2017 Free Agent Eight Ball – I think mine is broken?
Right as the 2017 free agency market was getting ready to open I decided to dust off my magic eight ball to try and guess where the top free agents were going to land. Below is my follow-up article, so let’s see how well my magic eight ball still works. Spoiler Alert I think it’s broken because I didn’t do a very good job picking the correct landing spots. All updated material will be in BOLD text.
2017 Free Agents:
- Alshon Jeffrey, WR, Chicago Bears:
Alshon Jeffrey is the clear #1 player in this year’s free agent class and as of right now he hasn’t accepted an offer to stay with the Bears. Coming off a subpar season a change of scenery might be what’s best to kick start Alshon’s fantasy ADP and remind the entire fantasy community of the beast he was back in the 2013 & 2014 seasons.
Dream Fantasy Landing Spot: Tennesse Titans – Amazing opportunity to play with one of the best up and coming quarterbacks in the NFL! This signing would skyrocket Mariota’s fantasy value and also raise the supporting cast’s ADP’s as well. This is a fantasy dream scenario but another would be if he landed in New England! With $61m in cap space available, the Patriots could make this happen but it’s a REAL long shot.
Most likely Landing Spot: Chicago Bears – They want to keep Alshon & pair him with Howard to help speed up the rebuilding process and with $51M available in cap space the Bears have the money to get this deal done.
Actual Landing Spot: Philadelphia Eagles – This is not a terrible landing spot for Alshon and he only signed a 1-year deal so he will be right back on the market next year. His value is still high in all formats as he still sits as a solid WR2 w/ upside. I would have loved to have seen Alshon end up in Tennessee or Indy because I like the quarterback play on those two teams much better. Efficiency in the redzone is an area Wentz struggled in last year only completing 47.19% of his 88 attempts which was the 7th most attempts in the NFL last year. This move really helps the other pieces in the offense, especially Jordan Matthews as he gets to move back into the slot. Ertz target share might get eaten into a bit but I don’t think it will hurt the value of Zach Ertz much.
- Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings:
The Vikings decided that a soon to be 32-year-old RB w/ over 2,400 carries on his odometer, who is coming off his second knee surgery in 4 years was not worth holding onto. AP holds the best name recognition of this year’s free agent running back class similar to Matt Forte a year ago but unfortunately not a lot of teams are interested in spending money on a RB with that many miles on him. The good thing is AP is a freak and with only 1 full season under his belt over the past 3, he might just have enough left in his tank to give a team on the cusp a chance at a Super Bowl run.
Dream Fantasy Landing Spot: Oakland Raiders – The Raiders have the 2nd best run-blocking O-line in football and could give AP the best offensive line he has ever played behind. A healthy AP who has played in at least 13+ games in a season has never scored less than 10 touchdowns or rushed for under 1k yards. If this happens I will have a FA Chubby!
Most likely Landing Spot: Oakland Raiders – They can get him on the cheap and is a much better running back than Latavius Murray who they let walk or any other RB who is on the current roster.
Actual Landing Spot: Has not signed with any team – What we do know is that he is not going back to Minnesota after they signed Latavius Murray but it doesn’t look like the market is going to be kind to Peterson. The scary thing is that Oakland would rather talk to a retired player in Marshawn Lynch then take a look at Peterson or offer him a deal. I think AP finds a home but his NFL days are numbered and for that reason, once he finds a landing spot the value will have to be off the charts for me to even think of drafting him this year.
- Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs:
Like AP, Charles is coming off a knee injury which derailed both his 2015 and 2016 seasons. A huge fan of JC I really want to see him get back to 100% healthy because he is just so much fun to watch when he is right. I would love to see him go to a high octane offense that can use him in creative ways to help get him into space and give him a little more time to feel comfortable on his surgically repaired ACL. The good thing is he will be two years removed from the reconstructive surgery on his right knee by the beginning of the season and if he faces no further complications should be one of the fresher backs at his age. With only 9 total games played since 2015 Charles seems like the best RB to bounce back in a big way in 2017.
