Fantasy football is all about talent meeting opportunity. A guy could be great, but if it’s a talented WR stuck with awful QB play or a talented RB stuck behind somebody else on the depth chart, they won’t be much help to your team. Free agency is a big way this can change, and I’m going to break down some of the biggest movements this offseason.
Steven Jackson (3 YR, $12M w/ ATL) -
In my home league with my high school buddies, I am known as ‘The Dude Who Always Gets Steven Jackson.” I’ve owned him three of the last five years, and ya know what? I’m sticking to my guns. I love the guy, and after signing with the Falcons this season I have him once again ranked as a top 15 player at the position. If you were to rank the most consistent performers at running back over the past decade, Steven Jackson would have only one competitor: Adrian Peterson. Since 2005, Jackson has finished as a top 16 performer in every single season.
Reggie Bush (4 YR, $16M w/ DET) -
He’ll always be an injury risk (although he has only missed one game in the last two seasons), but this year I actually really like Reggie Bush and think he could excel in a prominent role for the Lions. I lived in Ann Arbor last year, and was forced to (I mean, got to see!) watch about twelve Lions games. It was blatant to anyone watching that their offense really suffered from a lack of a dynamic rushing talent. Miami had a well below average run blocking offensive line last season, and while Detroit’s isn’t fantastic, it’s probably an average unit and is definitely a big step up from what Miami had. Bush is a no doubt RB2 candidate in all formats, and even a little better than that in PPR leagues.
Mike Wallace (5 YR, $60M w/ MIA) -
Talent-wise, I’ve always liked Mike Wallace. The guy is wickedly fast, runs crisp routes, and has shown the ability to be a dynamic deep threat. However, with Ryan Tannehill at starting QB for the Dolphins this year and the team’s loss of Jake Long, I don’t believe Wallace is better than a low-end WR2 option until he proves otherwise. Although a very talented receiver, Wallace has always caught a low percentage of balls thrown to him because he often runs deep routes. Last year that came out as a 55.2 Catch Percentage, 75th best in football. Advanced metrics seem to like Tannehill more than the eye test does, but even so, Tannehill only threw for 12 TD’s in his 484 attempts in 2013, as well as completed only 58.3% of his passes. Unless Tannehill and Wallace can consistently connect from deep, Wallace is destined for a mediocre and inconsistent fantasy season.
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