2017 NFL free agency: Fantasy football live blog

Free agency opens up at 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 9. Teams are allowed to negotiate in the days leading up to that moment, and as signings are announced we'll keep a running blog here with quick-hitting analysis. Each fantasy stud will get their own write-up, and a link will be provided as well. Be sure to bookmark this page and keep coming back to stay up to date on all of the moves happening during the 2017 NFL free agency frenzy.

As you can see, we're already off to a big start.

Big-name signings/trades


Vikings fill backfield with Latavius Murray signing

Another free agent running back domino has fallen with Latavius Murray signing a deal with the Minnesota Vikings. That likely closes the door on an Adrian Peterson return and makes Murray the primary back in the Twin Cities. It also opens the door for a pair of young running backs to take the reins in Oakland. As for Peterson ... the waiting game continues. More details HERE.-- Marcas Grant

Eddie Lacy agreed to terms with the Seattle Seahawks on a one-year deal.

The first big running back free agency signing of the offseason creates a dreaded RBBC in Seattle. How will this all shake out between Lacy, C.J. Prosise and Thomas Rawls? I do my best to sort it out HERE. -- Alex Gelhar

The Saints traded Brandin Cooks to the Patriots.

This move is a big one for fantasy and impacts several players. You should really read my thoughts on it HERE. -- AG

Terrelle Pryor signed a one-year deal to join the Washington Redskins.

Pryor, a converted quarterback, enjoyed a breakout season as a wide receiver with the Browns in 2016 catching passes from Robert Griffin III and Cody Kessler. So naturally, a move to catching passes from Kirk Cousins is a good one for his fantasy value. I explain why in more detail HERE. -- AG

Martellus Bennett, Packers make a perfect fantasy match

Some things are just perfect together. Peanut butter and chocolate. Tacos and beer. Bacon and anything. Now you can add Martellus Bennett and the Green Bay Packers offense. Fresh off a Super Bowl championship, Bennett leaves the warm embrace of a Tom Brady-led attack and joins forces with the NFL's other quarterbacking superhero in Aaron Rodgers. Marcas Grant is excited about what this means for fantasy managers. He explains further HERE. -- MG

Alshon Jeffery signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.

One of the major dominoes of the fantasy free agent pool has finally fallen, with Jeffery joining Torrey Smith to reform Carson Wentz's pass-catching arsenal in Philadelphia. The big question now is how the targets will shake out between Jeffery, Smith, Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz. Alex Gelhar dives into this in more detail HERE. -- AG

Pierre Garçon strikes gold with the 49ers

Washington receivers continue to scatter to the winds. First DeSean Jackson heads south, now it's Pierre Garçon heading west. The veteran receiver joins a 49ers offense that is short on certainty but long on target opportunities. Marcas Grant wrote more about it HERE. -- MG

DeSean Jackson is expected to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

This is a great move both for the Buccaneers and fantasy players. Mike Evans was pummeled with 173 targets last year and struggled to find any sort of reliable No. 2 option to complement him. Jackson will fill that role perfectly, offering Jameis Winston both a field-stretching deep threat and after-the-catch dynamo. Marcas Grant has more on the fantasy impact of the move HERE. -- AG

Brandon Marshall signed with the New York Giants.

Marshall joins a theoretical contender and gives the Giants a scary looking wide receiver trio with Odell Beckham Jr and Sterling Shepard. I wrote more about the fantasy impact of this signing HERE.  -- AG

Mid-tier signings


Jared Cook is joining the Raiders vaunted offense.

Cook finally played with a great quarterback last year, and clearly didn't want to go back to how he started his career. Signing with Oakland is great both for the team and fantasy owners. Cook would figure to lead the Raiders tight ends in targets, but any hope for a TE1-level season would need to factor in an increased amount of targets going that way. Over the last two seasons, Derek Carr has only thrown 14 percent and 13 percent of his passes to tight ends, respectively. Cook looks like a nice best ball pick in Oakland and a high-end TE2, unless the volume shifts a bit more heavily toward his position. -- AG

Adam Thielen re-signs with the Vikings

This was a smart move for both parties. Thielen is a homegrown talent (undrafted out of Minnesota State Mankato) who had a true breakout season in 2016, leading the team with 967 yards. Thielen will be a nice sleeper candidate this year to take in the later rounds. -- AG

