Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Free agency after the lockout was fast and exciting. So far on day one teams were only able to sign there own free agents and begin negotiating with other teams and free agents. There were tons of deals negotiated that should be signed on Thursday. On day one the talk of the day was quarterbacks. A most the smaller moves were made but the big names have yet to be moved. In this article I'm going to overview all the team changes for relevant fantasy football players so far. These moves aren't considered official until Thursday. This post will be updated frequently throughout the next few days.

Quarterbacks are always the talk of football. The first quarterback news of the day on Tuesday was that Carson Palmer won't play for the Bengals and they won't trade him. This will probably cause Palmer to retire for the year. Of course that rumor has been circulating for a while now, but the Bengals owner confirmed this rumor now. The Bengals have now set up a deal with Bruce Gradkowski. He will likely compete with with Andy Dalton, who the Bengals drafted this year, for the starting quarterback job in 2011. The Bengals seem to be getting a fresh start this year. There quarterback could put up decent numbers as they have some receiving potential. In fantasy both Gradkowski and Dalton shouldn't be considered unless your in a two quarterback league or a very deep league.

The first real move reported was Tarvaris Jackson being signed by the Seattle Seahawks. Jackson will likely be the starter in Seattle. I am a Packer's fan born in Minnesota so I always saw the Vikings games and I think that the Vikings never gave him a real chance at being quarterback. Vikings fans always hated Tarvaris, no doubt he had some issues but I think hes underrated. I expect that in Seattle he will develop into a decent NFL quarterback. The Seahawks grabbed Tarvaris because they planned to release Hasselbeck. Jackson will probably slightly lower the fantasy value of other Seahawks, but only slightly because he isn't much worse than Hasselbeck. Matt Hasselbeck later signed with the Titans where he will hold the starting job at least for this year while they are developing Jake Locker. It will probably be a pretty good job for him with Chris Johnson as his running back (Johnson is holding out but it should get settled).Hasselbeck is an improvement over their current quarterbacks. I would boost players like Johnson but who knows how the big play receiver, Britt, will be affected because his stats will rely on his chemistry with Hasselbeck.

Alex Smith was resigned by the 49ers to a one year, five million dollar deal. Smith has never had great success in the league but his coach, Jim Harbaugh, says he likes Smith's work ethic and thinks he will fit great into the west coast offense.Although the news is that Frank Gore is likely going to hold out. The 49ers need to get that sorted out before anything else if they are going to improve in 2011.

According to Adam Schefter a tentative agreement is already in place that would send a 6th round pick and another conditional 6th round pick to the Redskins in return for Donovan McNabb. The move would probably be pretty good for the Vikings as throwing Ponder into the mix could be a disaster. This way they have options. It is expected that Ponder will compete for the job though as McNabb has been declining in recent years. This should help Peterson and the rest of the offense, compared to Ponder starting.

Tyler Thigpen who became a free agent after 2 year with the Dolphins will become the backup quarterback to Ryan Fitzpatrick. The contract is for 3 years.

Matt Leinart was resigned by the Texans. People thought he might sign with the Seahawks, but Leinart proved those rumors false. He will back up Schaub in 2011.

On Thursday the Arizona Cardinals made the move we all expected and traded for Kevin Kolb. The Cardinals traded CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round pick for Kolb. They also extended his contract another five years. This should help out both teams, the only downside for the Eagles is if Vick goes down having Kolb was a luxury. Now Kolb has the starting job that he wanted and he has Larry Fitzgerald at his disposal. Kolb should be a decent fantasy option in deeper leagues.

Vince Young has landed in Philadelphia. He signed a 1 year deal and will play back-up to Michael Vick. It should be a good role for him, he can wait for the media to get off of his back and maybe get a little bit of playing time this year if Vick goes down. This is good news if you are a Vick owner because now if Vick gets hurt and you don't have a reliable back-up you can still try to add Young to your team. The guy deserves another chance in the NFL as he has talent.

Matt Moore was added by the Dolphins. He is the ex backup/starter from Carolina. Moore will compete with Henne for the starting job. Pretty awful quarterback situation. Don't expect to much for Moore. This is bad news for Dolphins players fantasy wise.

Running Backs
Willis McGahee was one of the first free agent casualties as he was released by the Ravens. This should cause a big increase to the already extremely valuable running back, Ray Rice. McGahee has had the goal line duties in Baltimore for several years now, which has annoyed many Rice owners. Now Rice should see a big boost in his touchdowns.

The Carolina Panthers have resigned DeAngelo Williams. It was a popular rumor that he would wind up somewhere such as Denver, but for now it appears he is still stuck sharing the rushing load with Jonathan Stewart. Williams was signed to a five year deal. This is bad news for both of those players as well as Mike Goodson fantasy wise.

