WR Brandon Marshall, Free agent
HT: 6-4, WT: 230, Born: 3-23-1984, College: Central Florida, Drafted: Round 4
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: D Murray (13), M Ball (14), Brandon Marshall (15), D Brees (16), A Rodgers (17)
Position: D Bryant (11-WR3), A Green (12-WR4), Brandon Marshall (15 - WR5), J Jones (18-WR6), J Nelson (22-WR7)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: D Murray (12), J Jones (13), Brandon Marshall (14), G Bernard (15), M Ball (16)
Position: A Green (11-WR4), J Jones (13-WR5), Brandon Marshall (14 - WR6), J Nelson (19-WR7), A Brown (21-WR8)
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Marshall is Jay Cutler’s favorite target, and a healthy Cutler means a ton of targets for Marshall. Alshon Jeffery will certainly limit his ceiling to some extent, but the pass-friendly offense that the Bears run should still get Marshall everything that he needs for another Pro Bowl appearance. Another 100+ catches and double digit touchdowns is well within reason for Marshall again this season.
The emergence of Alshon Jeffery cuts into his stats more than expected. With Marshall drawing the better coverage, if Cutler has time, he’s going to find Jeffery on the other side of the field. Marshall could fall below 100 receptions for the first time since coming to Chicago, and his stats take a hit. As he enters his ninth season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him miss a game or two due to injury either. He’ll always see plenty of action if he’s in the game, but he could easily finish closer to his 2011 stats this season.
Marshall is Jay Cutler’s favorite target and when Cutler’s in the game, Marshall is going to get the ball. The emergence of Alshon Jeffery makes Marshall even more dangerous because opposing defenses can’t double cover him on every play. He may not see the 192 targets he did back in 2011, but a healthy Jay Cutler could mean more than the 164 that Marshall has last season. Marshall is a competitor and he could easily see another top ten or even top five finish in his third season in Chicago.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Brandon Marshall had a 'typical' day for the Bears, coming up with big catches and finishing the game with a game winning TD reception late in the 4th quarter. Cutler still favors Marshall, and he looked to him in key passing situations. In the first quarter, facing 3rd and 17, Cutler found Marshall up the right hash mark, threading the needle between the defenders and giving Marshall a chance to make the catch and fight forward for the first down. Later in the quarter on 3rd and 9, Cutler hit Marshall on a deep slant for a big 13 yard gain and another first down. Through the middle of the game though, Marshall was pretty quiet. He was well defended, and the Bengals were focused on taking him out of the action. But when the chips were down in the 4th quarter, Marshall came up big on the game winning drive. On 3rd adn 3, Marshall broke down the sideline and used a nice move to get beyond his man. As the safety moved over to provide support, Cutler threw a perfect pass between the defenders that hit Marshall in stride and he blew it up into a 38 yard gain. A few minutes later, with the Bears in the Bengal Red zone, Cutler again targeted Marshall on a deep curl route. He sprinted to the end zone, turned around and basically out-positioned the defender for the game winning touchdown catch. The defender was right on him on the play, but Marshall used his body perfectly to make the grab and held onto the ball as he was taken down for the tackle in the end zone. It was another classic Cutler to Marshall moment that put the Bengals away for good.
Week 2 - Brandon Marshall continues to be the key pass catcher for Jay Cutler. While he isn't being targeted on 60 percent of the passes like he was last season, with guys like Martellus Bennett and Alshon Jeffery drawing defensive attention, Marshall is finding a lot of single coverage. On his touchdown reception, he actually started out in the slot, and as he fought to the outside, the safety couldn't provide support because he was focused on Alshon Jeffery coming from the outside over the middle. Marshall got into the open field and Cutler laid it out to him. On Cutler's interception that he threw toward Marshall, Brandon had actually gotten open for a bit. But Cutler didn't see the safety trying to come over and was able to get there and make the play.
