July 29, 2011
Things are starting to slow down but notable free agents are still hanging out there.
Willis McGahee is now a Bronco. This signing makes a lot of sense for both parties.
You can upgrade Larry Fitzgerald a bit now that Kevin Kolb is officially a Cardinal. No surprise here.
Roy Williams actually gets a bump in a value as he is reunited with one Mike Martz. Sam Hurd, also from the Cowboys, signed in Chicago as well. After talking up Earl Bennett’s increased role, it stands to reason that the true WR1 may not be known until mid-season. With Williams, Bennett, Knox and Hester in the picture, Jay Cutler should have increased success.
Steve Smith remains in Carolina. A little disappointing for his fantasy value but it’s a feel-good story for Panther fans.
It appears as though Denver overplayed their Kyle Ort0n hand and now will have to pay him or cut him. With Vince Young landing in Philly, that still left Miami open to a possible trade but Matt Moore will soon be signing, likely ending their desire for another passer. Tim Tebow is still the starter in Denver and Orton could still be moved, but the market is going cold.
IDP’ers, specifically those owning Deandre Levy, can breath a sigh of relief as it appears as Levy will stick in the middle now that Detroit is out of the running for MLB Stephen Tulloch. And if you haven’t added TB linebacker Mason Foster yet, do so immediately.
With Miami’s signing of Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas is not locked in as the workhorse. Thomas owners can breathe easier now as well.
Where does Plax land? Seems like it will be in old Plax-land, New York.
Mighty mouse Darren Sproles has signed in New Orleans and his value takes a nice jump. Sproles will be used in a number of different ways and should take the weight off the shoulders of rookie Mark Ingram.
James Jones is still not a Viking but it’s coming. Will Jones’ value increase? A WR3 role with Aaron Rodgers under center could be superior to a WR1 or WR2 role in MIN. Time will tell.
Chad OchoCinco is Tom Brady’s newest toy and this is a great placement for Chad. There are certain to be entertaining headlines coming out of New England’s camp this year and Chad’s value is now likely a low-end WR2.
BranDONE Jackson signs with the Browns. There’s a surprise, truly. And any hope for Jackson getting an increased role with another team just went out the window. For the record, I dropped him in my main league.
There still remain a few notable free agents that I’m watching for. Mike Sims-Walker remains available but I think his best days are behind him. Randy Moss is receiving little interest and I fully expect that he’ll sign with the Jets after the dust has settled.
How is it that running back Kevin Smith hasn’t signed with either the Bengals or the Broncos yet. I have a soft spot for hard working, energetic players like Smith and I feel his so-so stint with the Lions was far more because of Detroit’s inept offense and front line than it was a characterization of Smith’s skills.
July 27, 2011
10:00 PM EST
The big news is that Sidney Rice is a Seahawk. He will immediately upgrade that offense and is reunited with his old offensive coordinator and Tarvaris Jackson.
Plaxico Burress has up to a dozen teams interested in him? I find that hard to believe but many teams need receivers and the thought is that he is now considered low risk. Jail can humble a person I guess.
Jason Snelling is on his way out of Atlanta it seems. That’s bigger news than meets the eye. Snelling is a capable back and I was looking forward to him possibly taking over for Turner in 2012. Perhaps the Falcons just didn’t see the same thing I saw in Snelling.
For IDP’ers, LB Justin Durant has signed with the Lions. Looks like the Lions are none to confident about their linebacking corps. Chances are Durant will slide in on the weak side unless they plan on moving Levy out.
Steve Smith is still a Panther and he likely isn’t happy about that. He’s sure to be moved but they are in no hurry and are waiting for the right deal.
Steve Breaston has been reunited with his old offensive coordinator (Todd Haley), now head coach, in Kansas City. We’re not overly high on him. Bigger news from the move is that Andre Roberts may be starting opposite Larry Fitzgerald. He’s a great waiver wire addition and buy low candidate. Early Doucet has a chance but appears to be on the outside looking in.
3:00 PM PST
If you wanted final confirmation that Carson Palmer will never play for the Bengals again, you got it today when they signed Bruce Gradkowski to a two-year deal. If Carson was to change his mind, the Bengals would be forced to release their third quarterback with Andy Dalton and Gradkowski in the fold. That third string quarterback just happens to be Carson’s brother, Jordan. When changing your stance against a franchise means giving your brother his walking papers, it’s simply not going to happen.
