Day 1 of Free Agency in the books and there was a blizzard of moves. Some expected (Julius Thomas, Frank Gore) and some that seemed completely out of nowhere (Jimmy Graham, Sam Bradford, Nick Foles). Not only do these players find themselves on new teams, but they can now find themselves with new fantasy projections for the upcoming season. Below I will highlight some of what I think are the Fantasy Winners and Losers after Day 1 of Free Agency.
- Owen Daniels: Daniels will be expected to fill the hole left behind by Julius Thomas. That hole consisted of over 1200 yards and 24 touchdowns over the span of 2 seasons. I don't expect the Broncos offense to slow down too much this season so expect Daniels to get plenty of Red Zone looks in 2015.
- LeSean McCoy: There is no doubt Rex Ryan loves to run the football. Pile on top of that the question mark at QB, and basically no competition in the backfield (Fred Jackson does continue to defy the age barrier), and McCoy is poised to see a ton of touches this year which could amount to a ton of yards.
- Frank Gore: Although Gore has reached age of 31 he continues to be a productive back. San Francisco offense was in turmoil last year which didn't result in a ton of goal line carries. He now finds himself on one of the leagues top offenses which will no doubt lead to a ton of touches from inside the 5 yard line. As well, you can't forget about the clock killing garbage time yards as well. The Colts are in line to be leading in the 4th quarter a lot this year which translates into a ton of late running play calls.
- Jimmy Graham: I almost wanted to put Jimmy Graham in the losers category but Jimmy Graham is Jimmy Graham and he is a beast. The reason I almost did is that he loses the pass heavy New Orleans Saints and heads to the run heavy Seahawks. Lynch and Wilson account for a ton of Seattle's yardage on the ground. Still, Seattle is a great football team and will find themselves in the red zone a ton where they can utilize Graham as the Saints did. Hopefully what he loses in yardage he can make up for in touchdowns.
- Sam Bradford/Nick Foles: This trade I found was a strange one. Bradford is a huge risk coming off of two ACL tears. He's only played 2 games in the last two seasons. Foles seems to be a better fantasy QB than actual QB. Its no secret that the Eagles had soured on Foles even before he was injured last season. I've just come to the conclusion that the Eagles are attempting to take one of the teams that may choose a QB in the upcoming draft off the board in their mission to get Marcus Mariota. It wouldn't surprise me if they tried to deal Bradford to the New York Jets along with two 1st rounders in order to get the 6th pick overall pick and select Mariota.
- Jeremy Maclin: I don't think this takes much of thought to understand why. He leaves one of the fastest paced and high powered offenses in the league to a strong defensive team. The Chiefs offense is also centered around Jamaal Charles and no one else. As well, they have a game manager for a QB who rarely throws the ball outside the numbers or down the field (stretching the field is one of Maclin's best attributes). Not to mention that everyone knows they didn't have a receiver catch a single TD pass last season.
- Julius Thomas: Heading from the well oiled machine that is the Denver Broncos offense to the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars will hurt anyone's fantasy output. Heading from catching Peyton Manning passes to those from Blake Bortles will also not help his fantasy numbers. Although I think that Bortles will be a solid QB in the future, next season will probably still be a learning curve. Thomas will provide a nice safety valve for Bortles but Thomas will definitely not see as many red zone opportunities in the upcoming season.
Only time will tell what kind of implications these off-season moves have on each players fantasy value, but its hard not to try and predict who will be overvalued and undervalued come this year's fantasy draft season. Just remember that being a great player doesn't always transfer into fantasy points when you find yourself on a poor offensive team. Vice versa, you can find value in those mediocre players who now find themselves surrounded by talent on a highly offensive team.