Mar 9, 2010
It’s been a fairly quiet and pretty anticlimactic free agent period so far. The one thing I’ve learned over the years about free agency is that its impact is pretty top-heavy, and overall overrated – at least when it comes to fantasy football. There are usually 3-4 major moves that have big impacts, and there are always a few moves that appear to be under-the-radar, yet wind up being key. But for the most part, the excitement some people feel in March and April dwindles down to next to nothing come September.
That said, I still have some thoughts on what’s gone down the last 5-7 days or so, and here’s a quick review. If you’re interested, we are keeping up on all the moves each day with our 2010 Free Agent Tracker.
The Chester Taylor signing by Chicago still boggles my mind a little bit. I understand you can never have too many quality veterans like Taylor, but let me put it this way: I don’t think he would have been much better than a healthy Matt Forte behind that terrible line and on a shaky overall Bear offense last year. So considering Forte is six years under than Taylor, it makes little sense to me. Solid backup/changeup RBs are a dime a dozen in this league right now, so their money could have been better spent elsewhere.
There was a thread on our MB wondering about our somewhat conservative ranking of Jamaal Charles for keeper leagues. I love the guy, and we were talking him up all off-season in 2009, but while he’s small guy who was surprisingly effective running inside late in 2009, he is still a small guy. I was waiting to see if they added a quality “bigger back” and it appears they have in Thomas Jones. That’s a pretty major monkey wrench in the 2010 Jamaal Charles plan. Jones can still play, and he’ll certainly get carries, so Charles has to slip down to the mid-to-late 20s at the RB position. He’s still unproven, as evidenced by the team’s signing of Jones.
The addition of WR Anquan Boldin is certainly good for QB Joe Flacco. I’m pretty sold on Flacco, and I think his issues last year had a lot to do with his receiving corps, not Flacco taking a step back. I’d like to see Derrick Mason back for 1-2 more years, and that’s not a lock now, and Boldin is a pretty major injury risk, but Flacco’s long-term value is on the rise. Clearly, the team (finally) understands he needs more help.
I really like Detroit’s signing of Nate Burleson. Sure, they overpaid for him, but that’s not my concern, really. The fact is Burleson is a really nice complement to Calvin Johnson. He is an injury risk, but he’s a smooth route-runner with great hands and he’s an ideal guy in terms of taking advantage of the coverage Johnson commands. Burleson should help Calvin, and he will definitely help Matthew Stafford.
The rumors of LaDainian Tomlinson to Minnesota are starting, and this is something I brought up two weeks ago. LT is a great fit, and if he goes there you can probably lock it in that Brett Favre will return. If not Favre, then a trade for Donovan McNabb. Basically, if Tomlinson signs with the Vikings, it’s a lock that he’ll be playing with either Favre or McNabb. To put it another way, I don’t think LT will be a Viking if Tarvaris Jackson is the QB.
The Bengals need to sign either Terrell Owens or Antonio Bryant because their receiving corps is horrible right now and they’re starting to really waste an elite passer in Carson Palmer (granted, Palmer’s slipped the last couple of years).
By bringing back Kevin Walter on the heels of a down season, it’s now clear the Texans don’t have much confidence in Jacoby Jones. Oh well, on to the next young prospect with upside.
I suppose bringing Chris Chambers back was a good idea for the Chiefs, but I don’t think he’s a great answer. He’s never been very precise, and watching him play late in the season I think he just made a few big plays in garbage time, not exactly in the flow of the offense.
Granted, they were lower-end moves, but can the Steelers possibly have more talent and versatility in their receiving corps now that they have Antwaan Randle-El back and also Arnaz Battle? Their depth is excellent, and they should find ways to take advantage of both in special teams. Now all they need is the serious criminal charges against their QB to stop.
Bronco WR Brandon Lloyd may be a sleeper this year if the Broncos lose Brandon Marshall, which appears to be a formality. I don’t have a lot of trust in Lloyd or QB Kyle Orton for that matter, but I’ve always felt that Lloyd was better than anyone gave him credit for.
The addition of veteran Brandon Manumaleuna and of course the arrival of Mike Martz is not good news for Greg Olson, who might be my least favorite player in the league right now after his terribly uneven 2009 season. As it stands now, I’m really hoping I can find 12 guys at his position to rank over him for 2010.
I’m okay with the Giants’ acquisition of Antrel Rolle. I know he’s been toasted at times, but they desperately needed help, and he’s a playmaker. If that front seven can return to form, he’s going to make a lot of big plays for them.
I loved the addition of Dunta Robinson for the Falcons. Yes, he’s an injury risky, but they really needed a potential #1 corner, and Robinson is just that. Those guys don’t grow on trees, so that was a very worthwhile risk.