Dream Fantasy Landing Spot: New Orleans – Please make this happen!! Charles on the fast turf w/ Drew Brees would be magical. With a coaching staff who is not in love with their starting running back, Charles if healthy might be able to be the new lead back and it might make your head explode with potential.
Most likely Landing Spot: Philadelphia Eagles – This landing spot makes a ton of sense for both the player and the team. Eagles really don’t have a starting running back on their roster and I think JC could fit well in Pederson’s offensive scheme.
Actual Landing Spot: Has not signed with any team – Like Peterson, Charles is finding the market to be harsh on 30 yr old running backs coming off knee surgeries. Charles did visit they Seahawks but left without a deal. I’m still holding my breath he signs with New Orleans and Philly is also still in play. I still like Charles and if he can show the burst and elesuavness that made him fantasy royalty he will make an owner very happy.
- Terrell Pryor Sr, WR, Cleveland Browns:
Pryor came out of nowhere and had a monster season posting 77/1,007/4 and he couldn’t have chosen a better time to have his best season as a pro. Pryor will be hitting the market and at 27 could be giving a team a much-needed weapon on the outside when he is just hitting his stride. At 6’4 240 and with 4.5 speed, Pryor became a force on a poor Browns team that only won 1 game last year.
Dream Fantasy Landing Spot: Pittsburgh Steelers – Do you think the Steelers could have used a tall, fast outside receiver that can catch the deep ball last year? With Martavis Bryant’s status still up in the air and the Steelers organization continuing to talk about him in the past tense, a landing spot in Pittsburgh would do wonders for Pryor’s fantasy stock. With limited cap space, this dream has a very low chance of actually happening. Also, I really hope Bryant is back with the Steelers too!
Most likely Landing Spot: San Francisco – I think Pryor is going to land in the bay and with Kyle Shanahan, at the helm, this could be a sneaky good landing spot for him. The quarterback in San Francisco is still an unknown and will drastically impact Pryor’s fantasy value but if he can make it work with RGIII and cast in Cleveland, I think he will be just fine.
Actual Landing Spot: Washington Redskins – I love this move!! The Skins lost DeSean Jackson (More on him in a minute) & Pierre Garcon this offseason and badly needed to find a replacement to fill the gap those two left. Pryor is a physical freak posting a 99% size adjusted speed score and for an offense and quarterback that like to air it out, Pryor is the perfect fit. Pryor had a 1k yard season in Cleveland last year and now gets the opportunity to move into an offense that threw the ball over 600 times. With 4.42 wheels and at only 27, Pryor might have made highest ADP rise of all the skill position players with this offseason move. Pryor, Crowder, Doctson and Reed has a great ring to it. Now let’s hope Cousins doesn’t get traded to San Francisco because it will ruin everything!
- DeSean Jackson, WR, Washington Redskins:
DJax is out of Washington and isn’t looking back. Posting another solid season Jackson is still one of the faster wide receivers in the league but he is going to be on the other side of 30 in December. I don’t think of all the FA wide receivers his ADP will move much no matter where he goes but he is still a solid player that could give you matchup production.
Dream Fantasy Landing Spot: Tampa Bay – It looks like DJax is off to Tampa come Tuesday afternoon and it will help keep his fantasy stock neutral and help raise the stocks of Mike Evans and Jameis Winston in the process.
Most likely Landing Spot: Tampa Bay – I think you can book this one.
Actual Landing Spot: Tampa Bay – This was the easiest FA move to call because of the chatter that I was reading even before the free agent market opened and it was the perfect signing by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jackson will be able to jump right into the #2 WR role in Tampa and should become the Bucs primary X receiver. Jackson’s move doesn’t do much to help his overall ADP but his presence surely boosts the already high expectations of Mike Evans and gives Jameis Winston his best set of skill position players he has had since joining coming into the NFL. Winston will see the highest ADP jump between now and draft time and it is well deserved. I love this signing and think Winston will be able to carry two maybe even three fantasy-relevant players this year in Evans, Jackson, and maybe Brate.
