Antonio Brown's 2014 Season Was More Ridiculous Than You Probably Realize

Antonio Brown had a huge season last year, but it may be even better than you remember.

Since the turn of the century, only Randy Moss was better.

That's how good Antonio Brown's 2014 campaign was, both in real and fantasy football.

(Speaking of which, if you're looking for a great place to play fantasy football this year, you should check out the Fantasy Football Players Championship. The FFPC is the leader in season-long fantasy football, paying out over $25 million in prizes since 2008. Just last year alone, the FFPC ran over 1,100 12-team leagues, paying out over $5 million in prizes. Leagues start as low as $35, and entry fees go up all the way to $10,000. Check it all out at

Let me explain. We have a metric here at numberFire called Net Expected Points (NEP), which measures how well a player does versus expectation. Before reading on, make sure you see how it works by taking a look at our glossary.

Last season, Brown finished with a Reception NEP of 151.91 and a Target NEP of 99.21. This means that, when compared to expectation, Brown added roughly 152 points on catches only, and when you include incomplete passes or interceptions, his expected points added sat at 99.21.

Without context, that probably doesn't mean much. Let's put it into context.

Since 2000, 2,774 wide receivers in our database have recorded a Reception NEP score in a single season -- nearly 2,800 instances. Antonio Brown's Reception NEP of 151.91 ranks sixth. His Target NEP, which factors in all the negative plays, too, ranked fifth.

To you Antonio Brown haters out there (hopefully those don't exist), this isn't just volume-driven, either. Among the top-six Reception NEP seasons over the last 15 years, his per-target NEP ranked right in the middle. You could argue -- and I mentioned this at the start -- that Randy Moss is the only wide receiver with a better season over this time, when you factor in Target NEP and overall efficiency.

YearNameRecRec NEPTargetsTarget NEPRec NEP/TargetCatch Rate
2003Torry Holt117168.5518395.200.9263.93%
2012Calvin Johnson122162.5620485.040.8059.80%
2002Marvin Harrison143161.3020592.500.7969.76%
2007Randy Moss98156.95159101.160.9961.64%
2003Randy Moss111155.2117294.640.9064.53%
2014Antonio Brown129151.9118199.210.8471.27%

As I said, this translated to the fantasy football world as well. Brown finished with 10 top-12 performances last season (WR1 in 12-team PPR leagues), which was three more than any other wide receiver in football. He also had 13 top-24 performances, which is two more than the best fantasy wide receiver from two seasons ago.

Brown's season was special, and probably more special than most remember. There's a reason he's the top wideout in our draft kit.