By all objective standards, Antonio Brown’s spectacular breakout season in 2013 was an unassailable success. He obliterated the Steelers' single-season receiving record with 1,499 yards and came within two catches of tying Hines Ward’s 2002 team mark of 112 receptions. (Source: Sports Illustrated)
Fantasy Impact: Antonio Brown is the undeniable WR1 on the Steelers. He will be Roethlisberger's first choice on the majority of pass plays and will draw double coverage most of the time due to the youth and inexperience of the other WRs lining up across from him. His 110 receptions and 1499 yards from 2013 may not be achievable this year. Per FantasyPros current projections, Brown is set for 104 catches for 1366 yards and 7-8 TDs. His current ADP is as a WR8 and the 27th player off the board. If the younger WRs excel during the preseason, this might alleviate some of the double coverage and his receptions and yardage totals could go up slightly. Brown has some upside available.
Various reports on Twitter show that Dri Archer is working as the number one punt returner early in camp. (Source: Dale Lolley on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: If this does pan out, it has the potential of saving Antonio Brown from some brutal hits during the season and limiting his exposure to injury. He is the clear cut choice to be the team's WR1 and giving up punt return duties seems the prudent thing to do. He should be a little less fatigued later during games which could help out his yardage numbers. Per Fantasy Pros projections, he is forecast to get 102 receptions for 1343 yards. A little less work, even in punt returns, should help him achieve those numbers.
Brown becomes the first player in league history to post at least 5 catches for 50-plus yards in all 16 games. His 1,499 receiving yards put him 2nd amongst all receivers behind only Browns WR Josh Gordon. The former punt returner ranked 2nd in the NFL in catches (101) and receiving yards (1,499), scoring 8 touchdowns.