IDP players note that the Lions are making a strong run at Tennessee MLB Stephen Tulloch, a move which would like kick current MLB Deandre Levy to the outside, presumably the weak side. The Lions were said to be high on Levy but recent actions suggest the opposite.
Braylon Edwards is still homeless and it doesn’t appear that the Jets are all that interested in bringing him back. Should Randy Moss rumors start taking shape, that will be the dagger for Edwards
Kevin Kolb … not yet, but it’s coming.
As fully expected and mentioned here, St. Louis is now in the running for Sidney Rice. But you can bet that new Viking signal caller Donovan McNabb has already reached out to Rice in an effort to get him to resign.
Steve Breaston is out as a Cardinal and it seems that the Chiefs are prepared to make an offer. More importantly, this removes one more receiver from Arizona’s receiving corps., ultimately providing an opportunity for Early Doucet or Andre Roberts in all likelihood.
Ahmad Bradshaw seems to be getting closer to the Dolphins. Should that occur, the sound you will hear is that of the air leaving the value balloon of rookie running back Daniel Thomas. UPDATE: It seems that Bradshaw’s asking price is too high for the Dolphins … at least initially.
It’s starting to appear likely that the Colts may not be attempting to resign the oft-injured Joseph Addai, which could lead them to leaning on the shoulders of oft-injured and underwhelming Donald Brown. Or could it be that the over-drafted rookie Delone Carter could be your opening day starter? Not likely. I still believe the Colts will get a deal done for Addai.
A couple of notable no-shows into camp from players looking for new contracts: RB Chris Johnson, RB Frank Gore and TE Marcedes Lewis. Frank Gore was obviously pacing the plight of fellow 28 year old running back DeAngelo Williams in order to gauge his value. Gore should command a greater value based on production but I’m not so sure San Francisco feels the need to step up. Remember that they did draft running back Kendall Hunter, a back that I believe could be the top producer from this class when looking back five years from now.
Cedric Benson has yet to be signed and talks have been picking up with Green Bay’s third down back, Brandon Jackson. A deal for Benson should still get done but remember that Denver is looking to add a power back.
Aaron Rodgers spoke up about his desire to see James Jones back next year and it is said that Green Bay’s brass have made an offer to keep him. Stay tuned.
Jabar Gaffney is a Redskin. That should end his career as a fantasy producer. Take note that Eric Decker is on the rise in Denver. Buy low now.
11:10 AM PST
DeAngelo Williams agreed to a ridiculous contract to stay with the Carolina Panthers on Wed., dashing the hopes of both Stewart and Williams owners. But both have coexisted in the past with some level of success and that could be the case again. Mike Goodson owners aren’t happy either unless he is moved, which isn’t likely.
Matt Leinart has resigned in Houston. So be it.
Ahmad Bradshaw could be heading to the Dolphins which would significantly impact the fantasy prospects of Daniel Thomas. And who would the Giants turn to in order to replace Bradshaw should that occur. Stay tuned.
Lance Moore will retire as a Saint as he has agreed to a five year contract.
Looks like the Colts are expecting to resign Addai but that hasn’t occurred as of yet.
Braylon Edwards is inching closer to signing with the Redskins.
7:30 AM PST
Santonio Holmes has resigned with the Jets. We’re not that high on Holmes but he has a lot of potential.
Matt Hasselbeck is a Titan. This is good news for Jake Locker in my opinion as he needs a good one or two years on the sidelines to get used to the speed of the game. Hasselbeck will embrace the University of Washington rookie. It’s a good match.
Kevin Kolb continues to be dangled but the Eagles may be over-playing their hand. Now asking for Cromartie AND a first round pick will be too much for the Cards as they can get Kyle Orton for much less. Trade partners are drying up so something will go down soon, either way.
Donte’ Stallworth has been signed by the Redskins. Nothing to see here, move along.
Matt Leinart remains unsigned and now may be signing with the Redskins. Professionally, it’s a much better move for him as there is a better chance to start. Skills wise, nothing has changed and the Redskins need to stop playing games with their quarterback position.
