Fantasy Impact: Brandon Marshall to the Giants
While it’s not official until tomorrow, Brandon Marshall can now be referenced as a New York Giants wide receiver. Kind of odd when you say it out loud, as this is now Marshall’s third team in just four years. But that doesn’t matter to you. What does matter is what this means from a fantasy perspective. Is Marshall a fantasy asset to your team or is he strictly a name at this point?
Going to the Giants benefits them as a team more than it does for Marshall’s fantasy outlook. Over the last three seasons with Ben McAdoo calling plays, the Giants wide receivers have seen a 58.5 percent target share from Eli Manning. It’s not a high number like the 68.9 percent that the Jets wide receivers have posted over the last two years with Marshall there.
It’s important to keep things like this in mind because Marshall has been among the most targeted wide receivers in football, while his fantasy point per target production has gone down. His 301 targets over the last two seasons rank as the eighth-most in the league. He isn’t going to come close to that number with the Giants.
Most were happy to see Odell Beckham Jr. get more targets in 2016, as his number jumped from 158 to 169, despite the acquisition of rookie wide receiver Sterling Shepard. Still, the Giants wideouts combined for 356 targets last season, which added up to 215 receptions for 2,796 yards and 22 touchdowns. When you start to do the math, one has to wonder where Beckham, Shepard, and Marshall are going to get their numbers.
On top of his new-found competition for targets, Marshall may have started the declining portion of his career. His catch rate of just 46.1 percent in 2016 was easily the worst of his career (previous career-low was 57.5 percent), and his three touchdowns ranked outside the top 50 at wide receiver.
We’ve seen declines happen rapidly at wide receiver before, even over the last few years. Look no further than Roddy White and Andre Johnson, two elite wide receivers you could lock into your top 12 every year. Johnson went from over 1,400 yards in 2013 to just 503 yards in 2015. White was a tad slower in his decline but still went from 921 yards and seven touchdowns in 2014 to just 506 yards and one touchdown in 2015. Johnson and White were both 33 years old when they started their decline. Not to mention, they both had All-Pro wide receivers on their teams (Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins) to help speed along that process. Marshall turns 33 years old at the end of this month and is now going to a team with All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and upcoming slot wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
It’s also important to note that the Giants really didn’t have a tight end presence or run game in 2016, leading to more targets in the red zone for the wide receivers. Because of that, it’s been rumored that the Giants are looking to take one of the high-profile tight ends in the draft. Despite releasing Rashad Jennings, they will get Shane Vereen back healthy, and Paul Perkins should help contribute in the passing game.
After hearing everything, it’s easy to wonder where Marshall’s production is going to come from. While I don’t think he’s irrelevant, he is going to be extremely over-drafted. You are better off staying away from the soon-to-be 33-year-old wideout. If you own him in dynasty, now is the time to sell.