Kevin P. Casey / Associated Press
Seahawks wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh has averaged better than 90 receptions in the last three seasons.


NFL.com's Michael Fabiano breaks down offseason player movement and examines the fantasy implications.

Quarterbacks

Team Player Analysis

St. Louis Rams

Kyle Boller
Boller, a former first-round pick, signed with the Rams and will be the favorite to serve as Marc Bulger's immediate backup. Bulger has been prone to injuries during his career, and his inconsistent play in recent seasons could open the door for Boller to start at some point in the 2009 season. But overall, Boller will warrant no attention on Draft Day. In fact, neither Bulger nor Boller will be taken in smaller leagues.


Team Player Analysis

Kansas City Chiefs

Matt Cassel
Cassel's value increased as a result of the trade that sent him to the Chiefs, but he still has much to prove before he'll be considered a surefire No. 1 fantasy quarterback. While he should benefit from the offense of coach Todd Haley, the talent around him won't be what it was in New England. Look for Cassel to be drafted in the middle rounds as a borderline fantasy starter in most standard leagues.


Team Player Analysis

Chicago Bears

Jay Cutler
Cutler's move to Chicago will hurt his value in drafts. Not only does he move out of the quarterback-friendly AFC West, but Cutler now has far fewer weapons in his new passing attack. What's more, the Bears have a tremendous running game with Matt Forte and won't abandon that aspect of the offense. He's still a No. 1 fantasy quarterback across the board, but Cutler is no longer an elite option at the position.


Team Player Analysis

Minnesota Vikings

Brett Favre
After months of speculation, Favre came out of retirement (again) and signed with the Vikings. The move eliminated the quarterback battle between Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson, as Favre becomes the surefire starter. The veteran gunslinger can still be a useful fantasy option, but he's more of a reserve or matchup-based starter in most formats. Consider Favre in the middle to late rounds.


Team Player Analysis

Buffalo Bills

Ryan Fitzpatrick
Fitzpatrick saw extensive action for the Bengals last season in the absence of Carson Palmer, but he made a minimal impact in fantasy circles. Now with the Bills, his time on the field should be minimal as the backup to Trent Edwards. The move means the team has moved on from J.P. Losman, so Edwards has no competition for the top spot on the depth chart. Fitzpatrick, a Harvard graduate, has no draft value.


Team Player Analysis

Houston Texans

Rex Grossman
Grossman signed with the Texans in June and will serve in a reserve role behind incumbant starter Matt Schaub. Outside of a short stretch in 2006, Grossman has never had much value in fantasy circles. That seems likely to remain the same in Houston, unless he can beat out Dan Orlovsky for the second spot on the depth chart and Schaub sustains a long-term ailment. Overall, Grossman has no draft value.


Team Player Analysis

Dallas Cowboys

Jon Kitna
The Cowboys acquired Kitna in a deal with the Lions to replace Brad Johnson as the No. 2 quarterback behind Tony Romo. Kitna was added for his experience and is a solid backup for Dallas, but his fantasy stock becomes null and void as a result of the trade. Of course, the veteran signal-caller would be a hot name on the waiver wire if Romo were to sustain a long-term ailment during the season.


Team Player Analysis

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Byron Leftwich
Once a viable fantasy option with the Jaguars, Leftwich's value has fallen in recent seasons with the Falcons and Steelers. He sees a small spike in value with the Buccaneers, as he's won the training camp battle with Luke McCown and will open the season as the team's No. 1 quarterback. Still, Leftwich's stock remains limited even in a prominent role. In fact, he won't be selected in most fantasy drafts.


Team Player Analysis

Houston Texans

Dan Orlovsky
Orlovsky signed a three-year deal with the Texans and will battle Rex Grossman to be the team's No. 2 quarterback behind Matt Schaub. The UConn product did show flashes of potential when allowed a chance to start in Detroit, but his draft value is slim behind Schaub. Of course, Schaub's proneness to injuries means Orlovsky could be a viable waiver-wire option in larger formats if he wins the backup role.


Team Player Analysis

Denver Broncos

Kyle Orton
Orton was dealt to the Broncos in the monumental Jay Cutler deal and becomes the instant favorite to start for coach Josh McDaniels. The veteran quarterback will see an instant rise in value in McDaniels' pass-laden offense, making him a much more attractive No. 2 fantasy option. Orton, who put up good numbers at times in 2008, will also be a nice matchup-based starter in most fantasy leagues as well.