The Bills actually lost Paul Posluszny who signed a big deal with the Jaguars. Obviously MLB Kirk Morrison won’t be back with the Jags. Keep an eye on who will be starting for the Bills now in the middle.
OchoCinco has not been moved yet. Oh oh … another year in Cinci for the enigmatic receiver? That will make for a lot of interesting sound bites. And you think he got frustrated with Carson Palmer under center. Imagine the early relationship with Dalton if he’s not moved.
DeAngelo Williams looks to be heading back to Carolina but the Broncos aren’t out of the picture yet. The Bengals have stepped into the picture as well with the unsigned Cedric Benson still hanging out there.
No movement yet on Sidney Rice. Looks like a battle between the Vikings and the Seahawks. I’m not wavering from my thought that he will eventually sign in St. Louis as they need a big receiver for Bradford.
6:00 PM PST
Tampa Bay will not be resigning Barrett Ruud. IDP leaguers need to immediately pick up LB Mason Foster who, if he can beat out Tyron McKenzie, will be taking over MLB duties. Additionally, could Poz (Paul Posluszny) be heading to Jacksonville? It seems like it could be in the cards. Stay tuned.
Alex Smith has one year left in San Fran on an amazing offer of $5M. My suggestion is to save the money and eat lots of Top Ramen. He’s going to have his best year yet to secure another contract in 2012.
Deep roster dynasty coaches should take note of Noel Devine’s signing in Philly. That’s a great fit for the diminutive runner. He’s not likely to ever have a fantasy impact, but he’s fun to watch. He runs much bigger than his size, perhaps even as big as 5’6″.
Devin Aromashodu has signed in Minnesota and will have a chance to muster more interest after falling flat in 2010 due to none other than Mike Martz. A major sleeper in 2010, Aromashodu likely won’t exist on a fantasy roster unless his parents are hosting a fantasy league.
Santana Moss has resigned with the Skins as expected. He’s 32 but still very productive and you could do much worse for your WR3.
Matt Leinart is likely to sign with the Seahawks. Who didn’t see THAT coming?
2:00 PM PST
IDP fans take note, LB Gerald Hayes won’t be back with the Cards.
Both Marion Barber and Roy Williams will be released. Williams will catch on quickly with another team. The Bears, Dolphins, Vikings or Patriots would be good options.
Sidney Rice is in talks with the Seahawks. My money is still on the Rams.
Tarvaris Jackson is a Seahawk, ending the mystery surrounding both Kevin Kolb and Matt Hasselbeck as related to Seattle. Kolb is already wearing red and white, even if not official yet. Hasselbeck will likely sign in Tennessee but is being pursued by Miami.
As expected, Donovan McNabb is in talks with the Vikings.
Kyle Orton is on the block and the Tebow experiment as a full time starter is underway. Orton could be a fall back for Arizona if Kolb falls through.
Jets receivers Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards are both in discussions with Washington. One would think that the Skins will be higher on Holmes.
Jonathan Stewart owners, keep holding your breath as DeAngelo Williams is likely going to stay in Carolina or head to Denver. Odds go to Denver in this case. Should the Giants not be able to keep Ahmad Bradshaw, Williams would be a quick addition
Vincent Jackson will stay a Charger for one more year and will be signing his tender.
Michael Bush will be staying a Raider one more year.
As you well know by now, we are under-way. Things are going to start getting busy as soon as Tuesday and players are already receiving their walking papers. Signings will begin tomorrow, primarily of rookies and unrestricted free agents.
Quick news is that Willis McGahee has been told that he will be released. A little more surprising is that long time Raven Derrick Mason will be released, which could spell the end of his career. Should Mason want to extend his career, he would likely find a home with a a veteran laden team in need. Expect him to seek out a contending team if that is the case. Even more surprising is that the Ravens are also releasing Todd Heap, likely paving the way for last year’s backup TE, Ed Dickson. Dickson will be on the rise as he has nice speed and good hands in an offense that looks to their tight ends early and often. That all said, should Baltimore only be releasing their salary, they may be angling to bring both back in at a lower salary.
It’s been said that Kevin Kolb is as good as traded to the Cardinals but expect Seattle to put up a fight.
