Last week I focused on the top tier talent that will be wearing different colors when the 2015 NFL season kicks off. However, with all the action that took place this offseason there are many other attractive fantasy options who will be sporting new jerseys in addition to McCoy, Murray, and Graham.
Here is a quick review by position of some fantasy relevant options that have changed teams this offseason. The term “fantasy relevant” might be a bit loose with some of these – – shout out to Trent Richardson!
S. Bradford (PHI)
N. Foles (STL)
J. McCown (CLE)
B. Hoyer (HOU)
It is way too early to start throwing around bold calls, but if it wasn’t I might say that Sam Bradford will finish the year as a top 10 fantasy quarterback. Sure, he has only played 7 games since the completion of the 2012 season, but lets look at the big picture.
In that 2012 season Bradford put up a very respectable stat line of 3,702 / 21 / 13. Throw in his meager rushing stats of 124 / 1 and it works out to about 15 fantasy points per week. He was able to accomplish this with his major weapons consisting of Chris Givens, Brandon Gibson, and Danny Amendola.
Mark Sanchez is a guy who is easy to pick on, but when he took over the controls of Chip Kelly’s offensive machine he became a reliable fantasy quarterback. In 4-of-9 games running the show he posted yardage totals of 332, 346,307 and 374. He also was able to throw multiple touchdown passes in 6-of-8 games.
No disrespect to Mark Sanchez, but if he was able to put up these numbers, one has to believe that Bradford is capable as well. Even though he has been in the league since 2010, there is some mystery surrounding Bradford. One thing that is not a mystery is that whoever is running the show in Chip Kelly’s offense will put up numbers and be worthy of a starting quarterback slot in any fantasy league.
D. McFadden (DAL)
R. Mathews (PHI)
S. Vereen (NYG)
R. Bush (S.F.)
C.J. Spiller (N.O.)
S. Ridley (NYJ)
F. Gore (IND)
D. Williams (PIT)
R. Helu (OAK)
T. Richardson (OAK)
C.J. Spiller needed a change of scenery. He needed to go to a team that could get him in space and let him use his open field talents. Maybe a team that has a track record of taking an undersized back and creating ways for them to flourish. DING! DING! DING! We have a winner! Welcome to New Orleans. This comparison might end up missing its mark by a long shot, but as soon as I saw that Spiller signed with the Saints, I automatically thought of him as the next Darren Sproles in that offense.
The Saints have consistently involved their running backs in the receiving game over the past four seasons.
2011 – Sproles: 86 REC / 710 YDS
2012 – Sproles: 75 REC / 667 YDS (13 games)
2013 – Sproles: 71 REC / 604 YDS (15 games)
Life post Sproles…
2014 – Pierre Thomas: 45 REC / 378 YDS (11 games)
If you extrapolate Thomas’s receiving numbers out over 16 games it would be 65 REC and 550 YDS. While that is shy of the receiving numbers Sproles produced, it is enough evidence that even without Sproles the Saints are more than eager to involve their running backs in the passing game.
Catching the ball has certainly not been a problem for Spiller. Over the last three seasons he has converted 95 of his 118 targets for an 81% success rate. If history is any indication, I look for Spiller to be heavily involved in the Saints passing game.
Spiller is no scrub when it comes to running the ball, as he sports a lifetime 5.0 yard per carry average over 668 attempts. While Mark Ingram will be the workhorse, it will be likely for Spiller to chip in 8-10 carries a week. Even on limited reps Spiller can do plenty of damage.
Sean Peyton is a very good offensive coach. He will create ways to give C.J. Spiller an opportunity to thrive in what is always a high-octane offense. The price tag will be low on Spiller this year, but this should end up being a very nice value pick, especially in PPR leagues.
