WeraI will be doing my best to keep this article updated as Free Agency goes on.
QB Carson Palmer to Cardinals: My initial thoughts were that LArry Fitzgerald must be happy. While Carson is not an elite quarterback not young anymore, he still has a great arm, easily the best Larry has had since Warner. Palmer has a penchant to be a gunslinger, and the Cardinals tend to play from behind lately, this could be a very nice fantasy pairing between Palmer and Fitzgerald; the acquisition is definitely going to help Fitzgerald return to elite fantasy status.
QB Matt Cassel to Vikings: Reports are stating that Cassel will likely be competing for the Vikings starting role, a competition I would expect him to win at this point. Potentially good news for Vikings receivers, but since their aren’t really any of note besides youngster Kyle Rudolph and Jarius Wright as well as the flash Jerome Simpson, I don’t expect much from Cassel this season. The quarterback position is very strong and with quality QB’s Dalton and Big Ben being ranked in the teens in many rankings, so Cassel won’t be a very relevant name of fantasy and.
WR Percy Harvin to Seahawks: As a huge fan of Percy Harvin and his dynamic play style, I can admit that I really like this move for him as it will likely mean another post-season appearance in the near future as the Seahawks have a very well built team at the moment. As per his fantasy potential, I think Percy can see a bump here as well. In his rookie season Russell Wilson played smart and consistent and appears to be a guy who will be able to get Percy the ball more regularly than Christian Ponder could. Harvin is also reunited with former Vikings WR Sidney Rice, who will continue to stretch the field for the Seahawks while Percy works on the inside on easier passes from Russell. It should also be noted that the current Seahawks offensive coordinator also worked with Harvin in Minnesota for his first two seasons in the league.
A concern with Harvin has always been his health, while he seems to be dealing with the headaches less recently, he still ended up playing in the least amount of games in his career with only nine this past season. If Harvin can play a full season he certainly has a chance to have a career season with the Seahawks. I would not want to overdraft Harvin as the health is a concern, but he has the potential and now the quarterback to become an elite fantasy wide receiver.
WR Wes Welker to Broncos: Wow. Just Wow. Peyton Manning now has Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, and now Wes Welker to work with in 2013! It is going to be tough to determine who is going to see how many targets with three studs to each share targets, but I can’t help but think that Demaryius Thomas is still going to be the top guy for yards, while Decker and Welker are going to be an amazing duel threat in the red zone. Decker is younger but I expect Welker will be able to earn his way above him on the depth chart and in Peyton’s mind. I don’t expect Welker to see the amont of work he had while with New England, but man, he could not have landed in a better spot. I don’t know if he will see the 174 targets he saw last year with New England, but he should still be able to see at least 120 targets with Peyton as his quarterback.
WR Mike Wallace to Dolphins: As a Dolphins fan I must say I am not overly impressed by the club’s off season moves so far. About a week ago we largely over-payed WR Brian Hartline on a multi-year contract despite only having one good game the entire season. And now the team has signed speedy free agent WR Mike Wallace from the Steelers on a five-year contract. The Dolphins certainly needed an upgrade at WR in order to put Hartline in his proper role as a number two receiver, but I am not convinced that he is the right fit for the team. While he is one of the speediest players in the league and forces defenses to account for him on each play, he is not the best route runner and tends to disappear when not catching the deep pass. Combine this with an inexperienced quarterback and the Dolphins may struggle to get as much out of Wallace as he provided in Pittsburgh. Wallace may be able to have a 1000-yard season but I certainly don’t see him getting close to a double-digit touchdown total.
WR Greg Jennings to Minnesota: heading to Minnesota is a big downgrade for Jennings fantasy value as he goes from having one of the games elite quarterbacks to struggling youngster Christian Ponder. While he will be far and away the best option for Ponder, I see him being a low end WR2 at best this coming season. The move is good news Cobb and Nelson who should continue to be solid in Green Bay.
Danny Amendola to Patriots: This is an amazing spot to land for Amendola for his fantasy value as he replaces Wes Welker as the slot receiver in the Patriots offence.OF course health is a concern with Amendola but if he can stay on the field with Tom Brady as his quarterback, he should be able to have a career season. There are still a lot of mouths to feed in New England with Gronk, Hernandez and Lloyd still on the roster, but Amendola should be able to jump right into the role of Welker perhaps gaining 900-1100 yards while doubling his previous touchdown total of three.
Anquan Boldin to ‘49ers: I would be smiling about this move if I were a San Fran fan. Boldin is an experienced, Superbowl winning and strong wide receiver who will help bring another level of pedigree to the ‘49ers team. He will also give Colin Kaepernick another solid receiving option; one who can make tough catches and is reliable on third downs. Boldin is likely to be Kaepernick’s third option at best as Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham will be ahead of him on the depth chart so I do not think the move helps him in any fantasy aspect. I would still keep my eyes on him on draft day as a backup WR as he could carve a role for himself with a young quarterback and a team looking to get back to the Superbowl.
WR Santonio Holmes resigns with Jets: Still only 29 years and the most talented wide reciever on the Jets roster, Santonio Holmes could be a player worthy of having on the your roster if Sanchez can somehow take a stride forward as a quarterback or the newly signed Garrard can return to form (I have no faith in Tim Tebow becoming an NFL QB). He only played in 4 games last season but still averaged five catches per game and scored a touchdown; he had more than 100 targets for 51-654-8 in 16 games in 2011.
