Two guys who are in their thirties continue to get overlooked from a fantasy perspective. Two guys who I have ranked extremely close to one another. Two guys who I absolutely love to watch play the game of football.
Both Marques Colston and Reggie Wayne continue to age, and their ceiling isn’t as high as some of the younger wideouts, but they most certainly will remain very, very fantasy relevant in 2013. The question is, which guy would you prefer in your starting lineup?
Making the case for Colston
Colston is easily one of my favorite wideouts in the game. He constantly gets overlooked and has been one of the more underrated fantasy receivers for years now. I mean, you’d be hard pressed to find many more productive receivers over the past six or seven years than Colston.
Marques Colston Fantasy Finishes
*Played 11 games in 2008
Let’s look at his career statistics. Over seven seasons, Colston has scored an impressive 58 touchdowns. To put that into perspective, that’s two more than Andre Johnson has scored in his career, despite playing three less seasons than AJ. That’s also 13 more scores than Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson. Colston provides strong weekly safety for fantasy owners. The fact that he often operates out of the slot, while tight end Jimmy Graham serves as the outside threat, bodes well for Colston. He plays as a faster, more difficult matchup for opposing linebackers, which gives him a terrific opportunity to post strong fantasy numbers. The fact that quarterback Drew Brees is always looking for him helps too, as well as the fact that a guy like Brees is throwing him the football in general. Over the past three seasons, Colston has been targeted 133, 107 and 132 times. That’s a very healthy total for fantasy owners. Despite turning 30-years old, with Brees slinging the ball around, Colston still has the skill and opportunity to finish as at least a top-10 fantasy wideout.
Making the case for Wayne
People really need to stop counting Wayne out. Sure, he’s 34-years old, but he clearly still has a lot left in the tank. Many were shocked that Wayne decided to stay with the Colts after their 2-14 season, but he did, and boy did it pay off. Alongside rookie phenom Andrew Luck, Wayne was extremely productive, catching 106 balls (second most in career) for 1,355 yards and five scores. But boy, how about those targets? Luck targeted his veteran wideout a whopping 194 times in 2012, which was tied for the second-most in football. He finished 15th in fantasy points at his position last year. I’m not going to write Wayne off at all, but I certainly expect some regression here in 2013. First, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is gone, which means so are the days of the air-it-out style of offense. Instead, Pep Hamilton will implement a West Coast style, which means more rushes and shorter, more intermediate passes. Last year, Luck led all quarterbacks in passes traveling 20 yards or more. Don’t expect him to do the same this season. I think Wayne is definitely a top-20 guy this season, but he won’t be seeing upwards to 200 targets again. If you look back at some of Hamilton’s offenses at Stanford, a lot of them heavily involved the tight end. Last year, Zach Ertz led the entire team in receiving (69 catches) and in 2011, current Colt Coby Fleener finished second with 667 receiving yards and 10 scores.
I’m siding with Colston here. Don’t get me wrong, I love Wayne as well. However, Colston is four years younger, has more upside and is in a better offensive scheme for his fantasy value. However, of course, now that I am somewhat going against Wayne, he’ll probably catch 130 balls and score 11 touchdowns. Oh well, both are great value for where they are being drafted and certainly have plenty left in the tank.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.