Top 5 free agents to watch

16 05 2009

It’s only May and there are still several months of various forms of practice, training camp and pre-season games before football season starts.

That means there is lots of time for injuries to occur, which could mean some teams would have an instant need for a veteran player at a skill position. For your fantasy purposes, you won’t necessarily be looking at any of these players as a high draft pick. However, given the right situation, they could be well worth your consideration.

1. Brett Favre. As I blogged about recently, there are some things you should consider should the former Packers QB wind up with the Vikings. If he does, there will be better options available. But I would strongly consider him for a strong backup.

2. Plaxico Burress. First, a Super Bowl hero then he almost literally shot himself in the foot. Well, the leg actually. There is no denying that Plax can help out a team in need of a wide receiver. At this point, though, it appears that teams have cooled on him, not knowing whether there will be jail time or a suspension forthcoming from the league. If he’s available near the start of the season and his legal issues have been sorted out, keep a close eye out. There may be teams in need of his services, looking for help. Cowboys, Titans and maybe the Cardinals if they deal Anquan Boldin. Depending on the situation, Burress could be considered a No. 1 WR not only for the NFL team willing to give him a shot (OK, bad word choice) but for your fantasy team.

James3. Edgerrin James. When the Cardinals drafted Chris Wells from Ohio State, it was over for the veteran running back. Well, over at least for his time in the desert. In the three years James was with the Cardinals, he averaged less than 4 years per carry each season and only score a total of 16 touchdowns. Contrast that with his final three seasons in Indianapolis, where he averaged more than 4 yards a carry each season, scored a total of 34 TDs and was an integral part of the passing game. When the football season starts, Edge will only be 31. In this era of two-back attacks, the right situation could help James return to his glory of past years. As far as your fantasy team goes, Edge could make for a nice flex position starter or No. 3 running back.

4. Warrick Dunn. The often-elusive back scored a total of 62 touchdowns for Tampa Bay and Atlanta. During his prime, he was a better option for a receiver out of the backfield than James. But now as both players try to regroup and find new homes, James is the better option. Dunn may find new life with a new team. But keep him off yours, at least until you have three other running backs to choose from. The concern here for fantasy owners is actually other RBs on a team with Dunn. He likely has enough in the tank to vulture some TDs for your guy. Be on the lookout.

5. Amani Toomer. There’s a fairly significant dropoff from the third spot in the list to the fourth and then fifth. Toomer had a great career with the Giants. The Bears apparently were interested in Toomer but a deal has not been signed yet. Toomer — like some other free-agent wideouts such as Marvin Harrison and Drew Bennett — are likely past their prime for real fantasy value. Keep your eyes peeled and if you are in a deep league that starts three wideouts, you may be able to get good value late. But don’t pick Toomer or the others based just on past performance.

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4 06 2009
Running back battles to watch (NFC) « 1st and 5

[…] New Orleans Saints. Depending on whether Edgerrin James signs with the Saints, this could be one of the more intriguing backfields to watch. If James isn’t in a Saints […]

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