Rex Burkhead joins a crowded Patriots backfield

The man who was arguably the best free agent running back available is no longer available. Former Bengals back Rex Burkhead has signed with the team, adding another pass-catching runner to a unit that already has Dion Lewis and James White. Lewis has struggled with injuries in his brief NFL career, having played more than nine games just once in his four professional seasons. White is a nice reserve option for New England, but the Patriots have never shown an inclination to use him as more than a stopgap. It's likely that one or both of those players won't be back in Foxboro next season -- especially since both will be free agents after next season. In the meantime, Burkhead seems like a perfect fit for the offense after a strong finish to 2016. He'll be a popular pick in plenty of leagues ... even more so in PPR formats. -- MG

Kendall Wright has signed a one-year "prove it" deal with the Chicago Bears

It seemed as if Wright was almost being phased out of the Titans offense in 2016, so a fresh start could serve him well. His best role might be in the slot, but the Bears could move him outside (where he played more in years past) with multiple slot receivers (Cameron Meredith, Eddie Royal) still on the roster. Wright's value figures to be minimal for now.

Mike Glennon will be joining the Bears on a three-year deal

This isn't huge news, as Glennon played OK at best as a backup in his time with the Buccaneers. He's the odds-on starter for Week 1, seeing as the team released Jay Cutler and Connor Shaw is the only other rostered QB. Glennon's current offensive weapons are comprised of Jordan Howard (great!), Kevin White (he'll do something eventually, right?), Cameron Meredith (OK), Eddie Royal (um), Markus Wheaton (double um), Dion Sims (oh), and Zach Miller (wait, that's it?!?). The Bears could make more moves still (in free agency or the draft), but right now it's hard to envision a fantasy ceiling for Glennon worth chasing. -- AG

Kenny Britt is expected to sign with the Cleveland Browns.

This is a good signing for the Browns. Britt's name might bring back bad memories for some, but he appears to be in the process of turning his career around. He posted over 1,000 yards and five touchdowns last year catching passes from Case Keenum and Jared Goff, so Cleveland might honestly offer him a quarterback upgrade. This does raise questions about whether Terrelle Pryor comes back or not, but Britt will have sleeper appeal in fantasy next fall. Let's hope the Browns continue to add good pieces like Britt to Hue Jackson's offense. -- AG

Kenny Stills re-signed with the Miami Dolphins.

While it would have been fun to see the steadily improving Stills spread his wings with a new team, staying with Miami makes a lot of sense for him. Head coach Adam Gase was an outspoken Stills fan immediately after taking the job, and succeeded in moving Stills all over the field -- a marked change from the first few years of Stills' career. Stills has yet to notch a 1,000-yard season, and that might be hard to achieve in 2017 with the crowded corps of pass-catchers in Miami that includes Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, and recent acquisition Julius Thomas. Stills staying in Florida certainly throws a wet blanket on the "DeVante Parker breakout season" hype that was inevitably going to intensify. Stills and Parker both have the look of volatile WR3s at this point in the year.  -- AG

Robert Woods signs with the Rams

Welcome home, Robert Woods. The former USC standout returns to the site of his college glory by signing with his hometown Rams. The move does wonders for Woods' financials (the deal is reportedly for five years and $39 million), but will scuttle his already tenuous fantasy value. After spending the past two seasons working with Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo, Woods will now see targets from Jared Goff who was, um ... ungood during his rookie campaign in Los Angeles. There are high hopes that head coach and offensive wunderkind Sean McVay can turn this unit around in 2017, but unless the quarterback play takes a huge step forward, Woods -- and the rest of the Rams receiving corps -- will be fantasy persona non grata. -- MG

Ted Ginn Jr. signs with the Saints

Goodbye, Brandin Cooks. Hello, Ted Ginn. The Saints appear to have replaced one speedster with a speedier one. Ginn comes over from division rival Carolina where he spent three of the past four seasons and has arguably been the team's best receiver in each of the last two. Through it all, Ginn's speed has been tempered by his inconsistent hands which have probably prevented him from yet posting a 1,000-yard season in his career. With Michael Thomas and Willie Snead still taking up residence in the Crescent City, it doesn't seem very likely in 2017 either. But as a bona fide deep threat for a pass-happy team playing indoors, another year as a big touchdown producer doesn't seem ridiculous. -- MG

