In this day and age of rampant wide receiver egocentrism, Brandon Marshall(notes) is a prime example of what can happen when a self-absorbent target is faced simultaneously with a new coaching regime, the loss of his Pro Bowl quarterback and contractual issues. To the perpetual whiner, the series of infuriating events is a Ghostbusters-crossing-the-streams type of situation.
In terms of fantasy, owners who sink a mid-round investment in the childish wideout have, as Dr. Egon Spengler would put it, a "very slim" chance of surviving the season.
But are the odds really that unfavorable?
Marshall's preseason suspension combined with his volatile personality and general incompliance has understandably turned many off in fantasyland. Unsurprisingly, his ADP has tumbled over the past two weeks from 33.85 to 59.92 (WR23), a decline of 43.7 percent. Right now, the game's ninth-best receiver from a year ago can be acquired around the same time as other question marks Antonio Bryant(notes), Knowshon Moreno(notes) and Willie Parker(notes).
Sign the Noise up.
Despite his fiery, ball-punting temper, Marshall could be one of the finest steals this drafting season. Last year, the league's most targeted wideout was a PPR monster, totaling 104 receptions, 1,265 yards and six scores. Yes, Kyle Orton(notes) is a major step down talent-wise from Jay Cutler(notes), but assuming his mangled finger doesn't prove game-threatening he will be more than serviceable in Josh McDaniels' pass-centric system -- positive news for No. 15. Duplicating '08's campaign isn't likely, but quality WR2 totals should be expected.
Though numerous trade whispers have floated about over the past few days, it appears no franchise is willing to pay the rumored second or third round pick price for the disgruntled receiver's services. Based on McDaniels' comments before last night's much anticipated clash with Cutler's Bears, the Broncos may not deal him even if presented the opportunity:
"Sure, that's our intent," McDaniels said regarding whether Marshall will continue to be a member of the team. "That's absolutely the end game."
Inevitably, to prevent flushing millions of dollars more down the toilet, the free-agent-to-be will eventually have a "come to Jesus" moment. Somewhat remorseful for his penalty-inducing actions, he may already have. Assuming his sinister side doesn't resurface, he should be available for the season opener in Cincinnati. However, his unfamiliarity with the offense may limit his fantasy points scoring opportunities initially.
Without question, fantasy owners, like real-life GMs, covet draft picks. But because Marshall can be acquired around the 4th-5th round turn, he's the ultimate high-risk, high-reward commodity. The majority of virtual managers are petrified of what the future may hold, but so were many any year with Terrell Owens(notes).
At this point, the profit potential is too good to ignore.
Fearless Forecast (15 games): 81 receptions, 1,027 yards, 7 touchdowns
What's more frightening: being attacked by the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man or rostering Brandon Marshall? In what round does the Denver wideout become a bargain? Are Eddie Royal's prospects of a banner '09 dimming? What's your Fearless Forecast? Discuss below.
Image courtesy of the AP