Every off-season all Fantasy Football players look at and analyze the activity around the Free Agent period to find out the impact of NFL players switching to new teams. Many speculate that new players can improve their Fantasy stock by signing on with new teams or have their stock improve by new players added on to their current team. However, there can also be an adverse effect. Players can lose value just as easily. I will look at situations that seem to have become worse for Fantasy players.
Jamaal Charles , RB, Kansas City
It was kind of a scary situation to begin with because Jamaal Charles is coming back from injury. Now you can also add Peyton Hillis into the situation and the prospects do not look near as good for Jamaal Charles to return to a Fantasy stud. There is no question that Peyton Hillis will get carries often in games for the Chiefs. The potential for him to steal short yardage carries and goal line carries as well really puts a cap on the potential for Jamaal Charles. He drops from a top 10 Running Back down to the 15 to 20 range.
The Cleveland Browns had a very poor offensive showing last year and entered the off-season looking to fix every skill position. First, they lost out in the bidding war to move up to the #2 spot in the NFL draft so they could take Robert Griffin III. Then they lost Peyton Hillis -- their best offensive player -- in Free Agency to the Kansas City Chiefs. Finally, they did not make any moves to acquire anybody in Free Agency. The need for a Wide Receiver is glaring and there were many top-tier players to help them available. The failure of the Browns this off-season can only mean that the fans will have a very long season ahead for them.
Matt Forte , RB, Chicago
Matt Forte was Franchised this year by the Chicago Bears and looked to be in line for a nice contract. The contract negotiations have been slow to date and Forte is talking about holding out. The Bears signed Michael Bush in Free Agency to ensure that they have a good running game to help out with the addition of Brandon Marshall to the passing game. Even if Forte does sign a contract, he is sure to lose carries to Michael Bush. Add to that the fact that Forte is coming off of an injury, and you can see reason for concern. Before the addition of Bush, Forte was a top 5 back. He will now drop down outside of the top 10.
Carolina Panther Running Backs
The dreaded Running Back By Committee (RBBC) has caused many a Fantasy Football player headaches for years. The Panthers have been amongst the worst with this concept because they have good running backs with DeAngelo Williams, Jonathon Stewart, and Michael Goodson. Now they have signed Mike Tolbert to add into the mix. What was once a 3-headed monster now has 4 heads. Add into that the fact that Cam Newton runs often and steals many Goal-line carries and you can see a big mess on your hands. A trade is possible and the best candidates would be either DeAngelo Williams and his big contract or Jonathon Stewart (who becomes a Free Agent after this year). If a trade does happen, then I could see owning 1 of these guys as a late round pick. As of right now, all hands should be off of all of these players.
Vincent Jackson , WR, TB
Life in the San Diego Chargers offense had been pretty good for Vincent Jackson. They have a good Quarterback in Philip Rivers, some decent Running Back play, and other play-makers in the passing game. Vincent had several good years with the Chargers. He finally was not Franchise tagged and hit Free Agency. He got big money to go to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay really struggled on offense last year and it was evident across the skill position players as Josh Freeman, LeGarrett Blount, & Mike Williams all had disappointing seasons. Mr. Jackson will find it annoying to be in passing situations and not be able to rely on his Quarterback to get him the ball. His stock will drop down to #15 or so for Wide Receivers.
What is going on in South Beach?? It doesn't seem like anybody wants to play in Miami anymore. The Dolphins traded away their best offensive weapon --Brandon Marshall-- for two 4th round picks; Seems very low for his skill level. They also lost their starting Quarterback Chad Henne in Free Agency. To replace him, they signed David Gerrard, who did not play last year. They tried to bring in other players during Free Agency, but were not able to sign any of them. They have glaring holes at Quarterback (still) and at Wide Receiver. Why are they sitting on their hands and not still trying to acquire some help in these areas?? I see no hope for this team and a long year for Dolphin fans.
Wes Welker , WR and Rob Gronkowski , TE, New England
You might think that I am trying to reserve a spot in the Looney bin by mentioning these 2, but bear with me. The Patriots brought in Brandon Lloyd, Anthony Gonzalez, & Donte Stallworth into the fold at Wide Receiver. They plan on keeping Chad Ocho-Cinco and possibly Deion Branch. That is a lot of receivers, especially for a team that already has another very good Tight End in Aaron Hernandez. How can they pass the ball to all these people?? I like Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski as players, but I do not think that they can have seasons like they did last year with all the talent now on board.