Free Agency Fantasy Winners and Losers

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  1. Mike Glennon: QB – Chicago Bears

Although there’s a chance Mike Glennon might not work out in Chicago, he’s still a decent fantasy option with a ton of upside. As long as he isn’t this year’s Brock Osweiler, Glennon will have a chance to be fantasy relevant. He hasn’t had much experience as a starter, but was impressive at times in Tampa Bay. With a few more years under his belt, he might become a decent starter. He won’t be a top ten fantasy option at quarterback, but he’ll be a serviceable option that should warrant a spot on a roster in most leagues.

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  1. Carson Wentz: QB – Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles went all-in during last year’s draft to get themselves a franchise quarterback, and it looks as though they made the right decision. This season’s free agency plan was to get Wentz some weapons to work with in the passing game. The Eagles’ wide receivers were horrendously bad last season, so signing Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith will help Wentz tremendously in his second season. Smith is coming off a terrible season, but he has the potential to stretch the field due to his elite speed. Jeffery is more of a possession receiver and should emerge as Wentz’s top target. Look for Wentz to have a great fantasy season this year.

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  1. Brandon Marshall: WR – New York Giants

Staying in New York was a fantastic decision for Brandon Marshall. He went from the dysfunctional Jets to the Super Bowl contending Giants. Eli Manning loves to throw the ball all over the field, and Marshall should be getting one-on-one coverage due to superstar Odell Beckham typically facing double coverage. Sterling Shepard had a nice rookie season last year, but he’s no Brandon Marshall. Look for Marshall to have another 1000 yard season with the potential to reach double digit touchdowns.

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  1. Jameis Winston: QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jameis Winston was already going to be a top ten fantasy quarterback this year before the signing of DeSean Jackson. Mike Evans is a monster as a #1 wide receiver, but he’s not a vertical threat with the capability of taking a short pass to the end zone. Tampa Bay needed this type of receiver, and the signing of Jackson fills that void. Jackson may not put up incredible fantasy numbers himself, but he’s the type of player that can put up big numbers during multiple weeks in a season. The threat of him stretching the field will make life easier for Jameis Winston, and should boost his fantasy draft stock going into the season.

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  1. Isaiah Crowell: RB – Cleveland Browns

It’s hard to imagine that anyone is a winner for the Browns, but Isaiah Crowell has to like what the Browns did during free agency. The Browns had a lot of money to spend and decided to upgrade their offensive line. The browns signed center J.C. Tretter and guard Kevin Zeitler to complement emerging star Joel Bitonio and future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas. It seems as though Hugh Jackson wants to run the ball on offense, and Crowell is the type of smash-mouth runner that can be a primary ball-carrier in a league predicated on having multiple running back options. Duke Johnson will be the #2 running back option, but he’s more of a receiver that will put up numbers in a PPR fantasy league. Look for Crowell to reach 1000 yards this season with double digit touchdowns.

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  1. Kirk Cousins: QB – Washington Redskins

The Washington Redskins are an absolute mess. Nobody knows who is in charge of the organization and they seem to not have a plan in place. The Redskins messed up negotiations with Cousins, and will likely lose him in free agency next year for nothing more than a third round compensatory pick. Cousins seems to want out of Washington, but no team is willing to step up to the plate and make a deal with the Redskins. Cousins lost his top two receivers in DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in free agency. Although Josh Doctson could be an emerging receiver in this offense next year, there’s no denying that Cousins’ fantasy stock will take a hit. It’s only a matter of time before a team signs Cousins to a long-term deal, but right now he’s in a messy situation that will ultimately affect his fantasy production.

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  1. Brock Osweiler: QB – Cleveland Browns

Just when it looked as though things could not get worse for Brock Osweiler, the Texans made an NBA type of trade to get him off their roster. You see many NBA trades in which an overpaid player is shipped away with a high draft pick for something worth less than what was traded away just to save money, but this type of trade hasn’t been done in the NFL. The Texans essentially gave away a second round pick with Osweiler just to get rid of his terrible contract. The Browns will likely cut Osweiler before the season starts, so he might be spared from the dumpster fire organization in Cleveland. But he won’t get a starting job again and will have to try and rebuild his reputation as a backup.

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  1. Terrelle Pryor: WR – Washington Redskins

What does Terrelle Pryor have to do to get a long term contract? He was one of the few consistent pieces for the 1-15 Cleveland Browns last season. Pryor signed a one year deal worth $8 million with the Washington Redskins, but seemed to be due for a long-term deal worth more money. The Redskins lost their top two receivers from last season, so there will be an opportunity for Pryor to emerge as a #1 receiver for a quarterback that is far more talented than anyone he played with in Cleveland. This may seem like Pryor’s a winner, but the Redskins are a mess right now. Cousins isn’t going to be the long-term option in Washington, and may be traded before the season concludes. Pryor will only have to deal with Washington’s shenanigans for one season, but this won’t give him the best opportunity to shine before becoming a free agent next season when he’ll want to cash in after another solid season.

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  1. Jared Cook: TE – Oakland Raiders

Jared Cook has always been a tease. He has a ton of talent but has never been able to fully maximize his skill set. He left arguably the best quarterback in the league in Aaron Rodgers for an emerging quarterback in Derek Carr. Although Carr isn’t as talented as Rodgers, he’s good enough to make his playmakers around him shine. Cook will have to compete with Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Seth Roberts, and Clive Walford for targets. Although Walford hasn’t lived up to his potential since being drafted, he’s still a talented tight end whose best football is ahead of him. Most tight ends take a few years to acclimate to the NFL, so it’s not a given that Cook will be the #1 tight end in this offense. This might finally be the year for Jared Cook to emerge, but don’t count on it.

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  1. Aging Running Backs

With all the talented running backs in this year’s draft, this is not a great free agency for aging running backs. Most teams would rather get younger and cheaper at the position, so it’s not surprising to see that Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles are both without jobs. Eddie Lacy signed a 1 year deal in Seattle to try and rebuild his reputation, but he’ll likely be part of committee. Latavius Murray recently signed with the Vikings, but he may struggle without the elite offensive line that he had in Oakland. Even Adrian Peterson struggled to run behind Minnesota’s offensive line last season. Don’t expect an elite fantasy season from any of these aging running backs.

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