Dynasty GAAP Memo: Marquise Brown

Cody Mortensen

I am a CPA who fits the typical accountant stereotype. I enjoy writing technical accounting memos, accounting research (yes, it is a thing), and analyzing the financial statements of a business. In accounting, you often must evaluate qualitative and quantitative factors during complex transactions to forecast future performance. I have found that the outlook and rationale of evaluating business transactions parallels another interest of mine, dynasty fantasy football.

In dynasty, we are given both quantitative factors (athletic scores, draft capital, college production, etc.) and qualitative factors (camp hype, team situation, injury history, etc.) that we must consider and evaluate to derive an estimate or projection of a player. Then, we must take calculated risks based on our team’s overall financial statements (i.e., current roster and league). I could go on and on with accounting-based puns and comparisons, but I think you get it.

I will note that I will write in the form of “accounting memos.” For anyone who has not been exposed, the format is very standard. Each memo will start with the “purpose.” Next, it will outline the applicable “guidance” or accounting literature utilized and supply background. Last will be the analysis and conclusion. The goal is to state the issue and quickly address it. My write-ups will follow this same logic.gaap

To summarize, welcome to “Good at Analyzing Players” or “GAAP.” And yes, this is a play on “Generally Accepted Accounting Principles” and my wife did come up with it.


The purpose of this memo is to evaluate the value of Marquise Brown, wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals.


Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (“Brown”) is 26 and was selected 25th overall (first round) in the 2019 draft by the Baltimore Ravens. He was initially seen as an undersized burner at 5’9” and 166 pounds with a 4.3-second 40-yard dash time. However, during his time in Baltimore, he evolved into a weekly fantasy contributor in 2021 when he broke out with 91 receptions, 1,008 yards and six touchdowns on his way to a PPR finish of WR22. This proved to be Brown’s last season in a Ravens uniform as he was traded to the Arizona Cardinals during the 2022 NFL Draft. The trade was as follows:

  • Cardinals Receive:
    • Marquise Brown
    • Third-round pick (No. 100)
  • Ravens Receive:
    • First-round pick (No. 23)

The Cardinals wanted to reunite Brown with his college teammate, Kyler Murray (“Murray”) in hopes of recreating the magic from the 2018 Oklahoma Sooner season. During that season, Brown hauled in 75 catches for 1,318 yards and 10 TDs. The duo did exactly that during the first six weeks of 2022 – Brown was WR5 overall in PPR scoring. Subsequently, both Brown and Murray were bitten by the injury bug and did not play together again in 2022 or in the first nine weeks of 2023. Since then, the Cardinals starting QBs have been lackluster, with Colt McCoy, David Blough, Trace McSorley, Joshua Dobbs, and Clayton Tune all playing. They are nowhere close to the caliber of QB as Murray.

This is expected to change in week ten when Murray is poised to return from his ACL injury.

Please see the metrics and discussion points below on Brown:

  • Breakout age: 21.3 years old (30th Percentile)
  • 40-yard dash time: 4.32 seconds (99th Percentile)
  • Speed score: 90.1 (38th Percentile)
  • DLF dynasty rankings:
    • Overall: 60
    • WR: 31
  • Fun stuff:
    • Despite playing only 14 snaps, Brown became the first player in NFL history to score two touchdowns of 40 yards or more in his first game.
    • Antonio Brown is Marquise Brown’s older cousin.
    • The “Hollywood” nickname is based on Brown’s hometown of Hollywood, Florida.
    • When traded from the Ravens to Cardinals, Brown said “It’s about happiness. I want to feel like I am a part of something to win. At the Ravens, I just felt like sometimes they really didn’t need me. Regardless of if I was there or not, they were going to win games.”


  • Sleeper: Great interface for looking up historical statistics
  • DLF Dynasty Rankings: Best dynasty rankings in the industry
  • DLF Average Draft Position (“ADP”) Data: Best resource to gauge current player value. Based upon real dynasty startups.


Auditors must evaluate the quality of the audit evidence obtained. This is also true for fantasy managers when we are estimating the value of a player. There are thousands of resources available due to the popularity of fantasy football and the NFL. However, we need to remain cognizant of the quality of the evidence that we are evaluating. On an audit, as the quality of the evidence decreases, the need for additional corroborating evidence increases. Obtaining more of the same type of audit evidence cannot compensate for the poor quality of that evidence. It is important to employ multiple methods to ensure the proper conclusions are reached. To evaluate the value of Marquise Brown, this memo will perform a:

  • Look-Back Analysis
  • A Market Approach
  • A Third-Party Valuation

Please see the results below:

Look-Back Analysis

A look-back analysis is when auditors review prior-period evidence to understand estimation inaccuracies and assess the reliability of management’s estimation process. This is based on the belief that historical results could be indicative of future results.

