Fantasy Football

The Santonio Holmes & Brandon Marshall Trades – Fantasy Impact

Brandon MarshallTwo big NFL trades will impact the fantasy football season of many NFL players. Santonio Holmes and Brandon Marshall have new NFL teams. In addition to Holmes and Marshall, numerous players from the Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, and New York Jets will be impacted in your fantasy football draft.

Let’s start with the  Santonio Holmes trade. Santonio Holmes joins a New York Jets offense that will look a lot different than it did last season. Led by Thomas Jones, the Jets were a heavy running offense that sprinkled in Mark Sanchez as needed. Jones is gone this season as he departed for Kansas City. The New York Jets are a team I tend to stay away from when it comes to fantasy football. That could change with the addition of Santonio Holmes.

The addition of Holmes gives Mark Sanchez another weapon. Holmes joins a wide receivers corps that includes Jerricho Cotchery and Braylon Edwards. This threesome has the potential to be explosive. The question is whether Rex Ryan will trust Mark Sanchez enough to let him throw down field. I think Sanchez’s value only goes up slightly. I need to see more from Sanchez before I am ready to make him a Top 15 fantasy quarterback. Having Holmes is going to be nice, but he needs to make the right decisions in the process.

Braylon Edwards will see the biggest drop off here. Edwards was the lone vertical threat that the Jets had last season. I still think Edwards will see some big opportunities when defenses double team Santonio Holmes, but the ball is going to be spread around way too much for my tastes.

I still like Dustin Keller as a steady, #2 tight end. Sanchez and Keller had some great moments last season, but they were inconsistent. I can envision the sneaky tight end getting open while the defense is glued to either Holmes or Edwards. I don’t love him, but I like him as a bye week filler or potential trade bait.

The biggest question mark here is how the Pittsburgh Steelers will be impacted. Holmes only had five touchdowns last season. Hines Ward has been Ben Roethlisberger’s go-to guy. I do think Ward’s numbers will drop now that defenses can key in on him and not worry about Holmes.

I look for big things out of Mike Wallace. Wallace has huge potential and I can see him easily slipping into the number one receiving position with Ward double-covered and Holmes out of town. I think Big Ben’s 26 touchdowns last season remains in tact. I would say that the biggest player impacted here at the end of the day is Hines Ward.

Not to be outdone, the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins also made headlines this week. The Broncos traded elite wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Miami Dolphins. Marshall immediately bolsters a struggling wide receiver corps joining Davone Bess, Ted Ginn, and Greg Camarillo.

Unlike Santonio Holmes, Brandon Marshall’s old team will be greatly impacted by his loss. Brandon Marshall had 10 touchdowns last season and 1,120 yards. The difference between Marshall and Holmes is that Marshall is fantastic at catching short passes and turning them into long gains. The YAC (Yards After the Catch) as the NFL announcers like to call it. The Broncos can’t simply plug someone in to that spot and get those same results. Marshall is a once in a lifetime receiver for a franchise and the Broncos offense is in a lot of trouble without Brandon Marshall running down the field.

Kyle Orton was never a big fantasy football play, but he was steady. Orton had 21 touchdowns and had a few games here and there that made him worthy of a bye week filler. Orton’s options now are Eddie Royal, Jabar Gaffney and Brandon Stokley. None of those guys can give the Denver Broncos what Marshall gave them. I had Kyle Orton ranked at 21 when I did the rankings a few weeks ago. I would drop him down to 25 or even 27. Who is he going to throw too? I would also handle Eddie Royal with care.  I wouldn’t even dream of taking him until much later in your fantasy football draft, if at all.

Now let’s talk about the revamped Miami Dolphins offense. Very rarely does one player come along and make that much of a difference to a new NFL team. Brandon Marshall is that player. I had Chad Henne ranked #24 a few weeks back. I would probably slot him much higher at around #18 now that he has Marshall. Brandon Marshall is a playmaker and as long as your quarterback is throwing to a playmaker, you will get your points.

The Brandon Marshall acquisition does make me question how much the Wild Cat will be a part of the Miami Dolphins next season. Later in the season the Dolphins got away from it when Ronnie Brown hit the IR. Chad Henne did well when he was called upon to make plays down the stretch. Henne threw for over 1,700 yards in the final half of his season and that was with Davone Bess and Ted Ginn. Could you imagine the potential he has with Brandon Marshall?

I also love Davone Bess in the slot. Teams will double Marshall which will allow Bess to get open and do damage down the middle. Bess was ranked as as a fantasy sleeper going into last season’s draft. Overall he had a pretty disappointing season with 76 receptions for 758 yards and only two touchdowns. I think he will get a lot of chances in the upcoming season and could be a sneaky sleeper this year. Everyone will be looking at Marshall and Bess will be available in the later rounds of your draft. Take him and who knows? Maybe Brandon Marshall gets in more trouble and you have yourself a number one receiver or some trade bait.

I still think Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams get their numbers. It is a long season and as long as Ricky Williams continues drinking from the fountain of youth, I don’t think these two will be stopped. Ronnie Brown’s offseason issues are a huge concern to me and it is possible he will face some kind of suspension. At the same time, you may be able to trade low for him. If you have enough depth to overcome a Ronnie Brown suspension, you could have a monster on your hands by mid-season. I like the new Miami Dolphins offense a lot…a whole lot.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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