Free Agent Musings

Peyton Manning’s new home will deliver a nice bump up to any of the skill position players on the team he signs with. However, prior to that signing let’s be on the point of saying that Titan targets, Jared Cook, (TE), Kenny Britt, (WR) and Damien Williams, (WR) all deserve your attention. Add the bonus that Manning would pull two games a year against the Colts and it sure looks sweet, one of those games in Indy.

If Manning does not go to the Titans, these target players are still great plays for dynasty teams but need Jake Locker to develop quickly.  Last note — Manning will be a great tutor to the future of Jake Locker whom will wait two years, perhaps three to take over.  His contract renewal will be very interesting.

Over in Denver, WR Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker look to be the big winners if the former Colt becomes a Bronco. Sleeper TE’s Julius Thomas and Virgil Green both get major upticks. Of note, it is worth mentioning, Dallas Clark is universally considered the best Free Agent TE available right now and may end up wherever Mr. Manning signs.  The Broncos have been ever so quite in free agency and see to be the team that has clicked with Peyton’s personality.

Mario Williams, DE signs with the Buffalo Bills and walks in as the sack guy in Dave Wannstedt’s 4-3 defense. Mario played well in a 3-4 scheme last year but he belongs with his hand in the dirt as a 4-3 end. IDP leagues, I would not overpay, hype him and let another team spend an early pick. The Bills will be behind by 2 TD’s in the majority of their games in 2012, and sack opportunities will be scarce at times.  He will still get his 7+ sacks, but is not a top tackle DE and his points come in spurts, not the consistency fantasy playoff runs are made of.

Peyton Hills is a Chief and you have to love this. A pure tragedy for Jamal Charles owners who kept him on a IR classification. Hillis will likely be the bell cow for this team as the season wears on. If the price is fair, he is a nice gamble as a #3RB. This move all but assures the Browns to take Trent Richardson or deal down.

Jacksonville, signed Laurent Robinson. Insane contract. Blaine Gabbert needs a blue chip guy, this is not it. Things get worse in Jacksonville, stay away.  The most concerning thing here is that the Jags have failed to help the team in Free Agency across the board.  Needs at WR, OL, DE, DB, LB.  If the Jags grabbed a decent alternate opposite Robinson at least he beceomes a deep WR 4 for your team on matchup plays.  The Henne signing does not help as chemistry will be longer to develop as reps get split.

Cowboys make a great splash and get CB Brandon Carr and ILB Dan Conner.   Not a lot of explaining to do here.  Conner and Carr are great upgrades and will be immediately plugged in as starters.  This is a significant pair of signings,  the impact to offensive skill players is what I am most excited about.  Dez Bryant is already a decent bargain at WR and with M. Bennet leaving we are sure to see another very good year from Jason Whitten.   Tony Romo also benefits as the improved defense, under Ryan for the second year will force more possessions for the Cowboy offense.  D. Murray at RB gets a great bump as well but we do need  to temper our enthusiasm with the issue of his durability.    Summing up, these two FA signings have me targeting Bryant,  Romo, Whitten and Murray higher than prior to the additions.   Our IDP leagues should love what this does to Demarcus Ware and Sean Lee.  Conner will be a solid LB in tackle leagues.  Alas, don’t forget Mr. Kyle Orton, a great #2 that will ensure your investment is protected in case of a Romo injury.

Mr. Flynn signs in Seattle, don’t get to excited.  Might not be as Kolb’s first year but it is a sure fire losing proposition for fantasy wideouts in the birthplace of Starbucks.

Giants sign Martellus Bennet, TE.  A perfect signing which provides insurance to the Giants with two TE’s coming off knee injuries.  I like this for Eli the best, he will need his TE’s to be more involved in 2012 now that Manningham has finally moved on.

Mario Manningham and Randy Moss sign on with the Niners.  All  in part to posture for Mr. Manning’s services no doubt.  I am more than surprised by the Moss signing, does he bring more than the up and down Crabtree?  Mario will be a great target but as the #1 WR he will be pure bust.  As the #2 he will be bust.   I see the Randy signing as a ploy to get Michael Crabtree to work this summer.  If no Manning neither of these guys are draftable.

Tampa Bay signs Vincent Jackson and OG Nicks.   A potential jackpot for the Bucs.  The have added the best OL in free agency and when healthy the best WR.   I see the Bucs now going defense in the draft and getting badly needed DB help.  In today’s NFL overpaying for a RB is rare, the position is wrought with to much volatility.  I see Tampa rolling with J. Freeman, V. Jackson, M. Williams, K Winslow and L. Blount.   Several decent impacts here, better for Freeman, Williams and Blount.  Winslow could have a huge year if he stays healthy as teams will have to use 3 guys to cover Williams and Jackson.

Saints sign Ben Grubbs, OG.   Just putting this in here so all you Brees guys can breath.  Yes they lost Nicks but Grubbs is a very good guard and expect him to step in without issue to Drew or the Saints passing game.

Brandon Llyod, WR signs with the Patriots. The shifty WR is back with the coach that made him the WR target he is, Josh McDaniels.  Can’t say enough how much I like this deal.  I have him stashed in 2 big play dynasty leagues and am awfully happy.  Given Wes Welker’s health issues I really expect a big year, particularly in yardage leagues.   Think about it, who has Brady been throwing to?  Did you see the playoffs this year, wow.

Jason Allen CB goes to Cincy, this is a great deal, jut what the Bengals needed.  Helps overall defense and provides for a few more offensive possessions over the year.   Hype on Green so high this year Allen has no impact, perhaps helps Simpson a bit at WR, nice #2 who will draw the defense’s second best DB.

C, Scott Wells from the Packers signed with the Rams.   This deal got little press but should have.  If the Rams roll with Jackson one more year and do not draft a decent backup he will be great.  Bradford better, better WR, better TE means less focus on Jackson.  Wells a very nice upgrade on a OL that needed it.

Brady Quinn, signed with the Chiefs, well, if you listen to the show you know I love QB retreads.   Here is a perfect opportunity.   Quinn walks in with no expectation other than backup QB insurance.  He is a vast upgrade over the #2 and #3 from last year.  Don’t be surprised if he gets a long look in pre-season if his camp is good.  Bowe and Baldwin will not sit idle on the sidelines, some QB will need to feed them the ball.  New RB Hillis, most forget is a nice pass catching option as well.

Flyer, IDP sack leagues, Trevor Scott in New England a one year deal, lot of talent might get a lot of looks to make plays on a team starved for a sack man.

Parting shot – – Buyer Beware — Excited, so were a lot of Redskin fans when the landed Albert Haynesworth.


Bob has been participating and running fantasy leagues for 20 years, in redraft, dynasty and salary cap leagues. He has been on numerous shows proving specialized content for fans. He is known for his breakdown of coaching changes and coaching impacts to affect player performance and draft position. Bob ran his first leagues manually scoring weekly results from the USA Today. Follow Bob on twitter: @allpurposeroto Email Bob:

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