Fantasy Football and Free Agency: It's a pass-catcher party!

      March 18, 2014 @ 16:46:10 PDT

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Brandon LaFell (Panthers): I would have really liked LaFell in New England if Julian Edelman did not re-sign, so just where does that leave the former Panther? New England has so many weapons that it is difficult to expect LaFell to have much of a role. He has to learn a new system, find chemistry with Tom Brady, and prove his worth. Few players just waltz into this organization and make an immediate impact; LaFell offers no reason to expect him to be different. He is a slightly above-average player.

WR Mario Manningham, New York Giants
Guess who's back ... MM is back

Jerome Simpson (Vikings): Simpson re-upped with the Vikes, which is somewhat good. While everyone is focused on the electric Cordarrelle Patterson and the veteran savvy of Greg Jennings, Simpson (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) could be a sly deep threat in this Norv Turner-powered offense. Before you get too excited, Simpson doesn't have a big presence. Norv's offense loves a one-trick guy for the deep ball. That will be Simpson. He's a weak WR5 who will be tough to play most weeks.

Andre Roberts (Cardinals): Arizona let him walk onto the Washington Redskins' roster, and for that kind of money, who can blame them? Roberts does little to appeal to my senses of "fantasy sleeper potential." In a PPR league, at the right price (think WR5), he is worth the gamble.

Mario Manningham (49ers): A decent possession receiver, Manningham has played just one full season in his career and is always a durability concern. He signed a one-year deal to return to the New York Giants, but I struggle to see him fitting in as anything better than the fourth receiver. He will have to learn a new offense, and the rest of the team received their playbooks two months ago. Manningham has to beat out the younger, more talented Rueben Randle or Jerrel Jernigan just to get into the No. 3 receiver spot. Avoid him on draft day, unless he somehow claims the No. 2 spot.

Ted Ginn Jr. (Panthers): Likely replacing Roberts, the Arizona Cardinals added Ginn, who is coming off a fine season in Carolina. Has Ginn improved that much? How many passes can he possibly catch? I see waiver wire fodder here, but deeper leagues (18-man rosters, 14-team leagues, that area) can consider him a viable late-round dice roll. If nothing else, he should improve their special teams game.

Santana Moss (Redskins): Moss hasn't done enough recently in his career to warrant a fantasy draft selection this year. He has mild waiver wire appeal, depending on the matchup but moreover what kind of RG3 we see on the field. I expect Moss to be used mainly through screen plays and other short-area routes that tend to be staples of the West Coast offense.

Tight end

Brandon Myers (Giants): I kind of like Myers' potential with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but there is just too much uncertainty to put any draft stock into him at this time. Maybe that will change as we get closer to preseason football. He is a sketchy No. 2 tight end until then, through little fault of his own, because of the new offense and players around him.

TE Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions

Brandon Pettigrew (Lions): At 29 years old, coming off two seasons of injuries and down production, Pettigrew is becoming something of a fantasy "what could have been" story. The six-year vet certainly had the talent, and vet was a midrange PPR starter in his two full NFL seasons. Those days are gone, sort of. In 2010, Pettigrew hauled in 71 balls. That isn't out of the question, but the mark of 83 he posted a year later is. Nevertheless, he isn't a touchdown producer and has a career average of 10.0 yards per reception. PPR flex value only....

Andrew Quarless (Packers): The tight end position is a sizeable part of Green Bay's offense. Quarless is hardly a household name (maybe not even in his own home), yet forgetting his name on draft day could be a mistake. He is no worse than a second tight end if he winds up being the starter, having little competition for the job. Quarless has reception potential in the 45 to 50 range, especially since wideout James Jones won't return. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers could rely on Quarless' familiar face more than expected by most drafters. Stash this name away in the, "He could be a sleeper, if...." section of your brain. You do have one of those compartments, too, right?

Garrett Graham (Texans): Much like with Quarless, Graham could have quality fantasy value if there is no one in his way. He re-signed with the Texans, but the release of TE Owen Daniels might, in part, illustrate how much Graham is trusted. In 13 games, 11 starts, he gave Houston's offense basically what Daniels had been good for statistically during his career. Graham is a low-end No. 1 tight end with more stability as a point-per-reception target. Keep an eye on the Texans' offseason moves at the position, and if they start a rookie quarterback, that should only bode well for Graham.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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