35-Year-Old Wide Receiver – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Football Outlook
There was no outlook written for Deion Branch in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Deion Branch Contract Information:
Signed by the Colts in January of 2014.
Branch is inactive for Saturday's game against the Patriots, Craig Kelley of Colts.com reports.
To instantly reveal our fantasy analysis of every player – including Deion Branch – simply subscribe now.
|Receiving||Rec Distance||Big Rec Games||Rushing||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Fumbles|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Receiving Stats||Red Zone Targets||Rushing Stats||Red Zone Runs|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Receiving||Rec Distance||Rushing||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Red Zone Targets||Red Zone Runs|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Deion Branch: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)The addition of Branch could indicate that Darrius Heyward-Bey's hamstring injury is a serious one, especially with practice squad wideout Josh Lenz also experiencing a promotion to the active roster. Branch himself didn't play in any NFL tilt this season, but his last home, the Patriots in 2012, happens to double as the Colts' opponent in the divisional round. Nevertheless, expect little to no production Saturday in New England, as he resides at the bottom of the WR pecking order.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)New England's injury situation among its receivers precipitated the move. The Patriots needed another healthy receiver, so they activated Greg Salas off the practice squad and parted ways with the gimpy Branch, who only saw 20 targets this season anyway. If Branch goes unclaimed, he could end up back with the Patriots later in the year.
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Deion Branch.
Branch finished the 2012 season with 16 catches for 145 yards in 10 games for the Patriots, but they decided not to bring him back this offseason. He has yet to sign with a team for 2013.
Branch and Tom Brady go back a long way, but these days Branch is only a bit player on the Pats Ė a trusted possession receiver of average efficiency who saw a lot of goal line work. In fact, Branchís 12 targets from inside the 10 were second in the league, and one more than Calvin Johnson saw. (Of course, Branch scored just five touchdowns while Johnson had 16). Branch will be 33 in July, and heís never been especially fast. Heís a good route runner and reliable pass catcher and will likely be the teamís third receiver behind Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd. But Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez will require a lot of targets, and Jabar Gaffney is also in the mix.
Randy Moss' 5-9, 191-pound replacement did about as good a job as anyone could have possibly expected with 9.5 YPT, 14.7 YPC and three receptions of 40-plus yards in 11 games with the Patriots. Branch will never be mistaken for the 6-4 Moss in the red zone Ė despite getting 17 targets there, he scored only five touchdowns for New England Ė but he's a reliable route-runner, has good hands and is shifty in the open field. Heading into 2011, Wes Welker will be healthier, and Brandon Tate will have another year of experience, so it's unclear to what extent the team will rely on the 32-year old Branch, especially down the field. Even with the addition of Chad Ochocinco, Branch should at least be prominently in the mix.
Branch was pretty much invisible in the Seattle passing game last season. He topped 50 yards receiving in just two of his 14 games played last season. Branch, who underwent offseason knee surgery for the third time in two years, is no lock to even make the final roster. He probably will by default, but that won't make him a worthy fantasy option.
Branch thinks he can still perform at the level he did before he tore his left ACL in the last game of the 2007 season, and a productive December last season supports his belief. Branch is a good route runner with sure hands, but he isn't much of a deep threat nor is he a threat at the goal line, which limits his fantasy value. The presence of T.J. Houshmandzadeh could free things up for him somewhat, but a shift to a more run-oriented attack probably offsets that.
Branch is recovering from late-January ACL surgery, and even the best-case scenario has him returning only by mid-season. It typically takes at least nine months to return from this injury. If all goes well, he could return to the practice field by October. How long it would then take to get into 100 percent game shape is another question. Any setback in rehab and Branch is likely out for the year. Branch isn't a great fantasy option when healthy, though. He isn't much of a deep threat nor is he a threat at the goal line. Branch missed five games last season to injury and didn't catch a pass in the season opener.
Maybe itís his Super Bowl MVP award, or maybe itís his association with Tom Brady, but whatever the reason, Branch is consistently overrated as a fantasy receiver. Branch has never had a 1,000-yard season, his career high in touchdowns is five and heís had just five receptions of 40-yards or more in his entire career Ė none last season. So why is he on this list? Because with Darrell Jacksonís departure, Branch enters the year as Seattleís No. 1 receiver, and Matt Hasselbeck has to throw to someone. On the positive side, Branch is an excellent route runner, has good hands and isnít afraid to catch passes over the middle of the field. His outstanding quickness makes him dangerous after the catch, but Branch rarely works very far down the field because he lacks the speed to beat defenses deep. And his 5-9, 191-pound frame makes him an unlikely red-zone target Ė just nine of his 101 targets last year came from inside the 20.
Branch finally stayed healthy for 16 games last year, and performed about as well as could be expected, hauling in 62 percent of the passes thrown his way while dropping six balls in 125 targets. A polished route runner with excellent change of direction skills, Branch excels on short routes and isnít afraid to go over the middle. His outstanding quickness makes him dangerous after the catch, but heís not a true burner, and his lack of size (5-9, 191) limits his ability to hurt defenses down the field. Durability has also been an issue for Branch, as he missed 11 games between 2002 and 2004. With the departure of David Givens via free agency, Branch should be far and away Tom Bradyís No. 1 receiving target, but the Patriots like to spread the ball around to their backs tight ends and other receivers. Reche Caldwell, Chad Jackson and Troy Brown will compete to start opposite Branch, but tight ends Ben Watson and Daniel Graham should also see a prominent role in New Englandís passing game.
The Super Bowl MVP missed the better part of eight games last year with a knee injury, so his counting totals from last year donít mean much. He hauled in 67 percent of the 52 passes thrown to him, though, and he was effective from inside the red zone, catching three of eight passes from inside the 20 for scores. Branch is very quick, can cut on a dime and knows how to get open. Heís fearless over the middle and can occasionally stretch the field, but heís not a true burner, and his lack of size (5-9, 193 pounds) limits his ability to hurt teams deep. Branch also has had some durability problems during his three-year career, missing 11 games to various injuries. Although Branchís Super Bowl performance likely solidified his status as Tom Bradyís favorite receiver (sorry, Troy Brown and David Givens), keep in mind the Patriots like to spread the ball around a lot (David Terrell and Tim Dwight were added this spring, and tight ends Daniel Graham and Ben Watson will be targeted as well).
Branch will vie with the ancient Troy Brown for the No. 2 spot behind the more multi-dimensional David Givens. Remember, quarterback Tom Brady had great success throwing out of two-TE formations, and the Pats spent a first-round pick on tight end Ben Watson, so the Patriots might not deploy three receivers all that often. Branch was targeted 104 times last year (55 percent complete).