Fantasy Football: Can Brandon Marshall thrive with the Giants? –

If Brandon Marshall’s track record holds up, then the
New York Giants
might have won the offseason by signing him to a two-year, $12 million contract Wednesday. And Fantasy owners will love the move also.

Marshall Thundering Herd
, who will be 33 on March 23, has exceptional career stats with 941 receptions for 12,061 yards and 82 touchdowns over 11 seasons with the
Denver Broncos
Miami Dolphins
Chicago Bears
New York Jets
. But his first year with a new team, aside from his rookie season in 2006, has been great.

And the Giants, as well as Fantasy owners, have to be hoping that continues in 2017.

Marshall had 86 catches for 1,014 yards and three touchdowns in his first year with the Dolphins in 2010. He improved in his first year with the Bears in 2012 with 118 catches for 1,508 yards and 11 touchdowns. And he was a star in his first year with the Jets in 2015 with 109 catches for 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Now, it will be hard for Marshall to post those kind of explosive stats with the Giants, who have one of the best receivers in the NFL with
Odell Beckham
and a promising second-year target in
Sterling Shepard
. But Marshall, who is coming off a down year with the Jets, still has the potential to be a quality Fantasy receiver.

Don’t look at his 2016 stats and use that as a measuring stick heading into this year with a new team. The Jets ran through three quarterbacks in
Ryan Fitzpatrick
Bryce Petty
Geno Smith
, who were awful, and Marshall also struggled with additional attention from defenses with
Eric Decker
(shoulder) out.

That won’t be the case with the Giants, who still have a solid quarterback in
Eli Manning
, even if he might be slipping at 36. And defenses definitely can’t make an effort to just stop Marshall with Beckham and Shepard on the field.

Marshall’s floor with the Giants should be around the stats he posted in 2014 when he was limited to 13 games due to injury with the Bears at 61 catches for 721 yards and eight touchdowns, which made him the No. 29 Fantasy receiver in standard leagues. I’d project him for around 70 catches for 800 yards and eight touchdowns, which would have made him the No. 20 Fantasy receiver in standard leagues this year.

Marshall should be considered a low-end No. 2/high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver with the chance to be a Top 20 option if things go right, and he’s worth drafting with a mid-round pick. He’s not going to replace Beckham as the No. 1 target for Manning, but he should cut into Shepard’s production from last year, which was 65 catches for 683 yards and eight touchdowns.

Shepard goes from a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this year to a late-round flier in seasonal leagues. He’s still a quality option in dynasty formats, but he’s not going to see 105 targets like he did as a rookie.

Beckham takes a slight hit with Marshall on the field, and I downgraded him from the No. 2 overall receiver behind
Antonio Brown
to the No. 3 receiver behind Brown and
Julio Jones
. He’s still worth drafting in the first round in all leagues, and he has at least 91 catches for 1,305 yards and 10 touchdowns in each of his first three seasons.

Beckham has never shared the field with a receiver as accomplished as Marshall, and
Victor Cruz
was the No. 3 receiver for the Giants last year with 39 catches for 586 yards and one touchdown on 72 targets. Marshall will produce much better stats than that, and this is a great move for Manning.

After finishing as the No. 7 Fantasy quarterback in 2014 and 2015, Manning dropped to No. 20 last year with 4,027 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He should rebound in a big way, and another season of at least 4,400 passing yards and 30 touchdowns, which he did in the two years prior to 2016, is within reach with his revamped receiving corps.

Manning should now be considered a borderline No. 1 Fantasy quarterback, and he’s worth drafting in all leagues with a late-round pick. The Giants might not be done adding to their offense at tight end with an upgrade over
Will Tye
, and offensive line still needs to be addressed.

At running back,
Paul Perkins
currently sits atop the depth chart after
Rashad Jennings
was released in February, and Perkins should also benefit with the addition of Marshall, especially if the offensive line is improved. Perkins is a low-end No. 2 running back worth drafting around Round 5 if he remains the starter.

We’ll see if Marshall can continue to produce in a big way in his first year with a new team. His Fantasy value is saved leaving the Jets for the Giants because of the quarterback upgrade, and hopefully he can make Manning better as well.

We don’t want Beckham to suffer with the addition of Marshall, but Shepard is in trouble. Overall, however, the Giants offense got better by adding Marshall, and this should be a fun passing attack in 2017.