Fantasy High 5: Brandon Marshall, Adrian Peterson, and Busts

Fantasy High 5: Weekly Fantasy Discussion

This is a bonus Tuesday edition of Gridiron Experts weekly article Fantasy High 5, where we talk about Fantasy Football buzz stories, NFL news, and discuss reader questions. Have a question? Send us a tweet: @GridironExperts

Question 1: Will Brandon Marshall Be A Top 5 Fantasy WR?

Jody SmithBrandon MarshallJody Smith: Yes, he can. Project the numbers out when these two played together and the season average is over 106 catches and 1300 yards. The increased looks and improved surrounding cast should keep Marshall happy and out of trouble.
Resize of 55b2470c9c1b6a37c168758c8b014d92Zhan Mourning: Barring any injury, I would say absolutely. Look at the stats for both Cutler and Marshall last time they played together. Fantasy football goodness.

Jonathan TaylorJon Taylor: No, Matt Forte will continue to be the centerpiece to the Bears offense. History is also against Marshall, traditionally receivers do not perform as well as expected in their first season with their new team, this is not just due to lack of familiarity with the QB but also due to having to adjust to the new scheme and verbiage. I think Marshall will end the year in the 15-20 zone of top scoring WRs.
ConnorConnor Smith: I don’t see why not. The man was a top-15 type catching passes from Chad Henne. I also love the idea of Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey on the field together. Having those two behemoths at receiver pretty much neutralizes press coverage as a defensive option.

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Robert MadeyaRobert Madeya: For me it’s a definite yes. Marshall will be Cutlers go to guy especially when the offensive line is struggling. Cutler actually has weapons to use this year and you can tell from his demeanor in camp he can’t wait to use them, especially Marshall.
Shawn LiShawn Li: No, for god sakes no! Something to look at the last several years with Cutler with the Bears is that the only top producing fantasy player on that team has been Matt Forte. Mike Martz couldn’t turn Chicago into the Greatest Show on Frozen Tundra, and the Marshall addition will be no different. Brandon will be a nice WR2 or Flex but top 5? No.

Brian JerzakBrian Jerzak: If the offensive line can keep Cutler upright – that is a big if – Marshall is top ten, top five might be a little high.




Question 2: Which Rookie Will Have the Biggest Impact?

Jody SmithFantasy Football RookiesJody Smith:Trent Richardson is the obvious pick. He’s a big-time talent and will get a heavy workload. Another contender is Doug Martin, who has already been awarded the starting gig. Schiano likes versatile backs and Martin fits that bill.

Resize of 55b2470c9c1b6a37c168758c8b014d92Zhan Mourning: Doug Martin. Has a better all around situation than Richardson and has Blount to help keep him fresh. Richardson will be ran into the ground.
Brian JerzakBrian Jerzak:  I am going to go out on a limb here and say Coby Fleener. He might not put up the numbers like Richardson, but could be a top ten tight end in the league.

3b3abadf5677123cba530df3a19f4ee3Matt Lechnar:
 I have to say that Doug Martin could be a big-time player. The guy can do it all, and the coaches in Tampa clearly don’t trust Blount. Another guy I like is Alshon Jeffery in Chicago, but rookie wide receivers tend to struggle.

Jonathan TaylorJon Taylor: I love the Doug Martin and Coby Fleener shouts. Richardson is on a bad team in the worst division to be a RB, this will unfortunately limit his numbers. I would also like to mention “redshirt rookie” as Coach Ken Whisenhunt calls him, Ryan Williams. Williams is in a great situation to have a breakout year, and reports from Cardinals pre-season workouts calling Williams the “hardest working player” only gives him a better chance to breakout.

ConnorConnor Smith: Paint me cardinal and call me a homer, but I like Fleener too. I’ll stop short of calling him a Gronk-like presence in the endzone, but Fleener is a man’s man on a short field. Dude is really big and can really jump. Oh yeah, and I hear he’s already a little familiar with his quarterback or something.
Mike RodirguezMike Rodriguez: I don’t get the Fleener buzz? I’m sure he will be great one day, but I don’t see the Colts getting into the redzone very often this year. There is no threat of a running game, which in my opinion is the ultimate life saver for any rookie QB. Overall I think Fleener will be a 400 yard 5 TD type of player. The biggest impact player will be T-Rich by far. Jody is right, he is the obvious pick and for good reason: the man is a truck and will get 20-25 touches a game. Fans hate the fact that he is on the Browns, yet 4 yards a carry makes even the most modest passing game easy to manage. The Browns are not flashy, but they will wear you out, beat you down, and put up points.

Shawn LiShawn Li: If you just go with Impact, than it has to be RGIII or Andrew Luck. I think RGIII has the better fantasy year based on the team around him, plus his 400+ rushing yards and TD’s. Washington is a better team than Carolina, and RGIII is a better player than Cam Newton, and Mike Shanahan is a better Coach than Rivera. He will have a better year than Cam, at least in wins. That’s my bold prediction of the year.



Question 3: Is Drafting a TE in the First Round Way Too Early, Or Sound Strategy?

3b3abadf5677123cba530df3a19f4ee3Jimmy GrahamMatt Lechnar: I’m all for taking Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham as early as pick 10. If you can justify taking Calvin Johnson in the first, how can you even question taking one of these guys in the first? Gronk has unlimited potential, a mastermind coach and a neurosurgeon quarterback. Not to mention the weapons around him to limit double teams. This isn’t even a question for me.