Week 3 - Brandon Marshall had a quiet game for the Bears. In the first quarter, he had a short come-back catch for nine yards, and was stuffed for a big four yard loss on a quick screen to him later in the period. He was barely involved in the second and third quarter, but came up big in the 4th on 3rd and 12 from the Chicago 37. On the play, Cutler launched a perfect back-shoulder thrown to Marshall as he was breaking down the left side of the field. Marshall shielded the ball with his body and made a great leaping catch for a big 41 yard gain – Chicago’s longest pass of the day. It set up the 17 yard TD strike to Earl Bennett three plays later and crushed any hope of the Steelers getting back into the game.
Week 4 - Brandon Marshall had a quiet first half, finishing with just two short receptions for a total of 15 yards. He was targeted on several other passes of short or medium length, but the Lions were covering Marshall like a blanket and were determined to take him out of the game. Although he was a key blocker on the two runs in the second quarter by Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte, he finished the quarter with just a two yard catch. On the second drive of the second half, Marshall opened the drive with a 24 yard catch over the middle. Cutler was in trouble and was scrambling and threw the ball deep down the middle. The ball was high and Marshall took a shot when he went up to get it, but he still came down with the ball. In the 4th quarter, when the Bears were trying to get back into the game, Marshall came up with a few medium come-back and crossing routes to pad his stats, but the Lions were clearly just keeping Marshall from breaking a big play and he was tackled almost immediately after the catch. He added a two point conversion catch after the Earl Bennett touchdown catch, but ultimately Marshall had a quiet day.
Week 5 - Brandon Marshall had a quiet day for the Bears against New Orleans. He was double-teamed for most of the game, and Jay Cutler targeted Alshon Jeffery instead of Marshall on a lot of passing plays. In addition to that, the general lack of offensive plays in the second half severely limited how effective Marshall was from a fantasy prospective. In the first half, Marshall finished with just two catches on three targets, both short passes for a total of 16 yards. Marshall was completely blanked in the third quarter, but managed to save his fantasy day with two receptions in the fourth quarter, including a nice two yard touchdown when the Bears were trying to get back into the game. His longest reception came on the first play of the 4th quarter, where Marshall ran a route to the inside, then cut back to the outside as Jay Cutler dumped the ball to his outside shoulder. Marshall had a nice 12 yard catch and run on the play, but it turned out to be his longest play of the day.
Week 6 - Brandon Marshall spent part of the short week, complaining about how he wasn’t more involved in the offense when the Bears lost to the Saints two weeks ago. This week, he was a key focal point from the opening snap. On the opening play from scrimmage, Jay Cutler was looking to get the ball to Marshall but he was double covered and Cutler had to scramble for a short two yard gain. On the second play, he faked a quick throw to Marahall before handing the ball off to Matt Forte. On 4th and 2, rather than kick the field goal, the Bears decided to go for it. Marshall ran a scrape route across the back of the defensive line and Cutler had to hold the ball a long time. He looked tentative as he tossed the ball to Marshall and it was a bit behind him. Marshall got a hand on it but couldn’t’ come up with the reception and the drive died just in front of the goal line. On the next series, Cutler executed a play action to Matt Forte and went deep down the left side of the field to Marshall. The ball sailed a bit, but Marshall was able to out-jump the defender and made the catch for a big 20 yard gain. A few plays later, Cutler hit Marshall on a quick slant where Marshall has two guys on him but he drags them for a 12 yard gain. Two plays into the second quarter on 3rd and 9, Marshall ran a route straight up the right hash mark, then cut to the middle of the field. Cutler put the ball on him perfectly and Marshall was able to take it into the end zone for a touchdown. The next time the Bears had the ball, they drove down to the New York three yard line. On first and goal, Marshall was working one on one, ran into the end zone and quickly turned around. Cutler places the ball perfectly and Marshall just out-muscled his defender and made the catch for his second touchdown of the game. He finished the first half with six receptions for 65 yards and a two TDS. On the opening play of the third quarter, Cutler rolled out left as the line swept right for a simulated run. Cutler had Martellus Bennett short but went to Marshall a bit deeper for a nice 15 yard gain to kick off the second half. It was Marshall’s only catch in the third quarter. In the 4th, he had just two catches include a quick screen that was stuffed by the defense for a one yard loss but Marshall finished the day with his highest fantasy totals of the season.