- Kenny Britt, WR, LA Rams:
Compton Kenny Britt was the Rams best wide receiver in 2016 with arguably the worst QB play in the NFL. Somehow Britt was able to produce a 1,000-yard season and haul in 5 touchdowns with Jared Goff under center (Insert Throw Up Emoji Here). The open market should be kind to Britt who at 28 showed he can be a productive WR even when in a bad offense.
Dream Fantasy Landing Spot: Washington Redskins – With both DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon leaving via free agency, the Redskins have $32M in cap space and will be in the market for a WR. At only 28, I think Britt provides the Redskins the most cap friendly option with the most production capability of the big three. Britt to Washington would make this Cousins dynasty owner sleep a little easier at night.
Most likely Landing Spot: Washington Redskins – I think this is the logical landing spot but if not Washington, Britt has said he would like to come back east to play. I think the Buffalo Bills are a team Britt could land on as well.
Actual Landing Spot: Cleveland Browns – “Compton” Kenny Britt is coming off his best season in the worst passing offenses in football and what does he do, he turns and heads to Cleveland, WHAT?!?! At first glance the move is disappointing but as you look closer Cleveland might end up being a nice little landing spot for the former Rutgers Star. First, the young coaching staff seems to know what they are doing and it looks like they have a plan. Britt will walk into an offense that already has some playmakers. Former first-round pick of a year ago Corey Coleman, Miami Hurricane’s star Duke Johnson and the starting running back Isaiah Crowell will be rounding out the skill position players for the Browns. The big question mark is at quarterback. If Britt can post a 1k yard season in a Goff / Keenum run offense, I feel confident he will be able to produce on in a Kessler / Watson / Trubisky or Garoppolo one. Britt’s final ADP and overall value will hinge on how the Browns decide to solve their quarterback problem.
- Kenny Stills, WR, Miami Dolphins:
At only 24 (25 in April) Stills is one of the youngest free agents this summer and is coming off of a year in Miami that showcased his game-changing speed. Not a big wide receiver at only 6’0, Stills used the deep ball to rack up over 700 yards and 9 TD’s and finish as the WR 28.
Dream Fantasy Landing Spot: New Orleans – A reunion with Sean Peyton and Drew Brees would be fucking amazing!! This week with all the reports of the Saints shopping Brandin Cook’s contract, an opening for a small speedy receiver might be available in New Orleans very soon.
Most likely Landing Spot: Philadelphia Eagles – The Eagles are targeting Stills in free agency and could really use his skill set to improve the passing offense which dipped a bit in the 2nd half of the season and help with the growth of Carson Wentz.
Actual Landing Spot: Miami Dolphins – After a breakout year in Adam Gates offense, Kenny Stills decided to take less money to stay in Miami. I have always been a fan of Still’s and was hoping for a reunion in New Orleans but I like him staying, as they seemed to really have found a way to let his 4.39 wheels shine! This move does hurt the fantasy stocks of DeVante Adams and Leonte Carroo who were both going to see increased playing time if Miami had let Stills walk. Stills will have the potential to once again finish as top 30 WR in fantasy in 2017.
- Latavius Murray, RB, Oakland Raiders:
Latavius saved his fantasy life last year with a 12 touchdown season but his low YPC, total yardage, and inability to gain the full workhorse commitment from the coaching staff. In Oakland, they continuously rotated in the two rookie backs that have most fantasy GM’s leaving him for dead in 2017. Murray’s ADP could take a nice spike if he can land in the right spot.
Dream Fantasy Landing Spot: New England – A team that has a great offense that has the ability to use Murray like they did another free agent running back LeGarrette Blount. Murray showed he is a touchdown-dependent fantasy running back just like Blount did last year. If New England’s offense can get Blount 18 touchdowns, how many could Murray get?
