In a move that shakes up the wide receiver and quarterback positions in fantasy circles, the Denver Broncos have traded Brandon Marshall to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for two second-round picks.
Marshall had emerged as one of the better fantasy wideouts in the league during his time in the Mile High City, and I don’t see there being much of a change in value with his new team. He’ll instantly become the top option in the Dolphins pass attack and remains a No. 1 fantasy option in both standard and PPR leagues.
Dolphins QB Chad Henne will see a spike in value with a big playmaker at his disposal. He showed flashes of potential last season with the likes of Davone Bess, Ted Ginn and Brian Hartline, so the addition of Marshall makes Henne a more attractive No. 2 quarterback.
Bess, a PPR machine in his first two seasons, shouldn’t see a major decrease in value. In fact, the presence of Marshall should help him on the field. The same can’t be said of Hartline, who is now worth little draft consideration.
What Marshall leaves behind in Denver are a lot of question marks. Obviously, Kyle Orton loses a lot of his luster in fantasy drafts. In fact, he’s now no more than a low-end No. 2 fantasy quarterback with little statistical upside.
If the Broncos aren’t in contention for a postseason berth, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Orton pulled in favor of Brady Quinn down the stretch. That scenario alone makes Orton a risk.
The absence of Marshall does improve the value of Eddie Royal and Jabar Gaffney, who figure to start for coach Josh McDaniels.
At least for now.
Royal was a major fantasy sleeper in his rookie season, but a drastic decrease in production turned him into waiver-wire fodder in 2009. While I don’t see him becoming a superstar, Royal will see far more targets in the offense and is now worth a look as a No. 3 fantasy wideout.
As for Gaffney, he knows McDaniels’ offense very well and will be worth a late-round pick on draft day. Of course, that would change if the Broncos decide to take Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant with the No. 11 overall selection in next week’s draft.