Fantasy Focus: Change is Good?

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Fantasy Focus: Change is Good?
(Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

A Wild Offseason Filled with Change and Moves

Changes that will impact Fantasy…
Like every year in the NFL, the offseason can quite often and usually does impact fantasy in a great many ways. This past offseason has been no different with many changes taking place that will in one way or another impact fantasy;

 

My 10 Notable offseason Changes and Moves

1. Broncos Trade Cutler to Bears…
One of the offseason biggest and most surprising moves was the trading of quarterback Jay Cutler to Chicago. Once you get past the “how and why” you then have to examine the fantasy ramifications. Cutler’s influence in Chicago figures to greatly improve the tema’s passing game and increase the fantasy value of some of its’ skilled players such as wide receiver Devin Hester and tight end Greg Olsen.


2. Brett Favre un-retires and signs with Vikes…

This story began well into the offseason and just wouldn’t die. As it turned out it had more life than a cat with nine lives and now that Favre is in Minneapolis, the Vikings passing game receives a perceived upgrade.

The secondary affect is not so much what Favre can or can’t do, but what defenses think he might do. His presence will open holes for the leagues best runner and his arm should make a few of his targets viable fantasy options.


3. The Patriots trade Cassel to the Chiefs...
Was it a surprise, probably more of one to Josh McDaniels more than anyone else? The was the move that precluded the Cutler fiasco in Denver, but we have yet to see the payoff for Kansas City. The signing of Todd Haley as the team’s head coach is what gives this move its’ value.

After a successful 2008 campaign, Cassel will lead a wide open spread offense attack in Kansas City. The move would seem to give Cassel more value as a starter, but owners will have to wait and see.


4. The Jets trade up for Mark Sanchez

A gutsy play for a first year coach, but already the rookie pick is drawing a lot of attention and looks like a brilliant move. It’s too early to tell, but Sanchez has taken great strides this preseason and appears set to lead a team that hopes to win now.


5. The Bills sign Terrell Owens...
This move actually began with the release of Owens from Dallas. While his absence from Texas will have its’ own repercussion, his arrival in Buffalo figures to offer more benefit. The T.O. affect is well chronicled and it’s certain his presence will add value to quarterback Trent Edwards and even benefit their number two receiver Lee Evans. Of course it is expected that T.O. will likely have initial success in town.


6. The Chiefs trade Gonzo to Atlanta...
When you add an offensive minded coach and trade for a your arm under center, the obvious move is to rid your team of its’ leading receiver. Well that’s what the Chiefs did when they traded tight end Tony Gonzalez to the Falcons.

His arrival in Atlanta will only elevate the play of second year quarterback Matt Ryan, while the Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe becomes the only draft able fantasy option on that squad. Already a star on the rise, Gonzo’s arrival will just help receiver Roddy White firmly entrench himself as one of the leagues best.


7. Mike Shanahan gets fired…
This was the ill-fated move that began all the turbulence that new head coach Josh McDaniels is now trying to smooth. Fortunately for fantasy owners, the Broncos owner Pat Bowlen just replaced one offensive minded coach with another. If and when McDaniels can get things settled in Denver, fantasy owners can expect to see several worthy candidates by draft time and early into the season.


8. The Colt’s release Marvin Harrison…

This was an expected move by the team once the offseason began. Many analysts and experts viewed the aging veteran as salary cap casualty, so this one was easy to read. Harrison’s departure opens the door for fourth year receiver Anthony Gonzalez, who is very likely to have his best season as a pro in 2009. There is likely to be a trickle affect as well, so many of Peyton’s weapons could see a rise in production this season.


9. The Seahawks sign TJ Houshmandzadeh…
With a healthy Matt Hasselbeck back in 2009, this move could turn out to be much bigger for the Seahawks than first projected. In Cincinnati Houshmandzadeh was a top-10 receiver, now in Seattle he will be the team’s definitive number one and go to receiver in the west coast offense. As good as TJ has been in the past, he could staring at his best season yet in the Northwest.


10. The Broncos draft Knowshon Moreno…
This move may have been the one that made the least sense at the time. After last season’s debacle down the stretch, it was quite apparent to many in Denver, the defense would need a lot of fixing in the offseason.

So the first thing the franchise does is bring in an offensive minded coach and then the second thing they do is draft a running back with their first pick. There’s no doubting Moreno’s talent, but is he worth taking him over a top-rated defensive impact player? Only time will answer that one.

Sure there were plenty more changes and moves to speak of, but these are my most notable for now. I’m sure I will have more to reflect on as the 2009 season progresses, but these will do for now.

 

By David Ortega

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