Wide receiver Brandon Marshall has agreed to a two-year deal with the New York Giants, a move which on paper appears to be beneficial for both parties, particularly from a fantasy perspective. After a middling campaign which featured Marshall catching passes from the likes of Ryan Fitzpatrick (17 INTs), Bryce Petty (56% COMP), and Geno Smith (sacked on nearly one out of every five of his drop backs), Marshall now gets to play with two-time Super Bowl champ Eli Manning.
Manning is admittedly on what appears to be the downside of his career, but he played well enough for Odell Beckham Jr. to remain a top 5 fantasy WR and bona fide WR1. Pairing the taller Marshall with the speedy YAC tandem of OBJ and talented second year slot receiver Sterling Shepard could yield bountiful fantasy results.
Marshall will be 33 at the start of next season, but he was still top ten in the league in terms of red zone targets among WRs, as he was targeted on 28% of his team’s red zone passing attempts in 2016. That number could increase with better quarterback play, especially considering Marshall’s 6-foot-4 230-pound frame in comparison to OBJ and Shepard, who are 5-foot-11 and 5-foot-10, respectively. Marshall’s last great season was in 2015, when Ryan Fitzpatrick was playing well enough to net him 1,502 yards receiving and 14 TDs.
Brandon Marshall’s Fantasy Stats
Fantasy PPG (Standard)
The main issue fantasy owners would be wise to keep track of when considering Marshall was the inconsistency of the Giants offensive line in 2016, which surrendered 21 sacks to opposing defenses. Manning threw 16 INTs and appeared erratic at times in terms of his accuracy. If the Giants can protect Manning and run the ball more than they did in 2016 (NY was 29th in the league in rushing at 88.2 YPG), this should help Eli — and his receivers — to be more productive than they were in 2016.