Rotoprofessor’s Pop Quiz: Can Kyle Orton Emerge As a Usable QB?
Written by Eric Stashin of www.rotoprofessor.com
Kyle Orton could have been considered a 2009 surprise, posting solid numbers after being acquired from the Bears in the trade sending Jay Cutler out of Denver. Having only spent one year as a starter prior to the trade, it was hard to imagine what we were going to see, but he certainly delivered.
Orton completed over 62 percent of his passes, going for 3,802 yards (11th in the league) and 21 TD. Additionally, he only threw 12 INT, ninth fewest among QB with at least 300 attempts.
The problem, as we enter 2010, is wondering where the production on the outside will come from with Brandon Marshall now calling Miami home. Nearly one-third of the yards Orton threw for went to Marshall, nearly half the TDs.
Not only that, but Tony Sheffler, who could have emerged as a big-time go to target at TE, is now in Detroit, just adding to the lack of receiving threats.
Demaryious Thomas, drafted to replace Marshall, has been hampered by a foot injury, and no one really knows what to expect from him.
That leaves a number of question marks surrounding what’s left. Can Eddie Royal rediscover his rookie form? Can Jabar Gaffney, who showed signs last season, emerge as a number one WR? Can Brandon Lloyd, a perpetual disappointment, provide any type of offense?
Knowshown Moreno, if healthy, could emerge as the biggest threat coming out of the backfield, but that’s not going to provide Orton with many downfield opportunities. If their leading receiver turns out to be a running back, just how can we expect him to accumulate a ton of numbers?
The best example of a RB who turned in a monster receiving season is Reggie Bush in 2006 and 2007. In 2006 he had 88 catches for just 742 yards (8.4 yards/reception). In 2007, it was 73 catches for 417 yards (5.7 yards/reception). That’s not a lot of bang for your competions.
While Orton showed he had potential last season, the loss of Marshall is going to have a major effect on him. He’s a low-end QB2 in my mind, and better suited to be a reserve in two-quarterback formats.
What are your thoughts? Am I being too harsh on Orton and the Broncos receiving corps? Can he turn out to be fantasy viable?
Make sure to check out Rotoprofessor’s 2010 rankings: