Opinion corner: Keep an eye on players with new teamsAlong with the beginning of a new NFL season comes renewed optimism. Fantasy football managers are optimistic about their chances of winning it all, and so too are the players, especially those who have found a new home around the league.
By: Jessy Sandhu, Sun Contributor, The Jamestown Sun
Along with the beginning of a new NFL season comes renewed optimism. Fantasy football managers are optimistic about their chances of winning it all, and so too are the players, especially those who have found a new home around the league.
Many potential studs will be suiting up for a new team this season and as always, this has huge implications for fantasy football. Remember Randy Moss’s first season with the Patriots?
Players suiting up for new teams usually gets us excited about the possibilities of what they can achieve on their new team and in turn what that means to our fantasy rosters. But for some reason, we have a tough time forgetting why players are moved to new teams in the first place. Remember Chad Ochocinco’s first and only season with the Patriots last year?
The biggest name to suit up for a new team this season is Peyton Manning. Arguably one of the best quarterbacks to ever play will now be throwing touchdown passes in Denver.
I sat in on two drafts this past weekend and watched fantasy managers let the opportunity of drafting Manning slip away. Yes, he missed an entire season and had neck surgeries, but he’s Peyton Manning. He shouldn’t be the 10th quarterback selected. His football IQ hasn’t declined, nor will it.
Sunday rolled around and in one quarter of action against San Francisco’s top-ranked defense, Manning threw two TDs. That afternoon, we at Fantasy Moves started to receive trade proposals involving Manning from a number of leagues.
He’s no longer a top-five fantasy quarterback, but nor will he be one of the bottom five on the list. Expect big things from Manning, and if the trade offer is right, do it! If you’re one of the last to draft a quarterback (hopefully you’re not) and Manning’s available, take him.
Another potential stud in a new city is Brandon Marshall. For the second time in his career he’ll be catching bombs from Jay Cutler. This time, they’re in Chicago where expectations are a mile high — not the stadium.
Marshall has the potential to be a top five fantasy receiver, he’s got the size and all of the skills of a great wide receiver, and now he’s in a situation where he can put up huge numbers on a consistent basis.
Brandon Lloyd joins the Patriots and there are some fantasy owners out there who are hoping the move does for Lloyd what it did for Randy Moss in 2008. Unfortunately for those fantasy owners who wasted an early pick on Lloyd, Tom Brady has several options to choose from.
Lloyd isn’t the No. 1 option in New England, he is just one of the options. Brady has the luxury of going to Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, who is having a great camp, and Wes Welker. Lloyd is definitely the deep threat and will improve his stats from last year, but don’t get too excited and draft him too early.
Benjarvus Green-Ellis joins Andy Dalton and AJ Green in Cincinnati. Many fantasy “experts” and Green-Ellis fans are excited about Green-Ellis’ potential because he’s departing from New England where the Patriots are fully committed to the passing game.
If Green-Ellis gets the same opportunity (273 carries) with the ball as Cedric Benson did last year, he’s definitely worth having on your roster. Last season Green-Ellis was limited to 181 carries, but in 2010 he had 229 carries and went for over 1000 yards and had 13 touchdowns. Hard to believe, but it is no longer embarrassing to be a Cincinnati Bengals fan, or have a couple of Bengals on our fantasy roster.
Then there’s Tim Tebow. Tebow has been shipped to New York and now the Jets have two quarterbacks that couldn’t throw a touchdown pass if their careers depended on it. Actually, their opportunity to be a starter in the future will probably be in jeopardy if they can’t get the ball into the end zone (zero TDs in the preseason so far).
But as far as fantasy production goes, Tebow has some value and I can understand why some of you would make a move for him. At best, he could be an asset on your bench (depends on who your starting quarterback is).
Although he is not the starter at the moment, the fans in New York won’t wait until week five to start the “Tebow” chants. He’ll eventually be the starter, and might be worth the gamble in the last two rounds because you need to consider your quarterback’s bye week.
Tebow ran for 660 yards and ran in six touchdowns last season (in 11 starts) and that could be better than one of the running backs on your bench. If you’re lucky, he’ll run in a couple of touchdowns when your starting quarterback is on his bye week.
Consider any passing fantasy points from Tebow a bonus, which is how Tebow fans probably feel when he completes a pass.
Another group of players who will be coming into the new season with a little bit of extra hype are the rookies. Players such as Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Trent Richardson are coming into their rookie year with a lot of fantasy expectations.
Trent Richardson’s name has been ranked as high as the eighth pick in some mock drafts across the country. Here’s a rookie running back playing for the Cleveland Browns. Enough said.
Maybe if there was some sort of passing game out in Cleveland then it would make a little bit of sense to make him a first-round selection, but they don’t. He will, however, get a lot of carries and should be a safe third-round pick, but be warned, opposing teams will be prepared to stop the run because of the Browns’ weak passing attack.
Griffin and Luck’s preseason performances have given many fantasy managers something to think about. In keeper leagues, make an early play for one of these guys as this will ensure that you won’t have to worry about your quarterback for a few seasons.
Luck’s first preseason game was so impressive to some that we at Fantasy Moves received trades (some quite ridiculous) for the first pick overall in keeper leagues as soon as he had thrown his second touchdown. Fantasy tip: Don’t offer proven players in a trade for someone who has one good game. If that’s your strategy, I want you in my league.
When it comes to trades, things can get problematic and unfair quickly. It’s unfair for commissioners to have to handle all of the stress of trades, nor is it fair for them to have all power over trades. Don’t rely on league votes to allow fair trades to get approved either.
Register for free with fantasymoves.com to handle all of your league’s trades, where fantasy football trade mediators consider all relevant fantasy league info (including your fantasy team standings and records) when dealing with your trades.
Have any questions about who to start, or sit, for week 1? Send me an email.
Jessy Sandhu is the founder of fantasymoves.com. His fantasy football column will run each Thursday in the Opinion Corner.