Top 10 Free Agent Fantasy Football Studs for 2014
Top 10 Fantasy Studs on the Move in 2014
It is that time of the year again. The beginning of the wonderful game of cat-and-mouse known as NFL free agency is only days away. Teams begin the process of constructing rosters by determining which players with expiring contracts are worth a new deal, or told their services are no longer needed. It is truly the first impactful procedure of the 2014 offseason, and something fantasy owners should pay attention to.
Teams will be allowed to negotiate with their potentially free agent players beginning Feb. 17, and ending March 3. If the two sides are unable to make a deal, the player is allowed to test the market. The free agency period officially begins the afternoon of March 11.
Teams still have the right to place a franchise tag on any player prior to the start of free agency, which is likely in the case of the New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham, and Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta. Graham will likely be tagged as a TE despite his rallying to be tagged as a WR due to his production and percentage of plays aligned at the WR spot. The difference in pay is significant, $6.06 million for TEs and $10.53 million for WRs who are slapped with the dreaded tag.
The list of potential free agents is a lengthy one, with many players that had an impact for their teams in 2013. Here is an early look at the top 10 fantasy players that will likely be wearing a different jersey in 2014.
Josh Freeman didn’t impress too many fantasy owners, or Minnesota Vikings fans, after joining the team midseason. If he signs with another team with decent pieces around him, he has the ability to make an immediate impact.
Andre Brown was sidelined until week nine after suffering a preseason injury. In his first four games after his return, the RB topped 100 yards twice and hit 17 fantasy points in three of those four games. If Brown stays healthy, he is a viable option for a team looking for a seasoned running back.
Jacoby Jones’ numbers in 2013 were underwhelming even by his standards, 37 receptions for 455 yards and only two touchdowns. If Jones were to sign with a team that puts the ball in the air more, his numbers are sure to rise. The special teams touchdowns are also a nice bonus.
Julian Edelman proved his doubters wrong in 2013 filling in for a fragile Danny Amendola, catching 105 passes for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns. It’s been rumored that the New England Patriots will, and won’t, use their franchise tag on Aqib Talib, and the franchise also has a track record of letting productive WRs walk.
Ben Tate will finally be out of the shadow of soon-to-be-former teammate Arian Foster when he signs with a new team this offseason. If he is the clear-cut No. 1 guy on a team come fantasy draft day, he should be taken in the top 20 at his position.
It appears as if the codependent relationship between the Philadelphia Eagles and Mike Vick is over. Nick Foles left no doubt as to whether he deserves to be Chip Kelly’s guy, but Vick still has some left in the tank. While his legs might not be what they once were, his arm and those flashes of greatness are both still there.
Hakeem Nicks will go in the fantasy record books as one of the biggest disappointments of 2013, and no one knows that more than the owners who drafted him. Nicks caught 56 passes for 856 yards and zero touchdowns in his 14 games. He still has the hands, size, leaping ability and speed to contend with the best at his position. The right team could vault him back into fantasy stardom.
Darren McFadden’s 2013 season was somewhere between disappointing and irrelevant, and to predict a 16-game season for him in 2014 would be risky. McFadden has the ability to be a quality starter in the NFL, so long as he can suit up every Sunday.
Eric Decker had the luxury of being in the most prolific offense ever in 2013, catching 87 balls for 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns. Decker’s numbers improved despite the entrance of Wes Welker, and the 26-year-old will likely attempt to get the payday he rightly deserves. Remember not so long ago when he was catching balls from Tim Tebow?
Knowshon Moreno took advantage of opposing defenses paying more attention to Peyton Manning by amassing 1,586 total yards and 13 touchdowns. Moreno is only 26 years old, but he would come at a cost for the Broncos, who have a cheaper and younger back in Montee Ball willing to step into the starting role.