On other free agent situation to watch is that of Joseph Addai as it affects not only Addai but Donald Brown and Delone Carter, who is currently being over-drafted in hopes that he will surpass Brown. Not likely from anything that I’ve seen.
July 19, 2011
As I write this, it’s clear we are on the brink of an agreement that will bring football back to where it should be, on the field.
When normally we would already be well beyond notable free agent activities, we now find ourselves preparing for what is certain to be a rush of signings and free agency migration. Unlike previous seasons, free agent signings will be occurring at break-neck speed following what will likely be a three to four day period of time where teams will be able to make offers to and have discussions with their pending free agents prior to the free agency period beginning. NFL owners did unsuccessfully attempt to instate a right of first refusal system for free agents that would have given clubs the an opportunity to match the highest bidder in order to retain chosen talent. As the eleventh hour approaches, much progress has been made, both sides have made concessions and the NFL season is about to get underway.
Here at DLF, of course, there has been no off-season.
We’ll be having a number of features to help you prepare for your drafts and the upcoming season. Here you’ll find an ongoing analysis and update of daily activities we think you need to know about. A blog style of reporting allows us to get the information to you more quickly than individual articles that provide deeper analysis, but take longer to provide. But don’t think for a second we’re going to lay down when you need us most – Ken Kelly will be providing in-depth individual analysis of the more important moves so that you can make the necessary adjustments prior to your draft(s). Whether you’re playing in a redraft or dynasty league, bookmark us here and follow along. Feel free to comment as well to give us your take.
To get things started, here is a list (by position) and a little analysis of the more notable soon-to-be free agents (or players expected to be moved) I’m watching:
Someone is going to overpay for the unproven Kolb. It certainly appears that Arizona is the front runner for his services and despite Larry Fitzgerald’s claim that he has had no input as to the future quarterback, rest assured that Fitzgerald has lobbied for an upgrade. Kolb is a great sell high candidate or as a flyer if you’re in need at the position. Should Kolb indeed land in Arizona, upgrade Fitzgerald … at least until Kolb proves otherwise. Other potential suitors include Seattle and, potentially, Minnesota. As a dark horse, I view Washington as a sneaky possibility. Coming out of Philadelphia’s system, owner Dan Snyder and coach Shanahan are likely to be at least discussing the possibility. As for second year quarterback John Skelton, the Cardinals believe he can be a long term answer with proper grooming. A Kolb signing renders him a fringe player in deeper leagues only. Should Arizona sign an older veteran, Skelton is worthy of a roster spot.
He said, he said. Who do you believe? On one side, you’ve got Seattle saying Hasselbeck is still an integral part of their 2011 plans and virtually everyone else saying he’s as good as gone. Put me down in the camp of the latter. Hasselbeck is most certainly not the future of the Hawks and without a strong likelihood of a Super Bowl run in 2011, the future must start now. The aforementioned Kolb has been linked to Seattle, but all signs are pointing to the disgruntled Carson Palmer eventually being under center. That is, unless you believe Charlie Whitehurst is the answer. I think not. Hasselbeck would be a perfect fit in Tennessee to prepare 2011 rookie Jake Locker or in Minnesota serving in the same capacity to rookie Christian Ponder. The Cardinals are said to have Hasselbeck as on their Plan B list. In any case, Hasselbeck is only mildly intriguing, and even then only in a redraft format as he’s little more than an emergency QB3 in dynasty leagues.
So when is a free agent not a free agent? When he still has a contract but is refusing to play for his team in order to force a trade. And who would blame Palmer after so many years of a negligently run operation. Owner Mike Brown is refusing to entertain trade talk at this time due to the fact that owners know they can’t allow players to get that type of leverage while still under contract, but I have every belief that Brown will eventually relent. All indications are that Palmer isn’t bluffing with his talk of retirement and the locker room has already turned, meaning the Bengals are between a rock and retirement. They’ll trade Palmer to Seattle ultimately for a ham sandwich and maybe a pickle. Palmer is still young and reports of his demise, or weakening arm have been exaggerated.
It’s no secret that McNabb is out as a Redskin. The aging quarterback may find it difficult to land a starting gig again and while Minnesota is said to be a long shot, it still makes the most sense. Don’t count out the other mentioned teams looking for a near-term starter however while rookies are groomed. Such teams as Tennessee, Arizona and Cincinnati are all possibilities. As a dark horse candidate, consider Miami who may be looking for a back-up plan if the incumbent young quarterback Chad Henne fails to progress.
