Decker, Moreno top question-filled free agents

The NFL's free-agent period begins on March 11, so we're going to start seeing plenty of player movement and plenty of changes in fantasy value. While there aren't a lot of huge names who will be eligible to move this offseason, there are some players who could become a lot more interesting when it comes time to draft your fantasy team in 2014.

Here's a list of the top 30 fantasy players you'll want to monitor in the weeks and months ahead.

1. Knowshon Moreno, Running back: Moreno finished as one of the five-best running backs in fantasy football last season, but could he produce at such a high level outside of Denver? That's unlikely. If Moreno is allowed to leave, Montee Ball will become a massive breakout candidate.

2. Eric Decker, Wide receiver: Decker has finished in the top 10 in fantasy points among wide receivers in each of the last two seasons, but I doubt he would reach that level without Peyton Manning throwing him the football. His draft value would fall in most places outside of Denver.

3. Ben Tate, Running back: Tate, 25, has averaged 4.7 yards per carry at the pro level and figures to land on a team that will give him a shot to start in 2014. He has starter's talent and is likely to see an increase in fantasy draft value, but his proneness to injuries is a concern.

4. Julian Edelman, Wide receiver: Edelman set career bests across the board and finished in the top 20 among wideouts in standard fantasy leagues last season. Tom Brady wants him back in the pass attack. Edelman's value could decline if he ends up outside of New England in 2014.

5. Rashad Jennings, Running back: Jennings, who has recorded 4.5 yards per carry or more in three of his four pro seasons, would be a viable No. 2 back in fantasy land if he remains with the Oakland Raiders. A three-down runner, Jennings posted career bests across the board in 2013.

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6. Maurice Jones-Drew, Running back: Jones-Drew recorded a career-worst 3.4 yards-per-carry average last season and has the fourth-most carries among active running backs. Regardless of where he lands, Pocket Hercules would be hard pressed to be much more than a No. 2 fantasy runner.

7. Hakeem Nicks, Wide receiver: Nicks hasn't scored a touchdown in 18 straight games, and has found the end zone just three times in his last 29. He still has youth on his side, and a change of scenery could be a positive. Rueben Randle would be a sleeper if Nicks leaves New York.

8. Darren McFadden, Running back: McFadden has all the talent in the world, but his proneness to injuries is well documented in fantasy land. If the Raiders let him walk, McFadden could reunite with former OC Hue Jackson in Cincinnati and create a committee with Giovani Bernard.

9. Anquan Boldin, Wide receiver: Boldin is a virtual lock to remain with the San Francisco 49ers next season, but he's also almost guaranteed to lose fantasy appeal as well. While he did have a rebirth in the stat sheets in 2013, he did most of it with Michael Crabtree out of action. (UPDATE: Boldin has agreed to re-sign with the 49ers)

10. Emmanuel Sanders, Wide receiver: Sanders had a nice 2013 season, but the Pittsburgh Steelers don't seem likely to keep him. He's been tied to the New York Jets, who need pass-catchers desperately. If Sanders leaves, Markus Wheaton would become an obvious sleeper choice in fantasy.

11. James Jones, Wide receiver: Jones could see a increase in value if he lands with a team that lacks for pass-catchers. That wasn't the case in Green Bay. The Packers also look likely to move on from Jones and hand the torch to Jarrett Boykin, who showed flashes of potential in 2013.

12. Jermichael Finley, Tight end: Finley is coming back from spinal fusion surgery, but his agent said he is "99.9 percent" certain he'll be cleared to play football in 2014. Finley is still young and can be a No. 1 fantasy tight end, but his value will be based on which team takes a chance.

13. Michael Vick, Quarterback: Vick has to be considered the most attractive free-agent quarterback, but he'll be 34 in June and hasn't been durable in recent seasons. Still, Vick will be on the fantasy radar as a No. 2 quarterback if he lands a starting role somewhere around the league.

14. Andre Brown, Running back: David Wilson (neck) is expected to be back in time for training camp, but the New York Giants would like to have insurance in the backfield. That insurance could come in the form of Brown, who became a viable fantasy starter while in a true featured role.

