The first round of the NFL draft started off mostly chalky. The players we thought would be picked were, and nothing was extremely surprising and it was calm. Until it wasn't. Several trades with big-name wideouts took us by surprise. One of those was when Ravens WR Marquise Brown was traded to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for the 23rd overall pick. How big of an impact will this have on the 2022 Fantasy Football season?
There was speculation that with the early run of wide receivers in the first round that Arizona panicked and grabbed what wideout they could in exchange for their first-round pick. However, news came out that Arizona was targeting Hollywood regardless of the wide receivers left on the board by the time it was their turn to pick. They wanted Brown and they got their man.
What can we expect from Hollywood on the Cardinals? How does this impact the other pass-catchers in Arizona? What about the effect this will have on the Ravens offense? We're gonna break that all down.
2022 Fantasy Football: Marquise Brown Traded to the Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals Side
Arizona needed a good number 2 wideout alongside DeAndre Hopkins after Christian Kirk left in free agency. Both Brown and Kirk have played similar roles in their respective offenses and have similar career stat averages. Hollywood also gets to reunite with one of his college QB, as he and Kyler Murray both played at Oklahoma in 2018.
Between Kirk and Chase Edmonds leaving, there are 156 vacated targets in Arizona. Hollywood alone had 146 targets on the Ravens in 2021, but I doubt he reaches that mark. If Hopkins can stay healthy all season, he's going to command a lot more than the 64 targets he had last year. However, I can see a path for Brown to get close to Kirk's 103 targets.
AJ Green is on the Cardinals for another year, but he'll be 34 by the time the 2022 season comes around. He had some serviceable weeks for them last year, with two games with over 100 receiving yards and five additional games of over 60 receiving yards. However, of the wide receivers currently on Arizona, I see him hurting the most because of the trade. Green was second on the Cardinals in targets, and I think his totals will decrease, especially with Hopkins back and Brown also siphoning away targets. Let's not forget Rondale Moore may take a second-year jump as well.
If Hollywood gets 90-100 targets, I think we can expect ~800 yards and 5-6 TD, similar numbers to his sophomore NFL season where he was a fantasy WR3.
The Ravens Side
Let me get this out of the way. Mark Andrews is going to be fine. The man has been a consistent top fantasy tight end for the last several years now, and that's not changing. He will get his. I want to focus more on the Ravens' 2021 first-round pick, Rashod Bateman.
The Ravens, by the looks of it, will be passing less in 2022. They passed the ball 611 times last year, after only passing 406 and 440 times the previous two years. The main reason was their top three running backs getting hurt. With JK Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill coming back, they will be running more.
420-ish to 611 attempts is a massive difference. I don't know if they will drop a full 200 attempts, but I think we can safely say it'll be at least 100 fewer pass attempts. Even in 2020 when the Ravens passed 406 times, Hollywood still had 100 targets. If the Ravens don't drop their target off the face of the earth, I think Rashod Bateman can get up to and possibly exceed that mark.
Bateman had a better rookie season than we give him credit for. I put out a tweet a few weeks ago that demonstrates just that:
Rashod Bateman on a per-game basis vs fellow rookies. Why the Bateman disrespect?
Also, he had similar per-game numbers to Hollywoods rookie season, and we weren't burying him so?#nfl #fantasyfootball #NFLTwitter pic.twitter.com/AZ4Kr57qf6
— Garrett Ball (@GarrettBFF) April 19, 2022
I was made aware after I posted the chart that I had included Bateman's one-target-injury game in my season averages, an oversight on my part. This means he was actually even better than at first glance! If he improves his target numbers, a solid fantasy season is coming for Bateman.
That will do it for my 2022 Fantasy Football: Marquise Brown Traded to the Arizona Cardinals initial reaction. I can't wait to start drafting Best Ball teams and running Fantasy Football mock drafts!
Jesse shared his initial reaction to the A.J. Brown trade!
Check out our 2022 Fantasy Football Dynasty Rankings