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2012 NFL Free Agents


Most fantasy leagues are nearing their trade deadline and now is the time to start tweaking your roster to set up your team for 2012.  Whether you are making a championship run in 2011 or are already out of the running, carefully planned acquisitions or trades can make all the difference for next year.  Following is a short listing of those more notable free agents:

QUARTERBACKS

Drew Brees, NO

Sure he’s a free agent but he’s not going anywhere.

Matt Flynn, GB

He’ll be a starter somewhere next year and should be owned in all formats.  As it sits now, he’s the highest ranked non-starting free agent QB on the board.

Jason Campbell, OAK

Could be back with the Raiders on a short term deal, but not likely.  You could do worse for a QB3.

Kyle Orton, DEN

You have to feel a little bad for Orton.  He’s a good game manager and a capable Sunday quarterback, just not elite.  He’ll be elsewhere.

Dennis Dixon, PIT

He could be a surprise in 2012.  Good size, mobility and a relatively live arm.  He’s an add in leagues with a deep roster.

Alex Smith, SF

Going to be an interesting situation with Smith.  He’s playing the best ball in his career right now and Colin Kaepernick is waiting in the wings.

Vince Young, PHI

Another interesting situation.  Something tells me that VY will be content to resign in Philly, even if it’s to play backup to Michael Vick and hold a clipboard.

Brady Quinn, DEN

He’d be well advised to take his talents somewhere else.  Elway is in town now and the Broncos will be in the market for a mini-Elway come the 2012 draft.

Caleb Hanie, CHI

He signed a one year deal in 2011 and will likely be elsewhere in 2012.  He’s not as highly coveted as Flynn but will compete for a spot and playing time.

RUNNING BACKS

Cedric Benson, CIN

Almost certain to be playing elsewhere next year unless Cincinnati believes he’s at least partially responsible for their 2011 success thus far.

Matt Forte’, CHI

I have thought often “What are the Bears doing?!?!?”.  They should have extended Forte’ by now rather than being penny pinchers.  Kudos to Forte’ for not allowing his ridiculous final year salary to be a distraction to him and the team.  The Bears deserve to lose him in free agency and you can be sure he feels the same way.  It will be a bidding war and Forte’ will be the ultimate winner unless the Bears use the dreaded franchise tag on him, and they will.  Next year he won’t be so merry or accommodating.

Arian Foster, HOU

Another interesting situation.  Houston has a great offensive line and if they believe Ben Tate can be just as successful as Foster, they may elect to not get into a bidding war for Foster’s services.  In the end I believe they’ll resign him and keep both backs in the fold.  If they don’t want a bidding war, they should extend him now!

Ryan Grant, GB

He’s likely gone next year unless he wants a chance at more rings while being a backup to Starks.  Starks will only continue to garner more carries and the Packers don’t rely on the run.  Look for Grant to sign one more good sized contract, even if it is for only two years.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, NE

Just too many backs in New England’s backfield and BGE isn’t special enough to keep around with both Vereen and Ridley equally capable.

Adrian Peterson, MIN

It’s going to be as expensive as it gets, but the Vikings will pay him.

Ray Rice, BAL

Won’t be quite as expensive as Peterson, but Rice will retire a  Raven.

Jason Snelling, ATL

Snelling is one of those players that has always been on the cusp of breaking out as a capable runner.  In the right situation without too much competition, I think Snelling could be a fantasy producer.  The odds are stacked against him as he ages, but stranger things have happened.

Michael Bush, OAK

Bush signed a one year extension in August of this year and he’s going to want a chance to start.  I could see him moving to Denver or Seattle.

Mike Tolbert, SD

Signed a one year deal in July of 2011.  He’ll want to test the market but my money is on him resigning in SD.

Marshawn Lynch, SEA

Lynch is more capable than his offensive line but obviously doesn’t have the skills to overcome the deficit.  He’s still young and should be a time-share starter somewhere in 2012.

LaDainian Tomlinson, NYJ

The most notable thing about his free agency is that it will open up the spot for either Bilal Powell or Joe McKnight.  McKnight is a better fit for replacement of Tomlinson’s skills.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Dwayne Bowe, KC

Little way he’s back in Kansas City.  Poor quarterback play and a dictator for a coach means Bowe will be playing elsewhere and for a lot of money.

Plaxico Burress, NYJ

He’ll resign in New York but he doesn’t offer a lot of upside.

Marques Colston, NO

It’s a race between the 2011 season ending and his body breaking down further.  Likely will resign in New Orleans, but his knees are terrible.

Early Doucet, ARI

Doucet is finally getting looks and proving his worth as a capable receiver.  If he can stay healthy, he can be a producer.  Look for him to resign in Arizona.

Braylon Edwards, SF

Just never got going in 2011 but he shouldn’t have a high price tag.  San Fran will likely resign him unless they have their eye on a true WR1 like Bowe.

Pierre Garcon, IND

50/50 that he’s back in Indianapolis.

Mario Manningham, NYG

The second half of 2011 will dictate his value.  With Victor Cruz emerging, he could be allowed to walk but I believe the Giants will want to go three wide with Nicks, Manningham and Cruz.

Robert Meachem, NO

Almost certain to depart for a chance at a greater role.

Reggie Wayne, IND

He’s none too happy right now and shows it on the field and on the sidelines.  If Manning doesn’t return, neither will Wayne.