Torrey Smith agrees to join the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is a much better fantasy fit than had Smith returned to Baltimore, as had been rumored. The Eagles desperately needed an outside receiver capable of stretching the field and actually catching the ball. Smith will give them that in spades, freeing up space for Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz to work the middle of the field. Smith seemed poised for a mid-career resurgence a la Michael Crabtree, but that quest was foiled by the offense in San Francisco last year. Perhaps 2017 is the Torrey Smith bounce-back we've been waiting for? As of right now, he feels like a nice WR3-4 in fantasy with tons of upside if Carson Wentz can improve as a passer in Year 2 and keep those pesky throwing mechanics problems at bay.  -- AG

Danny Woodhead is signing with the Baltimore Ravens

Woodhead, reportedly fully recovered from his ACL tear last year, lands in a great spot for fantasy purposes. The Ravens targeted backs on over 23 percent of their pass attempts last year, and just lost Kyle Juszczyk and his 49 targets to the 49ers in free agency. Woodhead will join Terrance West and Kenneth Dixon in a semi-crowded backfield. West and Dixon will likely duke it out for "lead back" duties while Woodhead fills in as the pass-catcher and chance-of-pace specialist. He might be the most attractive fantasy option of the bunch to be honest, considering what his draft price tag will likely be.  -- AG

The Colts re-signed tight end Jack Doyle ... and then traded Dwayne Allen to the Patriots.

This has a bit of a domino effect on the tight end pool. The talented, but oft-injured Allen now becomes a No. 2 tight end behind Rob Gronkowski and has standalone value but is best viewed as Gronk insurance to be called quickly off of the waiver wire in 10-team leagues. Players in larger leagues can view Allen as a nice TE2 given his red-zone prowess (has converted 44.8 percent of his red-zone targets into TDs since 2012, third-highest percentage in that span). Doyle will be a trendy sleeper at the position unless the team drafts a tight end or Erik Swoope emerges to form the other half of the TE committee that has plagued Indianapolis since 2012. Meanwhile, Martellus Bennett is free to sign elsewhere, so expect to see his name added to this report soon.  -- AG

Other notes


Brian Quick heads to Washington

After five seasons with the Rams, Quick is heading north east and taking his talents to the Kirk Cousins-led Washington offense. It's worth noting that Quick (6-foot-3) and earlier free agent acquisition Terrelle Pryor (6-foot-4) are significant size upgrades over DeSean Jackson (5-foot-10) and Pierre Garcon (6-foot). -- AG.

Bears sign Mark Sanchez to backup Mike Glennon

Sanchez gives them a capable, veteran presence behind Glennon. If Glennon struggles, the leash could be relatively short with a quarterback like Sanchez waiting. Neither should be considered inspiring for fantasy outside of DFS, though. -- AG

After five seasons with the Rams, Quick is heading north east and taking his talents to the Kirk Cousins-led Washington offense. It's worth noting that Quick (6-foot-3) and earlier free agent acquisition Terrelle Pryor (6-foot-4) are significant size upgrades over DeSean Jackson (5-foot-10) and Pierre Garcon (6-foot). -- AG.

Kamar Aiken adds depth to Colts WR corps

The Colts wide receiver depth came into question last year when Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett battled injuries. Aiken will be a great rotational player, and could push for work in three-receiver sets. At worst, he adds a solid presence in the red zone to help mitigate the departure of Dwayne Allen. -- AG

Shaun Draughn further clouds Giants backfield

Draughn now joins Paul Perkins, Shane Vereen, Orleans Darkwa and George Winn to form one of the most frustrating, mysterious, and uninspiring fantasy backfields in the NFL. -- AG

Benny Cunningham joins Bears on a one-year deal

Cunningham is a depth add and nothing more. He'll likely be buried on the depth chart. -- AG

Josh McCown signs with the Jets

The McCown NFL tour makes yet another stop. This is good news for the pass catchers in Florham Park, though, as there's at least a capable quarterback under center for now. The team would have been heading into 2017 with Christian Hackenberg, Bryce Petty, or a rookie under center otherwise. With Brandon Marshall now with the Giants, the top wide receivers for the Jets are Eric Decker (recovering from offseason shoulder and hip surgery) and Quincy Enunwa (a definite sleeper candidate). -- AG

