Fantasy Football 2011: 5 Players Most Affected by Free Agent Frenzy
With the lockout finally lifted, free agents have been going every which way. To go along with the craziness of free agency, teams have been trading players more than in past years.
Within the last 24 hours, we have seen players like Albert Haynesworth, Reggie Bush and Kevin Kolb all being traded.
There are still plenty of free agents available, but there have been enough moves so far to make major impacts on the fantasy football world.
Wide Receiver A.J. Green on draft day.
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6) A.J. Green- A.J. Green has been affected in a big way by this crazy offseason. Not only will Carson Palmer likely retire, but Chad Ochocinco has been traded to New England, meaning that Green will start right away. Although Carson Palmer will be out, the Bengals went out and signed Bruce Gradkowski. Gradkowski could start over Andy Dalton, and Gradkowski is a decent quarterback. The only problem with Gradkowski is that he is injury-prone.
7) Mark Ingram- When Mark Ingram was drafted with the 28th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Reggie Bush thought his time in New Orleans was over. Bush was dead right in his prediction as he will be taking his talents to South Beach, via a trade. Ingram is set to split carries with Pierre Thomas. Thomas has not played in a full season in his career, making Ingram a possible sleeper.
8) Charlie Whitehurst- Last season it was thought that Charlie Whitehurst would be the quarterback of the future in Seattle. Matt Hasselbeck left and the Hawks were quick to go out and pick up Tarvaris Jackson, who is set to come in and start immediately.
5) Mike Williams (Seattle)
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2010 stats- 14 GP, 65 REC, 751 yards, and 2 TD
Mike Williams resurrected his career last season in Seattle with his old coach Pete Carroll. Williams was slated to be the number one receiver in Seattle prior to free agency.
Matt Hasselbeck exited quickly in free agency, and the Hawks were quick to get Tarvaris Jackson. Jackson is an upgrade in my opinion, which should bode well for Williams.
The only problem for Williams is the fact that Sidney Rice is in Seattle now, and will get a majority of the passes thrown his way.
Williams could still have a solid fantasy season in 2011 as a number two wideout, but proceed with caution.
4) Matt Cassel
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2010 stats- 15 GP, 3,116 yards, 27 TD, and 7 INT
In an earlier article, I mentioned Cassel as one of the top-five riskiest fantasy quarterbacks.
Cassel made the Pro Bowl last season, and his team made an impact offensively vie free agency. They went out and improved his receiving corps with the acquisition of Steve Breaston.
Steve Breaston played in 13 games last season and caught 47 balls for 718 yards and a TD. Not very impressive, but in 2008 Breaston caught 77 balls for 1,006 yards and three TD.
Breaston will be playing across from Dwayne Bowe and will have a quality quarterback. Last year Breaston was stuck with a below-average quarterback.
If Breaston can stay healthy, he will improve Cassel's stats. The Chiefs have a solid running game and now the passing game is really coming along.
3) Larry Fitzgerald
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2010 stats- 16 GP, 90 REC, 1,137 yards, and 6 TD
Fitzgerald had a very solid 2010 campaign, even with a pretty bad quarterback.
Since 2007, Fitzgerald has gone over 90 REC, 1,000 yards, and 5 TD. Expect Fitzgerald to be instantly impacted by the acquisition of Kevin Kolb.
There will be risk-reward with Fitzgerald in 2011, due to the fact that Kolb has not proven himself over an entire season yet. The trade initially looks like Fitz could be in for a big 2011.
Look for Fitz to possibly be the number one receiver in fantasy football this season, if Kolb stays healthy.
2) Adrian Peterson
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2010 stats- 15 GP, 1,298 yards, and 12 TD
Without a doubt, Adrian Peterson is consistent. Since Peterson came into the league in 2007, he has gone over 1,000 yards and 10 TD in each season.
Peterson saw Sidney Rice and Tarvaris Jackson leave in free agency. All this while Donavan McNabb has come in as Jackson's replacement.
There is no telling exactly how all of this will work out, but I believe that teams will stack the box on Peterson and the Vikings. We saw teams send the house when McNabb was in Washington last season.
Adrian Peterson has been one of the most consistent fantasy running backs, but we could see a dip in some of his numbers.
1) Tom Brady
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2010 stats- 16 GP, 3,900 yards, 36 TD, and 4 Int
Brady had a huge 2010 season, and with the acquisition of Chad Ochocinco he could be in store for a big 2011 season.
Ochocinco missed two games in 2010 and had an overall down year. Part of that could have been because he was playing with Terrell Owens. Part of it could have been due to the inconsistent play of Carson Palmer.
Ochocinco must be one of the happiest people in the world after playing with Carson Palmer and the Bungles the past few years. He now goes to a perennial playoff team led by Tom Brady.
Tom Brady should be just as happy, as Ochocinco is a good replacement for Randy Moss. Look for Brady to have a big 2011, but throw more than four Int.