An unexpected trade has been set up that would send Reggie Bush to the Dolphins. Bush still needs to decide if he wants to go to Miami and he needs to get a new contract set up. This helps the fantasy value of all the Saints running backs as well as Reggie Bush. Now Bush is in a less crowded situation with weak competition for the starting job. The Saints filled Bush's spot with Darren Sproles. Sproles is a similar back to type to Bush but a slight downgrade. Fantasy wise this probably hurts Sproles versus being in San Diego just because there is more running back competition in New Orleans

The ex-Packer Brandon Jackson is now a Brown. He will be the third running back behind Hillis and Hardesty. Jackson has never proven himself to be a threat in the running or passing game, but where he does excel is in pass blocking. Last year he didn't allow any sacks to Rodgers on third down. If anything this takes away from Hillis and Hardesty's fantasy value. Jackson won't take to many carries but he will take some of the passing game and 3rd and longs.

Wide Receivers
Santonio Holmes resigned with the Jets on a five year deal. His fantasy value would probably be higher on another team, but this was the expected move. The problem with the Jets is that they are mainly a running team and Sanchez is just an average quarterback, still a worthy fantasy player though.

Jacoby Jones resigns with Houston, last year he had 51 receptions 561 yards. I expect a similar season this year. Andre is still the obvious number one.

Donte' Stallworth  has reached a deal with the Washington Redskins. Stallworth was a none factor with the Ravens last year catching only 2 passes with a broken foot. He is expected to be in the mix with Santana Moss (who was resigned), Anthony Armstrong, and the Redskins next free agent target Jabar Gaffney. They traded DE Jeremy Jarmon to acquire Gaffney from the Broncos. Gaffney was the third receiver signed by the Redskins in 2011. It was originally announced that Brandon Stokley would also join the Redskins but he backed out because too many receivers were signed.

Lance Moore was resigned by the Saints. This probably helps his value because he was unlikely to end up in a good receiving system, but it would have been a big boost to the other Saint receivers fantasy wise if he left. Moore likely remains an underneath options and a red zone threat. In standard or twelve team fantasy football leagues he always seems to be a great bye week filler.

The Seahawks added another wide receiving threat to their roster. They signed Sidney Rice to a five year deal. Rice, like Tarvaris Jackson, is a former Viking. He was their number one receiver until he suffered a hip injury and missed most of the 2010 season. When he came back he preformed pretty well. Jackson is a downgrade from Favre but Rice is a very talented receiver. The Vikings later replaced Rice with Devin Aroshomashodu the ex-Bear, they also brought in Michael Jenkins the ex-Falcon. The two will compete to be the second receiver behind Harvin.

Brad Smith, the former, Jet is headed to the Bill after signing a four year contract. Smith has many talents and the wildcat will probably follower him from the Jets to the Bills. Should help out the Bills who don't have a deep receiving core.

Chad Ochocinco has been traded to the Patriots for two late round draft picks. It's a good spot for him, he will be on a winning team with a great quarterback that has a void for receivers. He isn't the usual character type that New England looks for. I figure that Ochocinco shouldn't have any problems in that system because he knows they aren't afraid to get rid of him. His value in fantasy football rises and could make him a possible starter depending on his role in the offense. He should be motivated because he has previously said he loves Belichick. Chad also tweeted "God is so good" when he heard news of the trade. This also could help Welker who should receiver less attention with Ochocinco on the field. Helps Brady a little but he was going to put up big numbers either way. In Cincinnati they are clearly rebuilding this year by getting rid of many of the old core guys. Look for rookie A.J. Green and Jerome Simpson to fill the slot in Cincinnati.

Roy Williams the ex-Cowboy is now headed to Chicago. The Bears have a pretty pathetic receiving core so Williams should be the number one or two receiver. He has never lived up to his physical ability. He has always dropped passes, or fumbled the ball in big moments. Now that his is in Chicago maybe he will develop into the receiver we all thought he would back when he was drafted, or at least improve.

Mike Sim-Walker signed a one year deal with the Rams on Friday. The deal is basically a prove it deal. If he works hard he could earn a starting job that is very much in air in St. Louis. If he is a free agent in your league and one of your players lost some value then I'm okay with an add on Sims-Walker. I like the Rams this year I think Bradford showed a lot of skill last season. They have a young team (besides S. Jackson) that should keep getting better. Sims-Walker was a popular sleeper pick last year. Who knows he could break out this year so keep an eye open for him.

Tight Ends
Todd Head was released by the Ravens. No word on where he will end up, he could resign with the Ravens for less money. They had cap issues.

Greg Olsen was traded from Chicago to Carolina. It was a pretty surprising move. Martz doesn't use tight ends much but Olsen is a talented tight end. He is now a borderline starting tight end. The Bears added tight end Matt Spaeth to fill Olsen's spot. Spaeth is actually from my small hometown, I've met him a few times. Hes a good guy, he donated a decent amount of money to our towns high school a few years back actually. But in the NFL hes mainly a blocking tight end which is what the Bears need considering Martz doesn't use tight ends. Should be a good fit for both teams.


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