Most likely Landing Spot: Minnesota Vikings – This one looks like the obvious choice as the news unfolded of the Vikings releasing Adrian Peterson. Murray will still be used in a committee where ever he goes but this landing spot might be able to give him the most touches per game. Bad running blocking O-Line is a major concern.
Actual Landing Spot: Minnesota Vikings – The ex-Raider did sign with the Vikings and so that means I get to pat myself on the back for guessing this one correct! Thank you lucky eight ball!! Look the Vikings were AWFUL running the ball last year. They had the 29th ranked rushing o-line by PFF but the numbers say they should have been last! 3.2 yards per carry last in the NFL, 1,205 total rushing yards last in the NFL, 9 total rushing touchdowns 29th in the NFL. This is not good news for Murray supporters after coming from one of the best run blocking lines in Oakland last season. This move will dramatically impact his ADP come August. I just can’t see the Vikings doing enough to make anyone feel comfortable drafting Murray. Murray is a big back with a ton of speed but don’t be fooled he needs wide running lanes to be effective and so that means Jerick Mckinnon owners can still hold out hope that he will get a good share of the touches between the 20’s on top of his normal 3rd down duties next year. Murray is a clear let him succeed on someone else’s team candidate in 2017 for me.
- Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay:
Fat Eddie is a free agent and it couldn’t have happened at the worst time in his short career. Once a very productive back, Lacy has hit a fat wall and has been a major disappointment over the past two seasons. A healthy and trimmed Lacy could show the burst and power that made him one of the best young running backs in football just a few short years ago.
Dream Fantasy Landing Spot: Green Bay – Every fantasy owner would take Lacy’s first 2 years of production in the Green Bay offense in a second. I still think it’s the best offense for him to be in and gives him the best fantasy value.
Most likely Landing Spot: Green Bay – I think the Packers want to bring him back and he would be stupid to not want to go back.
Actual Landing Spot: Seattle Seahawks – From one bad rushing o-line to the worst offensive line in football, the Seahawks added another horse to their stable of running backs in the former Green Bay Packer Eddie Lacy. There is so much that can happen with this signing that it’s going to make it really hard to determine the real value Eddie Lacy can have on your fantasy roster this year. It’s a headache situation with three running backs (Lacy, Rawls, and Prosise) all scratching and clawing for carries. Is Lacy just an insurance policy for Rawls because he can’t stay healthy? Are the Seahawks moving on from Rawls to Lacy? or do the Hawks want to move to Prosise completely and want to use Lacy for goal line work only? God will Lacy even make it through training camp without tipping the scales at 300 pounds?!? Honestly, Lacy is going to have show that he is over the back to back ankle injuries that plagued him in 2015 & 2016 and that he is ready to take football seriously again to get into shape before I can even think about using draft capital on him this year.
- Martellus Bennett, TE, New England:
Bennett had a fantasy resurgence after a down year in 2015 with Chicago. In the Patriots offense, Martellus Rex was able to produce his second best fantasy season of his career posting a 55/701/7 season. The #1 TE on the market this year showed he still has some gas left in the tank.
Dream Fantasy Landing Spot: New York Giants – Bennett had a dream scenario of events with Gronk missing most of the season and was able to produce at a TE 1 level. Heading to New York would reunite Bennett with Manning and allow him to be the #1 tight end in an offense with Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Paul Perkins.
Most likely Landing Spot: New England – I think winning helps get Bennett back for one more year in New England on a cap friendly contract.
Actual Landing Spot: Green Bay – I have had a fantasy erection since the news broke of this signing. Marty B gets to go from the GOAT of real football Tom Brady to the GOAT of fantasy football QBs and a guy who has shown he can support three top 30 fantasy receiving weapons in Aaron Rodgers! Green Bay has one of the best aerial attacks in the game and ARod made Jared Cook look like an actual football player when he was healthy last year which is really hard to do! Bennett when healthy in New England was a borderline TE1 option each week and became a mainstay their after Gronk went down. This move will vault Bennet’s stock well into the TE1 market and I think he will be a great mid to late round TE target.
- Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts:
Doyle had a great 2016 season posting 59/584/5 line while becoming the best tight end on the team. The Colts tried to lock him up but Doyle is going to test the market in a weak TE class.
Dream Fantasy Landing Spot: Jacksonville Jaguars – With the exit of Julius Thomas who was sent to Miami just a few weeks ago, Doyle could slide into a great spot in a pass heavy offense as the #1 tight end.
Most likely Landing Spot: Jacksonville Jaguars – This is the best spot on the market for Doyle as mentioned above and the one I think will happen. The Giants will be in the mix if they can’t get Bennett.
Actual Landing Spot: Indianapolis Colts – Oh Doyle my Doyle decided to stay in Indy, instead of chasing the money elsewhere. Well, I can’t blame him after the Colts traded Dwayne Allen to the New England Patriots shooting a flare into the sky that they were ready to give Doyle the first shot at being their starting Tight End. With Luck under center, the Colts are a great offense to invest in as a fantasy owner. Luck has shown he can support three fantasy-viable options and as they head into the 2017 season Hilton, Moncrief, Doyle look like the lucky three. Now, this is not to say that Kamar Aiken will not eat into the targets or that Erik Swoope an ex-basketball player won’t steal some snaps but as of right now Doyle looks to be in line to get the first crack as the starter.
- Jared Cook, TE, Green Bay:
Jared Cook’s impact on the Packers offense was on full display in the final regular-season games and the playoffs. If Cook could have stayed healthy all season he would have had a great shot of finishing as a TE1 in standard scoring formats.
Dream Fantasy Landing Spot: Green Bay – Cook’s fantasy value will be at it’s highest if he can stay in Green Bay and have another shot of playing in the Packers offense for a full season.
Most likely Landing Spot: Green Bay – I think Cook is smart enough to see he hit the jackpot when he signed with Green Bay last year. I think when everything is said and done Cook will stay in Green Bay because it’s what’s best for both sides.
Actual Landing Spot: Oakland Raiders – JaredCookIsBadAtFootball.com needs to become a website! It’s not I looked so right after you’re done reading this go to GoDaddy and buy the domain and get started!! Now that I have gotten that out of my system this signing isn’t all that bad for Mr. Cook. His quarterback is a downgrade but not as bad as it could have been! Can anyone say, Cody Kessler or Brian Hoyer? I love Brian Hoyer so sorry about that jab Brian. The Raiders badly needed an upgrade at tight end and as painful as it is to say this, Jared Cook is an upgrade over Clive Walford who was terrible last year in one of the best passing offenses in football. This was the best landing spot outside of staying in Green Bay for Cooks but at the end of the day, he is still a streaming option in all formats.
Before I leave you there were two trades that occurred during the free agent period and I wanted to touch on them real quickly.
Brandin Cooks Traded from the New Orleans Saints to the New England Patriots:
As a New England Patriots fan, I love this trade. Similar to the Lacy situation there is a lot of mouths to feed in the Patriots offense and it’s going to be hard to determine exactly how valuable Cooks will be in the Patriots offense with Edelman, Gronk, Hogan, and both passing catching backs still gobbling up targets. This trade hurts the redraft value of Mitchell for this season but his Dynasty value is still very strong.
Julius Thomas Traded from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Miami Dolphins:
Gates and Thomas are once again reunited in Miami after they shared two seasons together in Denver. It’s a good football move by the Dolphins who let starter Dion Sims walk and needed an upgrade at the position. Thomas who will turn 29 in June still has some gas left in the tank and could be once again a streamer option this year. I think Miami add’s a TE in the draft as they now have the piece in place in Thomas to let a rookie TE sit & learn the system.
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check out our the Trophy Time Podcast episode we did with Christopher Harris recapping the first week of the free agent frenzy.