Week 7 - Brandon Marshall had a very quiet day, because DeAngelo Hall was covering him like a blanket for most of the game. Jay Cutler completed just three passes in the first quarter and all were to Marshall for short or medium gains. In the second quarter, Marshall only had one target and didn’t’ even have a catch. But he opened the third quarter with a nice 14 yard square in to give the Bears a first down. At that point, he was still the only Bear to have a reception. His biggest play of the game came in the 4th quarter – a 28 yard catch and run with under seven minutes to play. Marshall ran a quick square in and McCown hit him in stride. Marshall had great separation from the defender and tore up field for a huge gain. He ended that drive with an end-zone target that was knocked down and Brandon Meriweather nearly knocked him out when he launched himself at Marshall as he was coming down. Marshall took the next playoff and Martellus Bennett scored Chicago’s final TD of the game.
Week 9 - Brandon Marshall got involved in the offense early and often for the Bears, catching three of his first for targets on the opening drive of the game, including a touchdown. On the play, the Packers came with a hard blitz, but the offensive line held up. Marshall was working one on one down the right side of the field, and after Josh McCown avoided the sack, he lofted a pass into the right corner. Marshall turned around and out-jumped the defender, making a great catch and giving the Bears an early lead. On the final drive of the 1st half, with Chicago backed up to their one yard line, Marshall came up with a big catch down the right side of the field for 15 yards and gave Chicago some breathing room. He also came up with a nice 14 yard reception after the two minute warning to put the Bears deep into Green Bay territory. It allows the Bears to run out the quarter and finish with a field goal. In the second half, the Packers paid more attention to Marshall, and it allowed other guys like Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte to put the game away. Marshall continued to contribute though with great down-field blocking, giving Forte extra yards every time he ran the ball to Marshall’s side of the field. His biggest catch might have come in the 4th quarter though. With Chicago clinging to a four point lead, the Bears were looking to grind out the clock. On 3rd and 6 from their own 39, Marshall ran a short square in as Josh McCown threw the ball low and had over the middle. Marshall made a nice sliding catch for 11 yards, keeping the drive going and extending the drive that eventually led to a field goal and the Bears running out the clock.
Week 10 - Brandon Marshall got involved early and often in this game. On the opening drive, he pulled in three consecutive receptions, of 17, 12 and 32 yards. The biggest of which was the 32 yard touchdown strike where Jay Cutler had plenty of time to throw the ball, and it allowed Marshall to work the left sideline deep before breaking to the middle of the field where Cutler found him with a perfect strike. It put the Bears up 7-0 right out of the gate and sent a message that Jay Cutler was healthy and that the Bears had come to play. However, the defense quickly moved to neutralize Marshall, and he only had one target the rest of the first half. On the opening drive of the third quarter, Marshall was targeted twice, but only was able to come up with one reception – a nine yard slant on second and long. He was targeted on the next play, but Cutler expected him to run a slant over the middle and Marshall ran a post toward the sideline and the ball fell incomplete. On the next series, Cutler executed a perfect play action and went deep down the middle of the field to Marshall. He ran a deep crossing route and was wide open for a big 44 yard gain. It was the biggest play of the day for Chicago. Martial had two catches on the final drive of the game for Chicago – the biggest being the 11 yard touchdown catch that gave Chicago the opportunity to tie the game. On the play, Josh McCown lined up in a shotgun, but had to step up due to the intense pressure from the Detroit rush. Seeing Marshall in the end zone, McCown cranked the ball high and hard, and Marshall was able to go up and make the catch for the touchdown.
Week 11 - Brandon Marshall was well defended by the Ravens in this game, and thought Josh McCown targeted him 10 times, he was only able to come up with four receptions on the day. The first was a quick pass on the opening play of the game, but Marshall was immediately tackled for no gain. McCown also targeted him with the first play after the 2 hour rain delay, but the ball was thrown a bit behind Marshall and he slipped on the wet field as he tried to reach back for the catch. In the second, Marshall had a nice sideline grab on 3rd and 3, where he was able to make the catch before being forced out of bounds for gain of 13. He had a nice 13 yard crossing route catch just before half time and McCown also targeted him on the second to last play of the half in the end zone. Marshall made the catch but the defender shoved him in mid-air, and Marshall was only able to get one foot down before going out of bounds. The Bears had to settle for a field goal. With no pass attempts in the third quarter, Marshall’s only other catch came early in the 4th – a nice square out where he was able to keep his toes in bounds and make a catch for 16. It was his biggest play of the day.
