New Faces In New Places

Pack your bags and board a plane. It is suppose to only happen for sixteen games a season in terms of wins and losses for an athlete. They forget to tell you that there is more to the travel side of the NFL than the game. Attending and participating in charity events could be on the menu all the way to searching for a new job. These NFL stars along with their agents will spend sometimes up to a month flying from city to city as a free agent trying to lure the best dollars out of teams. Often times those dollars turn into over spent money, but whose fault is that.

There was a time in years past where the thought of free agency was new, fresh, and fun to look forward to. Now it has become a whirlwind event that is becoming an unexpected shift of changes. Add fantasy football to the mix and you could be stuck on missing out on shifting athletes that slip through the cracks of your draft. Take for example last years free agency marvel stud Santana Moss. He was perceived as a weak option as a fantasy second wide receiver and a possible filler in the third spot. This was just after having a mediocre campaign that was not his fault with the Jets in 2004, but not far removed from a fabulous campaign in 2003. Negative opinions on Moss were abound and even more were out on Washington’s offensive capabilities. Well that was all squashed a few weeks in the season, and Moss draftees were much happier with the product of Santana than Randy.

Focus has to be on the wide receivers, were change was amuck and frequent this off-season in the NFL

Quarterbacks are always moved around but like usual, not as much for immediate participation. They are brought in to add depth and perhaps be a reliever if the opportunity presents itself. So here is an extensive look at which athletes on new teams will be worth a valuable look at when your fantasy draft comes.

1. Terrell Owens
The former disgruntled wide receiver is happy to move on and have a chance to end his career in the Big D. Yet, he is 33 years old and has been dinged up over the past few seasons. The vengeance on his mind and his overall work ethic skills just make him too good to pass up as a late second or early third round pick taken in leagues. No receiver in the league competes with his physical presence, and he will also be playing with a quarterback that is a sharp veteran. To gauge his season is rough to do considering the new environment, but stars shine everywhere.

2. Edgerrin James
Athletes just get tired of hearing they are on their way out. Edgerrin James has been hearing that he is not worth his value, and that the Colts need to use his salary to build up the rest of the team. Well, the Colts are about to see how valuable James was and the Cardinals are about to improve in terms of steps to their goal as a yearly playoff team. James is a dynamic back that fits the Cardinals offense about as best as any team he could have went to. The receivers with the Cardinals are better and Kurt Warner is a winner that will have this offense functioning forward. With the threat of all of the Cardinals wide receivers the amount of touchdowns James will have could be a little low to draft him in the high part of the first round. Still, the Cardinals will score a lot of points and it is hard to imagine James not being a huge part of that.

3. Drew Brees
Initial reports indicate that Brees shoulder and arm are looking fine. Fine could be translated in any realm, so do not believe the hype. Wait to see his arm throwing in training camp and see if the sharpness is there or not. New Orleans is a revamped team with extreme weapons offensively. Brees should not miss a beat with the way he performs as a quarterback. He is always calm and just knows how to play the quarterback position. In the end, the Saints will reap the benefits of signing Brees, which may be sooner than people think.

4. Daunte Culpepper
How old will Culpepper’s body act and look when he makes his debut? We all know his body has lost some portion of his athleticism, and that may affect other areas of his quarterback skills. Miami insured themselves by bringing in Joey Harrington, but Culpepper also has a huge motivation chip on shoulder. The guy has a laser of an arm and is with a coach that will do everything possible to make sure he succeeds. We just do not know if Culpepper can shake his turnover problems and play consistently well to be a top fantasy quarterback.

5. Adam Vinatieri
Talk about absolute no loyalty towards a key component of your franchises success. The Patriots displayed that by allowing Vinatieri to roam as a free agent and ignoring his claims of seriousness to sign elsewhere. Now he gets to boot for Peyton Manning and the high flying scoring machine Colts. If you want the extra edge for close fantasy games than you better snatch up Vinatieri. He will have plenty of games where his leg will give you ten to fifteen points.

6. Antwaan Randle El
Randle El over the past few years has seemed like an athlete ready to breakout. In the way though was an offense that rarely passed, and Hines Ward. Even with that Randle El would constantly show his big play abilities and be the spark the Steelers needed in many cases. In Washington he is headed in as the third option behind Santana Moss and Brandon Lloyd. It will be up to him to outdo Lloyd, but he should still see the field and get plenty of looks as an opposite speed threat to Santana Moss.

7. Nate Burelson
If ever a receiver capitalized off of ability than performance Burelson has the resume now of doing it. The Seahawks shelled out a seven year, $49 million contract to finally have a receiver that is more of a feature second wide receiver than a Joe Jurevicious. The same expectations fantasy owners expected last year better be toned down to a degree. Rather than risking a pick on Burelson stick with the more for sure receiver for the first five rounds. If you’re in a deep league than consider him a player with an asterisk for success or bust in the fifth or sixth round.

8. Keyshawn Johnson
Not to take anything away from Johnson but being let go by numerous teams in a few years is not good. The Cowboys only let Johnson go because of their intentions to go after Terrell Owens and try something different at wide receiver. For the most part Johnson is just an athlete that is going to make the tough catches and be an end zone threat. With the Panthers still unsure of there running backs, Johnson may become the offense for short gains that normally would be counted on by a running back.

9. Javon Walker
If he is recovered 100 percent than obviously he would be ranked higher. But usually that is not even a possibility for a receiver after they tear up their knee. The Broncos evaluated Walker before they traded for him, and apparently believe that he is ready to play well immediately. With Rod Smith defying age and Ashley Lelie acting like an Ashley, the opportunities are more than lovable for a fantasy owner.

10. Aaron Brooks
Not too long ago Brooks was considered a top ten fantasy quarterback with upside. It got to the point in New Orleans that the situation just looked unworkable for Brooks and the Saints. Two years late, the Saints finally parted ways with Brooks and now Brooks gets a chance to perform for the Oakland Raiders. When Brooks is on there are not many quarterbacks that can be as accurate and effective. The problem though is that he develops more rust than Vinny Testaverde’s ancient arm.

The rest
11. Eric Moulds, Houston Texans
12. Chester Taylor, Minnesota Vikings
13. Martin Gramatica, New England
14. Joey Harrington, Miami Dolphins
15. Brandon Lloyd, Washington Redskins
16. David Givens, Tennessee Titans
17. Antonio Bryant, San Francisco 49ers
18. Peerless Price, Buffalo Bills
19. Mike Anderson, Baltimore Ravens
20. David Boston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
21. Josh McCown/Kitna, The winner of the Detroit Lions battle
22. Jabar Gafney, Philadelphia Eagles
23. Michael Bennett, New Orleans
24. Brian Griese, Chicago Bears
25. Quentin Griffin, Kansas City Chiefs


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