By Kyle Wachtel
The New Orleans Saints selected Marques Colston in the 7th round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Since then he has been the epitome of consistency, yet he continues to be overlooked as a high-end wide receiver in fantasy football.
Colston has eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards and attained at least seven touchdowns in six out of seven NFL seasons, including each of the past four seasons. He has been able to maintain career averages of greater than 1,050 yards and eight touchdowns per season even with his shortened 2008 campaign incorporated. He may be turning 30 years old prior to the 2013 season, but I don’t expect him to slow down just yet. The strongest aspect of his game is his ability to utilize his 6’4”, 225-pound frame from the slot receiver position. That style of play should permit him to excel in the NFL longer than receivers who rely heavily on speed.
JJ Zachariason of Pro Football Focus recently published a very informative article on touchdown reliance. The article noted that Colston’s touchdowns equated for 36.1% of his fantasy points in 2012, which placed him eighth among wide receivers. Normally that high of a percentage indicates a prime regression candidate and should be cause for alarm, however there are exceptions. Colston’s touchdown consistency has been quite remarkable for a wide receiver. He has averaged 0.57 touchdowns per game throughout his career and reached seven touchdowns in six of his seven NFL seasons, including each of the past four seasons. Only one other wide receiver, Roddy White, has recorded 7+ touchdowns in each of the past four seasons.
Colston may have a reputation for being hurt often and I cannot argue against that sentiment; nevertheless, in spite of the injuries he has faced during his career, he has proven over and over again that he can play through a sizeable amount of pain. Just this past year, Fox Sport’s Jay Glazer reported that Colston was dealing with plantar fasciitis entering the season. That type of injury has ended the seasons of players in the past, including Antonio Gates’ 2010 campaign, yet Colston managed to play a full 16-game season. That is a testament to his determination and pain threshold.
Let’s take a more specific look at his fantasy football production during his career:
Over his career, he has averaged a 15.7 finish among wide receivers in total fantasy points. He has finished inside the top-12 in each of the past two seasons, which is considered WR1 territory; the same can only be said of Calvin Johnson, Roddy White, Vincent Jackson and Wes Welker. Since I’ve already mentioned Roddy White a couple of times, I’d like to use him as a comparison:
White’s ADP indicates he was selected, on average, 24.55 positions ahead of Colston over the past two seasons. So in essence, the fantasy football owners that drafted White more than two rounds ahead of Colston were rewarded with an extra 0.08 fantasy points per game. According to FFGator.com, Colston is presently the 21st wide receiver off of the draft board with an ADP of 53.1 in 2013. On the other hand, White is currently the 11th wide receiver off of the draft board with an ADP of 34.6. So it seems once again that Colston is sliding under the radar. I currently have him ranked 13th among wide receivers and would be ecstatic to get a player of his consistency at that current value. While he may not have immense upside, it’s hard to find a safer bet for 1,000+ yards and 7+ touchdowns. So when your 2013 fantasy football drafts roll around, I’d keep Marques Colston in mind.