This has been one of the busiest NFL offseasons in recent memory. Fantasy football players need to pay attention on all of the recent moves which is why I thought I’d break down 10 on offense that are likely to shake things up next season.
Most of the big moves have come on defense but for the sake of fantasy purposes, I thought I’d stick to offense. One thing I want to point out is that not all of this impact will be positive. There are a few shakeups that could have a domino effect on the studs around him.
DeSean Jackson to the Washington Redskins – This may be the biggest move of the offseason. Jackson is coming off a career year as he begins a new era in Washington. The biggest question here is the quarterback. I don’t care if you put Jerry Rice back there, no WR is worth picking up if RG III can’t turn it around. Jackson’s presence would worry me if I was a Pierre Garcon owner. I think Jackson has a lot of upside here but there are just as many risks to worry about as are rewards.
Ben Tate to the Cleveland Browns – It is put up or shut up time for Ben Tate. Tate has always believed he could be a productive starter in the NFL yet unfortunately when he had that chance he broke down in Houston. He is getting a fresh start in Cleveland and the job is his for the taking. The QB situation scares me here but a good running back like Tate will still find opportunities. The upside here is that he has a decent line as Browns running backs averaged 4.0 yards per carry last season and those backs weren’t nearly as talented as Tate. Bad QB or not defenses will still have to account for Josh Gordon which should leave some holes up front for Tate if he can remain healthy and stay on the field.
Hakeem Nicks to the Indianapolis Colts – What happened Hakeem? How could someone go from so good to so bad so fast? Injuries have plagued Nicks the last two seasons so it all comes down to health. Indianapolis aren’t convinced as they only offered him a 1-year deal. This is a conservative offense which always makes me hesitant to take a receiver on the Colts. However, I think Andrew Luck could put together some big games with Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, and a healthy Nicks on offense. If Trent Richardson can finally get going the air game will open up and lots of opportunities will be there. I also see this as a bit of a negative for Victor Cruz who benefited from having Nicks alongside him. Injured or not, Nicks always got attention which means Cruz will have to face some stiff double teams this season.
LeGarrette Blount to the Pittsburgh Steelers – The Steelers have been desperate for a go-to goalline running back since the Bus retired. I know Le’Veon Bell is supposed to be the guy but if they were convinced he was as good as fantasy experts predicted last year, they would not have gotten Blount. I could see Blount having a big role in Pittsburgh. He’s definitely getting the goalline carries and that is exactly what you want from your fantasy running back. I’d almost be tempted to say I’d rather have him over Bell but that remains to be seen. This could be a huge move for fantasy purposes.
Emmanuel Sanders to the Denver Broncos – If you enjoyed owning Sanders with Ben Roethlisberger throwing him the ball you are going to love having him on your team as a Denver Bronco. I see no reason to think that Sanders can’t put up some big numbers with Peyton Manning throwing him the ball. The biggest risk you have with any Broncos receiver is that the go-to guy changes by the week. He’s a tough guy to play week-to-week but he is certainly worth a spot on your bench to add some depth down the stretch.
Maurice Jones-Drew to the Oakland Raiders – Another interesting signing. I like this one a little more than some people. I think the Oakland Raiders have a very underrated offensive line and MJD could do some interesting things behind those guys. The addition of Matt Schaub could also open up more opportunities if Schaub can stay healthy. Where Run DMC fits into this is anyone’s guess. I like the upside here if MJD is as healthy as he says he is…which is a big if.
Toby Gerhart to the Jacksonville Jaguars – This is a real interesting move. Gerhart is leaving the Vikings for the opportunity to start for the Jags. Gerhart had a fantastic college career but never quite the opportunities in Minnesota some hoped he would. There is a job for tha taking in Jacksonville and he will have no excuses here if he can’t get it done. Gerhart is great at catching the ball and could put up some nice numbers in PPR leagues. I am very curious to see what Gerhart can do with volume.
Rashad Jennings to New York Giants – Andre Brown is gone and David Wilson has yet to live up to potential. Jennings had a solid year last season in Oakland and in typical Raiders’ fashion, they let him go. The Giants are a team that love to throw deep and run the ball in the red zone. Jennings will get his opportunities and I can’t see him losing his spot to David Wilson. Jennings could have a monster year as a goal-line back in New York…as long as the defense can keep scores close which is a bigger question mark.
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