Free Agency Winners & Losers (Fantasy Football)

Mar 10, 2017

Brandon Marshall doesn’t leave New York, but his value certainly won’t be the same

Boy, was Thursday a fun day in free agency, huh? In a flurry of action, before you could wrap your head around a move, all of a sudden, another thing would pop up. After all, trying to understand the Brock Osweiler transaction was a bit of a head-scratcher, and it seems he’s not done being moved.

Of course, the big question on everyone’s mind is, what does this mean for the upcoming fantasy season (why else would you be here)? Every move causes a shift in fantasy value, and in some cases, it’s not even the player who was moved that gains or loses the most. We asked our featured experts below to name which players they believe saw the biggest gains and losses due to the recent transactions. See what they had to say.

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Q1. What player has seen his fantasy value increase the most as a result of free agency?

Pierre Garcon (WR – SF)
“Garcon had been a bit of a fringe fantasy option the past few years after the departure of Kyle Shanahan from Washington. Where is Shanahan these days? San Francisco. Which just so happens to be Garcon’s landing spot. While the 113 receptions he saw in 2013 under Kyle represent his ceiling, Garcon’s fantasy value has significantly improved as he should be a featured receiver for a team that currently has Marquise Goodwin and Jeremy Kerley at WR 2 and 3.”
KJ (Fantasy Team Advice)

“Fantasy production often has more to do with opportunity than it does talent. Pierre Garcon may not be an elite receiver, but his decision to sign in San Francisco puts him in position to be the 49ers’ top target in a passing attack that will see plenty of work while playing from behind. Garcon’s last season in a Kyle Shanahan offense yielded 113 catches, 1,346 yards, and five touchdowns. Those aren’t numbers you should expect from the 31-year-old in 2017, but Garcon could emerge as a low-end WR2 for fantasy owners willing to watch 49ers games all season long.”
Justin Boone (theScore)

Jameis Winston (QB – TB)
“It’s odd, but the player who has seen his value increase the most wasn’t even a free agent. Jameis Winston benefits so much from the addition of DeSean Jackson that it’s vaulted him into my top-12 quarterbacks for the 2017 season. Winston hasn’t had a deep threat to take attention away from Mike Evans, and Jackson was the perfect guy to do it. Not only should Evans see higher quality targets, but Jackson should as well. While it may cap their upside, it only raises Winston’s ceiling.”
Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Carson Wentz (QB – PHI)
“Well I think it’s easy to say Mike Glennon, as he had no value and now is at least a starter, yet of what on paper looks like a questionable offense. Continuing the QB theme Carson Wentz must think he is dreaming as the team added a speed guy they desperately needed in Torrey Smith and also top WR free agent Alshon Jeffery. This will allow Jordan Mathews to play in the slot and they now have one of the better receiving cores in the NFL.”
Ken Zalis (Pressbox)

Q2. What player has seen his fantasy value decrease the most as a result of free agency?

Brandon Marshall (WR – NYG)
“Marshall will be 33 when the 2017 season gets underway, and while Giants fans are understandably excited about the possibilities this season, from a fantasy perspective Marshall’s value takes a big hit. Odell Beckham will be top dog on this offense, with Marshall and Sterling Shepard competing for targets as the WR2 and 3. While Marshall was widely regarded as a top 10 WR in fantasy drafts last season, this year his value will be significantly lower, perhaps even outside the top 20.”
KJ (Fantasy Team Advice)

“I’ve been on record as saying that Brandon Marshall is going to be massively overrated in 2017 fantasy drafts. I’d argue that he’s the No. 3 option behind both Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard. Marshall is going to be playing at age 33 this season, which is the exact time that both Roddy White and Andre Johnson broke down and faded into oblivion. Outside of their age, what did they have in common with Marshall? Both had elite options at wide receiver to speed up the process (Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins). Marshall didn’t have that with the Jets, but he does with the Giants. It was fun while it lasted, B Marsh.”
Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Jordan Howard (RB – CHI)
“Howard’s chances of replicating his outstanding rookie campaign became much more difficult over the last few days. The team was unable to re-sign Alshon Jeffery in free agency, they’ve so far failed to address their offensive tackle issues, and the move from Jay Culter to Mike Glennon may not be an upgrade. With a receiving corps lacking the firepower to take pressure off the running game, the Bears are betting everything on Howard’s one-man act continuing in Chicago. Unfortunately, defenses already caught the show last year and they know exactly what to expect. Howard has the potential to be a top-five fantasy back, but the added defensive attention combined with a lack of involvement in the passing game may hold him back in 2017.”
Justin Boone (theScore)

Andy Dalton (QB – CIN) / Sterling Shepard (WR – NYG)
“QB Andy Dalton may be running for his life on every play this season as he lost his best two offensive linemen. Sterling Shepard’s value takes a hit as the GMEN added Brandon Marshall whose value is not as high as in the past now as well. I think most were high on the upcoming 2nd year for Shepard, but his targets figure to be cut in half now.”
Ken Zalis (Pressbox)

Thanks to the experts for providing their thoughts on the latest moves in free agency. Be sure to follow them on Twitter for advice this offseason. You can also check out our podcast below for fantasy football discussions all year long.

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