Early Look at Fantasy Football 2012

We are officially two weeks into FA and most of the major free agents have been resigned or signed. Since every post is currently focusing on the draft and I honestly can't look at another mock draft, let's take an insanely early look at how recent FA signings have effected the fantasy football value of some players. Below are a few players that I personally think have seen there fantasy value rise or fall heavily in the last few weeks. Feel free to disagree or throw out other players. This is more of an open discussion then anything else. Alright so let's start with the players whose value increased:

Eric Decker/Demaryius Thomas and Jacob Tamme (Broncos): The jump in value of these three players is pretty self explanatory. If Peyton Manning returns for the 2012 season healthy and even close to his old form, which all signs point that he will, then the Broncos top receives Decker and Thomas become big fantasy options. Both Decker and Thomas have flashed some solid talent but with Orton and Tebow under center their value on a fantasy team was minimal. I expect to see Decker and Thomas's targets double and them to be consistent starters in 3 WR leagues. Tamme is a sleeper TE option now as well. He has experience with Manning with the Colts and even with the signing of Joel Dreessen, I expect Tamme to be Manning's primary receiving TE. Obviously we will see how things play out during training camp, but look for Tamme to become a solid starter next season, or at least a stellar back-up option.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Bengals): Depending on what happens in the draft this could change but as of now I see BJGE as the biggest RB riser this offseason. With the Patriots BJGE was in a pass first offense and runningback by committee situation which really hurt his fantasy value. With his signing with Bengals, BJGE becomes a primary back on a very good Bengals team as Cedric Benson looks unlikely to resign. The Bengals still have Benard Scott on their team so the BJGE will probably never become a back that will see 20+ carries a game but I fully expect him to 15 carries a game as well as used in passing game. The big question is going to be which back in used in goalline situations. As of right now I see BJGE as a starting level back in leagues that have 2 starting RBs or a flex slot.

Brandon Lloyd (Patriots): Like the Broncos receivers, this one is pretty straight forward. Lloyd has showed with the Broncos and most recently with the Rams that he is still a very good WR. He now gets to enter the pass happy offense of the Patriots with Tom Brady as his QB. Now the Patriots offense is pretty loaded with talent already, from Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Deion Branch. That being said, the Patriots throw the ball 35 - 50 times a game so I still think that Lloyd will see a sizeable amount of targets. Other then last year's bust (Ochocinco) any receiver on the Patriots normally generates solid fantasy numbers and Lloyd is seemingly going to step in and play a big role. I expect Lloyd to easily be a consistent starter in all fantasy formats next season.

Doug Baldwin (Seahawks): I almost put Matt Flynn on this list but I still need to see more out of Flynn before I draft him for FA football next year. Instead I think the player that benefits most from Flynn's signing is Doug Baldwin. Flynn doesn't possess elite arm strength or accurary but instead thrives by making smart short to middle range passes. Enter Baldwin who was amazing as the Seahawks slot receiver last season. Baldwin steadly improved all last season and seems to be finding his groove and may even be able to move up to the #2 stop accross from Sidney Rice. With Flynn's strength in medium to short range passes and Baldwin's strength as a slot receiver, I could easily see Baldwin getting a lot more passes thrown his way and those passes will be a lot better thrown balls then what he was seeing with Tavaris Jackson under center. This might be a stretch but Baldwin is my deep sleeper pick for a breakout season.

FA Losers:

Shonn Greene (Jets): If there is one player I would say to stay away from at all costs its Shonn Greene. The starting RB for the Jets has seen his value tank recently with the signing of Tebow. Rex Ryan has publicly stated that Tebow will see 15 snaps a game and there will special packages designed for him. Translation, Tebow will be used as a redzone option due to his ability to run and pass. With the Jets also possibly looking for another RB, I can't see Greene having much value this season. A lot of his redzone touches will be taken away by Tebow and the Jets will probably bring in another back before the offseason is over. Pass on Greene.

Vernon Davis (49ers): The star of the 49ers postseason run last season is probably going to get overdrafted heavily this year. Prior to the arrive of Harbough, Davis was top tier fantasy option and his 4 touchdowns in the playoffs last season showed his playmaking ability. The problem is that he simply does not see enough targets to warrent a high selection. During last years season he consistently saw only 2 - 5 targets a game and from a fantasy stand point was either boom or bust, mostly being dependent on him scoring a touchdown. With the arrival of Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, and the resigning of Ted Ginn Jr, the 49ers have a lot of incoming WR's and might even add an early WR in the draft. Considering the 49ers, with Alex Smith under center, will probably continue to be a run first team, I would avoid drafting Vernon Davis as his targets will continue to be minimal.

Marques Colston (Saints): There are a lot of factors going into this one but overall the Saints are in disarray. Drew Brees is still disgruntled about the franchise tag and though he will ultimately be a Saint in 2012 its just an ugly situation. Secondly, the departure of Robert Meachum I think will have more effect on Colston as Meachum paired up well with Colston and defenses often had to worry about both as serious threats. Now Colston will probably have Lance Moore as his #2, who is still a quality receiver but I don't think he will have the same production as Meachum did in the same role and won't command the same attention from defenses IMO. Finally, the whole Saints bounty scandel has seen Sean Payton lost for the season, a lot of other penalties and a lot of negative PR. Even though the Saints offense is normally a fantasy juggernaut, after everything that has transpired in the organization this offseason, I just feel leary about drafting Colston this season.

Feel free to disagree or add more players to either list. Just my own personal opinion.

FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of Big Cat Country or SB Nation.

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