WR Donnie Avery to Chiefs: Avery saw a career high 125 targets last season with Andrew Luck as his quarterback, but only caught 60 of them, less than 50%. He also only had 3 games with double-digit fantasy numbers. Heading over to KC where he will now have Alex Smith as his starting quarterback, I don’t think Avery will be able to take a step forward in production anytime soon. The 700+ yards and three scores he had last year might be the best we see from him anytime soon.
RB Reggie Bush to Lions: Reggie (227-986-6) now joins forces with Mikel Leshoure (215-798-9) whom had a pretty nice season last year after missing the first two games due to suspension. My initial thought upon hearing this is that it will hurt both players fantasy value; will either player get more than 200 touches in the coming season? I can’t help but think that the Lions acquired Bush hoping that he can fill the role of Jahvid Best; playing primarily on third downs and as a pass-catcher. It will be interesting to see if the Lions make any announcements about how they plan to share the role between these two talented running backs, but it does seem obvious as they have quite different playing styles.
Rashard Mendenhall to Cardinals: Arizona isn’t the best place for Mendenhall to land for fantasy purposes, but it should be a good pickup for the Cardinals as Mendenhall was a very consistent running back with the Steelers before suffering his knee injury. He is likely going to have trouble having consistent success with a team struggling as much as the Cardinals, but himself is a step in the right direction for the team as they need any form of consistency they can get. Provided Mendenhall gets 200-250 carries, I can see him finishing with 800-1000 yards and 5-7 touchdowns on the ground.
RB Steven Jackson to Falcons: With Michael Turner in an obvious and speedy decline, the Falcons cut bait with the sluggish runner and brought in perennial 1000-yard rusher Steven Jackson to fill the roll. While Jackson is one-year younger than Turner, he still has over 700 more career carries than him, but has shown no real signs of slowing down. Despite spending his entire career in an offence that sucked and was constantly facing defences that knew to focus on him, the bruising back has never had a season of less than 1000-yards except for his rookie season; now that is consistency. I can’t wait to see what Jackson can do inside a high-powered offence and am thinking that we will see Jackson hit double-digit touchdowns for just the second time in his career.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw to
RB Shonne Greene to Titans: The pickup is a good move for the Titans who now get a change of pace powerback to help compliment speedy runner Chris Johnson, but is a bad one for Chris Johnson fantasy potential. CJ has the ability to break massive runs, but also the ability to have negative ones. I imagine Shonn Greene will be used by the Titans towards the goal line and in short yardage situations that CJ has struggled with in the past. I don’t imagine Greene will have much fantasy relevance this year unless the Titans can get to the re zone enough and hand him the ball.
TE Tony Gonzalez resigns with Falcons: It is now official that Tony G will be returning to the Falcons for one more season, which is great news for them as he is still one of the best active tight ends in the game. He is a great on third downs and key to moving the Chains for the Falcons offense. I expect some regression as the Falcons continue to use Julio Jones more and prepare for Gonzalez’s eventual retirement, but still think that he could be a top-5 player at a fairly weak position.
TE Martellus Bennett to Bears: Bennett has a lot of talent as a receiver and could become a consistent part of the Bears offense considering how thin the receiving core is besides Brandon Marshall. He was very streaky for the Giants last season, scoring a touchdown in the first three games of the season, but only had two more the rest of the way. Still, he is coming off a career best 55-626-5 season and should be utilized even more in the Bears offense provided he is not stuck blocking too much.
TE Jared Cook to Rams: Cook is often mentioned as one of the young tight ends in the league with lots of potential that is just waiting to break out. We have seen flashes of it at times with some 60+ yards plays and 7 touchdowns over two season; but he has also had many streaks of being an average player over his four year career. He did make strides last season with a career high four touchdowns despite missing three games and was on pace for a career high in receptions. I don’t expect Cook to become an immediate impact in St. Louis but could be a hot waiver wire player at some point this coming season if he and Sam Bradford form a connection.
TE Delanie Walker to Titans: This is actually a great pickup for the Titans who needed to help out the run game, which this move will help do. Walker is a very underrated tight end and an even better blocker, which should be a boost for RBs Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene. With Jared Cook having been shipped out Walker should see quite a bit of snaps for the Titans, I just worry he will be blocking for many of them. I am hoping that the Titans will at least give Walker more than 50 targets, something that has never happened in his career.
TE Anthony Fasano to Chiefs: While he was largely underused by the Dolphins, Fasano can be a quality receiver. He did wiff on an easy touchdown catch at one point last season but also had some big games during his tenure. I don’t imagine Fasano is going to be the teams starting option at tight end as they also have Tony Moeaki, who is three years younger. Moeaki is coming off knee surgery and it is possible that Fasano was brought in as security.
TE/FB James Casey to Eagles: Listed on most statistical websites as a full back, I imagine Casey will be second tight end option to Brent Celek, but does have excellent red zone credentials. He had three touchdownds in 2012 on only 34 receptions while playing behind Owen Daniels in the Houston Texans offence. Only a late, late round draft day selection in the deepest of leagues.