Let’s say you’re sitting in the 6th-9th overall pick range in your draft and you know all the good running backs will have most likely been selected, but you’re looking to get a top tier receiver to make up for it. You’re up and you see Brandon Marshall and A.J. Green waiting to fill a spot on your roster. Who do you draft?
A.J. Green vs. Brandon Marshall (2012 stats)
97 Rec 118
1,350 Rec yards 1,508
164 Targets 194
11 TDs 11
A.J. Green- After having scored a touchdown in nine straight games, Green showed everyone last year that he is clearly an elite receiver in the NFL. The 6’4″ receiver soon found out that when you’re a player of that caliber you start to get special attention from opposing defenses. After scoring 10 touchdowns in his first 10 games, Green only found the end zone once in the remaining six games. Some of the problems may be from teammate Andy Dalton‘s lack of ability to throw the deep ball. On passes thrown 21-30 yards in the air, Dalton only completed 7-of-32 passes (21.9 percent), one of the worst in the league. Dalton and Green undoubtedly have great chemistry on the field, but if Dalton can’t throw deep it could badly hurt Green’s numbers.
Brandon Marshall- When Marshall found out that his new team in the start of the 2012 season would be the Chicago Bears his face lit up the windy city, and rightfully so. He would be back catching passes from flamethrower Jay Cutler, a connection that has seen much success. In their three full seasons together, dating back to his days with the Denver Broncos, Marshall has racked up 324 receptions, 4,098 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns. Jay Cutler doesn’t shy away from the fact that he likes throwing the ball to his 6’4″ receiver. Last season, only Calvin Johnson, in his record breaking campaign, got more targets than Marshall’s 194. While I had mentioned Dalton’s inability to throw the deep ball hurts Green’s numbers, Jay Cutler’s lack of offensive line may hurt Marshall’s. Cutler was sacked the fifth most times in the league last year and has repeatedly taken punishment during his time in Chicago. While he only missed one start last season, in 2011, he missed six games with a thumb injury.
Who Do You Draft: Fortunately, this is a win-win situation as both are fantasy studs, but Brandon Marshall will give you more production. You know exactly what you’re going to get out of Marshall, 100+ catches, 1,000+ plus yards, 10+ touchdowns and Jay Cutler targeting him 160+ times a year. And with Cutler having the ability to throw the pigskin as if it were a Nerf ball, Marshall’s numbers will remain at an elite level.
Michael Block is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports
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