Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It's interesting to note that every time Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall yells "trade me' from the top of his lungs, teammate Eddie Royal's Average Draft Position (ADP) jumps a few spots.
You'll recall that Royal was one of the best rookie wide receivers last season, hauling in 91 balls for 980 yards and five touchdowns. He was particularly good on opening day, when Marshall was sitting out a suspension, with nine receptions for 146 yards and a score. Royal was a fantasy bargain last year as the 59th receiver selected, No.166 overall.
However, during the offseason, two story lines emerged to change how fantasy owners felt about Royal.
Royal's star quarterback, Jay Cutler, the No.2 fantasy QB behind Drew Brees with 288 points, had a falling out with new head coach Josh McDaniels and demanded a trade. The Broncos didn't want to make the move, but eventually had to and sent Cutler to Chicago for draft choices and quarterback Kyle Orton. Orton (17th-ranked QB with 159 points) is not in Cutler's league and fantasy owners worried that Royal's production would take a hit.
Then Marshall began to scream "trade me" and owners probably thought about the 2008 season opener against Oakland and decided it might be good for Royal's totals if he was Denver's No.1 receiver.
Royal's RapidDraft ADP jumped from 62.7 in mid-June to 60.9 in mid-August. On Monday, Marshall and his agent met with the coach to reiterate a demand for a new contract or trade. The longer the stalemate goes on, the higher Royal's ADP should go.
I currently have Royal rated at the 32nd receiver on my board, while RapidDraft ADP has him at No.21, sandwiched between two Pittsburgh Steelers wideouts, Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward.
I believe the change in quarterback at Mile High will effect all the Broncos' receivers more than expected. Beware of jumping on this bandwagon.
| Comparison between Royals' 2008 QB and projected 2009 starter
|*while a member of the Chicago Bears