Below you will see that I have written down my thoughts in regard to the free agency moves and their fantasy impacts. They are so interesting that I had to take a sedative to keep from having a heart attack.
Peyton Manning: The three most likely candidates seem to now be the 49ers, Titans and Broncos. So yeah, all the rumors and media trying to tell you where he would go was, and is, a bunch of B.S. The three above might actually get the shaft as well for all I know. I’m not going to predict anything. We shall sit and wait like the rest of the world.
Vincent Jackson: We will have to see what Jimmy Raye brings to this offensive coaching staff in Tampa but I don’t see them turning into a high powered offense over night. I am not as down on Josh Freeman as others because last season was just a huge cluster eff in Tampa. Mike Williams took a big step backwards and the rest of the receivers were young or meh. Kellen Winslow really helped Freeman out 2 years ago but last year his knees finally hit the wall. Add to that LaGarrette Blount is a horrible 3rd down back and nothing went right for Freeman. I see the signing of Jackson plus a bounce back year from Williams really helping Freeman get back on target. I think Jackson will be a reliable #2 fantasy receiver next season with some #1 upside but I’ll be keeping my expectations lowish.
Brandon Lloyd: Lloyd blossomed a little late in his career but he did blossom and now he’s followed the coach that helped him blossom to New England. Of course unlike Denver and St. Louis, Lloyd will not get 10+ targets a game in New England. But also of course, the quality of the targets he does receive will be much higher. Lloyd, like Randy Moss, will open that offense up so Brady will have plenty of free ranging options. Of course Belichick is going to be a bit of a nightmare this season when it comes to deciphering who will get the targets. BB sure isn’t going to tell us. Gronk, Welker, Lloyd and Hernandez are all going to have plenty of fantasy value but the fantasy foursome is going to lop off a player or two each week from fantasy stardom which over the long haul might not kill your team but you can’t expect huge games each and every week.
Brandon Marshall: He can be a cancer on a team no doubt but Jay Cutler seemed to like him when he was on the field and as long as he can stay out of jail he should put up good numbers. . The Bears receivers are slim pickins after Marshall so it looks like he’ll be the main man once again so his stock should remain high.
Peyton Hillis: Hillis, like Thomas Jones, is a big kick in the crotch for JC Superstar owners. And the really sad part is Hillis is closer to his prime so should be more effective than Jones was in KC. He most likely will get goal line carries and cut into JC’s overall carries some as well. JC should be fully healed from his injury but that will still give coaches even more reason to give him rest. This is a good move for real football reasons but a bad move for fake footballers. Both will be hard to predict from week to week.
Mario Manningham: The 49ers are going after Peyton Manning and Alex Smith is meeting with the Dolphins. This whole situation is up in the air and so is Manningham’s fantasy value. If the Niners somehow land Manning, Manningham will get to play with the other brother and have a chance at some fantasy upside, but with Smith I’d stay far away from him.
Randy Moss: The 49ers got him pretty cheap and will be able to cut him easily if he decides he doesn’t really feel like trying, so I like the move. After that a lot depends on who is leading the way at quarterback. I don’t like Alex Smith to be able to get him the ball consistently enough to keep him happy but Mr. Manning might have a better shot.
Pierre Garcon: The Redskins now have about fifteen #2/3/4 receivers and Garcon is one in the crowd. He is incredibly streaky which is not the best type of player for a young quarterback like Robert Griffin III. He most likely will have a few big games that will make us want him on our team but be very very wary.
John Carlson: This was an interesting move by the Vikings. They paid Carlson a boat load of money while already having an up and coming tight end in Kyle Rudolph. I’m guessing teams are looking hard at the 2 tight end sets that the Patriots ran and also seeing Percy Harvin as a bit of Wes Welker type. That makes some sense if they had Tom Brady as QB. I haven’t made up my mind on Christian Ponder. He had a big decline after a couple of nice games but I’m in wait and see mode for now.
Robert Meachem: He is now a starting wide receiver for the San Diego Chargers. That’s a pretty good place to be even though I don’t like his ability all that much. The fact that Philip Rivers is his new quarterback is good but the fact that he doesn’t have Jimbo Graham and Marques Colston and all the other guys that Brees divvies the ball out to in his crazy way anymore is better. I’m not 100% on board because I also like Malcom Floyd and Vincent Brown but they paid Meachem to start so he will get his opportunities.
Mario Williams: He’s now a Buffalo Bill. This will make the Bisons a pretty formidable defense and might help out the Bills running game in the long run. The C.J. Spiller/Fred Jackson conundrum is going to be a tough one this season and this signing might make the choice more important. I’m leaning Spiller since he’s not coming off a broken leg and isn’t 31 years old.
Chad Henne: Chad Henne is a Jaguar!!! shouted nobody. The Jaguars have a whole heaping mess of bull dung playing for their team right now and Henne may be the best quarterback they have. Blaine Gabbert will continue to get his chance but he looked so unbelievably over-matched that he’s going to have to turn his shizz around and fast.
Kyle Orton: With Tony Romo’s proneness for injuries Kyle Orton will make for a great stash this season in deep or 2QB leagues. If he had Witten, Bryant, Austin, Murray and Jones to throw to he would be fantasy relevant.
Le’Ron McClain: McClain is going to want to run the ball but I don’t think he’ll be allowed to unless of course Ryan Mathews gets hurt, which he is wont to do. Of course Curtis Brinkley would most likely be the running back to own if Mathews were to miss time. What I get from the McClain signing is that the Chargers are on board with giving Mathews the bulk of the work which makes him very valuable and a risky but high ceiling first round pick.
Laurent Robinson: The Jaguars overpaid for LRob and now he’ll have nobody to take coverage away from him or have a quarterback that can get him the ball.