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ADP Showdown: Marquise Brown vs. Julian Edelman


It is mid-August and that means NFL teams are reporting for camp and fantasy football drafts are just around the corner. Normally, we could be discussing preseason performances in these articles, but alas, 2020 has brought us into a different world.  Leading up to drafts, it is very important to gather the most current ADP data in order to draft the best team possible. You will want to examine where particular guys are being taken to determine if you can wait for better value in a later round or if a particular player fits your style more than another player in the same round. This strategy is crucial for having the best possible draft and for winning a championship down the road. In this article, we will examine two wide receivers that are being drafted at similar points to determine which is the best option.

The two wide receivers we are talking about bring solid qualities to the table and should have great seasons in 2020. They are Marquise Brown of the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriot Julian Edelman. Marquise Brown is entering his second season in the league and is looking to improve upon a solid rookie season where he was second on the team in targets and receiving yards. Edelman has been a mainstay in New England, but will be entering his first season without Tom Brady at the helm. In 2019, Edelman led the team in targets, receptions, yards, and receiving touchdowns. Whether or not he can do this again in 2020 and at the same rate is up for debate, but we will certainly dive into his metrics to determine how likely it is.

Both of these receivers have very similar ADPs as you will see below, but does one offer more upside than the other, or is one a more reliable source for production than the other? We will take a look at both players and determine which might be the best fit for your fantasy team in 2020.

 

Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens

ADP: WR30 (Overall 77) 

Marquise Brown performed admirably in 2019, especially considering it was his rookie season. He hauled in 46 of 71 targets for 584 yards and seven scores in 14 games. This performance was good enough to rank him eighth in yards and third in touchdowns among rookie wide receivers. He established himself as a ridiculous deep threat as noted by his eight catches of 20-plus yards and four catches of 40-plus yards.

In the same breath, he ranked in the top 36% of the league in terms of air yards per game (53.8) and top 27% in terms of percentage of team air yards (20.9%). Another positive note is the confidence Lamar Jackson had in him as expressed via his 71 targets, which ranked second on the Ravens behind only Mark Andrews and also ranked him in the top 23% of the league in terms of team target percentage.

In 2020, Brown should only improve upon these numbers as he gains another year of experience in the Ravens' system. He is listed atop the Ravens' depth chart at wide receiver and has little in the way of competition for targets aside from Andrews. He currently has an ADP of 77 in PPR leagues and is being taken as the 30th wide receiver off the board. His ADP should be monitored also as it has actually been falling in recent days as noted by the below chart. With another year of development and a step forward in 2020, he could easily find himself in the top 25 or higher at the position.

Julian Edelman, New England Patriots

ADP: WR 33 (Overall 83)

Julian Edelman has been a staple of the New England offense since 2013. In 2019, he led the team in targets (153), receptions (100), receiving yards (1,117), and receiving touchdowns (6). He averaged over 88 air yards per game and accounted for over 32% of the team's total air yards, which ranked him in the top 14% and eight percent of the league's receivers, respectively.

He is by far the best receiving option incoming quarterback Cam Newton will have in 2020. Newton and Edelman could be a match made in heaven. Over the previous two seasons (2018 included since Newton missed most of 2019), Newton had an average depth of target right around the eight-yard mark. This matches up great with Julian Edelman, who has posted an aDOT of 7.8 and 9.2 in the previous two seasons, respectively.

Edelman should be able to acquire the ball in the same areas as he has grown accustomed to, assuming Newton is the starter in 2020. The Patriots also have little in the way as far as threats to Edelman's targets are concerned. N'Keal Harry is listed second on the depth chart, but he only posted a 52% catch rate, which ranked in the bottom 17% of the league, and he was also not a focal point in the offense throughout the season due to his unreliability.

Before getting released, Mohamed Sanu was listed third on the depth chart and was also used somewhat sparingly in 2019 as he caught just 26 of 47 targets for 207 yards and one score while with the Patriots for eight games. Whoever replaces Sanu will surely absorb some targets, but it shouldn't be any significant threat to Edelman's value in 2020. Edelman will still be the man moving forward and his draft price of ADP 83 and wide receiver 33 reflect this concept.

 

The Verdict

The verdict on these two talented receivers is not so clear-cut. Honestly, this is going to come down to what type of league you play in as well as what type of variance you are willing to accept. Each week, Edelman is going to have a nice built-in floor that many fantasy players have come to expect and enjoy. Brown will likely have a higher ceiling most weeks and can simply blow the doors off a defense.

If you are playing in a PPR league, the recommendation would be to take Edelman here as he will catch plenty of passes most weeks and help stabilize your fantasy team. Marquise Brown makes for a great best ball target as he will have some massive games in 2020, which will certainly help propel your team to victory during those weeks. If he fails to have a big week, it will not be as devastating as someone will have hopefully picked up his slack.



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Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More