Amon-Ra St. Brown was drafted in 2021. The NLF draft guide that year wrote “There is nothing dazzling about his athletic profile or overall game, but he’s a solid football player with a chance to become a starting slot in the future. “
That held true for his rookie season; he was nothing special. The fourth-round pick ended up as WR24 in PPR leagues. With the rookie season out of the way last year, in his second season, he surged to WR7.
Is there any wide receiver this year that can make that kind of a jump? I think there is.
Is Drake London this Year’s Amon-Ra St. Brown
Amon-Ra St. Brown in his first year, had 119 targets and caught 90 of them for 912 yards. He scored 6 touchdowns and ranked WR29.
Drake London was a rookie last year and saw 117 targets, catching 72 of them for 866 yards. He also scored 4 touchdowns and ranked 38th.
The big difference was St. Brown played in a much better offense and had a much better quarterback throwing to him.
This year things look a lot better for London. He should be working with Desmond Ridder as his QB for the entire year. Ridder became the starting QB in Week 15 right after the bye week. With Marcus Mariota as his QB, London’s targets were 6.2 per game with 3.6 catches. In the four games he played with Ridder, he saw 9 balls per game thrown his way and he averaged 6.25 catches per game.
One thing that happened with St. Brown was his target volume went from 119 to 146. That may sound like a lot but it’s only 1.5 more throws his way each game. With the connection London has with Ridder that could easily happen.
London’s main competition for targets will be Cordarrelle Patterson, Mack Hollins, and Kyle Pitts. Those three shouldn’t keep London from getting his share but if they are on the field that should open passing lanes for London.
In addition, with two excellent running backs in Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier, it should be harder for any team to have double coverage on any wider receiver.
Arthur Smith has said he wants to get closer to a balance between the run game and the passing. If he can get more balance, then London’s upside is very high.
One more thing in favor of Drake London this year is the strength of schedule for wide receivers. This year, the Atlanta Falcons come in with the seventh easiest schedule for pass catchers.
If the targets go up and he has a little better catch rate that will make a huge increase in production. Add a couple more touchdowns and London should be able to climb the ladder.
He is starting about nine spots behind St. Brown’s rookie numbers. I don’t expect him to be a WR7 but he should be able to have that same bump St. Brown had and he could sneak into the top ten.
If you drafted St. Brown last year hoping for that big break out, this year you will be very happy if you do the same with Drake London.
For more great rankings and analysis, make sure to check out our 2023 Fantasy Football Draft Kit!
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