fa tracker Free Agency Analysis As It Happens

Updated at 2:30 PM on 3/19

Matt Hasselbeck: Signed by the Indianapolis Colts for 2 yr. $8 Million
Ryan Fitzpatrick: Signed by the Tennessee Titans for 2 yr.
Ben Watson: Signed by the New Orleans Saints for 3 yr.
A pretty dead time in Free Agency 2013. Uhhh what to say about these signings? Hmmmm, well I’m hoping that none are on your fantasy team because they now have little to no value. Best case scenario for all the teams, the only player that will sniff the field is Ben Watson. I could see the Saints playing a 2 TE set (ala New England) and having both Watson and Jimmy Graham lined up. Still though, Watson will be the 4th or 5th option in that Saints offense and is extremely frustrating. I watched him play at the beginning of his careers and he is the definition of “Pizza Paddle Hands”. Huge mitts, but he won’t consistently make the routine catch. If Graham gets hurt, Watson has some value on your team, but I wouldn’t consider drafting him.
Hasselbeck and Fitzpatrick are back ups and should only be picked up if Luck or Locker go down with injury.
Lame update, I know…but don’t blame me…blame the GMs and players for not making exciting deals/trades the past few days!

Updated at 1:15 PM on 3/17

Brandon Myers: Signed by New York Giants for 1 yr.
After losing Martellus Bennett to the Chicago Bears, the Giants had to make a move at Tight End. Enter Brandon Myers. Myers stepped up as  Carson Palmer’s security blanket and most consistent target in 2012, finishing the season a Top 10 fantasy Tight End. Moving to New York should only increase his production. The Red Zone looks from Eli Manning will help Myers improve on his four TD output. I expect his value to stay right around the TE6-TE8 range in 2013.

Louis Murphy: Signed by New York Giants for 1 yr.
This move caused just a minor blip on the fantasy radar. In all likelihood, Murphy will be slotted into the Giants offense as the WR4 behind Nicks, Cruz and Randle and should not be rostered in any leagues. However, you should keep and eye on him as Murphy has show flashes in the past and could have fantasy value if any of the three wideouts in front of him get banged up.

Brandon Lloyd: Cut by the New England Patriots
Lloyd’s numbers were not all that bad but his attitude and impact on the field are the reason why he was cut before he was due a $3 million roster bonus. Word out of the Foxboro is that Lloyd could be brought back at a cheaper price, but that would have to be for right around the veteran minimum for New England to consider it. It seemed like Lloyd was being force fed the ball at times in 2012, in hopes that he would produce, unlike some of the other WRs who failed in New England. This was a weird move as no WR on the current Patriots roster caught a ball with the team last year, but Bill is still working his master plan. I would assume that Lloyd will be back with the Patriots in 2013 and should be valued as a WR3 for fantasy purposes due to his inconsistency.

Greg Jennings: Signed by the Minnesota Vikings for 5 yrs. $47.5 Million
This move was all about the money for Jennings and I am happy to see him get paid. Reports are that Jennings turned down a contract from Green  Bay that would pay him about $8 Million a year, as well as a contract from New England to pay him around $6 Million a year. Again, I don’t blame Jennings for taking the money since this should be the last big money contract he signs, but for fantasy purposes I am disappointed he would choose to play with Christian Ponder over Tom Bray or Aaron Rodgers. As Sal pointed out in his latest article, Jennings will definitely have fantasy value  being the main receiving option in Minnesota. I would expect that the Vikings try to get another quality receiving option early on in the draft, but I still like Jennings as a WR2 in all fantasy formats. I disagree with Sal a bit in that I don’t think he produce like he did in 2008-2010 due to the QB downgrade, but there is no reason why he can’t be right around 65-70 catches, 1000 yards and 6-8 TDs.

Brandon Gibson: Signed by the Miami Dolphins for 3 yrs.
The Dolphins continue to revamp their offense by adding yet another pass catcher for Ryan Tannehill. Brandon Gibson had a decent 2012 for the Rams and has the chance to produce similar results in Miami. I like Gibson as a back up for your fantasy team.

Ronnie Brown: Resigned by the San Diego Chargers for 1 yr.
I thought the Danny Woodhead signing meant Ronnie Brown was on his way out in San Diego, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Brown is a good pass catcher out of the backfield, but his production has declined over the last few years. I would expect him to be more of a back up to Ryan Mathews, while Woodhead should come in on all passing downs. Brown has little to no fantasy value in my opinion.

