2017 Fantasy Impact of Free Agency Signings and Trades
Which players will make the biggest fantasy impact in their new home in 2017?
Every offseason teams attempt to fill holes via free agency. A lot of big-name players have changed teams this offseason, including Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Brandin Cooks. After a week of hearing what these moves mean for your favorite NFL team, let’s look at what they mean for your fantasy team. We’ll break down the fantasy impact on the top players at each position that changed teams.
Glennon signed a three-year, $45 million contract with the Chicago Bears. The move will likely give Glennon a chance to start but offers the Bears an out after this season. After losing Alshon Jeffery the Bears offense will lack explosiveness. Also, the team found their future running back in Jordan Howard, so Glennon will be handing the ball off a lot. Glennon is not a top-20 fantasy quarterback heading into next season.
Lacy signed a one-year deal for $5.55 million with the Seattle Seahawks. This move is a nightmare for fantasy football owners. Lacy joins a loaded Seattle backfield with Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise. All three backs dealt with injuries at times last season so the move gives Seattle more depth. Each back offers something different, making the backfield one to avoid on draft day.
Woodhead signed a three-year, $8.8 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens. Woodhead has been a PPR star for years but is now 33 and coming off of a torn ACL. With Melvin Gordon’s breakout season after his injury, Woodhead had no role with the Chargers. With Kenneth Dixon suspended for the first four games of the season Woodhead provides RB3 potential if healthy.
Jeffery signed a one-year, $14 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. Arguably the top free agent of this class, Jeffery was looking to sign a massive contract. After dealing with injuries and a PED suspension, teams were uneasy about committing long term to Jeffery. Jeffery decided to sign a prove it deal and earn that major contract. On a team devoid of talent at wide receiver, Jeffery will quickly become the favorite target of Carson Wentz. With motivation to go with exceptional talent, Jeffery will be a WR2 this season but offers upside.
Jackson signed a three-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for $35 million. Tampa Bay did not have a play of over 50 yards last season, so Jackson is the perfect fit. Jackson can still take the top off a defense, forcing teams to know where he is at all times. With teams already worried about Mike Evans on each play, Jackson should have another 1,000-yard season. Jackson is a WR3 next season because of the injury history but is always good for a couple long touchdowns.
Cooks was traded to the New England Patriots. After leaving the high scoring Saints offense, Cooks lands with another Hall of Fame quarterback in Tom Brady. For his fantasy value, this is a downgrade for Cooks. With elite speed and ability to play outside and in the slot, Cooks is a tremendous talent. But joining an offense with Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, James White, Dion Lewis, Dwayne Allen and Chris Hogan, the Patriots have a lot of mouths to feed. Cooks will excel in the Patriots offense but may only be a WR3 value to fantasy owners.
Pryor signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Washington Redskins. After his first full season playing wide receiver, Pryor entered free agency looking to cash in. Like Alshon Jeffery, teams were hesitant to commit to Pryor long term. With Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson leaving Washington, the team needed to replace two 1,000-yard receivers. Also, with quarterback Kirk Cousins motivated to earn a major contract next offseason, Pryor could be in for a big year. Pryor will go earlier in drafts than you are comfortable taking him but has the potential for another 1,000-yard season.
Marshall signed a two-year deal with the New York Giants for $12 million. Marshall provides the Giants with another weapon and someone to take the attention off Odell Beckham. Eli Manning provides a slight increase in quarterback play over what he had with the Jets. Marshall will enter the season at 33, coming off a down year but has some upside. Marshall will be a WR3 next season but his name could raise his ADP higher than value.
After two disappointing seasons in Jacksonville, Thomas was traded to the Miami Dolphins. Thomas was a fantasy stud with Peyton Manning as his quarterback but injuries killed his production as a Jaguar. After Jordan Cameron retired and Dion Sims signed with the Bears, Thomas is the man at tight end. Thomas is a sleeper that could help your team if you are someone who waits to draft a tight end. Don’t expect him to return to TE1 status but if healthy, Thomas could provide value.
Doyle signed a three-year, $18.9 million deal to return to the Colts. After Coby Fleener left for New Orleans last offseason, Dwayne Allen was expected to breakout. Instead, Allen continued his inconsistent play and Doyle emerged as one of Andre Luck’s favorite targets. After the Colts traded Allen to New England this offseason, the message was sent that they believe in Doyle. Doyle offers TE1 upside in a pass heavy Indianapolis offense.
Bennett signed a three-year deal worth $21 million with the Green Bay Packers. After talks between the Packers and Jared Cook broke down, the team decided to bring in Bennett. Moving to another high-powered offense will keep Bennett’s value high. The Green Bay offense is filled with weapons so Bennett will have to fight for targets. With so many mouths to feed Bennett slots in as a TE2 because of the unpredictable number of targets.
Allen was traded to the New England Patriots. After signing a four-year, $29 million contract, Allen severely underperformed. Now in New England, Allen’s only value in a loaded offense is the potential chance that Rob Gronkowski gets re-injured. Martellus Bennett thrived in the time he played without Gronkowski and Allen could do the same. Allen is worth a late-round flier for a team looking for a lottery ticket on draft day.