It was a busy offseason for the NFL. Along with adding a new squad of rookies and another spin on the coaching carousel, plenty of veterans found new homes. Here is a breakdown of the offseason transactions that matter most to fantasy.
Mike Glennon – Chicago Bears
Good news, Mike! You’re going to get a chance to start again in the NFL. This time with a rebuilding Chicago Bears organization. Bad news, Mike! They decided to trade up to draft a QB with the second overall pick. It’s hard to imagine that Glennon doesn’t start Week 1 for the Bears as they groom Mitch Trubisky. Neither should be on your radar in standard fantasy leagues. Glennon has some appeal in 2QB formats, but ideally, you’d want to avoid this situation, especially early in the season.
Brian Hoyer – San Francisco 49ers
Did you know Brian Hoyer is legally prohibited from playing in all 16 regular season games? The former Bear, Brown, Texan, and Patriot found a new home with a familiar coach in San Francisco. Similar to Glennon, he is more of a bye-week option than your every-week starter. Hoyer plays well for stretches of time but is also an injury risk. If you are into DFS, he could emerge as a low-dollar option with some upside, as the 49ers will likely be playing from behind most weeks.
Brock Osweiler – Cleveland Browns
Nothing to see here. He’ll have to beat out Cody Kessler and DeShone Kizer to earn the starting job. The Browns offense should be better this year but not good enough to produce a QB worth oconsideration in standard formats.
Marshawn Lynch – Oakland Raiders
Welcome back, Beast Mode! All the guy needed was a year off to go ride camels and rediscover his love of the game. When we last saw Lynch, he seemed to be slowing down. Seattle’s offensive line didn’t help the situation, but he had certainly lost something. He’ll attempt to rediscover his stride behind one of the better offensive lines in the league. The offense is loaded with weapons, so scoring opportunities should be plentiful.
Eddie Lacy - Seattle Seahawks
They won’t have "Fat" Eddie to kick around in Green Bay no more. The bruiser is now a Seahawk, creating a hazy picture around that now-packed backfield. Early predictors indicate that Lacy should open as the lead back and get most of the goal-line opportunities. However, Thomas Rawls is still very capable and C.J. Prosise will get his touches. Lacy will be more of an RB2 to kick things off until we have a better idea of how the workload will breakdown.
Jamaal Charles – Denver Broncos
The former Chief just couldn’t get healthy last season and now finds himself in a crowded Denver backfield. There is a good chance Charles’ days as an elite playmaker are done. Also, the offensive line needs to step up for any Denver RB to be consistently reliable. C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker are also talented backs so this will be a competition to watch in August.
Latavius Murray – Minnesota Vikings
Recent reports suggest that Murray may have the first crack at the goal line and short-yardage scenarios, but he’ll be doing it behind a significantly worse offensive line. Toss in the facts that Minnesota drafted perhaps the best back in the draft in Dalvin Cook and that Murray is recovering from ankle surgery, and it is difficult to see Murray as anything more than a FLEX option to open the season.
Adrian Peterson – New Orleans Saints
Speaking of the Vikings. Get ready for the awkwardness of seeing their Hall of Fame rusher in a Saints uniform this season. The veteran is coming off a season where he averaged less than 2 yards a carry. The offensive line deserves some of the blame, but AP is now 32 years old. You must imagine the wheels come off sometime soon, but we’ve been saying that about Frank Gore for the last 17 years. Peterson is in the RB2 territory since Mark Ingram should still have a healthy role.
Mike Gillislee, Rex Burkhead – New England Patriots
Have fun trying to pick which Patriot running back will be worth a damn game-by-game this season. There are no less than four rushers who could be "The Guy", if that role even exists in New England. Gillislee should fill the role made vacant by the departure of LeGarrette Blount, taking most of the touches and short yardage opportunities. Burkhead’s versatility makes him a handy option and he seems like the kind of back Bill Belichick enjoys utilizing. One more thing — Dion Lewis is still around and probably has the best burst and playmaking ability out of all the backs. Good luck with all that.
LeGarrette Blount – Philadelphia Eagles
He may not duplicate his 18-touchdown performance from last season, but Blount found a home on an offense that looks to be headed in the right direction. Ryan Mathews rushed for eight TDs last season for the Eagles and, reportedly, he is set to be released after passing his next physical to avoid a potential injury settlement. Blount is in good shape to be a solid RB2 this season, and the price tag shouldn’t be too high.
Eric Decker – Tennessee Titans
Decker and the fantasy world breathed a sigh of relief when the veteran was released by the Jets. The red-zone killer is now a Titan. An offense piloted by Marcus Mariota who has some of the best red-zone stats in the league. Before you hit the "Buy" button keep in mind the Titans have several other serviceable ground and air weapons. Even with Rishard Matthews and Delanie Walker taking away targets, Decker is a solid option at the right price.
Jeremy Maclin – Baltimore Ravens
Going from the Chiefs, who ranked 25th in passing attempts in 2016, to the league leader in attempts probably put a smile on Maclin’s face. Mike Wallace and Breshad Perriman should stretch the field, leaving the juicy underneath opportunities to Maclin. Unfortunately, Dennis Pitta is likely done playing football, but that does leave 121 targets, mostly on intermediate routes, to be split between Maclin and Baltimore’s collection of unimpressive tight ends. Maclin’s value does take a hit when you consider his injury history, something fantasy managers will have to factor in during drafts.
Terrelle Pryor – Washington
Not many people expected Pryor do much with his first full-time receiving opportunity with the Browns. When it was all over, Pryor caught 77 balls for four TDs and eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving mark. He gets a huge QB upgrade in Washington. Not to mention defenses can’t zero in on him with Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder on the same field. Josh Doctson is still a mystery, but he could also develop into a weekly option.
Brandin Cooks – New England Patriots
One could argue that not much changes for Cooks after his transition to New England. Brees and Brady are both top-notch quarterbacks, and both teams have other high-quality options in the passing game. It will be interesting to see how Cooks is utilized by the Patriots, but with Gronk and Julian Edelman around, expectations of a career season are a bit grandiose.
Alshon Jeffery – Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles badly needed a receiver like Jeffery. When healthy, he can be a workhorse, snatching passes all over the field. Zach Ertz and Jordan Matthews should work in tandem to keep the focus off Jeffery, creating an ideal landing spot for the five-year vet. If Carson Wentz can take a step forward, Jeffery should once again enter the top-10 conversation at WR.
Pierre Garçon – San Francisco 49ers
Seeking a reunion with Kyle Shanahan, the veteran signed on to be the top receiving option for the 49ers. With new QB Brian Hoyer commanding the huddle Garcon should be a useful WR3 most weeks. The lack of a supporting cast keeps his value low as the 49ers attempt a rebuild.
DeSean Jackson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
That loud boom you heard was Jameis Winston’s fantasy value skyrocketing. The speedy Jackson joins a talented receiving corps headed by Mike Evans and supported by the rookie tight end O.J. Howard. He’ll struggle to shake his reputation as a "boom-or-bust" fantasy weapon, but he still has the wheels to be in the top 25 at the end of the season.
Kenny Britt – Cleveland Browns
If Britt could perform with Los Angeles’ cast of characters, his value doesn’t take too much of a hit with his move to Cleveland. If anything, this should be a better situation for the veteran. The QB situation is still a bit murky so we’ll be keeping our eyes on that camp battle as it develops.
Brandon Marshall – New York Giants
At 33, Marshall’s time to get a championship is running out. He looked slow and unmotivated last year with the Jets, but it’s hard to blame him when that organization is likely tanking for the future. He’ll be the big receiver for the Giants, balancing out the shorter and speedier Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard. The Giants also drafted the highly touted rookie tight end, Evan Engram, who figures to operate as more of a receiver than pass blocker. Marshall should be a prime red-zone target, but I wouldn’t set expectations too high given the amount of receiving talent around him.
Jared Cook – Oakland Raiders
The Cook show is in Oakland now. If he hasn’t broken your heart in fantasy yet, you must be new to this. He was limited by injury last year, but he does find himself on another high output offense. He has some deep league appeal, but I’m avoiding him in most formats.
Martellus Bennett – Green Bay Packers
Bennett is coming off a career-high TD total (seven) and now finds himself paired with Aaron Rodgers. Not a bad spot for the veteran, but Green Bay has struggled to get consistent production from the position over the past few seasons. Even though he will have to compete for targets with some of the best receivers in the league, he should still be able to a solid TE1.