Team Player Analysis

Cincinnati Bengals

J.T. O'Sullivan
O'Sullivan, who actually had some fantasy value with San Francisco last season in the offense of Mike Martz, will now serve as the top backup for Carson Palmer. A true journeyman, O'Sullivan joins the seventh team in his nine NFL seasons. Unless Palmer is injured or has a setback in his comeback from elbow problems, O'Sullivan will have no value either in fantasy drafts or during the season.


Team Player Analysis

Tennessee Titans

Patrick Ramsey
Ramsey, a journeyman quarterback who has played with three different teams since the 2006 season, signed with the Titans and will compete for a backup role. With Kerry Collins and Vince Young ahead of him on the depth chart, however, Ramsey would be hard pressed to be more than the third man at the position for coach Jeff Fisher. The Tulane product will warrant no consideration in fantasy drafts.


Team Player Analysis

Minnesota Vikings

Sage Rosenfels
The Vikings acquired Rosenfels for a fourth-round draft pick in a deal with the Houston Texans. The veteran was the favorite to open the season as the team's new starter, that is until the Vikings signed Brett Favre. That move made Rosenfels all but undraftable. Unless Favre sustains some sort of injury, Rosenfels will have no fantasy appeal in 2009.


Team Player Analysis

Denver Broncos

Chris Simms
Simms signed a two-year contract with the Broncos and will compete with Kyle Orton for the top spot on the depth chart after the trade of Jay Cutler. Orton is considered the clear-cut favorite to open the season as the starter for coach Josh McDaniels, however, so Simms would need a tremendous preseason to push him for the role. If Simms opens as a reserve, he will have no value in 2009 fantasy drafts.


Team Player Analysis

Philadelphia Eagles

Michael Vick
Vick signed with the Eagles during training camp and is slated to become the top backup for Donovan McNabb. Once a viable fantasy starter, Vick will have little value this season unless McNabb suffers a long-term ailment. Even then, there are no guarantees from a player who hasn't seen an NFL field since 2006. At best, he'll be worth a late-round flier in larger leagues or a possible McNabb handcuff.


Running backs

Team Player Analysis

Denver Broncos

Correll Buckhalter
Buckhalter, who will turn 31 during the 2009 season, will compete for the top spot on the Broncos depth chart in training camp. However, he seems like a longshot to win the role after the addition of standout rookie Knowshon Moreno in the NFL Draft. He could turn out to be a viable handcuff for Moreno (if he holds off LaMont Jordan) and is worth a late-round pick, but Buckhalter won't make a huge impact.


Team Player Analysis

Seattle Seahawks

Edgerrin James
James, 31, joins his third NFL team and will be part of an imminent backfield committee in Seattle. With Julius Jones and Justin Forsett in the mix, Edge will have a hard time making much of an impact for fantasy owners. In fact, he'll be worth little more than a middle- to late-round pick in the majority of fantasy leagues. While he was once a first-round stud, Edge's best seasons are clearly all but over.


Team Player Analysis

Denver Broncos

LaMont Jordan
Jordan, who will turn 31 during the regular season, signed with the Broncos and will compete for carries in what is a crowded backfield. However, his chance to earn a prominent role took a hit when the team drafted rookie Knowshon Moreno, who is seen as the favorite to start. That scenario would make Jordan more of a handcuff if he can hold off Buckhalter in training camp. He has little draft value.


Team Player Analysis

Detroit Lions

Maurice Morris
Morris, who spent the first seven seasons of his NFL career as a change-of-pace back in Seattle, will now serve in a similar role with the Lions. Kevin Smith will continue to see most of the carries and remains a viable No. 2 fantasy back, but he won't see a true featured role with Morris in the mix. The Oregon product is worth a late-round flier in larger leagues as a handcuff for owners who draft Smith.


Team Player Analysis

New England Patriots

Fred Taylor
The Patriots see Taylor as a lesser version of Corey Dillon, in that he's at the end of his career but can still help their ground attack. He joins a crowded backfield with Sammy Morris, Laurence Maroney and Kevin Faulk also in the mix for 2009. A committee situation appears to be imminent, so don't look for Taylor to make much of a fantasy impact with his new team. At best, he'll be worth a late-round selection.


