With the Super Bowl matchup set, we will take a break from our Fantasy Football analysis of players on playoff teams to focus on some upcoming free agents. The class overall is very top heavy when it comes to Fantasy impact players. The biggest differentiator is Alshon Jeffery, if he ends up hitting the open market. There are also a few RBs and starting caliber QBs available, along with an interesting situation for the Chargers current TEs. Let’s fire up the tunes and get ready for the offseason!
Who Got The Props by Black Moon
Kirk Cousins (QB, Redskins) – “See I paid my dues, now you can’t tell me nothing. This is dedicated to the ones who kept fronting. The ones who tried to diss and pose high, oh no. Just ’cause you had low, see now I got dough.” Cousins finished the season on a tear, putting the Redskins on his back and leading them into the playoffs. He accounted for 12 TDs over the past three games and put in a more impressive season than I thought he was capable of. While I do not believe he is a long-term solution, he is very likely to get a long-term contract offer from Washington. He is a limited player, almost a richer person’s Alex Smith, since he has already surpassed anything that Smith has done. The perception has changed on Cousins and perhaps you can get a nice haul for him in a two-QB format. Cousins is still in the backend of QB2 ranks in long-term leagues, but does have obvious streaming appeal in 2016.
Keep Holding On by Avril Lavigne
Sam Bradford (QB, Eagles) – “And it feels like the end. There’s no place to go. You know I won’t give in. No, I won’t give in. Keep holding on.” Bradford has been teasing the Fantasy community since his days at Oklahoma. At the time of his rookie season, I thought Bradford’s performance was one of the most impressive in a long time. He unfortunately has failed to put it all together over the course of a full season. The trade to the Eagles rebooted his value in long-term formats, but once again he was inconsistent. It will be very interesting to see where Bradford lands in free agency and that will ultimately be a direct correlation to his future potential. If I owned him in a dynasty format, I would trade him immediately after he signs, when the excitement of the landing spot is still fresh in other owners’ minds.
I’ve Seen Better Days by Sublime
Matt Forte (RB, Bears) – “I’ve seen better days, I’ve been star of many plays. I’ve seen better days and the bottom drops out.” Forte will likely be entering the free agent market as a 30-year-old bell cow that has had a tremendous career. What does he have left in the tank? Despite missing three games due to injury and then splitting time with rookie Jeremy Langford, Forte still put up almost 1,300 total yards and seven TDs. One of the best receiving backs in the game, Forte will still have plenty of value for the next couple of seasons. There are a few choice landing spots (Patriots, Giants, Cowboys to name a few) out there that could make him a RB1 based on volume alone. Still, Forte is a running back I would be looking to move on from in a keeper format because he is only going to decline. If I was running back away from competing for a championship, I could potentially hold him for another year or so, but otherwise it’s time to see what he will fetch via trade.
Get Back To Miami by The Blues Brothers
Lamar Miller (RB, Dolphins) – “Got to get back now to Florida. Lay out in the morning Sun. Got to get back to Miami. Have a whole lotta fun.” This is a song that Miller would probably laugh about if he ever heard it. If you own Miller in any league, you are hoping he gets out of Miami as soon as he can. The previous regime just had no clue how to use him, among numerous other issues. What we have seen from Miller thus far is the skill set of a RB1. He may not be a prototypical workhorse, but he is definitely a three-down back. He is a solid pass-catcher and has found the end zone 19 times in the last two years. Miller should be battling Doug Martin for the most coveted RB on the open market. He will be just 25 years old next season and has sky high upside. His value is only going to rise; trade for him now if you can.
Pump Up The Jam by Technotronic
Alshon Jeffery (WR, Bears) – “Pump up the jam, pump it up. While you feet are stompin’. And the jam is pumpin’. Look at here the crowd is jumpin’. Pump it up a little more.” Jeffery had a disappointing season because of injuries. It was supposed to be a monster performance with the trade of Brandon Marshall to the Jets. While he only played in nine games, he still managed to rack up over 800 yards and four TDs. Jeffery has always shown a strong rapport with Jay Cutler and if he stays in Chicago, he can expect as many targets as he can handle. High upside rookie Kevin White did not play a game all season and should be an excellent second fiddle in the passing game, which will take some of the pressure off of the veteran. Jeffery is a 90-catch, 1,500 yard, double-digit touchdown producer and that should be realized in 2016. It would not be a surprise if he finished as the top WR within the next few seasons.
Chasing Pavements by Adele
Marvin Jones (WR, Bengals) “Should I give up, Or should I just keep chasing pavements? Even if it leads nowhere, Or would it be a waste?” Jones is an interesting talent and might just be the second most intriguing receiver to hit the market. He has had two solid seasons as part of the Bengals’ passing attack while taking a backseat to A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert, but was at best a deep league WR3 option. With Andy Dalton spreading the ball around and two talented receiving options ahead of him, it is no surprise that we have not seen all of what Jones has to offer. He is an excellent red zone threat and would make a solid starting receiver in a developing offense. If he lands in the right spot, Jones could be a Top 25 performer and register his first 1,000-yard season. Keep an eye on where he ends up.
I’m Stone In Love With You by The Stylistics
Ladarius Green (TE, Chargers) – “You might say that all I do is dream my life away. I guess it’s true, ’cause I’m stone in love with you.” Green has been on the verge of a break out for a few seasons now, but Antonio Gates simply refuses to give way. Now both players are free agents (see below for more on old man Gates). We have seen glimpses from Green, especially during the first four games of this season when Gates was suspended. He is very much a catch-first TE with untapped upside. In the right system, Green could be Top 5 at the position. There is no shortage of landing spots for him to fulfill his vast potential; hopefully he chooses the right one. That could actually mean staying in San Diego, just as long as Antonio Gates leaves town. It is going to be hard to trade for him now in a dynasty format, as his current owner has likely been sitting on him for multiple seasons already.
The End Is Near by Ab-Soul featuring Mac Miller
Antonio Gates (TE, Chargers) – “Ain’t have to start watching CNN for you to see an end It’s coming quicker than you think, don’t mean to rub it in.” It has to be almost over for Gates right? He has producing at a TE1 clip for more than a decade and will be 36 years old this offseason. While he is a shell of his former self, there is a chance that Gates could have another season or two of decent production. It does not initially sound like he will be back in San Diego, where his strong connection with Philip Rivers has aided his Fantasy profile for much of his career. At this point, his trade value is so limited that you might as well hold onto him and hope that he lands in a lucrative spot.