Wes Welker, NE

He’ll be a Patriot for life

TIGHT ENDS

Jake Ballard, NYG

The relatively unknown tight end has proven that he’s capable.  He’ll resign as a Giant.

Joel Dreesen, HOU

I’m expecting Dreesen to depart for a bigger role after proving that he has the skills to be a TE1.

Jermichael Finley, GB

He causes much more defensive heartburn than his 2011 stats would suggest.  Green Bay will bring him back for that reason in addition to the fact that Aaron Rodgers loves him.

Greg Olsen, CAR

Shockey will likely depart leaving Olsen as the true TE1.

Jeremy Shockey, CAR

As good as gone.

Marcedes Lewis, JAX

Too many changes hurt his value in 2011 but he’s the only consistency JAX has had.  They’ll resign him.

 

 

 

Jeff Haverlack

Jeff Haverlack

Senior Partner / COO at Dynasty League Football
Husband and father who devotes far too much time to Fantasy Football, research, statistics and content development.We created DLF to ultimately assemble the largest fantasy football community on the planet and want YOU to be a part of it.

You can find Jeff on Twitter at @dlf_jeff
Jeff Haverlack

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Jack

    November 7, 2011 at 10:01 am

    FYI: Peterson already signed…9/10/2011: Signed a seven-year, $96 million contract. The deal contains $36 million guaranteed, $32 million of which is guaranteed for skill and the other $4 million for injury. Another $4 million is available through escalators. 2011: $8.25 million, 2012: $8 million, 2013: $11.25 million, 2014: $11.75 million, 2015-2017: Under Contract, 2018: Free Agent

  2. Warren

    November 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Although he is a restricted FA, Brian Hoyer is a QB that should be given some consideration in this list. He would generate some interest if the Pats decide to go with Mallett as the primary backup to Brady.

  3. Misfit74

    November 7, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Marcedes Lewis also already re-signed:

    “8/5/2011: Signed a five-year, $35 million contract. The deal contains $17 million guaranteed.” -Rotoworld

    • Jeff Haverlack

      November 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm

      Wow … somehow I missed that signing altogether.

  4. Eric

    November 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco expects the 49ers to pursue Bucs backup QB Josh Johnson this offseason.
    Johnson, set to hit the open market this winter, played for 49ers’ HC Jim Harbaugh at the University of San Diego. Harbaugh called Johnson “the beloved son” during a radio interview last week. A three-year veteran, Johnson has completed 78-of-144 passes for 803 yards, four touchdowns and eight interceptions in parts of 19 career games, adding 197 yards on only 28 carries the ground. Oct 8 – 3:33 PM – Rotoworld

    • Jeff Haverlack

      November 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm

      I know a lot of people are expecting that. I’m not so sure, but I could see him at least signing him to compete. Will be interesting to see what happens with Alex Smith. Much will depend on how he finished the season.

  5. Joe Cooper

    November 8, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Kevin Kolb or Matt Flynn? If you had one of them and this was proposed to you in a straight up fantasy trade right now, who would you rather have next year and beyond?

    • Misfit74

      November 9, 2011 at 11:29 am

      Kolb because he has a starting job and a secure contract/future.

    • Jeff Haverlack

      November 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      As of right now you have to go Kolb.

      • Sensai_John_Kreese

        November 10, 2011 at 5:33 am

        disagree.

        I’d rather have the quarterback that might not suck next year. Kolb was overrated, and didn’t actually have the stats to back any of his hype up. Flynn is a crapshoot, but beside the fact that he will most likely be starting next year, you also have the added incentive that Mike Sherman may decide to bench his starters week 16 and 17, then you have a potential QB1 there.

        I think the answer is Flynn and it’s not close.

        • Warren

          November 10, 2011 at 10:44 am

          Mike Sherman? I know that was a brain fart. But being a Packer fan, I would prefer not to hear his name ever associated with the Pack again.

          • Sensai_John_Kreese

            November 10, 2011 at 6:38 pm

            yeah, cant believe i said that, but yeah, you get my point

        • Ray

          November 10, 2011 at 5:37 pm

          How would you rank the dynasty potential of these three QBs?

          Colin Kaepernick
          Matt Flynn
          Jake Locker

          I’ve got Kaepernick and Locker marinating on my bench, but am wondering if I should swap one out for Flynn.

          • Warren

            November 10, 2011 at 7:08 pm

            Locker by a good margin over the other two, who are pretty close to even in my book.

  6. Ken

    November 11, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    these guys are all free agents in my keeper league,10 team 15 keepers each 150 total players kept, standard scoring. Was wondering which player has the best chance of really improving his stock between now and the start of next season when we need to finalize our keepers and be considered a top 150 guy.

    Taylor Price(NE – WR)
    Bilal Powell(NYJ – RB)
    Shane Vereen(NE – RB)
    Taiwan Jones(Oak – RB)
    Julius Thomas(Den – TE)
    Tony Moeaki(KC – TE)
    Da’Rel Scott(NYG – RB)
    Rashad Jennings(Jac – RB)
    Jake Locker(Ten – QB)
    Matt Flynn(GB – QB)

  7. gratefulydead3

    November 14, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Steve Smith PHI?

  8. Luke

    November 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    What about Josh Johnson from TB, he may start somewhere

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