2015 Fantasy Football: Free Agent Frenzy

With all of the frenzy in free agency, it’s important to keep track of everything that goes down for your 2015 Fantasy Football league.

Jeremy Maclin to Kansas City

Jeremy Maclin is getting $11 million per year to play for the Kansas City Chiefs.

This is a huge blow to Maclin’s 2015 Fantasy Football value as the Chiefs finished the 2014 season with no touchdown catches by any WR’s. Alex Smith is known to be more of a game manager over anything else, and you can expect an enormous dip in production from Maclin. Last season, Maclin posted career best in all categories, going for 85 catches, 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns. Going from Chip Kelly back to Andy Reid, and add in Smith, and you can bet that Maclin will not even sniff those numbers in 2015. Maclin goes from a potential late 2nd-round pick, to a risky 5-7th rounder regardless of the format. As for Philadelphia’s WRs, Jordan Matthews is poised for an enormous breakout 2015 season.

Frank Gore to Indianapolis

Frank Gore signed a three-year $12 million dollar contract that makes him the Colts new starting RB.

Gore (31) will be turning 32 this May and while many worry about the age of Gore, he is still a significant upgrade from the Colt’s current RB situation. Gore is past the dreaded age of 30 for running backs, but he has shown no signs of slowing down as his yards per carry average (4.3) is up from 2013 (4.1). He is the model of consistency, rushing for over 1,000 yards every season he has been in the league aside from his rookie year and injury plagued 2010 season. He will primarily share backfield duties with Trent Richardson, and you can expect Bradshaw to be a factor as well, when healthy, but it should not stop Gore from finishing as a top-20 fantasy RB yet again. Another 1,000 plus yard season and 5-7 touchdowns seems very reasonable for Gore in 2015. With Gore’s absence in San Fran, Carlos Hyde seems ready to take a big leap in his second season. His average draft position (ADP) is already soaring and may cause him to be over-drafted this season. It is something to monitor as Hyde is very talented but relatively unproven.

Torrey Smith to San Francisco

The San Francisco 49ers signed WR Torrey Smith to a five-year, $40 million contract.

Torrey Smith was the epitome of frustration for fantasy owners to start the 2014 season. Through the first 3 games, he failed to surpass 100 receiving yards to go along with zero touchdowns until week 4 against Carolina. Smith came alive after most owners gave up on him, and posted a career-best 11 touchdowns. Torrey did post a career low in receiving yards (767), but much of that had to do with the resurgence of Steve Smith’s career in Baltimore. This move should help Colin Kaepernick, but I would be surprised to see Smith produce more than a 800 yard 5 touchdown season as the Niners will remain a run-first football team. Taking Smith any time before the 7-8th round range should be considered risky.

Julius Thomas headed to Jacksonville

The Jaguars signed TE Julius Thomas to a five-year, $46 million dollar contract.

Julius Thomas started off the 2014 season with an incredible, video game-like 9 touchdowns through the first 5 weeks of the season. He started to fade a little down the stretch but much of that was because of Denver transitioning to more of a running football team behind the legs of C.J. Anderson. Thomas finished the season with just under 500 yards and 12 touchdowns. Many fantasy players are already assuming Thomas to Jacksonville will drastically hurt his fantasy value but I disagree. Orange Julius will now be, not only the primary target for Blake Bortles, but the only legitimate red-zone threat. He should mop up plenty of targets now that he will not be on the same field as Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Thomas should serve as a safety blanket for his young quarterback and a huge beneficiary of playing from behind in many games. I see a top 5- Fantasy Football season for Thomas in 2015.

Jimmy Graham traded to Seattle

The Seattle Seahawks sent C Max Unger and their 2015 first-round pick to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for TE Jimmy Graham and 2015 fourth-round pick.

Jimmy Graham’s value should take a slight hit as Seattle is not exactly an “air it out” football team. However, Graham will be the primary target for Russell Wilson and should produce double-digit touchdowns in Seattle. This move finally gives Wilson some real weapons on offense and should help his value continue to spike. As for the Saints, the value of Drew Brees takes a pretty big hit with the absence of Graham. However, the addition of Unger should help open up some holes for Mark Ingram as the Saints will have to rely on him heavily this season.

Sam Bradford: The newest Eagle

Once again, Chip Kelly has the rest of the football world scratching their heads. The Eagles shipped Nick Foles to St. Louis along with a fourth-round 2015 draft pick and a conditional second-rounder in 2016 in exchange for Sam Bradford. There has never been much doubt of Bradford’s talent level, but his inability to stay healthy has significantly impacted his career up to this point. This move by Kelly, slows down the hype-train for those thinking that Eagles would trade up for Marcus Mariota but it is still not outside the realm of possibility. If Bradford is indeed Kelly’s guy, you have to assume this is one of the last chances he has to prove he can stay on the field. This is certainly a better situation than St. Louis, possibly resulting in Bradford emerging as a top-12 fantasy quarterback.

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Categories: 2015 Fantasy Football

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