Fantasy Football's Top Old Faces in New Places

Greg MaiolaSenior Analyst IIJuly 3, 2012

Fantasy Football's Top Old Faces in New Places

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    With the free agency frenzy near completion, it's time to evaluate how some familiar names are going to produce with their new teams. Rising stars and declining heroes all have the capability to produce on their new squads, but many will not.

    This list shows which free-agent signings will be most impactful for the game of fantasy football. No defensive players are included, just the guys who score touchdowns (I hope).

    The 2012 NFL season includes a full offseason, benefiting the new players and fantasy owners altogether.

    Here are five familiar faces ready to please fantasy owners in their new destinations. 

Peyton Manning

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    Old Team: Colts

    New Team: Broncos

    Though Manning is 36 and coming off neck surgery, which cost him the 2011 season, he is a smart guy. While ultra-competitive, Manning wouldn't come back unless he was healthy and ready to contribute.

    And he appears ready to go.

    Manning has some familiar targets in Denver in Jacob Tamme and Brandon Stokley and some new friends in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. The system is the same as it was in Indy because Manning will be in charge.

    Forget all of the hesitation that comes with drafting a player coming off of surgery. After all, he is Peyton Manning! He has the offensive weapons to light up the score board and stat sheet, benefiting fantasy owners.

Robert Meachem

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    Old Team: Saints

    New Team: Chargers

    With Meachem going to San Diego, he benefits from a weaker receiving core. In New Orleans, there was target after target for Drew Brees. In 2012, Meachem has the potential to break out and be a big-play wideout for Phillip Rivers.

    As a starter, Meachem will have to replace the huge void left by Vincent Jackson. Malcom Floyd will start opposite of Meachem, and Antonio Gates will draw defensive attention at tight end. This should open up the field and allow Meachem to make plays downfield.

    Even though the Chargers appear to be a run-first team in 2012, Rivers loves to air it out and sling the ball. And rather than Jackson catching balls, it will be Meachem competing for a 1,000-yard year.

Brandon Marshall

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    Old Team: Dolphins

    New Team: Bears

    Forget all of the trouble and drama that comes with the name Brandon Marshall. He can really play and will produce in 2012.

    Reunited with quarterback Jay Cutler, Marshall should catch a lot of balls and score a lot of touchdowns. He is the best receiving threat in Chicago, and the chemistry between the quarterback and receiver makes Marshall appealing for any fantasy owner.

    Expect a 1,000-yard season and double-digit touchdowns from Marshall. His biggest issues are between the ears, and if he can stay composed in 2012, he should be as dominant as he once was.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis

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    Old Team: Patriots

    New Team: Bengals

    Finally out of the running back by committee system in New England, Green-Ellis has a chance to shine as a starter in 2012.

    The physical runner has rushed for double-digit touchdowns the past two seasons. He has a chance to help improve the young Bengals offense because he is a physical runner who is dominant in short-yardage situations.

    If the troubled Cedric Benson averaged around 1,000 yards with the team, there is no reason Green-Ellis cannot as well. He gets into the endzone and is tough to tackle.

    Brilliant for fantasy owners.

Tim Tebow

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    Old Team: Broncos

    New Team: Jets

    I know, I know. Tim Tebow? While other people may want to steer you away from the quarterback, I think drafting him late will really benefit a fantasy team.

    The Jets went after Tebow and brought him in. They must have a way to utilize him in their offense. Don't think Tebow is a great quarterback? The game of fantasy football is dominated by running backs, and Tebow is excellent when he carries the ball.

    Tebow will get red-zone touches, which will give him touchdowns, which is valuable in fantasy football. He will serve as a Wildcat player and will get his touches on the ground every game. The Jets got him to make plays and will give him the opportunity to do so.

    And if he can inspire a quarterback controversy and beat out Mark Sanchez, all the better.

Curtis Painter

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    Old Team: Colts

    New Team: Ravens

    Come on, have a sense of humor!