Three teams sign their backup QB, two others sign RBs

The Cowboys re-signed Kellen Moore, the Raiders nabbed EJ Manuel, and the Giants picked up Geno Smith, completing a trio of backup quarterback signings. Meanwhile, the Steelers added Knile Davis as another level of Le'Veon Bell injury insurance and the Chargers grabbed Kenjon Barner to provide depth behind Melvin Gordon. -- AG

Andre Holmes signs with the Buffalo Bills

The former Raider is moving north, landing in what currently looks like a spot to thrive opposite Sammy Watkins. Holmes became an afterthought in Oakland after the team drafted Amari Cooper and signed Michael Crabtree, but in 2014 put together a solid statistical season: 47 receptions, 693 yards, four touchdowns. Look for the Bills to add another receiver in the draft or free agency. -- AG

Darren McFadden re-signs with the Cowboys

McFadden made the right move here, staying with the offense that helped semi-revitalize his career. He'll be the top handcuff option to Ezekiel Elliott, for fantasy players who employ that strategy. -- AG

Lance Dunbar signs with the Rams

Dunbar is a depth add for the Rams whose primary ability is as a pass-catching running back. Todd Gurley improved that aspect of his game last year and figures to still lead the backfield in targets, but Dunbar will spell him at times. He won't have much fantasy value unless Gurley suffers some sort of injury. -- AG

Steelers add deep threat in signing Justin Hunter

The Steelers have signed a deal with former Titans, Bills and Dolphins receiver Justin Hunter, adding a deep threat to a group missing one in the wake of Martavis Bryant's suspension in 2016. The move could also be seen as potential insurance in the event that Bryant is not reinstated for the 2017 season. Hunter teased fantasy managers with his potential after flashing for 498 yards and three touchdowns in Tennessee during the 2014 campaign. In the two seasons since, Hunter has posted a combined 453 yards. However his four touchdowns with Buffalo last year made a small splash. Whether he can turn that into anything more in Pittsburgh is a gamble probably not worth more than a later-round draft pick. -- MG

Cordarrelle Patterson is joining #RaiderNation.

The return ace and one-time fantasy draft darling seeks a fresh start with the Raiders. Patterson said he wanted to have his next home promise him a role in the offense, so we guess that was part of the Raiders' pitch. Patterson will boost the Raiders D/ST value thanks to his return prowess, but targets should still funnel through Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree on offense.

Russell Shepard jumps ship to the Panthers

After having the best season of his four-year career in 2016, Russell Shepard has signed a three-year contract with the Carolina Panthers. Shepard has spent his entire professional career with the division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers and last year had 23 catches, 341 yards and two touchdowns -- all career-bests. Where he fits in the Panthers plans remains to be seen after Carolina signed former Vikings receiver Charles Johnson. Expect a camp battle for snaps and targets in Carolina.-- MG

Colts re-sign Robert Turbin

The Colts, in desperate need of adding running back depth as Father Time continues to close in on Frank Gore, re-signed Robert Turbin to a two-year deal. Turbin has spent his entire five-year NFL career as a backup, including last season in Indianapolis where he posted just 343 scrimmage yards but scored eight total touchdowns (seven rushing). Apart from being a touchdown vulture and thorn in the side of anyone with Gore on their fantasy roster, there's not much about this signing to get anyone excited.-- MG

Nick Foles lands back in the Eagles nest

After two seasons roaming the NFL countryside, Nick Foles returns to Philadelphia where his professional career began. It's also the site of his greatest NFL glory, namely the 2013 season when he threw 27 touchdown passes to just two interceptions. But in the time since his departure from Philly, things have changed. Carson Wentz is the entrenched starter so Foles will have to settle for a backup role. Unless injury befalls Wentz, Foles won't be on anyone's fantasy radar. -- MG

Philly Brown signed with the Buffalo Bills

Brown replaces the departed Robert Woods in a currently depleted wide receiving corps. Expect the Bills to make another move to bring in more bodies until they find a suitable player to work opposite Sammy Watkins.

