Boy oh boy, this 2012 NFL free agency has more twists and turns than AMC's The Walking Dead, and Brandon Lloyd is another fine example of the fact as he recently signed with New England for a three-year deal worth $12 million dollars.
Up until 2010, many considered Lloyd an ancillary fantasy receiver at best once he left San Francisco in 2005. In 2010, however, Lloyd benefited from having now Cowboys backup QB Kyle Orton throwing to him in a vertical-friendly system.
In 2011 Lloyd regressed just a bit in St. Louis thanks largely to QB Sam Bradford's health, but the guy still caught 51 balls for 683 yards and 5 TDs after being traded there midway through the season making many fantasy owners believe Lloyd could be the real deal.
Here's total overview of Lloyd's career:
So how does this move to New England affect Loyd's fantasy value?
To speculate what could happen to Lloyd, you have to first understand who the Patriots are slowly turning into. We all know that this team is a pass-first machine who is already pretty damn good at moving the chains. This system actually began with then offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels—the same man who helped Brandon Lloyd rise above mediocrity in Denver, and the same individual who is BACK in New England as the OC.....starting to feel it yet?
The Patriots already have the gargantuan TE Rob Gronkoski, and the elusive WR Wes Welker, but now they have a legitimate vertical threat in Lloyd, who can also act as a true possession receiver depending on the role within the offensive set.
In other words, Lloyd's stock as BOTH a PPR receiver and Standard scoring receiver just climbed significantly.
Keep in mind that the Patriots also signed ex-Colts receiver Anthony Gonzalez which could allow the Pats to offer more 4-wide looks if Gonzalez makes the team and can stay healthy for a full 16.
The conclusion as it stands right now is yes, Brandon Lloyd's fantasy stock is on the rise in New England, but you can also expect QB Tom Brady's fantasy value increase with the arrival of Lloyd.
As far as Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker, I wouldn't expect any regression this season with the signing. In fact, I really believe this move has the potential to give a nice little fantasy boost to everyone on the offensive side of the ball in 2012, so take your time shopping on draft day, there will be plenty of Patriots to choose from.