By Derek of The Sportmeisters
Ok, so there has been plenty more moves that will affect your fantasy books, and let's take a look at them.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sign RB Derrick Ward and Trade for TE Kellen Winslow
Ward is now going to finally get his chance to be a featured back in the NFL. However, I wouldn’t put him atop your draft board just yet. They still have Earnest Graham and, when he comes back from another knee injury, Carnell Williams.
Ward is a change of pace back and his success was largely due to a phenomenal Giants O-Line. If you are going to draft him, don’t do it before the 10th round.
As for Winslow, he is a phenomenal talent and is usually an elite tight end, but this team has no QB. Winslow should remain inside your top 10, but loses a few spots due to the QB situation.
Washington Redskins Sign DT Albert Haynesworth and CB DeAngelo Hall and Release DE Jason Taylor and CB Shawn Springs
These moves sort of even themselves out.
When Haynesworth was first signed on Feb. 27, everyone said it was a great signing because it would open up more things for Taylor. However, just four days later, Taylor was released because they could not come to a restructured contract agreement.
Hall signed with Washington late last year and played a bit better than he did in Oakland. He was re-signed and will take Springs’ place as the team’s starting CB.
Washington has a decent D/ST, but they are outside the top 10 and should only be drafted if you need a backup D/ST or the best D/ST are taken.
Denver Broncos Sign RB J.J. Arrington, RB LaMont Jordan, RB Correll Buckhalter, S Brian Dawkins, S Renaldo Hill, LB Andra Davis, and WR Jabar Gaffney
The Broncos have been busy thus far in free agency. They have addressed their RB problem (seven RB on IR last year) and are trying to sure up the defense (29th in the NFL last year).
Dawkins is a huge addition and Arrington will bring a return game, but you are still not drafting this D/ST.
Buckhalter will be given the chance to earn a starting job and Arrington will be a change of pace back, but I wouldn’t be so quick to draft either, as they still have Selvin Young, Peyton Hillis, Andre Hall, Ryan Torain, and LaMont Jordan. We will have to wait and see which emerges as the starter in new coach Josh McDaniels’ offense and then I’ll be able to determine whom you should draft, if any.
Minnesota Vikings Trade for QB Sage Rosenfels
This trade tells you just how ready the Vikings are to hand the team over to QB Tarvaris Jackson.
Rosenfels has a live arm and can throw the ball down the field, but has never really been given the chance to be a starter. Now, he will get that chance. He has good weapons in WR’s Bernard Berrian and Sidney Rice and a fantastic running game with RB’s Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor.
Berrian and Rice move up a bit on my board, but neither should be drafted before the middle rounds. As for Rosenfels, he could be a late round sleeper if you need a backup QB.
New York Giants Sign DT Rocky Bernard, DE Chris Canty, LB Michael Boley, and S C.C. Brown
These are good signings for new defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan. With a top-five D/ST already in place, the Giants went out and got a group of guys that can only help improve the units.
Bernard and Canty will be in a rotation with the returning Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, Fred Robbins, and Barry Cofield. A D-Line with any of those four is a force to be reckoned with.
Boley will slide into a starting LB spot and is a good fit in a defense that sorely needed an OLB.
Brown will be in contention for a starting S job, but is more likely going to be a backup/ST player. However, he is still a good player when healthy.
As I stated earlier, the Giants already had a top-five D/ST and these moves don’t really change that, so feel free to draft them when it comes time to draft a D/ST.
Arizona Cardinals Resign QB Kurt Warner and Sign CB Bryant McFadden
The Cardinals had to resign Warner after the 2008 season that he had. With Warner in place, WR’s Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin (if he stays) remain top-five WR’s and fourth-round picks, at the latest. Warner is a top-tier QB and should be one of the top six QB’s in the draft.
McFadden brings physicality to the D/ST and will only improve an already improved Defense.
Arizona’s D/ST takes a hit losing RB J.J. Arrington, but still has WR Steve Breaston, who is a dangerous return man as well. You could take a late round flyer on the Cardinals D/ST.
New England Patriots Sign RB Fred Taylor, CB Shawn Springs, CB Leigh Bodden, and TE Chris Baker
The signing of Taylor hurts the value of RB Laurence Maroney, but Maroney’s value has already taken hit after hit because of his inability to stay healthy. With Maroney and Sammy Morris still there, I wouldn’t draft Taylor, but keep an eye on him as someone you could pick up as a free agent if needed.
Baker will push Ben Watson for the starting job, but Watson is another guy who just can’t stay healthy and had a miserable 2008 season, only catching two TD’s. Baker could be worth a late-round flyer.
They upgraded their D/ST with Springs and Bodden. With Ellis Hobbs as their No. 1 CB, they allowed only 201 YPG through the air, good for 11th in the NFL, but they felt they needed more playmakers.
NE has a top six D/ST and I wouldn’t be upset if they land on your roster.
So that's a fantasy breakdown of the movers and shakers in the NFL. Stay with The Sportmeisters for all your fantasy coverage
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