2017 Fantasy Football - Free Agency Risers and Fallers





By Chet Gresham - @Chet_G
Follow @walterfootball for updates.

Risers

Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles
Wentz gets a huge boon in his fantasy value after the Eagles' acquisition of both Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery via free agency. Add those two to Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz, and you have one of the deepest receiving groups in the league. Wentz started out fast last season, but slumped in the second half. This group of pass catchers should show us his upside this year, and even if he's not consistent, he should be able to put some good fantasy games together.



Jameis Winston, QB, Bucs
Winston had one solid receiver to throw to last season, and he threw to him the most of any receiver in the league, as Mike Evans led the NFL in targets. With the addition of DeSean Jackson, this passing offense becomes much more balanced, and Winston should be able to take another step toward fantasy relevancy.



Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers
Gordon's fantasy owners were sweating where Danny Woodhead would end up, because much of Gordon's value comes in his receptions, especially if you, like me, are worried that he won't reach his touchdown numbers from last year. So when Woodhead went to the Ravens, his backers took a sigh of relief. They may try to work some other pass catching backs in there, but Gordon will remain the main target out of the backfield this season.



Jack Doyle, TE, Colts
Jack Doyle sounds like a 1930s bit actor, but instead, he's an NFL tight end who put on his hard hat, got up at 4 a.m., drank his raw eggs and worked his way into the starting tight end position on a strong offense that uses tight ends early and often. The New England Patriots grabbed his teammate Dwayne Allen in free agency, leaving Doyle as the starter. He isn't going to run past people, but he's also not going to drop the ball very often. His upside will be limited, but he's going to see plenty of red-zone targets and could easily be a steal in drafts this year.

Martellus Bennett, TE, Packers
The Black Unicorn will have yet another great quarterback throwing him the ball this year in Aaron Rodgers, but should be able to see a bump in targets from last year. Rodgers was able to put together some good games with Jared Cook in 2016, who was injured or not starting for much of the season. A full season with a good tight end in Green Bay hasn't happened for 158 years, so let's see where this goes.



Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
Brady can put up great numbers with just about anyone catching passes, but the acquisition of Brandin Cooks and Dwayne Allen, coupled with a healthy Rob Gronkowski, makes for a pretty big boost to Brady's outlook.

Breshad Perriman, WR, Ravens
Perriman remains a wild card, as he's been hurt much of his career, but he did finish the 2016 season healthy and should be good to go this year. The good news is that the Ravens lost Steve Smith to retirement and lost out on signing Torrey Smith. Perriman is still young and has shown flashes with a great play here and there. The Ravens did re-sign Mike Wallace, and he should also have value this year, but I like Perriman's upside enough to grab him in drafts with the hope that he'll show his potential this year as a healthy starter.

Fallers

Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants
Shepard is a very good player and one I'm interested in for dynasty leagues, but the addition of Brandon Marshall in New York cuts Shepard's playing time and targets down significantly. I don't see any reason to draft Shepard in regular-sized leagues this year.

Thomas Rawls, RB, Seahawks
The writing was on the wall here, as the Seahawks went after running backs aggressively in free agency. They just landed a big one with Eddie Lacy signing. Lacy needs to cut weight once again, but his presence alone puts Rawls down the totem pole. Add in C.J. Prosise, who looked great in limited action, and Rawls isn't draftable right now.

Kenneth Dixon, RB, Ravens
That was fast. Dixon went from being one of the most talked about fantasy players in 2017, to an also-ran in one short day, as news that the Ravens had signed Danny Woodhead and Dixon had been suspended for four games came out hours apart. The good news is that Dixon should be cheap in drafts and Woodhead is old and injury prone, but Dixon stock has definitely been hit hard by these events.

Jared Cook, TE, FA
I'm not sure what Cook was thinking, but he should have signed with the Packers. He was reportedly offered more than what Martellus Bennett signed for and could have continued catching passes from Aaron Rodgers. Now, Cook may not find a contract worth what Green Bay was offering and he'll likely be in a worse situation. There is still a chance he could end up in a decent situation, but there aren't any obvious spots for him right now.



Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, RBs, Bengals
The Bengals had one of the strongest offensive lines in the league, and instead of forking over some cash; they let a big chunk of those players move on to new teams. This hurts the offense as a whole of course, but with two running backs, fantasy production can be hard to find, and now that the line is severely weakened, both backs have their upside cut.

For more recommendations, check out WalterFootball.com's Fantasy Football Rankings.




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