John Brown burst onto the scene with fire during his rookie campaign. The Arizona Cardinals' speedster posted 48 receptions for 696 yards and five touchdowns, with several of those scores being of the big-play variety.
However, his production waned late in the season. Brown posted just 127 yards on nine catches the final month of the regular season, including a goose egg in Week 14. He then compiled just 34 yards on four catches in the playoffs.
While the atrocious quarterback situation played a big part in Brown's production reduction, his body also began to break down.
"At the end of the season my body started going down, I started losing weight," Brown told the team's official website. "This year I'm trying to focus on being able to keep this weight on as the season goes on."
After playing at 173 pounds in 2014, Brown said he is already up to 183 and plans to add more weight through the offseason.
The hope here is that the added weight doesn't negatively impact his speed. Brown finished as the #49 WR in standard formats and #53 in PPR. He saw a hefty 103 targets as a rookie, and with Larry Fitzgerald back and Michael Floyd still in the mix, it's doubtful that Brown's usage will increase too much. If Carson Palmer is healthy, however, the whole passing offense could take a step forward, and that would push Brown into fantasy-relevant territory.
Cardinals beat writer Bob McManaman on WR John Brown:
He's got the hunger to strive to be better and I know how he cherishes the opportunity he's getting with the Cardinals. HC Bruce Arians loves him and the respect is mutual. I expect big things from Smokey this season.
Brown finished as the #49 WR in standard formats and #53 in PPR. He saw a hefty 103 targets as a rookie, and with Larry Fitzgerald back and Michael Floyd still in the mix, it's doubtful that Brown's usage will increase too much. If Carson Palmer is healthy, however, the whole passing offense could take a step forward, and that would push Brown into fantasy-relevant territory.
Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim said he hopes it’s a much longer-range relationship.
“We have to make good business decisions,” Keim told Arizona Sports 98.7, via Darren Urban of the team’s official website. “I don’t think it’s any secret that we said all along that it is our intent to have Larry Fitzgerald retire a Cardinal. I don’t want to get into it too deep, but with planning purposes and financially, from a cap standpoint and all those sort of things, we have Larry’s [cap] number already baked into our numbers.
“Now, any kind of business decisions moving forward, renegotiations with Larry and that sort of thing, we’ve had ongoing talks with [agent] Eugene Parker and we will continue to have ongoing talks. But again, the best I can tell you is that it is our intent to keep Larry and make sure he stays a Cardinal the rest of his career.”
Reports say the Cards are prepared to carry the veteran wide receiver next year even with his $23.6 million cap hit. Fitzgerald has the Cards in a unique position, the story went on to say. If they’re intent on not releasing him, he can sit tight on the big number by refusing to take a pay cut or restructure. Of course, if there’s something in it for him to do a longer deal, then Keim may get his wish. Assuming QB Carson Palmer can emerge healthy next season, Fitzgerald will be part of a nice group of WRs which include Michael Floyd and John Brown, but Fitz is no longer an elite, top fantasy WR.
Asked about a report that Stanton would miss four weeks, Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim said it’s simply too soon to say how quickly Stanton will heal.
“I think it’s one of those things with that type of knee injury, everybody heals different,” Keim said on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, via ESPN.com. “And I know that ESPN and some other outlets have put a timeline on it. It’s extremely difficult to do. You can say it’s going to be four weeks — I’ve heard people say 1.5 weeks. Everybody heals differently. Drew will be here around the clock rehabbing, and I know he’ll be ready to go as soon as possible.”
The Cardinals are already down starting quarterback Carson Palmer for the season, and Stanton’s absence means they’ll be playing with one of their two co-third stringers, Ryan Lindley or Logan Thomas. Obviously those aren't the kind of fantasy names you want to put in your lineup Week 16. It also means the value of WRs Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown will drop a bit more.
