5 Reasons to Draft Brandon Marshall in Your Fantasy Football League

Gary Davenport@@IDPSharksNFL AnalystJuly 31, 2012

5 Reasons to Draft Brandon Marshall in Your Fantasy Football League

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    Mercurial wide receiver Brandon Marshall is on the move again this offseason. After two years in sunny Florida, it's off to the Windy City after the Miami Dolphins traded the 28-year-old wideout to the Chicago Bears for a pair of third-round draft picks.

    Although the seven-year pro is nearly as well-known for his off-field missteps as he is for his prowess on the gridiron, Marshall gives the Bears a very good chance at having their first 1,000-yard receiver since Marty Booker in 2002.

    Here are some more reasons why fantasy owners should target Brandon Marshall in 2012.

1. History of Production

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    Since entering the National Football League in 2006, Brandon Marshall has been one of the few wide receivers to be productive both on the gridiron and in fantasy football.

    With the exception of his rookie year, Marshall has topped 80 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards in each of his six NFL seasons, including three straight years between 2007-2009, during which Marshall caught over 100 passes.

    Marshall finished as a top-20 fantasy wide receiver in each of those five seasons in leagues that award a point for receptions, including two years in the top 10 and one in the top five.

2. Durability Throughout His Career

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    Having a roster of talented players on your fantasy football team is great, but it does little good if those players can't stay on the field.

    Just ask fantasy owners of Darren McFadden.

    However, Marshall has been very durable throughout his career, missing only five games in six seasons.

    Factor in that one of those missed games was the result of a 2009 benching—and another the result of a one-game suspension in 2008—and it's a pretty safe bet that Brandon Marshall will be on the field when you need him to be.

    That is, of course, unless Marshall is suspended this year following a nightclub altercation in March, when he allegedly punched a woman according to ESPN.

3. The Jay Cutler Reunion

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    In Chicago, Brandon Marshall will be reunited with quarterback Jay Cutler, with whom Marshall played his first three seasons with the Broncos.

    The two enjoyed some of their greatest individual success as professionals in Denver.

    That included consecutive seasons in 2006 and 2007 in which Marshall topped 100 catches and 1,200 receiving yards.

    According to Gene Chamberlain of CBS Sports, the duo have picked up right where they left off in Denver, with Chamberlain calling them "inseparable" and stating that the two "go to dinner and lunch together, and even play board games against each other during their free time."

    That chemistry will certainly carry over to the football field come September.

4. Marshall's ADP Is Reasonable

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    Brandon Marshall isn't exactly coming at a discount price in fantasy drafts this summer, with his average draft position at MyFantasyLeague.com checking in at around the 33rd overall pick and the 11th wide receiver off the board.

    However, considering his past production, durability and prior relationship with Cutler, Marshall is a solid fantasy WR1 for teams that spend their first two picks on other positions, especially when you consider that Marshall will undoubtedly dominate targets in the passing game this season for the Bears.

5. Sometimes You Just Have to Roll the Dice

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    Listen, I can't deny that there's some risk involved in drafting Brandon Marshall.

    The aforementioned nightclub dustup is just the latest in a litany of off-the-field nonsense involving Marshall, including an amusing wrestling match, which Yahoo! Sports reported back in 2008 that culminated in Marshall losing a battle with a TV stand.

    Simply put, Brandon Marshall is the poster child for the "headcase" wide receiver.

    However, he's far from alone in that regard.

    Given his considerable talent, consistency, durability and the fact that he's back with the quarterback with whom he enjoyed his best NFL years, the potential rewards outweigh the risks, and Marshall is a player who is absolutely worth targeting as a low-end fantasy WR1 or top-flight WR2.