Arrelious Benn: Traded to the Philadelphia Eagles
The former 2nd round pick will have a chance to resurrect his career in Chip Kelly’s offense. If Benn can stay healthy he could be a viable option for the Eagles, but his snaps will be limited since he will be playing behind DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper. Benn has little to no fantasy value as this time, but could be an intriguing waiver wire pick up if he is able to scrounge up some playing time.

Justin Forsett: Signed  by the Jacksonville Jaguars
Since the Rashad Jennings/Montell Owens/Jordan Todman/Luke Grilli-just-off-the-street RBBC failed miserably after MJD went down with a foot injury in 2012, it was important for the Jags to sign a capable RB to fall back on. Forsett is exactly what Jacksonville needed. A cheap, yet reliable, option they can throw in and feel comfortable with. Forsett hasn’t seen a lot of work over the last two years, but showed potential with the Seahawks in 2009 and 2010. He can back up MJD, as well as come in for 3rd down duty. If you own. Jones-Drew, it is advised to also grab his back up as a handcuff.

Updated at 3:30 PM on 3/15

Donald Jones: Signed by New England Patriots for 3 yr.
Donald Jones was a bit inconsistent in 2012, but so was the way of the Buffalo Bills. Jones will come into New England and has the opportunity to be the WR3 on the outside paired with  Danny Amendola in the slot and across from Brandon Lloyd (if Bill doesn’t cut him). Anybody who goes from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Tom Brady will instantly receive a major upgrade in my book. I think that Jones could put up a season of 55-60 catches for 800 yards and 3-4 TDs. He won’t be a week to week starter for your team, but he could produce consistent results.

Mike Goodson, Signed by New York Jets for 3 yr. $6.9 Million
Goodson was been stuck at the bottom of the Carolina chart and was eventually moved to Oakland in 2011. Fantasy owners got excited because Goodson flashed some fantasy value in 2010 when he got the chance to play after J. Stewart and DeAngelo Williams went down with injuries. When he moved to Oakland, there was almost a 100% chance that Run DMC would go down with an injury. Well DMC did, and unfortunately so did Mike Goodson. 2012 ended up being a lost season for the once promising back up. Fast forward to 2013 and Goodson signs with the Jets and is instantly on the fantasy radar again. The Jets RB depth chart currently shows Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight. Goodson may have the chance to propel himself into either a starting gig or some sort of RBBC. In the end, it is an improvement from where he was in 2012.

Dustin Keller: Signed by Miami Dolphins for 1 yr. $4.25 Million

I like this landing spot for Keller. 2012 was a tough season for the TE after a promising 2011 and the Jets decided to move on. I think that Keller will prove to be a good safety blanket for Tannehill and he could put together a solid season in 2013. Keller has never lived up to the TE1 hype, but I see him as being a quality back TE2 for your team. Keller will have the chance to have TE1 games considering that he will still be going against the Pats and Bills, and now the Jets twice a year…

Danny Woodhead: Signed by San Diego Chargers for 2 yrs.
Nice move by the Chargers here. It seemed like the Pats wanted to start giving the 3rd down and scat back duty to Shane Vereen considering they spent a 2nd round pick on him in 2011. Woodhead leaves New England and heads to San Diego where Ryan Mathews have proven he cannot stay on the field consistently. Woodhead should have the same role in San Diego as he did in New England and could possibly pick up more opportunities, if and when,  Mathews get’s hurt walking. In PPR leagues, you can make a case for Woodhead to be a flex player or the first guy off your bench.

Updated at 9:10 AM on 3/15

Steven Jackson: Signed by the Atlanta Falcons for 3 yr. $12 Million
Finally we know where S. Jax will be playing in 2013 and beyond. A few weeks ago I wrote that Jackson should go to the Green Bay Packers to regain his RB1/RB2 status but after thinking it over, Atlanta is the best spot for him. Like Green Bay, Atlanta is a pass heavy offense but are more likely to have a bell cow in their offense. Michal Turner had three seasons with 300+ carries and during his five years with the Falcons, each year yielded 10+ TD production. However, Turner’s stone hands only limited him to a season best of 19 receptions. Steven Jackson may be getting up there in years, but he has the chance to produce double digit TDs for only the second time in his career, as well as get back up to the 55+ reception range. Jacquizz Rodgers will take some snaps, but I expect S. Jax to put up in the neighborhood of  225 carries for 1050 yards, 60 receptions for 400 yards and 12-14 total TDs. This production could make him a borderline RB1/RB2. Long term I don’t like him to keep up that production, but if you need an RB for 2013, then Jackson is your guy.

