Marques Colston’s nickname is The Quiet Storm, and why is that you might ask? Well have you ever heard him make comments to the media? Have you heard him do a press conference? Have you ever heard the guy speak?! I’m a huge Saints fan and I can honestly say I have only heard him speak once, and that was because I went looking to see him speak in a press conference that I found on neworleanssaints.com. As a wide receiver, Colston is unusual in the sense that he is very quiet and reserved; basically the antithesis of the majority of receivers in the NFL.
Enough about his personality and onto the topic at hand. With Colston being quiet and out of the media could he be overlooked and perhaps under the radar? Personally, I think so. As he was snubbed from the NFL Top 100, I started to understand why my fellow writers here at FakePigskin.com encouraged me to write about him and his lack of love from the fantasy community. Call me a homer if you want (@ReganFP is higher on him than me) but I think Colston is a solid WR2 with definite WR1 potential and I’m here to tell you the reasons why.
I’m a big stats guy, and I will start there. In his 7 seasons, Colston has only had 1 season under 100 targets and that was because he only played 11 games due to injury. Last season and 2010 Colston had over 130 targets. You can bet that as long as Drew Brees is at QB, Colston is going to get a ton of targets. In fact, over the past 3 seasons Brees has had over 650 attempts. If Colston can get around 150 targets, there’s no reason he can’t get close to 100 catches. There are question marks surrounding the new 3rd WR in the Big Easy, and with the departure of Devery Henderson plus the immaturity of Joe Morgan and Nick Toon, it’s more a boost to Colston’s value. Sure Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles, and Lance Moore will get their looks, but I believe Brees will lean on Colston this year as he is the longest serving WR on the roster.
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Looking into his career consistency, Colston has put up 1000 yards and at least 70 catches in 6 of his 7 seasons (most of those coming with an even better WR corps), and 8 TDs in 5 of his 7 seasons. So you know what you’re going to get at the very least from Colston this year – 70 catches, 1000 yards and 8 TDs; which is pretty good. He definitely has the potential to do better than that, but that’s a pretty strong floor for a receiver.
Last year he put up 83/1154/10 in a full season where his first three games he struggled with a foot injury and was basically useless (16 points in standard and 26 points in PPR through 3 games). Owning him in two leagues last year frustrated the hell out of me until the next three weeks when he absolutely lit it up and showed his real potential. After week 3 his foot issue was cleared up and Brees started to lean on him more as the Saints started winning. In weeks 4, 5, and 7, Colston put up a combined stat line of 41 targets, 23 receptions, 357 yards and 5 TDs on his way to WR3 status in standard, and WR4 status in PPR scoring. In fact, after his terrible 3 week start, Colston was WR8 in both standard and PPR formats for the rest of the season. He has showed he can do it once he is healthy, so why not this year?
Injuries may catch up to him? I don’t buy that one bit. Over the past 4 years he has only missed 3 games; 2 in 2011 with a shoulder injury and then 1 in 2010 with a knee injury causing him to miss week 17. When Colston is healthy he is a beast who goes mainly unnoticed by the fantasy community, labeled as an unsexy WR2 pick with little upside. I believe that Colston is going to be as healthy this year as he was after week 3 last year, and has had the whole offseason to recover. Sure Colston just turned 30, but look at what Andre Johnson did last year with a QB who is half the passer Brees is. Look what Roddy White did last year as he turned 30, and what Welker did as well. 30 is just a number and I don’t buy that Colston will slow down this year.
The last main point I have to make is that Colston is a red zone machine. I mean when you’re 6-4 225lbs, you’re a pretty big target in the red zone and can jump over some undersized defensive backs. 6 of Colston’s 10 TDs last year came inside the 10 yard line, and his other 4 were inside the 20. You can bet Colston is going to get his red zone targets and likely get double digit TDs again this year.
Is it outrageous to think this unsexy fantasy WR could be a WR1 or even break the top 10? I don’t think so. He was 3 points out of the top 10 in standard and about 12 points out of the top 10 in PPR. I don’t think there’s enough love for this guy mainly because he’s a Saints receiver, but he was so close to breaking into the top 10 last year. This year I have seen him ranked as low as 19 behind guys like Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, Victor Cruz and Percy Harvin; who clearly have more upside, but I would say aren’t as safe and consistent as Colston who can give you those WR1 numbers at a much cheaper price.
So there it is, all the evidence you need as to why Colston can make the leap into the world of Wide Receiver 1’s. Reap the benefits of a WR1 for the price of a WR2. Let people be down on him and you can get great value for a consistent stud with more upside than people realize.