As the world waits on Peyton Manning to become the most coveted free agent of all time, the landscape in dynasty leagues did change some this week as the date for placing the franchise tags on players came and went.
While some of these came as no surprise, there were a few long term contracts signed and some players left out on the market who promise to shake up free agency this season. While many of these players still have a week or so to negotiate with their current teams, they also have the freedom to let the market come to them when free agency begins.
We break down the moves from a dynasty perspective as we review franchise tag week.
Ray Rice, RB BAL
No surprise here as there was never really much of a chance the Ravens were going to let their best offensive player walk out the door. Look for the Ravens to continue trying to hammer out a long term deal with Rice.
Drew Brees, QB NO
Few expected the Saints to need to go down this route, but they were forced to after they couldn’t reach a long term accord. With Brees being franchised, that leaves Carl Nicks and Marques Colston in limbo. This certainly wasn’t the way the Saints wanted this to go down. In short, it’s been a bad week in New Orleans. At least they don’t have to worry about a headache like Randy Moss.
Fred Davis, TE WAS
Davis was a bit of a forgotten man last year after he was suspended. However, Chris Cooley isn’t expected back and as long as the Redskins get some type of decent quarterback, Davis is poised to be a solid option in dynasty leagues.
Matt Forte, RB CHI
Again, no real surprise here, either. Forte and the Bears are working on a deal, but nothing seems imminent at this point.
Dwayne Bowe, WR KC
If you own Bowe, you have to be at least be a little disappointed. The Chiefs are still a mess at quarterback unless Matt Cassel somehow turns it around. If he doesn’t, Bowe is never going to realize his full potential. As it is, he’s a high-end WR2 with upside for more.
Wes Welker, WR NE
The Patriots have been notorious for letting their veterans go, but Welker was too important to dangle out on the market. Welker’s value remains intact as a bona fide stud, especially in PPR leagues.
DeSean Jackson, WR PHI
There was word the Eagles would look to move Jackson after franchising him, but they insist that isn’t the case. While we aren’t so sure, it would be surprising to see any team offer the estimated asking price of a 2nd round pick for a receiver with a tendency to pout and grow alligator arms. This is a huge year for Jackson – if he plays as poorly as he did last year, his market will dry up completely at this time next year.
Vincent Jackson, WR SD
There was talk all the way up until the deadline that Jackson could still be tagged, but the Chargers just couldn’t pull the trigger again. Jackson will get his share of offers on the market and the Chargers better hope to re-sign him in the next week before that hometown discount he’s offering goes away. Receiver starved teams like Seattle, Minnesota, Buffalo, Washington and Chicago could all make a run at Jackson. If you own V-Jax, you just have to hope it’s not Chicago in the end. No offense, but Chicago is where fantasy receivers tend to disappear.
Mike Wallace, WR PIT
Wallace was surprisingly tendered and not franchise tagged today. If he signs an offer sheet, the Steelers will have a chance to match the offer or receive a first round pick from the team who signs him. Will Wallace take this as an insult and bolt for a team like the Patriots or Ravens? You have to wonder if the Steelers are playing with fire here. They’ve cleared some cap space, but other teams can make this really difficult for them. Regardless, Wallace is going to produce in dynasty leagues for a long, long time.
Matt Flynn, QB GB
The Packers toyed with the idea of franchising Flynn in an effort to squeeze some value out of him, but opted against taking that risk in the end. Flynn will be a hot commodity and you have to believe the Dolphins have to be at the top of his list. If Manning chooses a different team when he’s released, it’s hard not to see Flynn ending up in Miami. You could certainly see QB2 value if and when that happens.
Brandon Lloyd, WR STL
Lloyd is probably the most well chronicled player on DLF. While many have differing opinions on him, he’s still pretty polarizing. Will he re-sign with the Rams? Will the Patriots make a play? Lloyd’s value in dynasty leagues hinges on his decision that will come shortly.
Marques Colston, WR NO
It’s tough to see Colston ending back up in New Orleans at this point. In fact, it doesn’t even really seem like he’s a priority. Washington, Chicago, Minnesota and a host of others are all going to be in the hunt. Look for Vincent Jackson to set the market for Colston.
Pierre Garcon, WR IND
Garcon wanted nothing to do with staying in Indy and he gets his wish. He, along with veteran Reggie Wayne, are both likely to have a new address next year. Garcon is a nice hold in dynasty leagues and he could blossom if he finds himself in a good situation.
Peyton Hillis, RB CLE
I can’t imagine a huge market for a guy who some are starting to think is insane. The Browns seem to want him back, but they won’t pay a premium and could be outbid by the CIA.
Michael Bush, RB OAK
Bush seems very likely to leave Oakland and that’s good news for his owners. If he can find himself in a spot like Cincinnati where he’s the lead horse of a committee, he could see his value go up quite a bit. Just remember, he did hit the wall a little last season. Expecting him to post RB1 or RB2 numbers is asking a bit much, regardless of where he lands.
Players Signing new Deals
Stevie Johnson, WR BUF
Johnson scored a five year deal with nearly $20M guaranteed. If the Bills could ever perform consistently on offense, he’d would be an even better commodity in dynasty leagues. As it is, he’s a solid WR2 for the foreseeable future.
Arian Foster, RB HOU
Good news for Arian Foster. Bad news for Ben Tate. There didn’t seem to be much of a chance that Foster was to ever leave Houston, but his re-signing is huge for his fantasy value. There’s really little doubt the Texans have the perfect offense for Foster. You can’t pencil him in for the entire five years here, but he should be a top three running back in dynasty leagues for at least the next two or three years, as long as he stays healthy.
As for Tate, this is a shot to the gut. While he remains one of the most valuable handcuffs in fantasy, he’s not going to have a prayer of being anything more than the change of pace back for Foster until he’s a free agent in 2014.
Marshawn Lynch, RB SEA
Boy, this one is going to be interesting. Lynch ran as hard as any player in the league last year. Will he still do that now that he nothing to prove and money in the bank? His performance is going to be one of the most intriguing story lines in dynasty leagues next season.
Bring on free agency!
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