Matt Cassel: Cut by the Kansas City Chiefs. Signed by the Minnesota Vikings for 1 yr. $4 Million.
The worst kept secret was that Matt Cassel was going to be cut by the Kansas City Chiefs after the Alex Smith trade. Within hours of that becoming reality, Minnesota came in and grabbed the USC product. Matt Cassel has a chance to start in Minnesota since there will be an open QB competition between him and the underachieving Christian Ponder. I think that by the end of the season, Cassel will be the starter in Minnesota and if you can afford to stash him on your bench of taxi squad…do it. He wont’ be anything more than a QB2, but the luxury of  having more than enough starting QBs on your squad is huge in dynasty leagues.

Leon Washington: Signs with the New England Patriots
If your league has return yards included in its scoring, this is a great player to grab ASAP. Kick and Punt Returners has always been an a position of need for the Pats and they thought they addressed the situation by signing track superstar Jeff Demps as an undrafted rookie in 2012. Unfortunately for the Pats, it looks like Demps is going to continue his track career. Enter Pro Bowler and NFL record holder Leon Washington. Washington won’t be used much as a running back but should make a major impact as a kick returner. Again, if your league uses return yardage Washington is probably not be on the waiver wire, but his stock will stay high after signing with New England.

Chase Daniel: Signs with the Kansas City Chiefs for 3 yrs. $10 Million
Chase Daniel was seen by many as an interesting case in Free Agency. We haven’t seen much from Daniel since he was stuck behind Drew Brees in New Orleans, but apparently Andy Reid sees something in him. This deal may be more of an investment or a safety net in case Alex Smith doesn’t pan out. There is talk that the Chiefs will to  up Daniel’s stock and try to deal him next off season. For fantasy purposes, this guy shouldn’t be on your depth chart, but keep him on your radar just in case.

UPDATED AT 9:33 PM 3/13

Danny Amendola: Signed by the New England Patriots for 5 yr. $31 Million
By the time I came back from my nightly workout I had seen that the Pats immediately made a play for Welker-lite. Not only is Danny Amendola now replacing Wes Welker in New England as the slot guy and punt returner, but he did the same thing at Texas Tech. It is funny how things work that way. However, back to the article…Amendola will be over hyped over the next few months. I think that he is a great fit for the Patriots as he can do similar things as Welker and already knows Josh McDaniels’ system from his time in St. Louis. However, it isn’t always that seamless of a transition. Plenty of WR have come into New England and haven’t clicked with Tom Brady. I hope that isn’t the case with Amendola. Personally, I just don’t see 100+ catches 1300+ yards in Year 1. On top of that, Amendola is the anti-Welker when it comes to health. Welker very rarely misses a game, while Amendola very rarely plays a game. I hope for fantasy purposes (and personal reasons) that Amendola can come in and take over the Welker role. I expect him to be valued as a WR2 in drafts and fantasy free agency, but don’t overspend on him and value him as a WR3 for now.

Wes Welker: Signed by the Denver Broncos for 2 yr. $12 Million
The rumors started just after lunch on Wednesday 3/13 that the Broncos were taking a look at Welker. As a die hard Pats fan, my stomach started turning. The one place where Welker could have the same QB play as he did in New England was Denver with Peyton Manning. Around 5:00 PM it was official. He had turned down the 2 yr  $10 million contract from New England and was on his way to Denver. Many, many MANY expletives were shouted in my apartment for 2 reasons. 1. Wes got screwed by New England and went to a conference rival and 2. His fantasy value took a hit. While Wes will still get plenty of looks, I think his days of being a WR1 will be over as long as Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are heatlhy. I expect Denver to run plenty of 3 WR sets, but the days of Welker putting up 100+ catches are probably over. I would expect 80-90 catches, 1000 yards and 4-5 TDs in 2013. Still a great option as a WR2, but not what he was in New England.

Shonn Greene: Signed by the Tennessee Titans for 3 yrs. $10 Million
VERY interesting move here. I dont think that this means Chris Johnson’s out the door, but the Titans will probably revert back to their “Thunder and Lightning” approach that they had with LenDale White (remember him) and CJ2k a few years back. If you remember correctly, LenDale was actually a great fantasy asset since he vultured all the goal line carries. This probably gives Greene similar value and I’m still perplexed why he would choose this role, but you can expect some fantasy relevance from the former Jet. The bad news though, there will probably be weeks where Greene’s stat line is 4 carries for 4 yards and weeks where he puts up 4 carries for 4 yards and 2 TDs. Oh the joy of fantasy football…