This sentiment is following Brown around X this week with Murray returning. I would be remiss to not include this within this analysis. The table below takes the six-game stretch that Kyler Murray and Brown played together in 2022 and extrapolates over a 17-game season.

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We could project 121 receptions and over 1,300 yards for Brown in a full 17-game season. However, if we examine the dataset above, week three appears to be an outlier with 17 targets and 14 receptions. This represents 27% of the targets and 32% of receptions of the six-week population. Please see the results below that are produced if we move that week from the population as an outlier:

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This would project to almost 100 receptions and approximately 1,200 yards. This could potentially be indicative of future production.

Market Approach

Managers should utilize another valuation method to corroborate the analysis above. Another prominent valuation method is the market approach. The market approach considers the market prices of comparable assets or businesses that have been sold recently or those that are still available.

On DLF, we have various resources that can help us price players. One of the best is the Dynasty Trade Finder. The Trade Finder harvests information from several thousand dynasty leagues currently hosted at MFL. Each completed trade in every one of these leagues is collected and classified with several criteria such as league scoring, size and starting lineup requirements. Here are a few recent trades that I found helpful in deriving Brown’s value:

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To summarize these findings, Brown is worth between a second-round rookie pick and a 2024 first-round rookie pick plus other assets.

Third-Party Valuation Report

Companies will often hire third-party valuation firms to perform a robust analysis to derive an estimate of the value of the asset, for those that are difficult to value. This is often utilized for intangible assets or financial instruments that do not have an observable price. The good news is that if you are reading this, you have a third-party valuation specialist on retainer that just so happens to specialize in dynasty fantasy football. The DLF ‘Dynasty Trade Analyzer’ is a great tool to help evaluate trades. The screenshot below shows Brown’s value in terms of rookie picks.

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The Dynasty Trade Analyzer puts Brown equal to a 2024 late first-round rookie pick in value. This corroborates the conclusion reached based on our market approach above as well.


Overall, managers know that the three things that derive a player’s fantasy value are production, age, and upside.

Brown’s production has not reached his ceiling. However, he has a top-24 WR PPR finish on his resume and is currently WR20 on the season with lackluster QB play thus far. At this point, it has been well-documented that collecting multiple top-24 WRs can lead to fantasy championships.

Brown is 26 and just entering the prime of his career. He is also in the final year of his rookie deal and should command a hefty price tag this off-season. Spotrac estimates that he will sign a three-year, $57M contract ($18.8M annual salary) like Terry McLaurin and Chris Godwin, who both signed their current contracts at the age of 26.

The look-back analysis above indicates that a realistic ceiling (or upside) for Brown could be over 100 receptions and over 1,300 yards. This would be comparable to CeeDee Lamb in 2022 who finished with 107 receptions and 1,359 yards as the WR6.

When considering the market approach and third-party valuation above, I value Brown towards the higher end of the range. This is due to the intersection of production, age, and upside that he presents. I am actively trying to acquire Brown in all my leagues. Due to Murray returning this week, Brown may be a bit more expensive, but “an overpay today could look like an underpay tomorrow.” Here are a few trade ideas:

  • Mid-to-late first: According to the analysis above, this is the going rate for Brown and I would be happy to pay it.
  • Deebo Samuel, WR SF: I wrote about Samuel a few weeks ago and have been trying to sell in the leagues that I have due to the plethora of weapons in the 49er’s offense. However, Samuel (WR22 on DLF) is largely ranked ahead of Brown (WR31 on DLF).
  • Christian Watson and 2024 second: We all remember when Watson (WR 29 on DLF) had seven TDs in four games last year. I want him off my roster before people forget that and start to remember his 2023 production.
  • Rhamondre Stevenson: In a vacuum, I always take the 26-year-old receiver over the 25-year-old RB – even more so when they are on the Patriots and have not been producing.
  • Spicy take: 2024 late first and 2024 late second: I will admit that this might be a bit aggressive. However, if these are your picks and you are a contender, Brown is the perfect addition to a flex spot to push your roster over the top. I expect him to be productive for another three seasons at 26.

“I want to prove that I can be the guy.”

cody mortensen