Here’s a look at the 2012 NFC free agent signings and how they could effect the fantasy world.
Offensively there hasn’t been much to talk about. Dallas signed guards Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau. This should help keep Tony Romo upright and give DeMarco Murray running space. The defense has added a couple pieces. Inside linebacker Dan Connor comes over from Carolina to help solidify the middle. Signing corner Brandon Carr and safety Brodney Pool should help a defense that finished 23rd in pass defense.
New york Giants:
The defending champs haven’t done a lot so far. One key addition is Tight end Martellus Bennett. Travis Beckum and last year’s starter Jake Ballard recovering from ACL injury. Bennett will be called on a lot to help the offense move the chains. Eli Manning loves targeting his ends in the red zone.
The Eagles re-signed wide receiver DeSean Jackson. He needs to bounce back after a disappointing season. Left tackle Demetress Bell was signed to ease the loss of Jason Peters. Who was recently injured. The defense got the Middle linebacker they have been missing. Philly traded with Houston to acquire DeMeco Ryans. An immediate upgrade. This defense should be top-tier after not living up to expectations a year ago.
Washington was busy early and continues to be. Bringing in wide receivers Pierre Garcon, Josh Morgan and James Lee will make for some competition come training camp. Garcon should be a decent fantasy option. The defense has loaded up on defensive backs by signing five new editions. Washington only had 13 interceptions last season.
Chicago’s biggest edition came through a trade. Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall is reunited with QB Jay Cutler. This will help both of their fantasy values. Marshall should be considered a number one fantasy Receiver in all formats. Runningback Michael Bush was brought in via free agency. The big back will help spell Matt Forte who is coming off an injury. Bush is always a good player to have on your roster. especially with Forte’s health and happiness up in the air.
The lions have been very quiet. Most likely due to the cap. Detroit has a ton of high money players on the roster from picking so high in many drafts. Calvin Johnson was extended. Keeping the star in Detroit for the next seven seasons. Defensive end Cliff Avril was franchised.
Green Bay Packers:
Green Bay hasn’t done much. They brought in veteran Center Jeff Saturday. Fantasy wise there hasn’t been any changes. Same cast of top-notch performers will be back.
Offensively the Vikings haven’t done anything to change fantasy value. They signed cornerback Chris Carr. A nice upgrade for one of the worst pass defenses in the league a year ago. Adding Carr was good, but they have a long way to go to become a good defense in your fantasy league.
Atlanta hasn’t made any impact in free agency. Cornerback Brent Grimes was franchised.
The biggest addition to the Panthers is for Charger Runningback Mike Tolbert. Tolbert is a big back who catches a lot of passes out of the backfield. He’s someone to draft late. there’s a lot of competition in the Carolina backfield. So injuries will have to be a factor for Tolbert to help you.
New Orleans Saints:
The Saints have made some big news this offseason. It’s been mostly negative. But their free agent moves have been good. Ben Grubbs was brought in to replace Carl Nicks at guard. Marques Colston was brought back. He should see more targets with Robert Meachum gone. Colston is still a number two at best. The Saints revamped the linebackers. Curtis Lofton was signed from the Falcons. He can play inside and outside. Good insurance for when Jonathon Vilma misses time due to suspension.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Tampa is one of the big spenders this year. Carl Nicks steps in at guard which was a major need. Vincent Jackson gives them a legit number one threat. His fantasy numbers depend on how well QB Josh Freeman can get him the ball. As long as he stays healthy, Jackson should have a solid season.
The Cardinals have been pretty quiet this offseason. Signing guard Adam Snyder helps fill a need. Other than a couple of minor defensive signings that has been it.
St Louis Rams:
The Rams biggest signing came in the defensive secondary. Courtland Finnegan comes over from Tennessee. He is a feisty corner who can get players out of their game physically. offensively there aren’t any fantasy impact players who were brought in. The draft should be another story.
San Fransisco 49ers:
The 49ers have made some interesting moves fantasy wise. Alex Smith has news weapons to throw to. Mario Manningham was signed and should make a solid impact. Randy Moss comes in after a year off. The big question is if the year off helped him. There wasn’t much left when we last saw him in Tennessee. His leaping skills have diminished. The pre-season will tell a lot. Brandon Jacobs was signed to help take some of the load off frank Gore. Jacobs wont have a big fantasy value when Gore is healthy. Draft late in deep leagues only.
Seattle finally got a quarterback with potential. Matt Flynn has a limited resume. He has played very well at times. He has plenty of targets with tight end Zack Miller and Sidney Rice. I expect him to get more in the draft. Draft with caution on Flynn. Make sure you pair him with a back up plan. Flynn will be best suited as a back up on your roster. If someone wants to draft him high, let them have him. Boom or bust on a QB could sink your season if things go wrong. Marshawn Lynch was resigned and is coming off a great season. Seattle’s defense is a sleeper in 2012. The line is stout. Jason Jones can play end or tackle. Barrett Rudd is a very productive middle linebacker. This is a better unit than a year ago.