Same Faces New Places: Wide Receiver Edition

Contributed by: Bill Enright
Last Updated: Aug 10, 2010 11:13 AM

Three Wide Receivers in the Top 20 from 2009 are on new teams in 2010, which brings up a lot of questions. Will their new Quarterbacks help or hurt their Fantasy Football value? Which former teammates will benefit from their deaprtures? Will Brandon Marshall stay out of trouble in South Beach?'s Bill Enright has answers to the first-two questions and wants to let Marshall know, if he wants to have fun in South Beach he can call me anytime.


Brandon Marshall

The Miami Dolphins landed All-Pro Wide Receiver, Brandon Marshall, via a trade with the Denver Broncos.  Miami then signed Marshall to a 4-year $47.5 million contract with $24 million guaranteed, which is one of the most lucrative contracts for a Wide Receiver in NFL history. After signing Marshall, the team learned the 6'4 playmaker would need hip surgery for the 2nd straight year. Which is certainly not the greatest news if you are a fan, teammate, or have Marshall in Dynasty Leagues. But he says he'll be healthy enough to participate in Training Camp and will be fully recovered for the start of the season. The somewhat better news for Fantasy owners is Marshall will not be suspended to start the season for the first time in two years. Regardless of the surgery, Marshall is a great addition to the Miami Offense and will instantly become their #1 target in the passing game.  Last year QB Chad Henne showed a lot of potential and will benefit immensely with a receiver like Marshall on the squad. Plus the 'Fins already have an effective running game in place with Ricky Williams, Ronnie Brown, and their potent Wildcat offense, which will no longer be the single focus for opposing Defense with Marshall in the lineup. Again, Marshall's Fantasy Stock is taking a slight dive because of the surgery, but he's still ranked Number 15.


Santonio Holmes: Despite being named the XLIII Superbowl MVP and leading the team in receiving yards in 2009, the Pittsburgh Steelers had enough of Santonio Holmes' off-field issues. And after learning of his 2010 four-game suspension, the Steelers traded him to the New York Jets in exchange for a 5th round pick. Holmes had one of his most productive seasons in '09, catching 79 passes for 1,248 yards and 5 TDs, but his suspension hurts his 2010 fantasy value.  That being said, once that 5th week of the NFL season roles around, it's very likely Holmes will line up alongside Braylon Edwards in the Jets starting lineup and may become QB Mark Sanchez's favorite target toward the end of the season. Holmes' is the 37th ranked Wide Receiver. If you don't mind using  a spot on your bench the 1st-four weeks of the season, drafting Holmes in the late rounds of your fantasy draft may be worth it.


Anquan Boldin:For the last two seasons, Anquan Boldin, asked to be traded out of Arizona.  Boldin, now a Baltimore Raven, got his wish and was dealt for two 2010 draft picks. His trade has a big impact on players from the Ravens and Cardinals. The Ravens get a top threat at the receiver position that will put Joe Flacco's strong arm to good use. Though Derrick Mason is a solid option, he doesn't attract the attention from defenses like Boldin, which will now free up the Raven's powerful run game (good news for Ray Rice). Boldin's former teammates, Steve Breaston and Early Doucet, will see more playing time for Arizona, as they move up the depth chart. And don't forget Larry Fitzgerlad's stats improved drastically when Boldin was injured or out of the lineup in ‘09. Will that trend continue with Matt Leinart at the helm and not Kurt Warner? Well that is TBD.  Boldin's ranked the 17th overall Wide Receiver and a perfect option for your #2 WR spot with great upside.



Antonio Bryant:  The Cincinnati Bengals added depth at Wide Receiver by signing 29-year-old Antonio Bryant.  Though he was injured much of last season, he finished with a career best and very promising 1,248 yards in 2008, which may be the reason the Bengals signed him to a four-year $28 million deal. Chad Ochocinco and Carson Palmer will benefit with Bryant in the lineup. Palmer now has the option of throwing to a quality #2 receiver and Ochocinco won't see as much double coverage. The Bengals were among the league's “run-heaviest” teams in '09 so draft Bryant as one of your many Wide Receiver backups and cross your fingers in anticipation that Carson Palmer returns as one of the NFL's elite Quarterbacks. Bryant's Number 36 on our Fantasy Football Rankings.


Nate Burleson: Former Seattle Seahawks Wide Receiver, Nate Burleson, signed a long-term contract with the Detroit Lions in March. Burleson's addition will prevent defenses from triple teaming Calvin Johnson and gives QB Matthew Stafford a viable 2nd option at the receiver position; which should help Megatron and the 2nd year QB see a boost in production. Last year Burleson had 63 receptions and 812 yards in 13 games. Due to the fact that the Lions often play from behind and are forced to throw, look for Burleson to improve his stats from last season. He's ranked Number 45 on our WR Cheatsheet and may move up the charts depending on his ability to develop chemistry with Stafford in Training Camp and the Pre-Season.


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