Saturday, July 30, 2011

NFL Free agency impacts on Fantasy Football

     The season has started for the NFL and already there have been some moves through the league that will have impact on how you may be looking to draft your fantasy teams. Many big names have been shuffled around and I will break down what the impact will be and if it really is worth it.

     Let’s start with yesterdays big signing of Nnamdui Asomugha, Arguably one of the best shut down corners in the game and he has moved from Oakland to Philly. How this does benefits the Eagles? It does give them that one guy who they can lock on to the big receiver. In a division with Austin Miles and possibly the return of Plaxico Burress to the Giants, this move strengthens a formidable defense and puts the Eagles in a good position to pull away in the division. Look for the Eagles special teams/defense to become a bit higher on the rankings. I would place them in the top five defenses this year.

     The Minnesota Vikings made a huge move this week when they signed Donovan McNabb as the starting quarterback. I don’t care what you read or when nonsense is being stated elsewhere. Donovan is going to start for this team. When I look at the Vikings from last year, the biggest issue they had was at QB. Teams did their best to stop Adrian Peterson with loading the box, but he still got his yards. Teams knew if they could get the Vikings into second and long or third and long, they would beat this team. McNabb is not the player of old and he won’t carry a team like he use to but in Minnesota he doesn’t have to. He just needs to be able to manage the game and give the defense something to think about. Look for Peterson to go back to form with multiple 120+ yard games and multiple touchdowns. McNabb should do well also here but depends on the health of the receivers. If Percy Harvin is healthy, all will be right in Minnesota. Look for this team to make a run at the division.

     New England went and did what they always seem to do these days, just make smart moves. By smart I mean taking a player with great upside and investing very little to acquire him. The first was Albert Haynesworth from Washington for a fifth round pick. We all know the storied past and I posted a story on his move here earlier in the week. I like that this was to be the big push to help the pass rush and I do believe this will help out a young secondary and alleviate the stress place on the linebackers. With the waiving of Ty Warren, it does leave a bit of a question on what way this defense will be heading. Granted, Warren was injured but can still play on rotating basis in the defensive scheme the Bill is running. As with anything coming out of Foxboro, it is all a wait and see scenario. The second move of the week is all about Chad. Ochocinco is a great addition to a receiving corps that sorely needed the stretch receiver. Chad doesn’t have the speed he use to but with his size, football savvy, and his desire to win the Patriots offense just got stronger. Wes Welker will be the biggest gainer with Chad added opening up the middle for him.

     Seattle made a move in getting Sidney Rice at receiver. Sidney has been struggle as of late with multiple injuries but he still has game breaking potential and that is what Seattle needs. The other problem is finding the right guy to throw him the ball. With Matt Hasselbeck gone, that leaves Charlie Whitehurst and Tarvaris Jackson to compete for the starting job. Rice should be on your fantasy roster but as a late pick. Neither quarterback is going to light up the stat sheets so Rice will get his catches but may not see the end zone as much.

     Miami had a pretty decent play in picking up Reggie Bush from the Saints. With the type of offense Miami runs, Bush is a perfect fit. I know the Saints had some doubts after Bush’s return from injury last season and the immergence of Chris Ivory and Pierre Thomas, there really isn’t a need for a third back. Miami was in dire need of a solid starter, which Bush is. Reggie also brings the winning mentality of have been to a Super Bowl and should have a positive impression in the locker room.  Look for Bush to have a solid bounce back year.

     As we continue to roll through the free agency and preseason, each team will be looking to get better and stronger. Some moves will be great while others will be a bust. My bust of the week is going to Cincinnati and the Jets. Cincinnati let Chad go for minimal in return but let Jonathan Joseph leave as well. Not many will recognize the name out of the Cincinnati area but Joseph was their best young cornerback. Considering the defense is marginal at best, to lose one of the star player’s on that side is just plain stupid. The jets fall into this area because of two things. First, they failed at trying to lock down Nnamdui Asomugha in what could have made the defense the best in the league for many years. Second is their inability to sign Braylon Edwards. Jets went ahead and signed Santonio Holmes to a five year $50 million extension and left nothing to work with Edwards with. The latest rumor has the Jets looking into Burress as a pick up but that remains to be seen if Burress wants to play there.

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