2014 Fantasy Football: Brandon Marshall Or Alshon Jeffery?
Since 2000, there have been 12 instances were two wide receivers from the same team have both finished as top-10 fantasy wide receivers. A pair of Colts, Rams, Cardinals and Raiders headline the last, but 2013 saw another two wideouts added to the list.
Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
Marshall finished the season as the number five fantasy option, while the sophomore Jeffery was right behind him, ranking as fantasy’s number nine wideout. It was a dominant year for the two, a large part of the reason why the Bears were the second highest-scoring offense in the NFL last year. Both were stellar, but for some reason, a lot of people are debating which receiver to choose from in fantasy drafts.
For me, it’s not close.
Since joining the Bears in 2012, Marshall has ranked number one in the league in targets (355), second in PPR fantasy points (626) and third in standard points (408). He’s as good as it gets in PPR formats, posting a healthy five 100-catch seasons in his career. Marshall would be my choice regardless of who is under center, but because it’ll be Jay Cutler, it only makes Marshall the more logical choice. Using the RotoViz Game Splits App, I looked at Marshall’s splits alongside Cutler.
Marshall obviously has the chemistry and connection with Cutler, playing with him for a handful of seasons in Denver. In the three full seasons the two played together in Denver, Marshall averaged a healthy 169 targets, and over the last two seasons in Chicago, Marshall has averaged a gaudy 177.5 looks.
Jeffery, meanwhile, was awesome last year, of course. He dominated on deep passes, ranking second in the NFL in vertical yards (933) and first in stretch vertical yards (590). Sure, he should be considered a top-10 fantasy receiver in draft day, but it is worth noting that he wasn’t as impressive when Cutler was under center.
Marshall has just been too safe, too consistent in fantasy to take a third-year player with one big year over him. According to Tristan Cockroft’s consistency ratings, since 2010, Marshall is tied for the highest consistency rating among wide receivers (68.8). It’s also the 7th-highest overall rating during that span.
Jeffery is exciting, but don’t get cute. Marshall is the guy.