by Derek of The Sportmeisters
With so much going on in the NFL since the end of the season, I thought I'd take a look back at some of the big moves, and how it affects your fantasy draft board.
New England Trades QB Matt Cassel and LB Mike Vrabel to KC For Draft Pick
This trade still doesn’t make KC’s defense fantasy worthy, but it helps. It also confirms something that both Ryan and I saw coming as soon as Scott Pioli took the GM job.
Cassel steps into the starters role and is a decent late-round second QB option, but his arrival helps the fantasy value of WR Dwayne Bowe and TE Tony Gonzalez, if he stays.
With a real QB at the helm, Bowe should improve his 2008 totals of 86 receptions for 1022 yards and seven touchdowns. Right now, he looks to be going in round eight or nine on my big board.
Buffalo Bills Sign WR Terrell Owens after Dallas Cowboys Release Him
WOW! This was a shocker! Owens may be a team obliterator, but his skills on the football field are still very much there, and Buffalo knew that. His signing instantly helps QB Trent Edwards and especially WR Lee Evans.
With TO, Evans won’t face nearly as many double teams and can beat corners one on one. This definitely moves him up into the middle rounds.
Edwards now becomes a decent backup fantasy option and could be picked in the later rounds. Owens still remains a top-tier WR and should still be one of the first selected, if you can handle him.
Seattle Seahawks sign WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh
This is huge for Housh. He has been putting up No. 1 performance numbers while being a number two guy in Cincinnati. Now, he finally gets the chance to be the No. 1 guy and is still a top ten WR in fantasy drafts.
His arrival helps the value of QB Matt Hasselbeck and WR Deion Branch, providing they can stay healthy. Hasselbeck is coming off a lost season and could be a sleeper pick in the middle rounds.
Branch is still a great WR, when healthy, putting up decent numbers when he played last season. With Houshmandzadeh on the other side, Branch becomes a decent middle to late round sleeper.
New York Jets Sign LB Bart Scott and S Jim Leonhard and Trade for CB Lito Sheppard
New Head Coach Rex Ryan is wasting little time revamping this defense. Ryan was always known as a defensive mastermind and is now going to take an already good Jets D/ST and make them a top five choice.
Bart Scott is an elite LB and makes that core of linebackers pretty darn good, especially if last year’s first-round pick Vernon Gholston can play up to his potential.
So now you have a core group of Gholston, Scott, David Harris, and Calvin Pace to go with NT Kris Jenkins and DE Shaun Ellis.
Also, the secondary is now revamped with the arrivals of Sheppard and Leonhard. Sheppard goes into the second starting CB role, opposite Darrelle Revis, and Leonhard becomes the starting SS opposite Pro Bowler Kerry Rhodes.
With RB Leon Washington returning kicks and punts, this D/ST is my off-season No. 1 fantasy D/ST right now.
So that's a fantasy analysis on some of the big moves right now. Stay tuned for Part 2 coming out soon.