Week 12 - Brandon Marshall finished the game as Chicago’s leading receiver, and he came up big every time the Bears needed him. Except maybe in the second quarter when Josh McCown threw a jump ball to him on 3rd and 22, but the defender out played Marshall and it was intercepted. Fortunately there was a holding penalty and the Bears retained the ball. McCown hit Marshall a couple plays later on a beautiful play on 3rd and 2. McCown was flushed out of the pocket and rolled to his right. Marshall was down the field, and broke to a small gap between three defenders. McCown flipped him the ball and Marshall managed to make the catch in bounds for a big first down and an 11 yard gain. A few plays later, the Bears had second and goal from the 3 and Marshall was working one on one on the left side. He cut across the goal line toward the middle of the field, stopped and reversed direction, breaking back to the pylon. The defender was unable to recover quickly and McCown hit Marshall on the outside where he was able to come up with the touchdown catch. In the third quarter, Marshall had four receptions on five targets, the last of which he just flat dropped when McCown hit him in the hands. Two of those receptions came near the end of the third quarter, and both were for 20 yards or more. The first was a deep crossing route where Marshall went up over the defenders and made a big catch. After an illegal procedure penalty, McCown was flushed out of the pocket and saw Marshall breaking over the middle. He directed him to an open spot and hit him in stride. Marshall cut back after making the batch and danced his way to a big 23 yard gain. Unfortunately the drive stalled and the Bears came away with nothing. Early in the 4th quarter, McCown hit Marshall on a quick swing pass and Marshall took advantage of some great down field blocking by Martellus Bennett and Alshon Jeffery to bang out a 12 yard gain. However, that was Marshall’s last catch until late in the game when McCown hit him on a 12 yard square in as time was winding down. McCown threw an interception on the next play, ending the game.
Week 13 - Brandon Marshall was targeted by Minnesota as they guy that they wanted to contain, and he faced double coverage for most of the game. It freed up Alshon Jeffery to break his own franchise receiving record, but it meant that Marshall finished with very pedestrian numbers in this game. Had the game not gone to overtime, Marshall would barely have broken 30 receiving yards. Two of his receptions came in the first quarter – a short slant on the second series of the game where he was able to muscle his way for a 10 yard gain and the first down. The next series, he was targeted on a quick dump pass on 2nd and five, and he was able to power his way ahead for six yards and the first down. Josh McCown found Marshall working one on one on the next play, and lofted a pass deep to him. However, Marshall was well covered and the ball was knocked away, incomplete. On the opening drive of the second quarter, the Vikings decided to call a blitz, and Marshall faced single coverage on his short crossing route. Josh McCown dumped the ball to him in stride, and he was able to power up field for a big 15 yard gain. Marshall was targeted a couple more times in the game, but neither pass was well thrown. Marshall’s only other catch came in overtime – a big 14 yard come-back on the second play of the extra period. He was targeted once more in the period, but it was on a short pass and McCown was hit as he threw it. The pass had no zip and it was easily knocked away, incomplete.
Week 14 - Brandon Marshall had a quiet game by his standards, doing most of his damage in the second quarter and then providing great down field blocking as the Bears ground out the clock. On Chicago’s only drive of the first quarter, Marshall had a 14 yard square in after the Bears were flagged for a false start. It wasn’t deep enough for the first down, but it allowed Matt Forte to convert it on the next play. In the second quarter, Marshall really hammered the Cowboys. His first catch came a little over a minute into the quarter and it was a big 20 yard post over the middle. Three plays later on 3rd and 14, Josh McCown rolled out to avoid the pressure and found Marshall in stride with him. He flipped the ball to Marshall who made the catch, got the first down and went out of bounds after a 15 yard gain. Two plays later, McCown was under pressure and scrambled left to take off. Brandon Marshall came in and threw a nasty block, spring McCown for a big 10 yard gain. Marshall had two more catches in the quarter. The first was a 10 yard hook route on 3rd and 2 on the drive that led to a Robbie Gould field goal. With time winding down on the next drive, McCown found Marshall on a deep curl down the left side for a gain of 19. It set up the jump-ball TD pass to Alshon Jeffery just before the half. In the third quarter, Marshall was the target of a couple passes, but the ball was poorly thrown and Dallas should have intercepted both of them. However, in both cases, the defender dropped the ball and the Bears continued to keep their drive moving. Marshall’s only catch was on a two point conversion after Matt Forte’s touchdown. Marshall’s only catch in the 4th quarter was a deep pass down the left hashmark. Marshall went up big over the defender, making a great catch for 22 yards. It set up Michael Bush’s touchdown and gave Marshall exactly 100 receiving yards for the day.
