Last article I tackled the AFC, today it is time to switch leagues and take a look at new faces in new places in the NFC. There’s a lot to talk about and there will probably be a need down the road for updates, but here are the teams that made the biggest splashes so far.
Chicago – Added Brandon Marshall, Jason Campbell and Michael Bush. Wow, talk about improving a roster and addressing a need. Just as a reminder, the last three seasons Marshall played with Jay Cutler, he averaged 102 receptions, 1,237 yards and 7.5 touchdowns. That is Roddy White’s line (100/1296/8) from last year almost exactly. Don’t forget he was a stud with Cutler when it comes draft time. I still will draft Cutler as a backup, but he is going to be coming off the boards as one of the first QB2s and has serious QB1 upside. The Bush signing just depresses me. There aren’t enough true every down backs in the league for him to sign with a team that already has one. Bush will be the best goal line handcuff in the league and a must-own for Matt Forte owners, but he needs an injury or Forte not to sign to excel. As an aside, I am obviously writing this on the assumption that Forte signs a deal.
Tampa Bay – Added Vincent Jackson. If you take Jackson’s best season in each main category (68/1167/9) you see a stud, and that’s how he gets drafted. If you take his career averages, throwing out the three years he was holding out or not starting (2010, 2005 and 2006), you see the player you actually get (40/787/5). If you also add in that Josh Freeman is a complete downgrade from Phillip Rivers, I expect Jackson to be one of the more high profile busts this year. What his signing does do is give Mike Williams a chance to develop, out of the spotlight, after a disappointing sophomore season. Not to beat a dead horse, but Williams’ down year (65/771/3) looks a lot like Jackson career averages.
Seattle – Added Matt Flynn. I have visions of Scott Mitchell dancing in my head. Signing a career backup with potential to a long-term, big-money deal doesn’t usually seem to work out. If you take out that one magical game against the Lions last year, Flynn has three career touchdown passes! In real life, the signing was a poor decision, but it does potentially give hope to the offense from a fantasy perspective. Sidney Rice is relevant again, and there will be enough off a passing game to keep teams honest in terms of Marshawn Lynch. Just don’t draft Flynn for anything other than a bye week filler.
Washington – Added Tim Hightower, Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan. Look, signing Hightower is a smart football decision, but it stinks for fantasy. Roy Helu is the back to own, but knock him down a couple of rounds and know you will have games he disappears. Hightower will be good enough to own, but not start. As a Colts fan I can say with certainty that Pierre Garcon was a horrible signing. He has speed and makes the circus catches, but he can’t run a clean route and drops the easy balls. You’re not really thinking about drafting Morgan, are you?
San Francisco – Added Brandon Jacobs, Mario Manningham and Randy Moss. Unfortunately, Alex Smith is not the QB to take advantage of all the WR options now in SF. Moss is 35 and has 28 catches in the last two years combined. It’s a flier to take late, but counting on production from him is going to be a losing battle. Manningham is the WR I want to own here. I see 60 catches, 800 yards and four TDs coming from him, and he will probably be drafted as a WR4; I like that value. Jacobs is already a head case; now he is going to a situation where he will have to struggle to get playing time and become an unselfish player. No thank you.
Minnesota – Added Jerome Simpson and John Carlson. I would be much higher on Simpson if he didn’t have a three-game suspension. As it stands, he will be a WR4 with potential to produce better as the season goes on. The Carlson signing puzzles me. They have a young talented TE in Kyle Rudolph, and I’m not sure how they plan to manage the two. For me, I just think it limits the upside of both of them, and there is enough depth at TE this year for me to avoid the situation totally.
New York Giants – Added Martellus Bennett. I will draft Bennett on every team I can. I love this signing. Here is a fact to remember on draft day. Every season of Eli Manning’s career, the Giants have had at least five TDs from the TE position. The only other healthy TEs on the Giants roster are Chris Hopkins, Bear Pascoe and Adrien Robinson. Only 11 TEs in all of football had more than five TDs last season. Bennett is 6’6” and a freak athlete — sign me up.
Carolina – Added Mike Tolbert. Huh? Let me get this straight, Tolbert decided to go to a team with two incredibly talented running backs and the best running QB in football, who is also a red zone monster? I don’t think this signing impacts anybody negatively in Carolina, it just kills Tolbert.
St. Louis – Added Steve Smith. If Danny Amendola wasn’t coming back and if the team wasn’t so high on rookie Brian Quick there might be some value here. However, that’s not the case, and I expect nothing from Smith this year. Avoid on draft day.
Dallas – Added Kyle Orton. If Tony Romo misses time, which is always possible, Orton is probably one of the better backups in football. Otherwise, is there a more boring QB to own than Kyle Orton?
Just an average guy that enjoys talking fantasy. Follow me here in the forum under username murphysxm.
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