Brandon Marshall to Miami: What Does It Mean in Fantasy Football?
How will the deal change the fantasy stock of Marshall and members of the two passing games be affected by this trade? That's what we're here to find out.
Let's talk about Miami first. Marshall obviously maintains No. 1 receiver status in his new home. Miami has been a team dominated by the run in recent years, thanks partly to the emergence of the wildcat offense in the NFL and partly to their poor receiving corps. Some owners may be scared away by the run-heavy approach, but Miami didn't give up a couple premium picks and sign Marshall to a huge contract to use him as a decoy. The passing game will revolve around him, and it's a situation he's accustomed to playing with Denver. I don't expect his numbers to fall from the 1,100-yard level, though the 10 touchdowns were a career high and could be hard to replicate.
He moves from gunslinger Jay Cutler to game-manager Kyle Orton to young wild-card Chad Henne in the period of three seasons. Henne has the makings of a future franchise quarterback, and the addition of an elite-level receiver will only expedite his development. He averaged 210 yards per game last game and that number is going to rise with Marshall. If Henne starts all 16 games, he should approach 3,500 yards while keeping close to a 1:1 TD:INT ratio.
The fantasy stock of other Dolphins receivers would be expected to take a hit, but you weren't investing in them anyway. Whoever emerges from the rubble with the starting role opposite Marshall is going to see plenty of isolated coverage while teams double-team Marshall. I'd guess that man would be Davone Bess, and he's an intriguing sleeper as the No. 2 guy.
With the move to Miami, Marshall leaves Kyle Orton behind. The Denver quarterback will have no number one receiver, and though the team will try to rectify that through the draft, not even Dez Bryant will be able to step in and be "The Man" from Day 1. Orton threw for 3,800 yards and 21 TDs last year. For 2010, we should expect closer to the 3,000 yards of 2008, while the TD total should dramatically drop as well.
Pending the addition of a rookie receiver through the draft, Eddie Royal and Jabar Gaffney are the starters in Denver. Without Marshall, Orton is going to have to throw to Royal more often, so I like him for a bounce-back season. I think he could top 1,000 yards and makes for a nice sleeper at the end of your draft.
(I know, I know: Fool me once, shame on you ... )
With the passing game taking a big hit, the Broncos should plan to run the ball much more next season. This is good news for Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter. Moreno, a Broncos first-round pick in 2009, couldn't reach 1,000 yards last season with his 247 carries. Buckhalter had 120 carries last year, and it would be a reach to expect the 31-year-old to take on more of a workload. That could leave Moreno with 280-320 carries next season, which should give him at least 1,200 yards and a handful of TDs. He's a great target as a No. 2 RB in your 2010 drafts.