Fantasy Football Crystal Ball: Eddie Royal

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IAugust 26, 2009

SEATTLE - AUGUST 22:  Eddie Royal #19 of the Denver Broncos carries the ball during the game against the Seattle Seahawks on August 22, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

If you wanted to know the news around the NFL this past summer, you only need to mention four names: Brett Favre, Michael Vick, Jay Cutler, and Brandon Marshall

While Favre, Vick, and Cutler are finally back onto the football field (albeit with daily reports still coming out relating to both Favre and Vick), Brandon Marshall seems to be lost in Denver. He did not travel with the Broncos to Seattle for the Broncos’ preseason game against the Seahawks. He isn’t practicing with the team; therefore, he’s not building chemistry with new quarterback Kyle Orton. And, there is just no word as to how the situation will turn out.

The reason for the latest update (of course Brandon Marshall needs to be lowered in your rankings) is because his teammate Eddie Royal needs to be upgraded.

Royal has a similar body type to that of great possession receiver Wes Welker, a man Broncos’ head coach Josh McDaniels excelled at getting a lot of opportunities to rack up some big fantasy numbers. Royal had a terrific rookie year and is quickly becoming a favorite target of Orton’s (he had four catches for 40 yards in limited action against Seattle). Royal will also see less time on the special teams unit, not returning many punt and kick returns to keep him fresh and healthy in order to help him to become a number one wide out. With all this in mind and the troubles Marshall is having, he should see a lot of targets in 2009, meaning his numbers will increase from last year.

In the Bruno Boys Cheat Sheets, Eddie Royal is the 28th ranked wide receiver in the consensus rankings. With the news surrounding Marshall, he needs to be upgraded. In this writer’s opinion, he should slide up seven spots to the 21st rank in a standard scoring league. In a PPR (points per reception) league, he should go as high as 15th. 

As long as the news of Brandon Marshall continues to spiral down, Royal will continue to move up. In any draft, watch where he goes. He is a solid possession receiver who may not put up a ton of touchdowns, but who will have plenty of receptions, which will lead to a large amount of yards.

Others may believe his value remains the same, but with any player news that results from a bonehead move by an individual, there tends to be a benefactor. Royal is the benefactor in Marshall’s never ending saga and needs to move up your cheat sheets before draft day.