Is Marques Colston Ready to Bounce Back This Year?
One relatively down year for Marques Colston has sent his average draft position (ADP) plummeting to a level it hasn't been since his rookie year. Per Fantasy Football Calculator, Colston is going off the board as the 30th wide receiver. While a falling ADP is to be expected for an aging receiver coming off of a down year, the numbers simply aren't there to back up such a drastic slide, giving astute fantasy owners an excellent opportunity.
Our fantasy projections have him ranked as the 24th wide receiver, projected for 70.51 receptions, 1,024.36 yards and 7.85 touchdowns.
The last time Colston finished 30th or lower in wide receiver standings was a 2008 campaign in which he played in only 11 games (and still finished just outside the top 30, coming in at 35th). Similarly, his real-world production has yet to fall that low since his shortened 2008 season. He's ranked 20th or better in Reception Net Expected Points over the past five seasons, cracking the top 10 twice.
For his current ADP to accurately reflect his value, Colston would need to have his worst season since that injury-shortened 2008, and there’s nothing in the numbers to suggest this to be likely. In fact, our 70-reception projection seems to be closer to Colston’s floor than his ceiling.
His last, and only, season with fewer than 70 receptions came in that short 2008 season. To get a better idea of Colston’s floor, let's take a look at his target numbers over the last five seasons.
|Year||Receptions||Targets||% of Team Targets|
The lowest share of the Saints’ total targets that Colston has seen in the last five years was 16.31 percent in 2011 (coming in only 14 games). Even if he were to only see that 16.31 percent again, it would be surprising to see him fall under 100 targets, as Drew Brees has attempted 650 or more passes in each of the last four years. With an average catch rate (the percentage of targets caught) of 67.21% over the last five seasons, it would take uncharacteristically low numbers from Colston for him to fall under the 70 reception mark.
In addition to this high floor, Colston boasts a fair amount of upside: he's a solid and often-used red zone target, and is poised to bounce back from his career-low touchdown total of five last season.
The Saints are one of the most pass-heavy red zone teams in the league, ranking fifth in red zone passing attempts last season, and Colston has always been a beneficiary of this.
Over the course of the last five seasons, per Pro Football Reference, Colston ranks seventh in red zone targets with 99, second in red zone receptions with 64, first in red zone receiving yards with 607, and seventh in red zone touchdowns with 29.
There’s not much more you can ask for out of a receiver with a seventh round ADP than a high floor and solid upside. Taking advantage of the general public’s overreaction to one down year from Colston will do wonders to bolster your wide receiver situation.