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2017 NFL Free Agency: Fantasy Impact of Key Players on New Teams

With NFL free agency in full swing and trades happening, fantasy owners have reason to start looking ahead to 2017. Many players are changing teams (and will continue to do so), and therefore changing their respective fantasy values. While it is still too early to really tell how a player on a new team will fare, here are the ones of note (as of March 9) that will be in a different uniform come Week 1.

 

Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

2016: Jeffery played in 12 games (missing four for suspension, although playing injured through many) for the Bears, and finished with 52 receptions for 821 yards and two touchdowns.

2017: With the Eagles, Jeffery has a chance to regain solid fantasy value. He'll become Carson Wentz’ No. 1 target, and as long as he can stay healthy, will be a solid WR2.

 

Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Giants

2016: This was arguably Marshall's worst season, with 59 receptions (a career low) and 788 yards. He had three touchdowns, which was the fewest he had since 2010. The Jets’ poor quarterback play and the loss of running mate Eric Decker assisted in the poor totals.

2017: Marshall – and his fantasy owners – know that he will defer to Odell Beckham, Jr. on the Giants. Sterling Shepard is still in the picture and Eli Manning isn't throwing the ball as often. It will be interesting to see if Marshall is able to handle playing second fiddle to ODB. Marshall is a WR2.

 

DeSean Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2016: D-Jax was hit or miss in 2016 as he's been for most of his career. He had 56 receptions for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns for the Redskins. He had five games with more than 100 yards and six games with fewer than 50.

2017: With the Bucs, D-Jax is poised for success. He'll play opposite Mike Evans, and that's a role that suits him. He will be with a quarterback that can get him the ball down the field, but he's still going to have games where he's a fantasy disappointment. It's a positive outlook for him, but he's still a WR3.

 

Danny Woodhead, RB, Baltimore Ravens

2016: Woodhead played in two games in 2016 before tearing his ACL and missing the rest of the season. His 2014 season also was cut short, but he's not necessarily injury-prone.

2017: Woodhead will handle the passing downs for the Ravens. Kenneth Dixon is suspended for four games, but even once Dixon is back, Woodhead will still have a role. He's a RB2 in PPR formats.

 

Pierre Garcon, WR, San Francisco 49ers

2016: Garcon quietly had a solid season with the Redskins in 2016. He had 79 receptions for 1,041 yards and three touchdowns.

2017: Joining Kyle Shanahan is a boost for Garcon, but he has never been a top-tier wide receiver. His success is dependent on the quarterback, and Brian Hoyer isn't exactly going to boost Garcon into fantasy brilliance, although everyone expects the 49ers aren’t done at the position. For now, Garcon is a WR3 with upside.

 

Torrey Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

2016: In 12 games, Smith had 20 receptions for 267 yards and three touchdowns. He's a deep threat who was not utilized in San Francisco.

2017: In Philadelphia, Smith can be used the way he has been successful in the past. He will, however, be competing with Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz and Jordan Matthews for targets. He's likely only going to be drafted in deep leagues.

 

Mike Glennon, QB, Chicago Bears

2016: Glennon completed 10 passes in 2016, which are actually 10 more than he completed in ‘15. However, the Bears saw something in him that they were willing to outbid the other teams for Glennon’s services.

2017: Glennon will likely be the starter for 2017, and hopefully the Bears will be able to either develop plays for him or find a way to make him usable. For fantasy purposes, however, he can still be left alone in most formats.

 

Julius Thomas, TE, Miami Dolphins

2016: Thomas has had a hard time staying healthy, but when he plays, he's productive. He had 30 receptions for 281 yards and four touchdowns in nine games with the Jaguars.

2017: The Dolphins needed a tight end that could be more than another blocker. With Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, having a big player in the end zone should benefit both. Thomas is a risky TE2.

 

Related: Fantasy Football Tight End Targets - Who Led the Way in 2016?

 

Dwayne Allen, TE, New England Patriots

2016: In 14 games, he had 35 receptions and 406 yards. He added six touchdowns, but never broke out as a solid player while he was with the Colts.

2017: The New England Patriots have a reputation for developing tight ends. While they did cut ties with Martellus Bennett, they are likely looking to fill that role with Allen. Rob Gronkowski's health is a perpetual question mark, and Allen just may end up having fantasy value in 2017.

 

Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams

2016: In 13 games for the Bills, he had 51 receptions for 613 receiving yards and a touchdown.

2017: Woods steps into a role alongside Tavon Austin, on a team that isn't exactly primed for fantasy success. He becomes a passing option for Jared Goff, but shouldn't be on fantasy rosters.

 

Brian Hoyer, QB, San Francisco 49ers

2016: Hoyer played six games for Chicago (and looked serviceable) but his season ended with a broken leg. He ended up with 1,445 passing yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions.

2017: Hoyer, at 31, isn't a viable starter for a team, but he's a solid veteran backup. He likely won't end up playing 16 games for the 49ers, and he's not worth fantasy consideration at this point.

 

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.

 

(DeSean Jackson photo courtesy of www.redskins.com)