Marshall was one of fantasy's more disappointing wide receivers in 2014: On average, he was drafted inside the top 20 players overall, but he missed three games because of injury and was limited in several others, and he wound up with only 61 catches and 721 receiving yards (albeit with eight touchdowns), which made him fantasy's No. 30 WR. The Chicago Bears must believe Marshall, who turns 31 this month, is no longer worth his nearly $10 million salary-cap hit.
Marshall has always been a durable, high-volume player. Since he became a starter in '07, he's caught 100 passes in five of eight seasons and has averaged nearly 1,200 yards receiving and eight TDs per year. From a fantasy perspective, it's probably unfair to ding him too much for his '14 health problems, which included a lingering ankle injury and broken ribs suffered in Week 14. He's no longer any kind of threat to stretch the field, but Marshall is still 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds and a good route runner. That makes him an elite red zone weapon, and he'll still be a major TD threat every week with the Jets.
Unfortunately, he'll be playing presumably either with Geno Smith or a rookie signal-caller, perhaps Marcus Mariota. Either way, as mercurial as Jay Cutler can be, Marshall's quarterback situation got far worse with this trade. Yes, on a weekly basis he's talented enough to produce great numbers. Yes, new Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey will shake things up and try to make Marshall a focal point. And yes, Marshall is still a good possession receiver and an All-Pro end zone threat. But my guess is that it will be difficult to know when Marshall's good games are coming, and it will be frustrating to own him in '15. For the moment, he drops to No. 28 on my WR list. Eric Decker, who seems to present some skills duplication with Marshall, though he's probably faster, is at No. 40 on my preliminary list, and this move likely ensures that Percy Harvin will play elsewhere.
As for what is left behind in Chicago: I already ranked Alshon Jeffery above Marshall; I have him as my No. 11 WR. He'll suffer ups and downs with Cutler and receive even more defensive attention, but his size/speed combo is frightening. For the moment, Marquess Wilson becomes a name to know: At 6-foot-4 but a wispy 184 pounds, Wilson's future is probably as a slot receiver, but with Marshall gone there's an opening for slot play in the Windy City. Wilson is still only barely inside my top 50 WRs, and it's fair to anticipate that the Bears will add at least one receiver via free agency or the draft.