Players acquired by new teams:
Jelani Jenkins (LB, signed by Oak from Mia) – Jenkins switches coasts as a possible replacement for Malcolm Smith.
Fantasy Analysis: Back in 2014, Jenkins was a speedy LB2/LB3, putting up 108 tackles and averaging 7.1 FPG. Since then, he’s battled injuries and the inconsistency that usually is bred from injuries. He hasn’t played a full 16-game season since that promising 2014 campaign. But Jenkins is still young – just 25 – and if he can stay healthy and keep his legs underneath him, he would be a great fit to replace Malcolm Smith as the WILL. Smith was a solid LB2 in his time in Oakland, and Jenkins is faster and better in coverage. A risky draft pick, Jenkins could prove to be a sneaky LB2/LB3 if he makes it to Week One healthy, and happens to stay that way for most of the year.
Manti Te’o (LB, signed by NO from SD) – Te’o will join a gaggle of LBs vying for playing time in New Orleans.
Fantasy Analysis: After the failed experiment of signing veteran James Laurinaitis last offseason, New Orleans has seemingly taken the “throw enough LBs at the wall, and a few are bound to stick” approach (which may have also been my draft strategy early in my IDP career). Te’o is still recovering from a torn Achilles’, but is expected to be at full strength in time for the regular season. Of course “full strength” Te’o wasn’t a dominant fantasy option in San Diego, and now he joins A.J. Klein, Stephone Anthony, Dannell Ellerbe, Nate Stupar, Craig Robertson, and Hau’oli Kikaha as the seven (yes, seven) LBs capable of earning a starting role. In the past, New Orleans LBs were solid at MLB and WLB for fantasy, but the SLB spot was barren. Te’o will need to break camp as the undisputed starter at the MIKE or WILL to be fantasy relevant.
Kevin Minter (ILB, signed by Cin from Ari) – Minter is headed to Cincinnati on a one-year deal, which should help solidify an aging LB corps. Minter is set to switch jobs with former Bengal Karlos Dansby, who moves into Minter’s spot in Arizona.
Fantasy Analysis: Minter has done a solid job in his first four years in the NFL, but hasn’t been much of a fantasy producer. After racking up 91 tackles in 2015, he put up 81 in 2016, failing to improve on his production and play. The troubling part is that ILB Deone Bucannon didn’t have a great year next to him, meaning Minter had the opportunity to be a fantasy factor, yet he only managed 4.9 FPG. Minter will get a fresh start w...