Fantasy owners hope for more from Marshall in new season

Should Brandon Marshall still be considered a No. 1 fantasy wideout?

Ultimately, Brandon Marshall's status as a No. 1 fantasy wideout on your pre-draft lists depends on whether or not you can name a dozen players at his position that you'd rather have. Six or seven names come to mind right away. After that, well, it gets a little harder. That means it's time to consider the enigmatic Miami Dolphins' star.

Marshall arrived in Florida -- where he was a high school and college star -- via trade last year and was a greater disappointment than the big-screen version of Miami Vice. After catching 307 passes for 3,710 yards the three previous seasons in Denver, Marshall slumped to 86 receptions for 1,014 yards for the Dolphins.

Those aren't exactly poor numbers, of course, and he likely would have topped 100 catches for the fourth year in a row if not for a late-season hamstring injury. But he caught only 3 touchdown passes, which was far more damaging to his fantasy owners. He feuded with his quarterback, drew immature personal fouls, and ad-libbed routes -- the same types of things that wore out his welcome in Denver.

For now, though, the Dolphins seem to be patient. They also seem to have settled on Chad Henne as their quarterback again. Marshall and Henne should develop more of a rapport in their second season together. And as long as Marshall keeps catching so many passes, the touchdowns will come.

We can't go on without acknowledging the elephant in the room: the incident in which Marshall was allegedly stabbed by his wife with a kitchen knife in the spring of 2011. Taken alone, the stabbing incident should not affect Marshall's performance. (He's already recovered from the abdomen wound and has returned to working out.) It's also important to note that Marshall has not been charged with any wrongdoing in the incident. But watch for any developments that may indicate the Dolphins' patience is wearing thin.

Bottom Line: At a position where few players separate themselves from the pack, Marshall can be a difference-maker. He's still a No. 1 fantasy wideout.

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