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Fantasy Implications From The Brandon Marshall Trade

I’ve certainly missed a couple of golden opportunities to post here.

I have covered a relatively large amount of space on this blog with fantasy football topics. But I didn’t write anything about the Donovan McNabb trade to the Redskins (McNabb’s value drops, albeit slightly, due to decline in surrounding talent and poor offensive line; Devin Thomas is going to have a huge season in 2010; Jason Campbell becomes expendable; Kevin Kolb is now an extremely popular sleeper, which I guess is contradictory; DeSean Jackson and Brent Celek unaffected and still enticing commodities).

And I didn’t write anything about the Santonio Holmes trade to the Jets (Tough to trust any Jets wide receiver because of the system, but Holmes is the No. 1 in my mind; Jerricho Cotchery may see less playing time initially, but he is still better/easier to trust than Braylon Edwards; Mike Wallace will get to start in Pittsburgh and has tons of ability; Not concerned about the impact of Holmes’ departure on Ben Roethlisberger or Hines Ward).

So, while the window of timeliness is still cracked open, let me say what I think about Wednesday’s Brandon Marshall trade to the Dolphins.

Simply, it’s a grand score for the ‘Phins. When free agency opened last month, many people were wondering why the Seattle Seahawks wouldn’t give up a first-round pick for someone like Marshall. Sure, he’s mercurial, but he also proven NFL star who is entering the prime of his career. The odds of Seattle actually pulling a more productive player than Marshall is about — I don’t have exact statistics — 1 in 46 duodecillion. He has averaged 102 catches and more than 1,200 receiving yards in his past three seasons. But no, go ahead and hold on to that No. 6 pick. Maybe you’ll end up with the very prompt Dez Bryant. He shouldn’t be too much of a headache, right?

Marshall finally gets his wish to get out of Denver. Of course, Marshall’s past attitude problems will make him quite a scandalous topic/target on South Beach. But if the Dolphins think they can keep him happy for at least 16 games per season until 2014, I wish them the best of luck.

Chad Henne began to show bit promise as a long-term QB answer for the Dolphins last year. He has a long way to go, but Marshall can help expedite that growth. I don’t think it was any coincidence that Orton was perceived as a better quarterback and a possible MVP selection midway through the season with Marshall. He can make any quarterback look really good and he’ll undoubtedly save Henne a lot of disappointment on the field. I don’t have the faith to put Henne inside the top-20 of fantasy QBs yet, but he could very well jump that hurdle quickly this upcoming season.

Jabar Gaffney may very well be the Broncos' No. 1 receiver next season. That's great news for Jabar Gaffney, bad news for the Broncos

Marshall moves from Denver’s version of a West Coast offense, which really isn’t too much like a West Coast offense, to Miami, where the wildcat is in heavy rotation. That may make Marshall start complaining for targets, but I think the team is going to do whatever it can to keep him content. I think many people reacted to this news by dropping Marshall’s fantasy value slightly just because the Dolphins are such a run-oriented team. And while it should be a blast for viewers, you have to factor in two meetings with Darrelle Revis each season.

But I realize that Marshall will still get his in the end. He’s a physical freak and still a top-10 receiver easily. With Marshall and Davone Bess, Henne has a pretty formidable over-under duo with which to work. Also, Ted Ginn Jr., who the team is now openly trying to deal, should prepare his luggage after hearing this news.

Suddenly, the Broncos’ receiving corps goes from above-average to scary bad. Maybe no wide receiver outside of Andre Johnson was more needed by his team than Marshall to the Broncos. He ranked fifth in the league with 154 targets, which is extremely impressive when you consider that he missed one game and didn’t start in two others. With Larry Fitzgerald, you had Anquan Boldin. Randy Moss has Wes Welker and Reggie Wayne has Pierre Garcon. Even Roddy White has Tony Gonzalez. Who is left for Denver? Eddie Royal, who was such a huge letdown after a solid 2008 rookie campaign, Brandon Stokley and Jabar Gaffney. In other words, there is about a half a can of lentil soup left in this cupboard. Sure, the team has to spend one of its first few draft picks on a high-upside wideout, but that guy isn’t going to be Brandon Marshall between the lines.

Gaffney ranked second on the team last season in receptions and yards. Royal has the bigger upside, obviously, but Gaffney is the safer choice if you are drafting today. He’s probably a No. 3 receiver in 12-to-14-team leagues.

Right now, I don’t want anything to do with Denver’s aerial attack, and that includes Orton. Like I said, Marshall made him better than he actually was. Without him, I think we see an Orton in 2010 who he is much closer to the 2008 version, not 2009.

The Broncos are banking on Royal’s re-emergence, a career-year from Gaffney and a quick learning curve for whichever high-ranking receiver they select in next week’s draft  There is no reason for defenses to respect the Broncos’ passing game initially. That lack of respect for Denver’s passing game could mean a lot of stacked fronts ready to stop Knowshon Moreno, who will now be depended upon to save this offense in just his second season.

Marshall already showing his love for Miami, sporting a Marlins cap while at a Heat game Wednesday night

I’m impressed that I made it through this without one self-serving line about how Marshall went to college at UCF.

  1. April 15, 2010 at 9:04 am


    Also: The best wide receivers in the state of Florida? Brandon Marshall and Mike “The Slaughterhouse Wide” Sims-Walker.

    Now all we need is for Kevin to be released and sign with the Bucs and have Darcy Johnson or Mike Merritt sign with someone. Maybe the Preds.

    • April 15, 2010 at 9:04 am

      Also: This is Abe’s account, but I am not Abe, obviously.

  2. Ruzzo
    April 15, 2010 at 9:05 am

    There is nothing I don’t love about that last photo.

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