1. Percy Harvin to Seattle, Greg Jennings to Minnesota.
Before free agency even officially began, the Seahawks pulled off the biggest move of the offseason, getting Harvin in a blockbuster trade from the Vikings. Harvin is arguably the best player in the league, and he can legitimately do everything. This move solidifies the Seahawks as Super Bowl favorites. With solid receivers already on the roster, Harvin’s fantasy value takes a slight hit in Seattle, though it’s still fair to consider him a WR1 option. Harvin’s presence certainly boosts Russell Wilson’s fantasy stock. He’s now locked in as a QB1 with elite upside.
Harvin leaving town left a huge hole at receiver that the Vikings hope they’ve filled withGreg Jennings. It’s certainly a downgrade for Jennings, as he goes from Aaron Rodgers to Christian Ponder throwing him the ball. While Jennings is now the seventh-highest paid wide receiver in the league, he doesn’t project as a top-ten fantasy option. Provided he can stay healthy, Jennings makes for a borderline WR2 in his new digs.
2. Steven Jackson to Atlanta
The Falcons significantly upgraded their run game, grabbing the best back available in this year’s free agency pool. While Jackson is no spring chicken and he has over 2,800 career touches, there’s surprisingly still plenty of tread left on his tires. In Atlanta’s high-powered offense, Jackson has an extremely high floor and should be considered a rock solid RB1 option.
While Jackson’s fantasy value is on the up and up, Jacquizz Rodgers is trending in the opposite direction. Rodgers flashed in the playoffs, and there was some talk from Mike Smith that he’d be used in a three-down role this season. Jackson’s signing eliminates any possibility of that playing out. We can’t rule out the possibility of Rodgers having some fantasy value, though Jackson’s abilities as a pass catcher will likely keep Rodgers in a limited role.
3. Wes Welker to Denver, Danny Amendola to New England
Welker goes from one Hall of Fame quarterback to another, joining Peyton Manning in the Mile High City. New England reportedly tried to keep him, offering $10 million over two years, but Welker opted for Denver’s slightly more lucrative $12 million fully guaranteed deal. Welker was a PPR beast in New England with triple-digit receptions in five of the last six seasons, but it’s a stretch to expect him to replicate this production with the Broncos.
Peyton now has plenty of mouths to feed, as both Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas saw over 100 targets last season. Thomas is a freak of nature, and he’s going to do his thing regardless. But Decker’s value certainly takes a hit. With Manning throwing them the ball, both Decker and Welker will still be solid fantasy options, though neither has elite upside.
With Welker heading west to Denver, the Patriots inked his replacement in Amendola, who flashed a very high fantasy ceiling last season in St. Louis. In the Welker role, Amendola’s value skyrockets. He’s a younger and perhaps more dynamic version of Welker. It’s fair to project Amendola for 100-plus receptions. The one problem with Amendola has always been injuries, as he hasn’t stayed healthy for an entire season since 2010. Still, it’s tough not to like him in New England. He’s a high-floor WR2 in standard leagues and a potential WR1 in PPR formats.
4. Reggie Bush to the Lions
With the likelihood of Jahvid Best returning extremely slim, Detroit signed Bush to serve in that role for their offense. This is perhaps the best place Bush could have landed, and his fantasy value remains fully intact. The Lions envision Bush as a three-down back, so he should get ample touches, including loads of receptions in Detroit’s pass-happy offense.
With Calvin Johnson on the field, Bush will have a lot more room to operate than he had in Miami. He makes for a strong RB2 option, and has added value in PPR leagues. The same can’t be said for Mikel Leshoure, whose fantasy value goes down the tubes with Bush now in town. Leshoure will no doubt be a touchdown vulture, but he’s unlikely to get more than a handful of touches per game.
5. Mike Wallace to the Dolphins
Miami struck early in free agency, landing perhaps the best receiver in this year’s free agency class in Wallace. Ryan Tannehill now has a legitimate downfield threat, and he becomes a viable QB2 option. While Wallace certainly got paid off, this move doesn’t help his fantasy value. He’s extremely big-play dependent in terms of fantasy production, and Tannehill hasn’t displayed the kind of deep ball we’ve seen from Ben Roethlisberger.
Wallace’s low-floor, high-ceiling combination makes it tough to trust him as anything more than an inconsistent WR2. This move does help Brian Hartline, who is much better suited to a No. 2 role. Hartline has value in deeper PPR leagues. The Dolphins also signed WRBrandon Gibson, though it’s tough to envision Gibson having fantasy value in the foreseeable future.