Report after report is emerging from the Denver beat writers exclaiming that Tebow will be the opening day starter for the orange and blue. Orton has done nothing wrong and has even looked respectable in his time with Chicago and Denver. Yet, again, it appears as though he’s on the outside looking in. He’d be a great fit for either Arizona or Seattle.
VY is looking for his next starting gig, but it likely won’t come in 2011. Young will certainly find a new home in 2011 and the odds-on favorite is seemingly Miami. Regardless of where he lands, he has a lot of work to do to regain a starting job or gain confidence in the locker room.
The marquee free agent name of 2011 is none other than DeAngelo Williams. All eyes remain on Williams and the possibilities that remain. Word is that Carolina will make a pitch for Williams to stay and won’t be outbid, but with Williams seeking his final contract and fully realizing that Carolina will not be Super Bowl contenders in that time, he’s as good as gone. Jonathan Stewart owners are anxiously hoping this logic plays out as well as both runners are RB1-capable.
All reports have Denver making the strongest play for Williams and it would seem that a reunion with ex-coach John Fox would be in the cards. However, Denver closely resembles Carolina as to their Super Bowl prospects and my belief is that Williams will be seeking a team with a greater likelihood of making it to the big show. Opportunities with competitive teams are few in 2011, but options do exist. Outside of Miami, who could surprise in 2011, the New York Giants may be a dark horse. Should the Giants choose to part ways with Ahmad Bradshaw, Williams could and would be an immediate replacement.
I don’t understand why the Giants are playing a free agent game of chicken with the ultra-capable Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw fits the New York system well and has been a performer in all fantasy formats. Expect the Giants to come to their senses and resign him. If not, Bradshaw would be highly sought after, especially in Miami.
Benson is proving that he fits well in Cell Block “C”incinnati. Prior to his most recent arrest, it seemed that Benson was likely to return to the Bengals. It may now be 50/50 that Benson does return. Lacking any accomplished runner of Benson’s ability, the Bengals would likely have to look to trade in order to satisfy the need. One possibility, potentially with Palmer as bait, could be a deal with Arizona for the underwhelming Beanie Wells. The aging Benson still has another couple of seasons left and could be a great mid-round selection in redraft or as a RB3 in dynasty.
For the first time since becoming a pro, Brown was healthy for the entire 2010 campaign and Miami is rewarding him by giving him his walking papers. Reports are that Miami is more likely to bring back Ricky Williams than Brown, meaning that Brown will have the opportunity to sign one last short-term contract. Look for him to take the best offer with a competitive team. The Eagles and Colts would be intriguing possibilities.
One of my favorite players of his class coming out of Nebraska, Jackson never made good on his opportunities in Green Bay, eventually relegated to only occasional third down duty. Praised for his blitz pick up ability, Jackson is a very capable third down back who will likely find multiple suitors should he not re-sign with Green Bay. In a zone blocking system with an accomplished offensive line, Jackson could be a sneaky dynasty pick-up as he likely will get another chance to carry the load at some point. To produce from that spot, however, BJ would have to show much more of what he hasn’t yet.
Smith has to be happy to be out of Detroit, where running backs go to die. The under-appreciated runner with a great work ethic will likely have a chip on his shoulder and is deserving of another chance. Not high on the list of marquee names, Smith will have to wait for his chance but could be a good fit in Cincinnati or Denver. Many questions remain with Smith’s ability to stay healthy but he’s gone undrafted in multiple leagues in 2011 and is still young. Keep him on your radar as a late round flyer. He’s young enough to have a long term impact if the stars align.
Rice has long been one of my favorite receivers. Coming out of South Carolina, Rice reminded me of Larry Fitzgerald with his size, hands and leaping ability. Now a free agent and supposedly injury free, Rice won’t be back with Minnesota in 2011. Unlike the running back position, there exists a great need across the NFL for accomplished receivers, especially big ones. If Rice is indeed healthy, he will likely command top dollar on the open market and will attract a significant amount of interest. Teams such as Seattle, St. Louis, Chicago, Oakland, San Diego, Carolina, the New York Jets and even Indianapolis could all be bidders. Put me down in the camp that the Rams step up and secure the service of Rice with a career contract. Bradford to Rice would make for a great young duo.