Week 15 - With Jay Cutler back under center, Brandon Marshall returned to being the center of attention. It was clear that Cutler looked to Marshall early and often, and really didn’t focus on Alshon Jeffery until late in the game. Cutler threw eight passes in the first quarter of the game, and four of them came Marshall’s way, including the interception in the end zone that killed the first drive. Cutler had found Marshall on a 15 yard square in the play before, but when he tried to hit Marshall in the end zone, the defender jumped the route, tipped the ball and it was picked off. Marshall caught two more passes on the next drive, including another 18 yard square in where Cutler had to slide the pocket to avoid the rush and Marshall was wide open down the middle of the field. In the second quarter, Cutler’s accuracy seemed to take a hit, and on several of the pass attempts that came Marshall’s way, the ball was thrown too high or sailed in the air. With 8:15 left in the quarter, the ball was too high, but Marshall was able to get a hand on it. He tipped it up and it was intercepted again, but this time it was returned for a Cleveland touchdown. However, with under two minutes to go in the half, Cutler and Marshall hooked up a couple times. The first was a bomb down the right side of the field – where Marshall was held, but still was able to out-jump the smaller defender and come down with the ball. He stiff-armed the defender, driving him back and powered his way up field for another eight yards, making it a 41 yard gain in total. Two plays later, Cutler hit Marshall on a short out route, where he broke like he was going to cut across the middle of the end zone, then wheeled around and ran toward the front pylon on the right. Cutler put the ball on him and although it wasn’t a particularly good throw, Marshall came up with it for the touchdown. Marshall had a quiet second half, with only one reception for just six yards but he still finished as Chicago’s top receiver for the game.
Week 16 - Marshall was covered like a blanket for most of the day, facing aggressive man to man coverage or double-teams when the Eagles had a big lead and they were protecting it. Jay Cutler tried to force the ball into him several times, but the Eagles were usually there to break up the pass or slow up Marshall enough to where he couldn’t make the play. His first catch of the game was the first Chicago first down – a 15 yard square in. It was his only catch of the first half. In the second half, he had just three short receptions, including a six yard touchdown catch that was a nice play despite the fact that Chicago was losing 33-3 at the time. Marshall took off from the six yard line, ran down to the end zone and turned around. Cutler put the ball in the air before Marshall even turned, and the timing of the pass was perfect. Marshall was pulled from the game mid-way through the 4th quarter when the game was out of reach.
Week 17 - Marshall was well covered for most of the game, but had a couple key plays that came up big for the Bears. After the Bears stopped the Packers with a key interception in the end zone, Marshall kicked off the following drive by dropping the first pass thrown his way. Undaunted, Jay Cutler came back to him again on a crossing route and Marshall hauled in the pass for a 13 yard gain. Three plays later Cutler found Marshall working one on one down the left side of the field. Marshall out-jumped Sam Shields and came down with the perfect reception for a big 37 yard gain. Three plays later, Matt Forte scored the first points of the game. Marshall had a couple passes thrown his way, but his best reception came on the first play of the 4th quarter. The Bears faced 3rd and goal from Green Bay’s 5 yard line. The Packers blitzed and Cutler basically lofted the ball toward the corner of the end zone. Marshall turned to see the ball, then turned again and dove out, looking back after he was in the air, making a great catch and putting the Bears up by 8. Marshall had one catch on the next drive – a short dump for just seven yards.