15. Rashard Mendenhall, Running back: Mendenhall's status for next season is in question after he posted a cryptic column for the Huffington Post that might have hinted at retirement from the NFL. Regardless, Andre Ellington is going to be the runner to draft out of Arizona in 2014.

16. LeGarrette Blount, Running back: Blount posted a career-best 5.0 yards-per-carry average and led all Patriots runners in fantasy points last season. If he remains with the team, owners can expect a lot of headaches in a crowded backfield that also includes Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen.

17. Donald Brown, Running back: Brown was a better fantasy back than Trent Richardson last season, and Brown's return to the Indianapolis Colts would hurt Richardson's value. Regardless, the Connecticut product is best suited to be a committee runner wherever he lands next season.

18. Garrett Graham, Tight end: Veteran Owen Daniels is no lock to be back in Houston next season, so Graham could see an increase in value if the team decides to re-sign him. If both tight ends leave, however, it could be Ryan Griffin who becomes a deep sleeper from a fantasy perspective.

19. Golden Tate, Wide receiver: Tate's stats and fantasy value have been limited in Seattle's run-based offense, but the release of Sidney Rice could be a positive if he remains in the Great Northwest. The Golden Domer finished 28th in fantasy points among wide receivers this past season.

20. Steven Hauschka, Kicker: Forget about the past ... kickers can make a big impact in fantasy leagues. Don't believe me? Hauschka, who is a candidate to be franchised, actually scored more fantasy points than Jones-Drew and Edelman last season. I expect him to remain with the Seahawks.

21. Phil Dawson, Kicker: Dawson, who was tagged twice while with the Cleveland Browns, would cost the San Francisco 49ers around $16 million if the team franchised him. That won't happen. He wants to remain with the Niners, and Dawson's fantasy value is best served staying with the team too.

22. Adam Vinatieri, Kicker: Like Dawson, Vinatieri has already been tagged twice in his career and won't be franchised by the Colts. While he's now 41 years old, the Super Bowl hero still ranked eighth in fantasy points at his position this past season. He hit 35-of-40 field goals in 2013.

23. Andre Roberts, Wide receiver: Roberts saw a decrease in value with the emergence of Michael Floyd, but he's a versatile wideout who can fill in at the slot and at split end. From a fantasy perspective, Roberts will be better off moving to a team that uses him in a more prominent role.

24. Ahmad Bradshaw, Running back: Once considered a viable fantasy starter, Bradshaw has seen his value slide due to his proneness to injuries. In fact, he's missed 19 games in the past three seasons. Bradshaw also underwent neck surgery in October, making him a risky proposition.

25. Toby Gerhart, Running back: Gerhart's value would rise if he lands with a team that allows him a chance to start -- that's not happening with the Minnesota Vikings. To his credit, Gerhart averaged a ridiculous 7.9 yards per carry last season and has decent pass-catching skills.

26. James Starks, Running back: The Packers could pass on bringing Starks back with Johnathan Franklin and DuJuan Harris backing up Eddie Lacy. While Starks looked good in limited time this past season, he would need a chance to start in another backfield to see a real spike in value.

27. Sidney Rice, Wide receiver: The Seahawks cut Rice to help save salary cap room. He's still young at the age of 27 and could have some fantasy appeal if he can earn a prominent role with a new team. The problem with Rice is his lack of durability, which has really cut into his appeal.

28. Brandon Pettigrew, Tight end: Pettigrew is coming off a forgettable season and is no longer a viable fantasy starter. Should he leave the Motor City, Joseph Fauria's value could rise.

29. Kenny Britt, Wide receiver: Britt has shown flashes of brilliance at times, but his off-field issues have plagued his NFL career and fantasy appeal. A change of scenery could do him some good.

30. Josh McCown, Quarterback: McCown started five games for the Chicago Bears in 2013, posting solid numbers on the field and in fantasy land. He would remain insurance for Jay Cutler.


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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