T. Smith (S.F)
M. Wallace (MIN)
P. Harvin (BUF)
K. Stills (MIA)
G. Jennings (MIA)
B. Marshall (NYJ)
J. Maclin (K.C.)
M. Crabtree (OAK)
S. Johnson (S.D.)
D. Bowe (CLE)
B. Hartline (CLE)
C. Shorts (HOU)
H. Nicks (HOU)
A. Johnson (IND)
E. Royal (CHI)
D. Moore (CIN)
M. Austin (PHI)
B. Gibson (N.E)
D. Harris (NYG)
I almost felt dirty typing in some of those names under the title “fantasy relevant.” I think a better way to describe some of those guys would be “potentially fantasy relevant”
There are a few intriguing names on this list, but for me none more so than Stevie Johnson. He has become a forgotten man over the past two seasons thanks to injuries and poor quarterback play. Now, he lands in San Diego where he will have the chance to play with the most talented quarterback of his career. Last year Rivers had three receivers post 700+ yards.
Malcom Floyd – 856 / 6
Keenan Allen – 783 / 4
Eddie Royal – 778 / 7
Tight end Antonio Gates had the best year of any Charger pass catcher as he racked up 821 yards and 12 touchdowns. With Royal now in Chicago and Gates wanting to play less snaps, there is going to be a chunk of production that someone will be picking up. Enter Stevie Johnson, who at the very least should be able to step in and replicate the type of season that Eddie Royal had last year.
At only 28, Stevie Johnson has plenty of good football ahead of him. He has proven that he can be a stud fantasy receiver as he had a three year average of 1,041 yards and 8 touchdowns from 2010 – 2012. Now playing with a quality quarterback in a pass happy offense, Johnson should get back close to those numbers.
J. Thomas (JAX)
C. Clay (BUF)
J. Cameron (MIA)
O. Daniels (DEN)
J. Tamme (ATL)
It was a fun two year ride for Julius Thomas, but going from Peyton Manning to Blake Bortles is night and day. Thomas has never been a big yardage guy. In his 27 regular season games over the past two seasons he has only gone over 50 yards receiving eight times. Finding the end zone 24 times over that same 27 game stretch masked the poor yardage numbers.
So basically his fantasy production is tied to scoring touchdowns. Okay, that is no big deal as long as the team he is going to is capable of putting the ball in the end zone at a rate similar to the 58 touchdowns that the Broncos scored last season. Wait a second here. He is going to the Jaguars? As in the same Jaguars that scored an NFL low 27 touchdowns last year?? The same Jaguars that only threw 15 touchdown passes last year???
I think only one more thing needs to be said…
Here lies Julius Thomas’s fantasy football production. He had a good run and made many owners happy in his short time with us.
September 5th 2013 – January 11th 2014
Owen Daniels on the other hand, is going to get the shot in the arm his career needs, linking up with Peyton Manning and the potent Denver offense.
Tight end production with Peyton Manning last seven years.
2014: Julius Thomas – 489 / 12
2013: Julius Thomas – 788 / 12
2012: Jacob Tamme – 555 / 2 – – Joel Dreessen 356 / 5
2010: Jacob Tamme – 631 / 4
2009: Dallas Clark – 1106 / 10
2008: Dallas Clark – 848 / 6
2007: Dallas Clark – 616 / 11
Owen Daniels has produced some very solid yardage totals over his nine year NFL career. In the five seasons that Daniels has played 15+ games he has recorded yardage totals of: 768, 862, 677, 716, and 527 last year in Baltimore. Finding the end zone is where he has lacked as he has only scored 5+ touchdowns three times in his career. Playing in an offense that scored 58 touchdowns last year should help that number.
So your on the clock. Who you taking?
As we continue the countdown to kickoff 2015, I will take a closer look at other intriguing offseason moves. Some for the better, some for the worse.
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Major League Fantasy Sports Radio Show: Join Ej Garr and Corey D Roberts on Sunday May 3rd from 7-9pm EST for this week’s episode of Major League Fantasy Sports Radio sponsored by the Sports Palooza Radio Network. Call in at 646-915-8596. This week we will be discussing everything out west. The A.L. & N.L. West divisions and everything fantasy relevant within.