Mike RodirguezMike Rodriguez: Vernon Davis had 13 touchdowns in 2009, then followed it up with 7. The Tight End position is too unpredictable, but at the same time is a very deep position. I would much rather draft 2 productive TE’s in the 10th and 11th round.

Jody SmithJody Smith: Too early; Tight End is the deepest position in fantasy football and owners who grab a TE/QB in the first two rounds are at a distinct disadvantage in the thinnest and most important position in fantasy- running back. You can get quality starting tight ends in rounds 7-9 in 2012.

Brian JerzakBrian Jerzak: No way am I taking a TE in the first round. The end of the second is the earliest I would go.
Jon If Calvin Johnson is off the board then I have Gronk and Graham as the next best two receivers. In PPR leagues I would also take a good look at Aaron Hernandez at the end of the first as he will likely get ~100 catches next year as well as taking some goal-line carries.

Shawn LiShawn Li: Way, way, way too early. Gronk and Graham are going in the first two rounds which is ridiculous. Teams frankly were ill equipped to handle large, fast, athletic WR-like Tight ends last year, but that will not be the case this year. Every team did what they could to add speed and depth to the Safety position specifically to handle these guys. JASON WITTEN’S ADP IS IN ROUND 8! Round one is way too early.

Robert MadeyaRobert Madeya: I wouldn’t say way too early, but I think the second round is just about right. Especially if you want Graham or Gronk. Other than those two every other TE should be the fourth round or later.


Question 4: Name One Fantasy Stud That You Will Avoid.

Mike Rodirguezwet floorMike Rodriguez:  Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson. I don’t like many fantasy RB’s this year. Outside of the top 3 (McCoy, Rice, and Foster) there are too many question marks.

Jody SmithJody Smith: Not trying to beat up on Rob Gronkowski, but there’s no way I’ll own him in any league because he won’t last long enough before I would justify spending a pick on a tight end. I also feel that there’s little chance he can repeat those gaudy numbers from last season.

Resize of 55b2470c9c1b6a37c168758c8b014d92Zhan Mourning: Calvin Johnson. Too many other players at other positions I’d rather have where you have to take him. WR are the deepest postition there is this year, and you will have Victor Cruz type WRs that come out of the woodwork every year. I’d rather take a lottery ticket on guys late and grab a top QB, RB, or TE.

3b3abadf5677123cba530df3a19f4ee3Matt Lechnar:
 Calvin Johnson for sure, there are just way too many quality receivers to use a first-rounder on him. Not that I don’t like the Lions (I had Stafford and CJ last season), but I think I’ll generally be avoiding Matt Stafford, too. Maybe it’s just me, but he still carries a bit of an injury risk tag in my book. Last year was amazing for him, but it’s still only one year. I’d like to see him do it again before I lay down a second-round pick for him.


Brian JerzakBrian Jerzak:  Michael Vick – he is bound to miss at least a couple of games and he is too inconsistent for me.

Jonathan TaylorJon Taylor:  MJD – his contract situation has gotten messy, he can’t benefit from holding out so I want to avoid trying to guess how much of an effect it will have on his numbers.

ConnorConnor Smith: Any first-round RB not named Foster, McCoy, or Rice. Too many quality mid-rounders to justify spending a top pick on a Ryan Mathews or a Chris Johnson.

Robert MadeyaRobert Madeya: Until MJD resolves his contract dispute you have to be leery of using an early pick on him. In first or second round there are quite a few RBs that are just as good or better than MJD. You can’t take a chance with a first or second round pick on a guy that may not be very motivated to play, or may even miss a few weeks.

Shawn LiShawn Li: Andre Johnson. I am down on him every year and this year is no different. He has huge games which always average out his season totals to look semi decent, but I dare you to look at previous injury reports, and there is nary a one that he is not on. He is a game time decision almost every week and just widely too inconsistant to warrant a super high draft position. Plus, Matt Schaub had a pretty serious injury last year. Draft Arian Foster instead.


Question 5: What kind of numbers do you project for Adrian Peterson?

ConnorAdrian PetersonConnor Smith: Damn, this is hard to project. Could be a 500-yard, 4-TD season, could be a 1500-yard, 14-TD season. My only advice is to do whatever it takes to get Gerhart if you’ve got Peterson.
Jody SmithJody Smith: I don’t think he’ll be on the PUP list, but will be spelled often by Toby Gerhart. A realistic projection for me would be 900 yards and 6 rushing scores.

Brian JerzakBrian Jerzak: The offense is going to be a work in progress, but he is too good not to put up at least decent numbers. 1000 total yards and 8 total touchdowns.

Jonathan TaylorJon Taylor: I would think he will post numbers in the 800-1000 yds and 5-8 TDs region. Due to this, I would not consider drafting him until the 3rd round.

Robert MadeyaRobert Madeya: With the injury he sustained it’s very hard to say. I would really look to see what kind of preseason he has and how the Vikings use him. I’m sure they will hold him back a little, but if anyone can bounce back quickly from that type of injury it’s Peterson. My projection is 1100 to 1200 yards and 9 to 10 touchdowns.

Shawn LiShawn Li: The injury is troubling, but the good news is he sounds really hungry. In a recent interview, he sounded genuinely angry at the lack of playing time he was being allowed by the coaching staff. Peterson should not have been playing at the end of the year last year, and the team knows it. They are not going to make the same mistake twice and they will use Adrian as little as possible at the beginning of the year, with a lot of Peyton Hillis…. errr Toby Gerhart mixed in. Sub 1000 yards rushing, 8TD’s. 8-10 point average per game, but a ton of that coming later in the year. Don’t draft him, and trade low for him instead week 4 when he has yet to rush for 100 yards in a game.


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