Lance Kendricks signed with the Green Bay Packers

The Packers clearly sought to add speed at the tight end position this offseason, making Kendricks the second tight end they've acquired. Richard Rodgers likely falls by the wayside in the passing game as a result, but Kendricks' arrival shouldn't hurt Martellus Bennett's fantasy stock too much.

Charles Johnson and Russell Shepard signed with the Carolina Panthers.

These are intriguing moves. Few players have had as many think pieces written about their potential than Johnson, while Shepard flashed for brief moments in the No. 2 wide receive role last year with the Buccaneers. With Ted Ginn out of the picture, they'll battle Devin Funchess, and Brenton Bersin for looks behind Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen. Unless either gains a clear lead, they'll have minimal fantasy value. -- AG

Terrance Williams re-signed with the Cowboys on a four-year deal.

This is a good football move, but doesn't carry much weight in fantasy. There really aren't enough targets to go around for Williams to be a weekly threat in fantasy, with Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Cole Beasley and Ezekiel Elliott taking precedence over Williams. -- AG

Bears add WR depth with Markus Wheaton signing

The Bears are rebuilding their receiving corps after losing Alshon Jeffery to the Eagles earlier in the week. No one honestly believes Markus Wheaton is anything close to the final answer, but he's ... well, he's a guy who has caught passes in the past. The Oregon State product never blossomed into the No. 2 receiver he was projected to be in Pittsburgh, finding himself surpassed by Martavis Bryant and losing playing time to Darrius Heyward-Bey. Injuries didn't help, either. Now Wheaton joins another offense where he has a chance to compete to be the team's No. 2 receiver (where have we heard this before? *thinking face emoji*). The difference is that he'll have a quarterback far less productive than Ben Roethlisberger slinging the rock. This isn't the fantasy receiver you're looking for. -- MG

The Browns vastly improved their offensive line by extending Joel Bitonio and adding Kevin Zeitler and JC Tretter

This is great news for Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson, who figure to come at a discount in fantasy next year. Crowell played better than many realize and should be on early fantasy sleeper watch lists. This is also great news for whatever quarterback ends up under center for the Browns in Week 1. Whether it's Brock Osweiler, a rookie, or someone else, at least they should have good enough protection to stop the position from resembling the Spinal Tap drummers.

The Bengals re-signed Brandon LaFell.

This is a fine move. LaFell played well enough last year, especially after A.J. Green went down with his hamstring injury. Don't be surprised if the team adds another pass-catcher in free agency or early in the draft.  -- AG

Jacquizz Rodgers re-signs with Bucs

With Doug Martin facing a suspension and looking like he's played his last down with the Buccaneers, the team re-signed Jacquizz Rodgers to a two-year deal. The diminutive back filled in nicely late last season when Martin and Charles Sims were dealing with injuries. He's likely to be part of a committee next season -- whether it's with Sims or a rookie that the team drafts remains to be seen -- but if Rodgers can continue his level of play from last year, he'll have some flex appeal in plenty of leagues. -- MG

Brian Hoyer signs a two-year deal with the 49ers.

Hello, quarterback stopgap! Goodbye, Kirk Cousins to 49ers rumors ... for now. Hoyer will be a fine band-aid for Kyle Shanahan as he constructs the 49ers in his image. He'll also help keep the offense's fantasy viability afloat in the early portions of the season unless the team finds a rookie who is capable of beating him out by Week 1 ... or acquires Cousins. Stay tuned.  -- AG

Vernon Davis re-signs with the Washington Redskins.

Davis put together a nice season in Washington last year, primarily when he was filling in while Jordan Reed was injured. This pairing makes sense, but Davis won't have real value unless Reed suffers yet another injury.  -- AG

The Bills are keeping Tyrod Taylor on a restructured contract.

Taylor wasn't a true free agent, but he was a huge domino waiting in the wings. The Bills keeping him is a smart move for their team and good news in fantasy football. He'll remain a late-round value and will keep Sammy Watkins' value afloat as well.  -- AG

Fullbacks are on the move!

The Bills have signed Patrick DiMarco and Mike Tolbert, while the 49ers got the best of the bunch in former Raven Kyle Juszczyk. While Juszczyk's contract might draw jokes, he's a versatile player who could have some deep league value in Kyle Shanahan's offense. Let's not forget, Juszczyk compiled 78 receptions over the last two seasons.   -- AG