Friday, December 5, 2014, 6:38pm
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee, questionable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 14. It appears that Fitzgerald is on track to play in Sunday’s game against Kansas City, though he’s “still not 100 percent,” per HC Bruce Arians, who also called Fitzgerald a game-time decision. The Cardinals play in the late round of games. It’s a bad matchup for the Arizona passing game, but Michael Floyd and John Brown would have some appeal if Fitz is out.
Fitzgerald’s absence is a boost for John Brown and Michael Floyd, who should both see plenty of targets in a very good matchup against the Falcons. HC Bruce Arians said last week that he should have done a better job dialing up plays for Floyd, who only saw two targets against the Seahawks. Brown has played well with Drew Stanton under center.
Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:04pm
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee, questionable) returned to take limited reps Friday after missing practice earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 13. Fitzgerald called himself “highly likely” to play, though he was apparently limited in Friday’s practice. The Cardinals play in the late round of games on Sunday, so it will be difficult to trust him if he’s a true game-time decision. John Brown and Michael Floyd would get a bump if Fitzgerald is out.
Cardinals beat writer Josh Weinfuss on how the team would compensate if Larry Fitzgerald misses another week: A second week without Fitzgerald is sure to be better than the Cardinals' first. Arizona looked like it didn't know what to do without Fitzgerald in the lineup, and it cost the team dearly in its 19-3 loss to Seattle on Sunday. If a second time around happens this weekend, I'd expect Michael Floyd to be the centerpiece of the offense. HC Bruce Arians admitted he didn't do a very good job of getting Floyd involved, which was evident by him not having a catching in two targets.
This wasn't the case in Week 12, where Floyd was only targeted twice. Arians acknowledged his mistake, and should find the going easier against a shaky Falcons pass defense. John Brown would also get a bump if Fitzgerald is out. The Cardinals play in the late round of games on Sunday, so if Fitz is a game-time decision, it would complicate matters.
Friday, November 21, 2014, 6:26pm
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee, questionable) missed practice all week and is questionable for Week 12. Fitzgerald hopes to play through the sprain, though HC Bruce Arians called him “iffy” for Week 12. He’ll be a game-time decision. The Cardinals play late on Sunday, so he won’t be an attractive start, especially in a bad matchup with the Seahawks. In fact, we’re not all that excited about Michael Floyd or John Brown even if Fitz is out.
It's what everyone feared, and assumed, as soon as Palmer went down on is own against the Rams in Week 10. It's a huge blow to the team's chances at a long playoff run. From a fantasy perspective, Drew Stanton takes over as the QB the rest of the season. As we said the first time around with Stanton, owners of Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and now the popular John Brown, must bump their values down. Andre Ellington could benefit with more carries and perhaps getting more involved in the safer, short passing game, but his touches were already approaching what many felt was his limit. Four of the next six weeks are against defenses ranked in the top five in terms of allowing fantasy points to QBs, including two games against the Seahawks as well as the Lions Week 11, the top ranked team.
Contract terms were not disclosed by the Cardinals, but sources confirmed to ESPN that the deal is worth $50 million in total. It is guaranteed through 2015 and includes a guaranteed $20.5 million during that span, a source said. The average salary range is between $15.9 million and $16.6 million.
From a fantasy perspective, Palmer is in a pretty good situation and for the most part is a lower-end QB1. He has a reliable, but aging veteran in Larry Fitzgerald and a close-to star in Michael Floyd. John Brown is an emerging deep threat and Andre Ellington at RB is an option to run and catch the ball out of the backfield.
Friday, October 31, 2014, 5:43pm
Cardinals WR Michael Floyd (knee, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 9. Floyd tweaked his knee in Week 8, but finished the game. It’s not much of a concern at this point.
Thursday, October 30, 2014, 6:15pm
Cardinals WR Michael Floyd (knee) took full practice reps again Thursday. Floyd tweaked his knee in Week 8, but finished the game. It’s not much of a concern at this point.
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