2012 NFL free agency: DeSean Jackson looking to score

      February 7, 2012 @ 18:11:26 PDT

Now that Super Bowl XLVI is over we can all start focusing on our early MLB mock drafts and upcoming leagues. Let KFFL be your go-to source for your cheat sheets and rankings as we near spring training reporting date. We're at just over a week left until pitchers and catchers report, people!

Most of you think the football season is over immediately following the big game, but you are mistaken. Clubs are feverishly reviewing their college scouting reports as they prepare for the 2012 NFL Draft and the Scouting Combine.

Cory Bonini just released KFFL's first mock NFL Draft with some selections that may come as a surprise to you. Who will be the next A.J. Green, Cam Newton or Andy Dalton out of this year's draft class?

DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
D-Jax ready to spread wings

It's important to at least know a little about some of these stud prospects; there should be a handful that will contribute to fantasy football rosters in 2012. Keeper leagues specifically need to be concerned with the Andrew Lucks and Justin Blackmons.

Another big offseason priority that fantasy footballers need to keep an eye on is free agency. Aside from the monumental storyline of where Peyton Manning (neck) will end up, there are other big names out there that could wind up with new squads, which will undoubtedly affect their 2012 fantasy outlook.

Drew Brees, Matt Forte, Arian Foster and Ray Rice are perhaps the biggest stars up for free agency as of March 13, but after looking at the list of FAs, I've got my eye on some notable wideouts and have wondered how free agency may affect their future.

  • DeSean Jackson - His time in Philly appears to be coming to an end. After showing his displeasure with the team for not extending him early last year, his play and hustle suffered as a result. Although Andy Reid praised D-Jax for picking it up at the tail end of the season, it's obvious that the Iggles don't have room for another big ego. Philadelphia still has Jeremy Maclin and they could look to select a high-ceiling WR in the draft in April if they choose to move on from Jackson. Many will likely be down on drafting D-Jax next year. If he lands on a team with a potent offense and capable passer, he could be a bargain.
  • Stevie Johnson - Johnson quelled the doubters in 2011 with another productive campaign. Buffalo has made it clear they plan to keep him around in tandem with Ryan Fitzpatrick, though, so he may not be going anywhere.Johnson would be best employed as a high-end or midrange No. 2 fantasy WR depending on what team he lands on if he escapes Buffalo.
  • Marques Colston/Robert Meachem - Brees doesn't plan on getting stingy; he values winning another title over holding out for the big bucks. If that holds up, there is a decent chance that both Colston and Meachem can fit within the team's cap. Colston's value is likely highest as a Saint; he's a capable No. 2 wideout, but his forte as a possession receiver can make him streaky if you're counting on him. Meachem clearly benefits from Brees as well and he'll probably be waiver wire feeder depending on the depth of your league if he stays or goes.
  • Vincent Jackson - The SD brass is still around, and A.J. Smith and Norv Turner want Jackson back. Expect both sides to push for a long-term deal. The Bolts will come out with something to prove next year so V-Jax could be a low-end No. 1 or high-end No. 2 receiver.
  • Brandon Lloyd - Josh McDaniels left the Rams and went back to the Patriots. Will Lloyd follow? There is a good chance of it. The Pats are frustrated and licking their wounds; I expect them to make some drastic changes. Chad Ochocinco and Deion Branch don't have a future in New England anymore. Lloyd could be just the guy Bill Belichick needs to breathe some new life into the system. If this happens, Lloyd becomes much more valuable, obviously.
  • Reggie Wayne - Wayne had a very frustrating 2011, but don't put too much blame on him. It's hard to succeed when Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky can't get you the ball consistently. He's not young anymore but I feel like he's got enough left to be at least a low-end No. 3 or No. 4 pass catcher.Look for a team in need of a veteran wideout presence to take a chance on him. In the right situation he could definitely out earn his draft spot - I suspect most will think he's washed up after his '11 output.
  • Wes Welker - Don't get any ideas; he's not going anywhere. The Pats could slap the franchise tag on him but that won't change anything. Draft Welker with just as much confidence as you did before, especially in PPR affairs. His dropped pass in the Super Bowl will quickly become a thing of the past.
  • Mario Manningham - He played third fiddle most of the year behind Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. After playing a huge role in the Super Bowl, other teams are sure to have his name in mind in free agency. It's likely that he'll covet a larger role on a team that has the spot available. If that happens, he could easily become more than just a shaky flex performer.
  • Dwayne Bowe - No real indication yet of how probable it is for the Chiefs to let this stud walk. They would be approaching sheer stupidity if they don't make a huge effort to keep him around for Matt Cassel's sake. Rest assured plenty of other teams will be calling him up. Bowe has the talent to be a No. 1 receiver - we've all seen that.
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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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