Free agency is still cooking some new things around the NFL, but surprisingly there’s been a ton of movement. Here is the list of players who improved or decreased their stock and others who are real wild cards. Enjoy!
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Players who made a move
RB-DeMarco Murray (Eagles to TITANS): Last year Murray took a year off as he said in the last couple of days. That is true in both reality and fantasy football. A lot of people expected big things from the 2014 best RB and he disappointed, especially if we look at is ADP. But now, I think I trust him a bit more: he has no legit competition at his position, he could get a better OLine and a better QB who is very versatile and will keep the defense with an eye on him, which could open important opportunities for Murray.
TE-Coby Fleener (Colts to SAINTS): The thing here is that he has a more experienced QB and with the departure of Benjamin Watson he should be the undisputed tight end to own in New Orleans. Now he is not going to compete with a talented player like Dwayne Allen.
RB-Matt Forte (Bears to JETS): To say that Forte’s value improved could an understatement, but there are two main reasons to say so: the first one is that since he got injured and splitting the workload at the last half of 2015 season his body will be less hurt and because he has no legit competition like Jeremy Langford. Maybe Bilal Powell could steal some receptions but that is all.
TE-Ladarius Green (Chargers to STEELERS): During the four games he played last year while Antonio Gates was injured, he had 54.75 yards per game and 3 touchdowns. Now looks like he will be the starter in one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL.
RB-Lamar Miller (Dolphins to TEXANS): This player finished as the sixth best RB on fantasy last year, but he was really unpredictable: he had 5 games with 15+ points but 7 with less than 9! The thing here was his lack of total carries as a presumed starter with less than 13 carries per game. That is not as surprising after you see the Dolphins were the ream with less rushing attempts in the league with 310 (18.23 on average), while the Texans ranked in the top 5 with 472 attempts (27.7 per game).
WR-Travis Benjamin (Browns to CHARGERS):I had him as Stock-Down early on, but after a thorough analysis I moved him here. You can read his fantasy-scouting report here: Travis Benjamin scouting report for fantasy.
QB-Blake Bortles (Jaguars): The fourth best fantasy football QB improved his stock with the addition of RB Chris Ivory, why? Because he not only has a great group of ball catchers (Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Julius Thomas and Rashad Greene) but now he has two very good players on the backfield that will be a constant and fresh threat to the defenses. Now Bortles could have more time on the pocket with the pressure decreased.
RB-Ameer Abdullah (Lions): There was a lot of expectation around this kid last year but he kept struggling with taking care of the ball. But with the Joique Bell’s departure and the fact that the Lions haven’t made a move on the free agency, could mean more opportunities for Abdullah next season.
WR-Kevin White (Bears): If you read my Top 5 Sophomore WR article, you should know how much I like this WR. His stock went up with Alshon Jeffery staying in Chicago, because White won’t be dealing with double coverage.
Zach Miller (Bears): When he was able to play, showed spectacular-catching ability and a nose for the end-zone. With former teammates Matt Forte and Bennett leaving Chicago, he could be a sneaky sleeper next season.
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Players who made a move
RB-Chris Ivory (Jets to JAGUARS): The Jets leaned their offense on Ivory a lot to the point that he was the sixth RB with the most carries and that was a big reason of why he had over 1000 yards. Now he will be splitting the workload with sophomore TJ Yeldon in a backfield committee that will hurt both players stock.
TE-Benjamin Watson (Saints to RAVENS): This veteran tight end had a nice performance last year especially because he had an elite QB like Drew Brees (who loves to have a reliable TE) and he was the only legit red zone threat. Playing in Baltimore means competing against Maxx Williams and Croquett Gilmore for the starting role.
Martellus Bennett (Bears to PATRIOTS): After last season’s performance, Bennett’s value went down, but he was (on paper at least) the number one TE in Chicago. Now he will be a good Rob Gronkowski’s complement, but It’s hard to find some good fantasy potential on him if Gronk stays healthy.
RB-Alfred Morris (Redskins to COWBOYS): This situation looks like a legit RBBC. Morris was signed for a 2-year contract for 3.5 million with 2.8 mil guaranteed. So it’s pretty clear to me that “America’s Team” will use his new back on a consistent basis. On the other hand, McFadden’s success could be tracked to his heavy involvement (after Tony Romo’s Injury) ending with 239 carries (8th overall) so with Morris on the mix his stock was significantly hit. The only scenario when I see this two having good RB2 games are on the case that Romo goes down again.
Players directly affected
RB-TJ Yeldon (Jaguars): He was one of my favorites sophomore RB to have a nice 2016 season, but with Ivory coming into the building that changes everything. That move could mean that the coaches staff it’s not sold out on Yeldon’s starting ability or maybe they just couldn’t get passed the opportunity to get someone like Ivory; either way, the Alabama product will fall a lot in the re-draft leagues but he should be a solid spot start in case the former Jet goes down.
All Titans RB: No more Bishop Sankey-Antonio Andrews-David Cobb dilemma. DeMarco Murray will get the heavy workload and these three RB could fall into oblivion.
RB-David Johnson (Cardinals): This guy was the best RB on the last half of 2015’s season and he showed real starting RB potential. With Chris Johnson re-signing with the Cards, there is some concern around David Johnson’s value, but I believe that we shouldn’t panic and wait for the OTAs and training camps.
RB-Darren McFadden (Cowboys): Check Alfred Morris’s paragraph fot McFadden’s analysis.
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WR-Rishard Matthews (Dolphins to TITANS): On paper it doesn’t look like a lot of things changed for this player: young QB (Tannehill for Mariota), solid RB (Miller for Murray), sophomore WR on the rise (Parker for DGB) and the go-to-guy (Landry for Walker). But is the last thing the one that Matthews could get advantage for: Jarvis Landry is able to run almost every route and has the skill-set to do so, but Delaine Walker is still a TE and won’t be stealing WR routes from Rishard Matthews.
WR-Marvin Jones (Bengals to LIONS): This is a very talented (and for me underrated) WR who could really take advantage of Megatron’s retirement and having a solid player like Golden Tate as his teammate
QB-Brock Osweiler (Broncos to TEXANS): This player will have an offensive line improvement and an elite WR like DeAndre Hopkins. But he is getting into a new team, new city, new Head Coach, new system; Osweiler has the tools to succeed but a lot of obstacles as well. I like him as a sleeper who you could get after the tenth round.
WR-Emmanuel Sanders & Demaryius Thomas: There has been a lot of talk about Mark Sanchez’s arrival to Denver, especially a lot of mocking. But Sanchez is a decent QB who could be a surprise next year with the proper coaching.
Still on the wire: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB Alfred Morris, RB Arian Foster, RB Ronnie Hillman, WR Anquan Boldin, WR James Jones, WR Andre Johnson.