Anything is possible in San Diego, but all signs point to the Chargers retaining Jackson in 2011. On the open market, the veteran would likely receive a hefty pay raise, but may not find as an intriguing situation as the playoff contending Chargers. Jackson is slipping in some drafts due to the lack of numbers in 2010. Don’t sleep on him too long and you’ll get a nice bargain with great risk-reward.
It’s likely that the Chargers won’t keep both Floyd and Jackson, making Floyd a very attractive target in 2011 both in fantasy drafts and as a receiver on a new team. Floyd is best used as a red zone threat due to his huge hands and leaping ability, but he’s proven he can be a capable receiver outside the red zone as well. Just another big receiver on the market in 2011, many will be sleeping on him which may make for an attractive later round addition in new drafts or a buy-low from uninformed coaches.
Steve Smith (CAR)
There’s a lot to like about Smith, who still likely has 2-3 productive years left. Said to have the choice whether to stay or go, it’s obvious his choice has been made. Another new quarterback at the helm of the Panthers ensures that Smith would like to test the waters elsewhere and have one last contract in order to contend for a ring. Look for Smith to sign with a powerhouse team looking for veteran leadership. The Patriots make far too much sense should they elect to pass on Chad Ochocinco and the Chargers could use Smith’s underneath explosiveness as well.
The Jets are likely to keep only one of their two top receivers, Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards. Edwards is as good as gone as Holmes should get the nod. Holmes is easy to dislike due to character concerns, but there’s little doubt about his receiving ability. While I don’t care for his fantasy potential as a Jet, he’ll clearly be the WR1 in that system.
Edwards will once again be looking for a new home in 2011. While he could be resigned by the Jets, it isn’t likely. Edwards’ best days as a receiver are likely behind him but he’ll undoubtedly receive one more contract in which to showcase his skills and recapture his career. He’s well off the radar in most cases, so he could be an intriguing pick in the teen rounds or as a buy low for a team with plenty of receiver depth.
His agent asserts that Moss is in the best shape of his career and has a chip on his shoulder. That may be very well the case, but the one thing he doesn’t have is a team. The Jets appears to be the most interested and the fit is obvious on many levels. I still believe Moss can be productive in the right system, but he’s not going to get the contract he wants and may have to swallow his pride. If he can’t do that, perhaps a stint with the Sacramento Mountain Lions will do the trick, where he can rekindle the glory days of deep balls from his old quarterback, Daunte Culpepper.
Jones is one of my favorite free agents of 2011. I love his game – except for the fact that he doesn’t catch the ball very well. Jones has a NFL body, good speed and a knack for the big play. He’ll be a strong player in free agency and command top dollar. Make no mistake, Jones should compete for immediate playing time on his new team. In fantasy, he should be valued as more than a well-regarded sleeper as he has a special kind of big play ability. If he can increase his catch rate, he could be a surprise player in 2011. It’s not a guarantee that Green Bay will be letting him walk, but all indications are that he’s as good as gone.
Talking about as good as gone, Ochocinco has undoubtedly played his last game as a Bengal. In a constant war of words with, well … everyone, Ochocinco will finally be shown the door. As much as that may sting his ego, it’s said that the Patriots have opened the door for him. It’s just the team that 85 needs. What is well known is that Chad’s skills have diminished, he’s gotten lazy on his routes and he won’t confidently go across the middle, leaving a huge question mark as to what is truly left in his tank. He’s a classic redraft pick with upside and should be highlighted if he lands in the right system.
I simply don’t see how the Raiders would/will let him walk.
A monster 2010 year ensures that the Jaguars will pay Lewis and keep him in the offense that has generated so much success. He ranks in our top ten and another year of productivity will cement that position.
That does it for now. Check back early and often for the updates when the flood gates open!
- RealTime Fantasy Sports Partnership: Live Superflex Dynasty Startup Draft and Strategy - June 7, 2022
- 2022 Post-Combine Dynasty Rookie Draft Tiers - March 10, 2022
- 2022 Combine Risers & Fallers - March 6, 2022