punishment over the years. Brown’s production has dipped whenever Big Ben has missed games in recent years.
A future Hall-of-Famer, Brown continues to post gaudy stats, and he figures to do more of the same this season. He remains the top wide receiver in our rankings, and he should be a top-five overall pick in 2018 fantasy drafts.