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Hollywood Brown – Resurgence in the Desert? 

The Cardinals sent a first round pick to the Ravens to grab Hollywood Brown. How will he fare in Arizona and can he click with Kyler Murray?

Hollywood Brown was a big highlight during the NFL draft after he was traded from the Baltimore Ravens to the Arizona Cardinals. Brown was a former first-round pick during the 2019 draft. Brown was a field stretch that had a burst of amazing speed to his game. He spent his three seasons with the Ravens, improving his game every year. 

Career So Far 

Brown has been a magnet for the end zone as he has caught 21 touchdowns in three seasons. In 2021, Brown finally put up close to a team WR1 numbers for the Ravens with 1,008 yards and six touchdowns on 146 targets. 

Brown has been a bit inconsistent with his game in terms of fantasy. Over the last two seasons, you could break apart his season into two halves. He has two halves as a top 24 receiver and two other halves outside the top 45 receivers. You see by the halves that Brown has yet put together an entire fantasy season for us. There was a stretch between the last six games of 2020 and the first nine games of 2021 where he was just on a hot streak where he was averaging 14 fantasy points per game. Brown reminds me of the career of Mike Williams, where he couldn’t figure out how to put it all together until his fifth season. 

The Switch from Jackson to Murray

The switch of QBs could help Brown’s long-term projection and show us possible breakout potential. If we take the three-year starting average of Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson, you’ll see Murray has been a more consistent passer. 

PlayerAttemptsCompletionsYardsTouchdownsINTs 
Jackson24437928192111
Murray352527382623.311
https://www.pff.com/

You’ll see that Brown will have more opportunity for yards and targets in Arizona with Murray at QB. Murray has also improved his accuracy each season, while Jackson has been steadily not improving. The Cardinals have completed more touchdowns (Top 10) and yards (Top 12) each year, while the Ravens have been on a decline in those categories (Outside Top 20) since Jackson’s breakout season. The Ravens’ offense also had run through the run game when healthy two of three of Brown’s seasons in Baltimore; the passing attempts ranked dead last in the NFL. The attempts haven’t been elite in Arizona, but they rank about the middle of the league. The opportunity from Brown to continue to see a high target share in Arizona is likely. 

Future in the Desert 

Brown should be set up for some great fantasy season if he can stick with the Cardinals. Brown and his QB Murray were once teammates in college. They combined for 75 receptions for 1,318 yards and seven touchdowns. We’ve seen players who played in college together also be able to play well at the next level.

In 2022, Brown could get off to a fast start, leading to a contract extension. DeAndre Hopkins has been suspended for six games, leaving Brown to see a significant target share early on in the season. While there are plenty of mouths to feed in Arizona, Hopkins, Zach Ertz, and AJ Green are on the wrong side of 30. Rondale Moore is looking more and more like a potential bust since the team went out of their way to spend a first-round pick to acquire Brown. Brown should remain a top 25 player over the next three to four seasons in this pass-first offense. 

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