NFL Free Agency Predictions and Fantasy Implications

Quarterbacks

Unfortunately, there’s not much available in terms of potential starters for next season. The player with the best shot would be Josh McCown, but it’s unclear if he will land a starting job given the insane amount of QB talent coming out of this years draft.

 

Running Back

1. Knowshon Moreno – 

The Denver Broncos have Montee Ball. Will they re-sign Knowshon Moreno?

I don’t think so. Although, Knowshon Moreno was really productive this year and may be a 1st round pick in fantasy drafts next year, the Broncos may look to use Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman in 2014. The Broncos had a cheap option on Moreno, but that somehow got voided now RB hungry teams will be targeting Moreno, who is presumably the best back in this years free agent class

Prediction time.

There are only a few teams that may be in the market for a RB; Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Tennessee Titans. Given their current rosters and free agents, projected starters for 2014 for each team are Latavius Murray, Chris Ogbonnaya, Jordan Todman, and after CJ2K is cut, Shonn Greene, respectively.

I may be criticized for my pick, but I believe Moreno switches teams within the AFC West and joins the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders NEED Moreno. With Darren McFadden a free agent and having battled injuries and Rashad Jennings who was great in his own right becoming a free agent, the Raiders need to spend some money to compete with the powerhouse Denver Broncos and rejuvenated San Diego Chargers. He will repeat his 2013 success.

Knowshon Moreno to the Oakland Raiders.

2. Ben Tate – 

He’s said it on Twitter that he doesn’t expect to be back with the Houston Texans, and nor does the football world. Ben Tate is a very solid back in his own right. He averaged 4.3 YPC and can catch out of the backfield.

The perfect team for him in my mind is undoubtedly the Cleveland Browns. The Cleveland Browns will likely capture a QB in the draft (Johnny Manziel?) and already have good receiving options in Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, but after trading former 1st round pick Trent Richardson, they really need to get a work horse RB and Ben Tate is just that. Ben Tate fits the mantra. He’s relatively young, just like the rest of the Browns players and the Browns this season have been shuffling between Chris Ogbonnaya, Edwin Baker and Fozzy Whittaker.

Tate will get a lot of work with the Browns and become a top-15 RB in PPR formats.

It’s not unlikely we see him eclipse 1,000 rushing yards and 300 receiving yards in a Browns uniform.

3. Maurice Jones-Drew -

Oh MJD… What a ride it’s been.

The Jaguars franchise leading rusher may be looking for another team this off-season as reports say GM Dave Caldwell will wait for a team to offer MJD a contract and then decide to match it.

Well, Caldwell, that wouldn’t be too intelligent. What are your other options? MJD is a very safe, reliable back, who, yes, is getting up there in age, but let’s be real, his production is not all his fault. He plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars after all.

Mr. Caldwell, bring back MJD on a 2-year deal, trade up to draft Teddy Bridgewater and sign a top WR (Julian Edelman, Hakeem Nicks, Eric Decker). There you go, your off-season is done.

Expect MJD to be slightly better in 2014.

 

Wide Receiver

1. Eric Decker – 

Could the three-headed monster that is Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Eric Decker lose a cog? I think so.

Yes, Peyton Manning with some of the best receivers at his disposal is great for the Denver Broncos, but with the emergence of Julius Thomas, the Broncos may be able to afford cutting ties with the reality TV show star. And let’s be honest, for fantasy purposes, Eric Decker on another team and the expected consistency rather then the Russian Roulette on a week-to-week basis with the Denver Broncos is exciting!

The Jacksonville Jaguars are a team in such a need for a big WR threat.

With Blackmon on the sidelines for the foreseeable future for smokin’ the ganja, and Cecil Shorts III having battled injury problems, the Jaguars may be able to lure Decker with the idea of drafting a young QB and all the excitement that could circle around Jacksonville. Jacksonville would likely be able to give him the most money and a pretty decent multi-year deal, so why not? Decker to Jacksonville with Blake Bortles as his QB.

Expect growing pains for a young QB, but Eric Decker will be his No. 1 target.

2. Hakeem Nicks – 

Oh my, what an atrocious year for Hakeem Nicks.

Having caught 0 TDs this season, it was by far the most disappointing season for the veteran WR. The Giants stink, we know that, but they do have Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan, so that spells the end of the road for Hakeem Nicks in the Big Apple (or, well, East Rutherford, NJ).

A perfect fit for him is the WR hungry Carolina Panthers.

Steve Smith is getting older, and Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn Jr. aren’t exactly the great No. 2 options.

Just imagine…

Steve Smith on one side, Hakeem Nicks on the other with LaFell in the slot and Greg Olsen at TE. Cam Newton my friend, that’s called AN ARSENAL.

The Panthers without a big target like Nicks are successful. Nicks could be the start of filling the gaps.

Fantasy Prediction: Hakeem Nicks will score more TDs in 2014 then in 2013… Hehe.

3. Julian Edelman – 

Could we see Wes Welker 2.0 in action the very next season?!?!?!?!!?

No, not likely.

The Patriots, although successful this year, felt the loss of Wes Welker. Julian Edelman has been Tom Brady’s number one option and they would be foolish to let him walk.

Another team that will be in the WR market potentially are the Baltimore Ravens, but with impending free agents such as Dennis Pitta and Daryl Smith and their dying need of O-Line, they may focus on that, but if Terrell Suggs walks, expect the Ravens to be players for Julian Edelman, secretly, of course.

Edelman will be Brady’s No. 1 next season outside of Rob Gronkowski when he returns. Expect huge PPR numbers again in 2014.

 

I will do tight ends at a later date. Of course these are just predictions and I may look very silly after all is said and done, but it was fun, wasn’t it? Stay tuned for the tight end group!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>