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Fantasy Football: 2013 Free Agent Destinations

Author: Kevin Nelson

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Vacations? We don’t need no stinkin’ vacations!!! All a football offseason means is who wants to be prepared to win the following year. The separation is in the preparation people!

As such, it seemed like an appropriate time to touch base with those of you who enjoy that little bit extra information in the offseason and go over some offseason watch lists. The 2013 NFL year officially starts March 13th so there will be no official news until then at the earliest. Reports are already circulating in regards to the Alex Smith trade to Kansas City and many others in regards to the possible free agent movement but the lack of certainty allows us to do what we do best, speculate! Who doesn’t enjoy a nice “what if” conversation in regards to their favorite football team/fantasy landscape.

 

Let’s hit a few and see where we might see them/like them to go:

QBs:

Alex Smith: The rumors are already getting pretty confirmed in this one and the destination looks like Kansas City. If Joe Montana can do it right? Hmmmm. Well if there was a coach who could continue to maximize Alex Smith’s talents, I believe it could be Andy Reid. A West Coach QB guru who made temporary stars of guys like Kevin Kolb and AJ Feely once upon a time. He will rely on quick hitting passes, probably a nice screen game with Jamaal Charles (ala Brian Westbrook days), and accurate throws. Smith was among the league leaders in QB rating so we know he can be efficient. The weapons in KC don’t scream QB1 potential, but it should be a solid fit.

Matt Flynn: With Smith supposedly gone, Flynn would seem like the logical next domino. He probably can’t go to the Cardinals being in division, so the Jags would be a great possibility. New Jags coach Gus Bradley comes over from Seattle so he has been in many a meeting with the Hawks brass that discussed acquiring Flynn themselves so he will have a pretty good idea of whether he is worth a shot. Flynn has always impressed when given a chance and believe it or not, there are some weapons in Jacksonville now. With MJD healthy in the backfield and now Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon on the outside, Flynn could put up some decent numbers with the Jags.

 

RBs

Steven Jackson: Jackson has voided the last year of his deal and will become a free agent. Nearly before ESPN or anybody else could tweet the story, the Falcons were chomping at the bit to get in line for Jackson’s services. It is widely believed, if not forgone conclusioned (made that word up), that Michael Turner will be cut and the Falcons will be in the market. Jackson, while not beastly to the same extent he was 5 years ago, still quietly churns out solid seasons while wasting away in St. Louis. In Atlanta, he would have a playoff invigoration as well as a team around him that would take a whole lot more defensive attention away from him. No disrespect to Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson but let’s Libra Scale those wide receiving cores. Yeah, Jackson could be a very solid fantasy back next year if ended up with Atlanta.

Reggie Bush: Bush has been linked mainly to the Detroit Lions. A seemingly perfect system fit as the Lions offense was far more dangerous when they had Jahvid Best as a change of pace/receiver out of the backfield option to go too. Bush would fill that void to a tee. The biggest hiccup I would see with this is Bush has frequently complained about how the turf makes his knees feel. It was a problem in New Orleans and could be in Detroit. If not, Bush would be an impeccable fit and would be an intriguing fantasy option, especially in PPR leagues.

Michael Turner: If he is truly cut from Atlanta, he will be on the market for someone else. Personally, I have been over Michael Turner for a couple years now and do not think he has anything left. He had one of the worst goal line scoring percentages in the league and that was his specialty. Michael Turner falls far off my fantasy radar regardless of where he ends up.

sjacksonAhmad Bradshaw: Similar to Turner, Bradshaw’s production has really tailed off lately. For those of you who read my stuff or our draft kit, I was not a fan of Bradshaw going into this year, much less going forward. Coming into this year he had a job all to himself on a playoff caliber teams. Now, we have no idea where he will go but I can assure you it won’t be in a job all to himself. Bradshaw falls down the board to possible injury replacement if the starter gets hurt is my prediction.

WRs:

Greg Jennings: First of all, Jennings wants waaaaaaaay more money than he is probably worth at this stage in his career, coming off an injury. That is going to play a role in this. It has pretty much been a foregone conclusion that Jennings will leave the Packers as the Packers move along with Nelson, Cobb, and Jones. Miami has been a rumor, Seattle needs WR help, and the Bengals have a ton of cap space and a need across from AJ. Personally, if Greg Jennings ended up in Cincinnati, I think fantasy minds would go bonkers. Dalton would jump in the rankings, AJ Green would get single coverage more often, Jennings would always get single coverage. I haven’t heard any rumors, but I am rooting for the Bengals for Jennings.

Dwayne Bowe: The Patriots?? The latest rumor has the Pats possibly involved in a Dwayne Bowe courtship. That would vault Bowe into the second round easy for me. Brady to Bowe with Gronk and Hernandez in the middle of the field, yes please. The most likely scenario has Bowe remaining in KC though. With Andy Reid installing that West Coast offense and preferring to throw the ball, and now with the Alex Smith addition, the Chiefs will need a go to target. Bowe should go back to being much more reliable with Smith under center.

Mike Wallace: Miami has been the hottest rumor with Wallace as they have stated he will be their main target this offseason. Wallace would be solid as a Dolphin trying to help Ryan Tannehill grow but my fear is that Wallace is not well rounded enough to really be “the dude” on a team by himself. Wallace would be much more effective where his role can be utilized, a role like playing to his deep threat persona strength somewhere like Seattle perhaps? The Hawks quietly have an up and coming passing game with Russell Wilson (threw for over 380 yards in the playoff game vs the Falcons) and would have a killer play action option with Marshawn Lynch. Wallace would be able to run deep all game and get back to his 20 YPC average he had a couple years ago in Pitt. Just one man’s thoughts though.

Wes Welker: Welker wasn’t much on the fantasy radar pre Brady and I have my doubts if he becomes post Brady. Welker is the ultimate “I find my niche” guy with the ultimate “we need your niche” situation. If the ladder changes, the former becomes much more murky. His value could plummet if he leaves his buddy Brady.

 

Goodness I love the offseason. Cheers to rumors, speculation, silly water cooler banter, and high hopes of being the next champ! Next up…. draft time!!

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