Wow! That’s the only word I can think of to accurately sum up the first few minutes of NFL Free Agency for 2015. Multiple trades and player signings. It’s so crazy. I’m going to highlight some of the bigger moves, and probably add/edit them as the week goes on.
Jimmy Graham to Seattle: Huge implications. Right off the bat Russell Wilson moves up a few notches. Similarly, Drew Brees moves down a few notches. We still have a long ways to go yet, this years WR class in the draft seems to be similar to last years.
Brandon Marshall to the Jets: Whoever they have at QB, whether it be Geno Smith or not, is getting a very solid WR. Paired up with Eric Decker and that is some tandem.
Ndamukong Suh to Miami: Miami had a decent defense at times, adding Suh to the mix should up their defensive line production and possibly keep their opponents off the field a little more in 2015. This is good for a sleeper D/ST. Sacks are always good for consistent fantasy points.
Nick Foles to St. Louis: Bradford was pretty decent when healthy. Foles should offer a more stable QB on that front. He clearly is not the QB from 2014. He might be a stepping stone to a future QB. My projection is he is a late (8 round or lower) round draft pick or a waiver wire star if you don’t want to gamble on him.
Sam Bradford to Philadelphia: The opposite side of the trade–I have no idea what Chip Kelly is doing. Players who have a history of getting hurt don’t usually get tougher as they age. I’d look for the Eagles to still be in the market for a QB in the draft. More on the Eagles in a minute.
Frank Gore to Indianapolis: I think Gore was underused last year in San Francisco. Just look at what Ahmad Bradshaw did in this offense last year. The yards and TD opportunities are there to be had. The only issue is Gore’s age and mileage. If he holds up, 1200 yards and 10-14 TDs are not out of the question. I would feel good drafting him in the 5-6 round range.
Haloti Ngata to Detroit: Ngata is just as big as Suh but more disiplined and smarter. I don’t expect their D/ST to lose a beat. One concern is Ngata needed PEDs to either maintain or come back from injury. Will he break down on the field turf?
Torrey Smith to San Francisco: I have not been a huge Torrey Smith fan in Fantasy Football. He is too damn inconsistent. He did have his best year next to Anquan Bolden however, and now he is reunited with him. Colin Kaepernick is the poster boy for inconsistent QB play. I’d stay away from the whole 49ers situation.
LeSean McCoy to Buffalo: Shuffle off to Buffalo! McCoy was perhaps the best possible back to run Chip Kelly’s offense. So good, he had to get a poor man’s McCoy in Darren Sproles and the very next year, trade him. I’m not sure if this makes Kelly a genius or an absolute buffoon. Time will tell. McCoy should have a blast running for a team that generally runs the ball pretty well, and often. Will be interesting to see what other moves Buffalo makes, but McCoy and 2nd year WR Sammy Watkins should be a very dynamic duo.
Julius Thomas to Jacksonville: Probably the saddest piece of Fantasy Football news for 2015. I know the Jags drafted my favorite QB from last years crop–Blake Bortles. You are going to miss a beat or two though, going from Peyton Manning to a 2nd year QB. I rode the early success Thomas had last year to propel me into the lead in my league. Not sure Thomas has that in him for 2015. That being said, if Bortles takes the usual leap from year one to year two, Thomas could help him out a lot. They have some young WRs down in Jacksonville, so it could all work out. I’d put Thomas in the middle of the pack of talented TEs and would stay away from him until the 8-10 round range.
Jeremy Maclin to Kansas City: I know, Andy Reid doesn’t have the best record with WRs, but Maclin is a proven commodity. He didn’t limit TO when he got him. In fact, TO had a pretty good first year. Maclin has speed, he runs good routes, he has run after catch ability. As long as he stays healthy, he should be a killer in this offense. That being said, you should probably be able to steal–that’s right, steal Maclin in the 4-6 round range. I think 1,000+ yards and 10 TDs should be a reasonable expectation.
Andre Johnson to Indianapolis: Johnson has no doubt slowed down over the last few years, but being with one of the top QBs in the league should give him a little pep in his step. If he can stay healthy, he should be able to put up some decent numbers for the Colts. My prediction is 1,100-1,200 yards and 9-12 TDs. This might encroach slightly on Gore’s receiving targets in the Red Zone. Look to snag Johnson at the bottom of round 3 at the earliest. More likely to go in the 4-6 round range.
DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews to Philadelphia: As I said above, I have no idea what Chip is doing. He’s either going to cement his ‘genius’ status or enter into the buffoon realm. It’s odd how he wouldn’t pay McCoy money, but then goes out and spends even more on two backs who don’t exactly have durability on their side. I’d stay away from all the Eagles backs until at least the 8th round. Even if they stay healthy, it will be frustrating to try and figure out which ones to play.
More to follow.
Updated 3/12 8:49 pm