Make Up or Break Up: Brandon Marshall
To: Brandon Marshall
From: My Fantasy Team
Hello old friend. I hope this letter finds you well now that you’re officially a New York Giant. I’m sure you’re excited about coming over to a much more promising organization, without even having to pack a bag. It wasn’t that long ago that your outlook with the quarterback-less Jets had everyone completely writing you off. I imagined you sitting alone in the dark, throwing darts at a picture of Robby Anderson for hogging all of your targets in the second half of last season. In the six seasons since your rookie year when you played at least 15 games, you had never had less than 100 receptions. Last year you had 59. That made you the 50th best WR, which was a full 47 spot tailspin from #3 overall, where you finished just one year prior. It was an incredible 2015 campaign in which you finished with over 1500 yards receiving and had a career high 14 TDs. It was an impressive enough performance that it baited me into drafting you, with confidence, early in the 2nd round. An exciting and more hopeful time, back before one of my league-mates had my championship trophy in his possession, and you were making Twitter bets with Antonio Brown for your Porsche over who would have the better season (bet you’re glad he never took you up on that one).
Look Brandon, I apologize if this is coming across as bitter. But the fact is, you done my fantasy team wrong and you were among 2016’s biggest busts. I’m just not sure if I’m ready to forgive and accept any new promises about what you can do for me with your new team. First, I would need to decide if I can trust this narrative that the reason for your decline was a matter of discouragement and frustration with your former team rather than a ‘he’s getting older and has lost a step’ scenario. I mean hey, I get it. You’re about to enter your 12th season in the NFL, in which you will be 33 years old, and you have never been in a playoff game. The record of most receiving yards ever without a playoff appearance probably isn’t the sort of legacy that you want to leave behind when you retire, which is exactly the sort of thing that a player in this stage of their career is probably thinking about. So when it became obvious that the New York Jets weren’t going anywhere in 2016, after just barely missing a playoff berth the season before. I could understand if you felt like you had earned the right to simply phone it in for the rest of the season. Never mind the fact that you had a major injury scare in Week 2 during the Thursday night game in Buffalo. The play where CB Stephon Gilmore brought you down by the face-mask, causing your knee to get twisted awkwardly as your lower half folded sideways like a broken lawn chair. You said afterwards, “I thought it was over”. You and me both man. But it wasn’t over and instead it stretched out into the terrible season that’s brings us to this.
Now I’m in a tough spot and as much as it hurts me, I have to do what’s best for the team. What I’m trying to say is… I think that it would be best if I saw some other players next year. I realize that the Giants are seemingly playoff-bound and have finished top 8 in the league in pass attempts per game for each of the last two years. It’s the exact reason why I anticipate that your ADP (average draft position) will be driven too high, as off-season hype builds leading up to the draft. I’m not saying that I don’t think you have anything left in the tank buddy…. but with two other very young and very talented receivers in Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard also vying for targets, and an erratic fantasy QB in Eli Manning, I just can’t imagine investing the pick that it will take to land you, in hopes of high end WR2 upside. Not after what you did last year, no way. You’re someone else’s problem now.
-Travis Strickland (@DFS_Travis)