Prior to the 2016 season I conducted a study on elite WRs and and wrote on article that encapsulated the history of elite WR performance. I looked at the age of decline in WRs who had multiple top-12 seasons versus WRs who only had one. The results were significant, and Brandon Marshall was one of those players with multiple top-12 seasons. After reflecting on this information, it is easy to project Marshall as a WR2 this season.
My study showed that the average age of the final fantasy relevant WRs who had multiple top-12 finishes, was 32.8. Marshall just turned 33 in March of this year, and he is now teamed up with the best QB to ever throw him the ball and he has arguably the best WR in the game, in Odell Beckham Jr., lining up across from him. This means single coverage for Marshall in a high-volume throwing offense. So that begs the question, what kind of production can we expect from Marshall this season? And, how does that implicate his dynasty value?
Since Ben McAdoo took over the Giants offense in 2014, Eli Manning’s passing attempts have gone up to 606 attempts per season. This number is up significantly from his career average of 535 attempts his previous 9 seasons. He has also been averaging 4,291 yards and 30 TDs per season since 2014. With Beckham Jr. eating up a yearly average of 1,374 yards and 11.5 TDs, that leaves a total of 2,917 yards and 18.5 TDs up for grabs between Marshall, Sterling Shepard, and the remaining RBs and TEs and role player WRs. Since 2014, the Giants slot receivers, TEs, RBs, and other role player WRs have accumulated 32.5% of Manning’s passing TDs or 9.75 TDs a season. Using these numbers, this would leave Marshall with a remaining 8.75 TDs available to him.
If we assign those 9 TDs to Marshall, and also take into account that he has accumulated over 1,000 yards in each season he has joined a new team, it is easy to get behind the idea of Marshall as a WR2. The Giants number 2 WR has also averaged 64 receptions since 2014. When we add all of those numbers up, we end up with a Rishard Matthews 2016-type of season. 65 receptions, 945 yards, and 9 touchdowns, good for the WR19 on the season. I believe with Marshall’s big frame, and the fact that he is the only red zone threat on the offense, he could catch more than those 9 touchdowns and approach high-end WR2 territory.
On my contending dynasty teams I am looking to acquire Marshall for a late 2nd round pick to make a championship run. If you own Marshall on a team that isn’t competing this season, I’d try to sell for a mid-to-late 2nd and a throw in player prior to the draft. If that can’t be accomplished, it would be wise to try and move him to a contender this fall after he has a 2 TD game on primetime. On the contending teams I already own Marshall, I’d be hard-pressed to move him for less than a high 2nd round pick due to his projected production in 2017. Either way, we will get to enjoy watching one of the greats play for at least one more season.