Brandon Marshall had three touchdowns and 788 receiving yards last season with the New York Jets, despite that aberration, he is still the best wide receiver in fantasy since 2012. You read that right.
This past off-season, Marshall was released by the Jets to clear cap space. That was probably one of the happiest days of his life. I also imagine when the New York Giants came calling with a two-year $12 million-dollar deal, he was ecstatic. Talk about a change of fortune! Going from a team projected by many to go 0-16, to a team that has goals of going deep into the playoffs must be a great feeling for an athlete.
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Marshall is currently being drafted 69th, (12-team, PPR) according to Fantasy Football Calculator. That makes him the 32nd wide receiver taken, and while that doesn’t qualify this as a true sleeper, he will finish the season a top 15 guy. Everything is in place for Marshall to be successful:
- Best Quarterback he’s ever played with (Eli Manning)
- Playing alongside Odell Beckham, Jr will free him up from double coverage
- Only 4 legitimate threats for targets
- Won’t be focal point of defense
While he is 33 entering the season, and Beckham will probably be Eli’s favorite target, I feel their numbers will be similar. I could see each receiver finishing with 10 touchdowns, and Beckham finishing with more yards. Second-year receiver Sterling Shepard is also emerging as a decent player and will look to be more involved in the offense as well. Dwayne Harris will be the only other receiver that gets significant targets.
|4 yr||4 yr||DEN||61||45||542||327||4019||12.3||25||5.4||65.9|
|3 yr||3 yr||CHI||45||45||462||279||3524||12.6||31||6.2||78.3|
|2 yr||2 yr||MIA||30||30||287||167||2228||13.3||9||5.6||74.3|
|2 yr||2 yr||NYJ||31||31||301||168||2290||13.6||17||5.4||73.9|
Eli Manning could realistically throw for 30 touchdowns this year. Since 2012 Manning has the seventh most pass attempts in the red zone and adding the 6-foot-4 Marshall will be a huge advantage down there. Defenses won’t be able to double cover anybody on the Giants, due to all the weapons. It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality. This isn’t a situation like the Patriots, where any one of eight guys could catch a touchdown. Without a stud tight end, Marshall will not have to do much sharing. Beckham will more than likely have more fantasy points, but it will be closer than people think.
This year the Giants have the 13th easiest schedule for the wide receiver position. Another star lining up for Marshall to be successful. The fantasy playoff run could be a little tough, facing Dallas, Philadelphia, and Arizona, but we can worry about that if you make the playoffs.
So draft Brandon Marshall. Wait until the 6th round and you will call that great value at the end of the season. If you feel someone else might like him, and you must reach, go ahead and take him before Jamison Crowder, Allen Robinson, Terrelle Pryor, and Tyreek Hill. (All drafted ahead of Marshall).