Marquette King was signed by the Broncos earlier this week.
You are forgiven if you missed it. I’ll even forgive you if you don’t know who Marquette King is. King is the former punter for the Raiders. He also happened to have the fourth-best net average punt in the league last year, i.e., King is a good punter.
Why does that make a difference in fantasy football? For one, it will put the Broncos D/ST in advantageous positions more often than it did previously. Riley Dixon, the Broncos previous punter, was only 23rd in net average punt and an even worse 27th in punts inside the opposing 20-yard line. But it also should mean additional possessions for Case Keenum and the rest of the Broncos offensive players.
Of course, the King signing was one of the less significant recent transactions. Let’s look at a few others in ascending order.
Fantasy Football Offseason Report
The Cassel on the Hill
Matt Cassel was signed by the Lions to be Stafford’s back up. Last year marked the 7th year in a row that Matt Stafford played 16 games. Throw in the fact that Cassel will also have to beat out Jake Rudock, Cassel will continue to have minimal value. But its worth mentioning for those of you who like to have the potential handcuff for your starters in 2QB leagues.
Third times a charm for RGIII?
The Ravens absolutely needed another quarterback. So they picked through the Browns trash and signed Robert Griffin III, now with his third team. However, RGIII’s strengths and weaknesses are a mirror image of Joe Flacco’s. But even the Ravens team official website said Flacco might not be around next year if he doesn’t dramatically improve this year. Griffin might be able to rejuvenate his career in Baltimore.
Speaking of rejuvenating a career….
Jordan Matthews now in New England
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Jordan Matthews short career has been in a bit of a downturn lately. However, Matthews did have 16 touchdowns his first two years with Philadelphia and had at least 800 yards receiving each of his first three years. Matthews played only 10 games last year for Buffalo in what was clearly his worst year yet.
Yet few things can turn your career around like being on the other end of Tom Brady’s passes. Don’t expect Matthews to do what Randy Moss did when he was in New England. However, Matthews should be able to get back to 800+ yards and at least a few touchdowns to match his 2016 production.
Of course part of the reason Matthews was signed is due to the biggest transaction of the week:
Too many Cooks in the Kitchen?
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The Patriots traded Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams for the 23rd overall pick. A few other minor pieces were involved, but nothing significant. Despite some teeth gnashing around the league, this trade makes sense for both teams.
New England still has Julian Edelman. Plus, Bill Belichick has shown he can do more with even less at receiver. This move also puts New England in a far better position to move up in the draft to grab a future replacement for Tom Brady. Edelman obviously will maintain his value entering the season, but Cooks should as well as he should slot in immediately as the top WR for the Rams alongside Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. And Cooks far exceeds in immediate impact any wide receiver that the Rams might have taken with the 23rd pick.
When the Rams failed to sign Watkins, many believed Woods would become extremely valuable. However, the Rams ran the highest percentage (81%) of plays using 3-WR sets last year, so I would still hold onto Woods. And while some see this as a downgrade, I think Cooks should be able to match or possibly exceed the 1,082 receiving yards and seven touchdowns he had last year.
Of course, Brandin Cooks’ original team, the Saints, could not let the weekend without also signing a wide receiver.
Meredith Moving From City of Big Shoulders to Big Easy
The Saints offered Cameron Meredith a two year $9.6 million deal. The Bears do have plenty of cap space and the right to match the Saints offer. However, Meredith is coming off a season lost to injury and has only four touchdowns total over the last three years. But the Meredith owner in your dynasty league is hoping the Bears don’t match the offer. Going from Mitch Trubisky to catching passes from future Hall-of-Famer Drew Brees would immediately increase his value. Meredith the Saint should build on the 66 catches and 888 receiving yards he had in 14 games in 2016.
Here’s a random but not so bold prediction: Meredith is King of the Mardi Gras parade next year!
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