Today at 4 Eastern free agency starts. I’m going to take a quick look at some of the offensive players that could have some fantasy relevance next season. Actually I already did! They are just below here. Oh, you see. Ok, read it then, jeez!
Peyton Manning: We don’t know where Manning is physically but he seems to be gaining strength and is going to give it a go. All signs point to him having a decent chance at being healthy enough to continue making a fantasy impact even at his ripe old age. The number of teams that are interested in him are many but right now the leaders seem to be Denver, Arizona and Miami, but reports of other teams making a move like Tennessee keep popping up. I’m not going to speculate much. I personally would like to see him in Arizona with one of my favorite players Larry Fitzgerald but I have absolutely no clue where he ends up. Wherever he goes the receivers should end up getting a fantasy upgrade.
Vincent Jackson: VJax is a top 10 receiver in the league with even higher possibilities. His landing spot will help out whatever quarterback has also landed in a similar spot. He has plenty of suitors including Washington, Chicago and Tampa Bay but no clear frontrunner. Money will be the main factor as it pretty much is in all free agent negotiations so thinking of his “best fit” does little or no good (same goes with Manning I think). I’m liking him a lot for the Bears or Redskins to help out Cutler or RG III in our fake football world.
Matt Flynn: Is he Scott Mitchell and Kevin Kolb wrapped in a 5 touchdown game? Dunno. From what I’ve seen and read I believe he can be better than both and be in the Joe Flacco range with more upside in the right situation. Right now the most likely destinations are Miami, Cleveland and Seattle. None of those destinations would be the perfect fantasy spot but I like Miami and Seattle the most to push his value up.
Michael Bush: Bush is a tough call. He had some big games but also looked a little pedestrian at times. His likely landing spot right now is Cincinnati which is about as good as he could hope. They would most likely use him more than about any other team and that’s what he needs for fantasy production. I’m buying him as a safe pick if he’s a Bengal.
Brandon Lloyd: It took Josh McDaniels’ offense to finally get Lloyd going and he understands that enough to want to go to New England. He’ll take money as well. I like Lloyd a lot, but of course he is already getting up there in age but in the right situation he is a top fantasy producer still. New England would be a great spot for him even though he’d have to share too much. Thankfully that offense and Tom Brady would make up for his lack of targets by making his targets actually be productive.
Peyton Hillis: Peyton, Peyton Hillis, he takes his 2011 season shaken and disappointing. He absolutely killed all his free agency value and there are no obvious suitors but he still has ability and could end up somewhere that could get him enough playing time to be of use. I’m really on a wait and see approach with Hillis right now.
Marques Colston: Yes, he’s had a quadrillion knee surgeries but the guy can catch anything. Drew Brees and the Saints offense is still his ideal fantasy home but he does have the skills to produce elsewhere. I’m not going to pay for him due to his chance of reinjuring his knees but I’m also not going to write him off. He can help a team.
Mario Manningham: He was hurting much of last season, a season that he needed to take advantage of and didn’t. Tampa Bay is looking hard at him right now and if they don’t get VJax he looks like their fall back. He’s going to have to prove himself to me, especially on a team like the Bucs.
Reggie Wayne: Wayne’s diminishing skills kill him unless he follows Manning to wherever he leads. His name most likely will overvalue him in most drafts no matter what happens.
Brandon Jacobs: If he’s your #1 running back your real team is in trouble. If he’s your #1 fantasy back you need to quit. I’ve never liked Jacobs. He plays soft for his size, he complains when he has no right to, and he gets hurt too much.
Cedric Benson: How this guy was a #1 running back last season is baffling. He’s not good. He blew his wad two years ago. He will most likely have to settle for a back up role which will make him mad and he’ll punch a kitten and get suspended for a year.
Mike Tolbert: It will be hard for him to land in another position where he had as many opportunities to score as he had in San Diego. He is a complimentary back and most likely will go somewhere as a backup. If he happens to land in a city without a clear cut running back we might take another look at him.
Dallas Clark: Like Wayne, if he follows Manning he could have some value. Otherwise I’m running away in fear.
Pierre Garcon: Garcon is inconsistent and not worth as much as he will probably garner in free agency. I’m not high on him unless he happens to land with a good QB and lots of targets.
Robert Meachem: I’d be wary of any receiver that has had Brees throwing to him if he doesn’t go to a perfect new home.
Kyle Orton: It’s getting close to that time Kyle! But he’ll keep playing and keep showing glimpses of fantasy relevance only to suck horribly.