UPDATED AT 4:00 PM ON 3/13

Rashard Mednenhall: Signed by the Arizona Cardinals for 1 yr.
Denver was rumored to be the landing spot for Mendnehall, but the Cardinals were able to swoop in and get the former Pittsburgh Steeler. Playing on a “prove it” deal, Rashard Mendenhall is reunited with Bruce Arians in Arizona. 2012 was dreadful for Mendenhall, but I think he still has a lot left in the tank (26 years old in Week 1) and has the chance to shine in Arizona. Ryan Williams’ value takes a hit as he has been a disappointment since he can’t stay on the field and the familiarity with Arians’ system should help Mendenhall. Plus, with the contract being a 1 year deal, Mendy will be motivated to get a pay day during the 2013 off season. Mendnehall can be had at a RB3 price, but will probably produce RB2 numbers. Keep an eye on this situation as it develops in training camp.

Reggie Bush: Signed by the Detroit Lions for 4 yr.
Great move for the Lions here. Some may forget, but Reggie Bush had 162 catches in his first two seasons in the NFL. With LeShoure being the bruiser/goal line back, Bush should come in for all passing downs and a lot of the 1st and 2nd down work. Bush stays as a RB2 with low end RB1 upside, while LeShoure’s value takes a hit and he is relegated to the land of Michal Bush RB4s…ouch. With that being said, Reggie Bush isn’t known to stay healthy throughout a 16 game season. One pulled hamstring and LeShoure is a quality starter for your team again.

Donnie Avery: Signed by the Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs continue to remake their team as they make another free agency move in signing Donnie Avery to an undisclosed contract. Avery had a nice season with the Colts in 2012 and could be a nice option for Alex Smith. Avery should definitely be on your roster, but for depth purposes only. He would make a great injury/bye week fill in, but I don’t trust him as anything more than that.

Laurent Robinson: Cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars
A year ago tomorrow (3/14) the Jacksonville Jaguars made a Jacksonville Jaguars move by signing Laurent Robinson to a 5 yr. $32.5 million contract after a break out 2011 season with the Cowboys. Ya know, sometimes I wonder what  these GMs are thinking. By no means do I know the X’s and O’s of football better than these guys, but how does one convince themselves that Laurent Robinson is worth that kind of contract, especially in an offense like the Jacksonville Jaguars? Anyways, Robinson could be a nice WR3 on an NFL team and a WR5 on your team if he can stay healthy and goes to a pass first team. Maybe a reunion with the Cowboys?

Delanie Walker signed to a 4 yr. $17.5 million contract by the Tennessee Titans
Every time I saw San Francisco play it seemed that Delanie Walker always made a big play. After leaving the Bay Area, Walker finally gets the chance to step out of the shadow of Vernon Davis. I wouldn’t be surprised if Walker had a similar season as Martellus Bennett’s 2012. Walker finally have a chance to be “The Guy” and should prove to be a good check down for Jake Locker. Hell, I’ll even say that Delanie Walker out produces Jared Cook in 2013. Boom, yup I said it.

Darrius Heyward-Bey: Cut by the Oakland Raiders
An injury riddled 2012 was a tough break for DHB as he put up a nice 2011 season and slightly better fantasy numbers than Michael Crabtree. DHB should catch on with another team and has the chance to put up decent numbers if healthy.

Ryan Fitzpatrick: cut by the Buffalo Bills
Buddy Nix gave us fair warning in the prank call released on Tuesday that this was coming. Fitzpatrick will catch on with another team, but his days as the clear cut starter are over. He should be off your fantasy radar.

Martellus Bennett: Signed to a 4 yr. $20 million contract by the Chicago Bears
Love this move by Da Bears. Martellus finally got a chance to start with the Giants and decent option in the passing game. Chicago knows they aren’t winning a Super Bowl by targeting Brandon Marshall 192 times. Bennett, along with a healthy Alshon Jeffery, should diversify the pass game a bit. Martellus is a low end TE1 for the foreseeable future.

Kevin Walter: Released by the Houston Texans
Ahhh Kevin Walter. This guy should be in the Bye Week Fill In Hall of Fame. I swear, he has been added and dropped more than any other player in fantasy football history. I want him to get signed somewhere simply so I can add and drop him 8 times in 2013.

Plaxico Burress: Signed to a Non Guaranteed 1 yr contract by the Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers have been busy huh? I foolishly jumped the gun and made a bet with my buddy once I saw this deal happen. I told him that I think Burress has what it takes to put up 50 catches for 800 yards and 4-5 TDs. I may want to rethink that bet, but Burress could put up so-so numbers if he makes it through camp. WR4/WR5 is not out of the realm of possiblity.

