Fantasy Football: Top Free Agent Signings – #10-#1
Between the Super Bowl and the upcoming NFL Draft in April, the biggest thrill for NFL fans is the free agency period. A ton of names that have been big in the past few years have changed locations or have been paid to stay where they were — regardless of the signings, the fantasy landscape changed because of it.
Below is part two of a look at the top 20 free agent signings so far and how their fantasy stock is looking heading into the 2014 season. Also included is the best available free agents remaining as of right now, though you can you expect them to be signed at some point soon.
10. Josh McCown
From Chicago to Tampa Bay (2 year $10 million)
2014 Fantasy Forecast: McCown showed in Chicago last season that he has what it takes to start in this league. In eight games, McCown completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 1,829 yards, 13 touchdowns and only one interception. Though Mike Glennon still has an outside chance to start, expect McCown to be given the first crack. Definite mid round QB with upside.
9. Mario Manningham
From San Francisco to New York Giants (1 year deal)
2014 Fantasy Forecast: Manningham returns to the team he helped win a Super Bowl with and should help turn around an offense that looked terrible last season. Alongside Victor Cruz, Manningham should put up consistent numbers if he can remain healthy. Consider Manningham a good number three receiver and a mid round pick.
8. Lance Moore
From New Orleans to Pittsburgh (2 year deal)
2014 Fantasy Forecast: Moore signing with the Steelers is an immediate upgrade in terms of production over Emmanuel Sanders. The crafty veteran should thrive alongside Antonio Brown. Consider Moore a solid mid round pick.
7. Eric Decker
From Denver to New York Jets (5 year, $36.2 million)
2014 Fantasy Forecast: Decker is coming off of two straight seasons where he eclipsed 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. However, he will have to work hard to make that three straight years at that production as he has left Peyton Manning behind and now will be receiving passes from either Michael Vick or Geno Smith. Obviously expect a possible drop off in overall numbers and consider Decker a number three receiver heading into 2014.
6. Jerricho Cotchery
From Pittsburgh to Carolina (5 year, $8 million)
2014 Fantasy Forecast: As of right now, Cotchery is the number one receiver in Carolina by virtue of a depleted roster. Look for Carolina to go after a Santonio Holmes or a Sydney Rice to flesh out their receiving corps but that doesn't mean there isn't value in Cotchery. Consider Cotchery a solid mid-round pick with upside.
5. Emmanuel Sanders
From Pittsburgh to Denver (3 year, $15 million)
2014 Fantasy Forecast: Don't confuse Sanders with the departed Eric Decker, but Sanders should still put up solid numbers with Peyton Manning tossing him the rock. Consider Sanders to be a mid to late round pick with good upside for spot starts until he proves otherwise.
4. Julian Edelman
Staying in New England (re-signed 4 year, $17 million)
2014 Fantasy Forecast: The best chance for Edelman to remain relevant in fantasy terms was for him to remain in New England and the four year deal he signed guarantees that will be the case. Though it's hard to trust in any one receiver in the Patriots offense, consider Edelman a weak number two to a solid number three wideout worth a mid round pick.
3. Anquan Boldin
Stayed in San Francisco (re-signed, 2 year $12 million with SF)
2014 Fantasy Forecast: Nailing down Boldin for two years is a good thing for both Boldin and quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the two showed a good connection in their first season together. Consider Boldin a solid number two wideout who could be an early to mid round pick.
2. Golden Tate
From Seattle to Detroit ( 5 year, $31 million)
2014 Fantasy Forecast: Easily the best wide receiver move in terms of upside, Tate should flourish in the pass-first Detroit offense alongside Calvin Johnson. Consider Tate a mid-round pick with tremendous sleeper value.
1. Ben Tate
From Houston to Cleveland (2 year, $7 million)
2014 Fantasy Forecast: A backup with starter potential a year ago, Tate will get every opportunity to show the Browns that he is the workhorse back they have been looking for. Tate is a definite sleeper candidate with top five running back potential. Expect Tate to go in the early rounds.
Best Free Agents Available (as of now)
DeSean Jackson, WR Sidney Rice. WR
Santonio Holmes, WR Kenny Britt, WR
Miles Austin, WR Andre Brown, RB
Michael Bush, RB
UPDATE: Jackson signed with the Washington Redskins Wednesday morning.
Photo Credit: Getty