Dynasty Battles: AJ Brown or DK Metcalf?

The RotoHeat Dynasty Battles Series pits two dynasty fantasy assets against against one another in a attempt to determine which player you should prefer to have on you dynasty roster in the 2021 season and beyond.

Next up in the series we put A.J. Brown up against D.K. Metcalf. Among fantasy football managers there is a debate as to which wide receiver would you prefer to roster–A.J. Brown or D.K. Metcalf? The debate is on in the Dynasty community as well.  Both of these wide receivers are proven top-5 talents, and both Brown and Metcalf possess the attributes necessary to finish the fantasy season as top-5 wide receivers.

Both Brown and Metcalf are likely to be top 12-15 picks in 1QB startup drafts in 2021 and top 12-24 selections in Superflex startups. The reality is both are valuable dynasty assets, but in a world where you can only select one, who should you prefer?

3. A.J. Brown – Tennessee Titans

Dynasty Battles: AJ Brown or DK Metcalf in 2021 and Beyond?
Dynasty Battles: AJ Brown or DK Metcalf in 2021 and Beyond?

Age: 23
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 220 pounds
Drafted: 2019 2nd Round 51st overall – Ole Miss
2020 Stats: 14 Games Played. 106 Targets, 70 Receptions, 1075 yards, 11 touchdowns.
2020 Fantasy Finish: WR12
Career Stats: 30 Games Played – 190 Targets, 122 Receptions, 2126 yards, 19 touchdowns.
Accolades: 2019 NFL All-Rookie Team, 2020 Pro Bowl, 2 top 10 Receiving TD seasons. 20.2 Yard per catch in 2019 (2nd).

A.J. Brown finished the 2020 season as the twelfth highest scoring fantasy wide receiver in PPR scoring with 247.5 points (17.7/game) in 14 games played. The 2020 season was Brown’s best fantasy finish after finishing his 2019 rookie season as WR21.

In 2 NFL seasons, A.J. Brown has appeared in 30 of a possible 32 games for the Tennessee Titans. He missed 2 games in 2020 due to a knee bruise. The 23-year-old WR battled through the knee injury all season and still delivered for his fantasy managers. Brown finished the season with 70 receptions, 1,075 yards and 11 touchdowns. In two seasons Brown has averaged an impressive 17.4 yards per reception.

Brown is the key to the Titans passing game along with quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He played a total of 759 of the Titans’ 1,031 (73.6%), snaps in 2020, despite missing two games. He saw 106 of Ryan Tannehill’s 481 targets (22.03%), and he accounted for 22% of the Titans’ receptions and 28% of the team’s receiving yards. A season prior as a rookie, his 84 targets, 52 receptions and 1,051 receiving yards were all team highs. In his two seasons, Brown has generated 3.72 PPR points per touch.

2. D.K. Metcalf – Seattle Seahawks

Dynasty Battles: AJ Brown or DK Metcalf in 2021 and Beyond?
Dynasty Battles: AJ Brown or DK Metcalf in 2021 and Beyond?

Age: 23
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 229 pounds
Drafted: 2019 2nd Round 64th overall – Ole Miss
2020 Stats: 16 Games Played. 129 Targets, 83 Receptions, 1303 yards, 10 touchdowns.
2020 Fantasy Finish:
WR7
Career Stats:
32 Games Played – 229 Targets, 141 Receptions, 2203 yards, 17 touchdowns.
Accolades: #81 on the NFL top 100 list in 2020, 2020 Pro Bowl, 1303 receiving yards in 2020 (7th), 10 receiving touchdowns in 2020 (8th)

D.K. Metcalf finished the 2020 season as the seventh highest scoring fantasy wide receiver in PPR scoring with 271.3 points (17.0/game) in 16 games played. The 2020 season was Metcalf’s best fantasy finish after finishing his 2019 rookie season as WR32.

Metcalf has proven to be durable throughout his two seasons in Seattle, appearing in all 32 of his team’s games. Metcalf finished the 2020 season with 83 receptions, 1,303 yards and 10 touchdowns. In two seasons, Metcalf has averaged an impressive 71 receptions and 1,101 yards a season.

D.K. is a key component of the Seattle Seahawks’ passing game along with WR Tyler Lockett and QB Russell Wilson. In 2020, the Seahawks ran a total of 1,046 offensive plays, and D.K. Metcalf was on the field for 980 of them (93.6%). On his 980 snaps, Metcalf accounted for 129 of Russell Wilson’s 384 targets (33.5%), and 1,303 of his 4,212 (30.9%) passing yards. A season prior as a rookie, his 100 targets, 58 receptions and 900 receiving yards were all second on the team. In his two seasons, Metcalf has generated 3.21 PPR points per touch.

1. Dynasty Battle Winner

Dynasty Battles: AJ Brown or DK Metcalf in 2021 and Beyond?
Dynasty Battles: AJ Brown or DK Metcalf in 2021 and Beyond?

This one is tough. Both of these WRs are entering their third season, a season historically in which we see receivers take a leap to the next level. Both are 23 years old, both were second round selections, and both attended the same college. Lastly, and probably most important, both are exception NFL talents.

When considering the 2021 season alone, I am going to give the nod to A.J. Brown. Both of these two receivers are members of an offense that feeds off the run game; with that being said, the Titans appear to have the better overall passing game. Seattle wants to run more than they did a year ago, and as a result that will impact Metcalf and the rest of the Seahawks passing game’s potential. In Tennessee, Brown is clearly the lead receiver in that offense, while in Seattle, Metcalf will be forced to share a fair amount of targets with Tyler Lockett.

Beyond the 2021 season, I am also leaning towards A.J. Brown, and the major reason is that Brown does more with the football in his hands, and in my opinion, is a better route runner. As referenced above, Brown scores 3.72 points per touch versus Metcalf’s 3.21. In terms of yards per reception, through their first two seasons, Brown is delivering at 17.4, and Metcalf at 15.6. Lastly, when comparing the two receivers through two seasons, Brown averages 4.1 receptions, 70.9 yards and .6 touchdowns for 14.79 PPR points a game. Metcalf averages slightly less with 4.4 receptions, 68.8 yards and .5 touchdowns for 14.28 PPR points a game.

Both of these wide receivers are top tier assets on your dynasty roster, but in the end when considering AJ Brown or DK Metcalf, Brown wins this Dynasty Battle by the slimmest of margins.

Thank you for reading Dynasty Battles: AJ Brown or DK Metcalf in 2021 and Beyond?

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