James Casey: Signed to 3 yr. $14.5 million contract by the Philadelphia Eagles
The sneakiest free agent signing to far in my opinion. Casey will be used very creatively in Chip Kelly’s system as a hybrid RB/WR. He probably won’t be you a weekly starter for you, but he is worth rostering as a “what the hell” pick up.

Tony Gonzalez
No contract yet, but Gonzo has confirmed that he will be playing for the Falcons in 2013 with the goal to win the Super Bowl. Gonzalez showed us that he still has what it takes to be your starting Tight End week in and week out.

Jonathan Dwyer: Pittsburgh Steelers place a 6th round tender and Isaac Redman: Pittsburgh Steelers place a Right of Refusal tender
I’ll lump these two together as I expect Pitt to split their carries in 2013. Their upside is limited in 2013 if this is the case, but both Dwyer and Redman could be nice bye week fill ins for your squad as both showed flashes of potential in 2012. Long term, neither player excites me much and I expect Pitt. to address their RB needs when they have the cap room to do so.

Emmanuel Sanders: Pittsburgh Steelers place a 3rd round  tender
Sanders could have a sneakily decent season in 2013. Dreadful QB play for part of the season limited Sanders’ value, but with Wallace gone and the Steelers hurting for cap space, he has the inside track to a starting job in Pitt. I like a WR4 type season with WR3 upside in 2013.

Jared Cook: Signed to a 5 yr. $35.1 million contract by the St. Louis Rams
Somebody please remind me what this guy has done in his career? How does a career best season of 49 catches for759 yards and 3 TDs turn into this contract? As I ever so wittily (is that a word?) tweeted “@LGrilli88 5 years, $35.1 million with $19 million guaranteed for JARED COOK? If he can get that much, I gotta be able to get like 100K from a team.” #Truth. Jared Cook still isn’t going to win you a fantasy championship. If you can get him to be your TE2 for cheap, why not? Otherwise, I’m staying away from him.

Mike Wallace: Signed to a 5 yr. $60 million contract by the Miami Dolphins
I love this deal, yet I hate this deal. I hate the deal because Mike Wallace is a one trick pony with a cases of the dropsies. He does not deserve $12 million a year, nor should he be your main receiving option. I love this deal because I am a Patriots fan and the Dolphins just threw $12 million at Mike Wallace and still have Ryan Tannehill throwing the ball.

Victor Cruz: New York Giants place a first round tender
I’d be shocked to see Cruz go anywhere. Any team that would sign him to a $10-$12 million contract would also have to pony up a first round pick along with that contract. Essentially, it would be similar to the Percy Harvin situation, but Cruz can choose whether or not to sign the offer sheet from another team. What I’m getting at is while he may not have the contract he wants, I don’t think that Cruz holds any ill will towards the Giants because of these negotiations. With that being said, he isn’t going anywhere.

Beanie Wells: Cut by the Arizona Cardinals
Beanie, Beanie, Beanie…what happened to that 1,000 yard season? The once promising first round pick out of THE Ohio State will now be relegated to spot/back up duty. I don’t see anybody jumping at him anytime soon either. Wells could be signed late in the off season or towards the end of training camp, depending on teams’ injury situation at RB.

Anquan Boldin: Traded to San Francisco 49ers for a 2013 6th round pick
Simply a cost cutting move for the Ravens. I like Anquan in San Francisco more than I liked him in Baltimore, but I would have preferred to see him go to a pass happy team (ala New England or Chicago) for selfish fantasy purposes. This moves proves to me how much of a burden and mistake the Flacco contract will be. Baltimore’s offensive weapons (and defensive) are taking a hit as a result. I think this hurts Torrey Smith more than it helps him. Last season Smith had 49 catches on 109 targets through Week 16. Not really much of the possession type.

Percy Harvin: Traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2013 1st round pick, 7th round pick and 2014 3rd round pick. Harvin signs a 6 yr. $67 million contract with the Seahawks
The biggest move in free agency essentaly happened before free agency began with this trade. Playmaker Percy Harvin is headed to Seattle to a young and hungry team. I love this move for Harvin as he will be used in creative ways by Pete Carroll. Russell Wilson also benefits from this move. Both Harvin and Wilson are in my Top 10 at their respective positions.

Alex Smith: Traded to the Kansas City Chiefs for 2013 2nd round pick and 2nd or 3rd round pick in 2014
We have known about this deal for a few weeks now. Kansas City will receive a QB who can get the job done better than anyone they have had since Elvis Grbac. Smith never was a fantasy stud and the move to KC still keeps him as a QB2. 3200-3500, 17TDs and 7 INTs can be expected.