Team Player Analysis

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Derrick Ward
Ward will be the favorite to start for the Buccaneers, but he won't be a featured back. In fact, fantasy leaguers can expect a sort of "Thunder and Lightning south" scenario that sees Ward on the field on early downs and Earnest Graham in action in short-yardage and goal-line situations. Cadillac Williams is also in the mix, so Ward should be seen as no more than a potential flex starter in 2009.


Wide receivers

Team Player Analysis

Cincinnati Bengals

Laveranues Coles
Soon after losing T.J. Houshmandzadeh to the Seahawks, the Bengals filled the void with Coles. He enters a good situation with Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco entrenched in the pass attack, but it's hard to expect enormous numbers. In fact, Coles has just one 1,000-yard season since 2004. He could have more value in PPR leagues, but Coles should be seen as a No. 3 fantasy wideout.


Team Player Analysis

Kansas City Chiefs

Bobby Engram
Engram, a veteran wideout from Penn State, will move into the slot position in what has a chance to be a very productive Chiefs offense in 2009. Barring injuries, Engram could post 50-plus receptions as a security blanket of sorts for Matt Cassel. However, his value in drafts will be limited with Dwayne Bowe and Mark Bradley in the mix. Overall, Engram will be worth a late-round flier.


Team Player Analysis

Denver Broncos

Jabar Gaffney
The Broncos added Gaffney, who is already familiar with the offense of coach Josh McDaniels, with a four-year, $10 million deal. The veteran did have some decent stat lines while a member of the Patriots, but he was anything but consistent. With Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal ahead of him on the depth chart, not to mention Brandon Stokley still in the mix, Gaffney will have little chance to make a fantasy impact.


Team Player Analysis

New England Patriots

Joey Galloway
Galloway, once considered an elite fantasy wide receiver, signed with the Patriots and will look to resurrect his career under coach Bill Belichick. Despite his extended age, Galloway still has the speed to stretch defenses and could turn into another weapon for Tom Brady in 2009. However, he'll need to beat out Greg Lewis and avoid injuries to earn the spot. Even then, Galloway will have little draft value.


Team Player Analysis

Jacksonville Jaguars

Torry Holt
Holt, a former fantasy superstar during his time with the Rams, is now the top option in the Jaguars pass attack. He is coming off his worst season since 1999 (his rookie season), however, and there's little chance that Holt will re-emerge into an elite option. The veteran should be seen as no more than a borderline No. 3 or 4 fantasy wide receiver, so don't consider him until the middle to late rounds.


Team Player Analysis

Seattle Seahawks

T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Houshmandzadeh will take over as the top wide receiver for the Seahawks, who now have a reliable and consistent option in their passing attack. He's averaged 98 catches over the last three seasons and gives Matt Hasselbeck a tremendous target. He won't put up huge numbers in what will be a run-based offense, but Houshmandzadeh should remain a high-end, middle-round No. 2 fantasy wideout.


Team Player Analysis

Detroit Lions

Bryant Johnson
Johnson, who failed to make much of a fantasy impact in either Arizona or San Francisco, lands in Detroit with a chance to start opposite Calvin Johnson. The Penn State product has been prone to injury and has never lived up to his first-round status, so there's no reason to believe he'll be more relevant in fantasy with his new team. Johnson is worth no more than a late-round flier in larger leagues.


Team Player Analysis

New England Patriots

Greg Lewis
Lewis, acquired in a trade with the Eagles, will compete with Joey Galloway to replace another former Eagle, Jabar Gaffney. The veteran has hauled in just 56 passes over the last three seasons, but he could be in line for a greater role as the potential No. 3 receiver behind Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Still, it's hard to envision a scenario where Lewis would become a consistent source of fantasy points.


Team Player Analysis

Detroit Lions

Dennis Northcutt
The Lions added Northcutt, a veteran out of Arizona, in an offseason trade with Jacksonville. He'll compete with either Ronald Curry or Bryant Johnson for the slot position coming out of training camp. Northcutt did make a solid fantasy impact at the end of last season, but he's virtually undraftable now. Unless injuries occur, don't expect Northcutt to see enough time to make an impact in 2009.


Team Player Analysis

Buffalo Bills

Terrell Owens
The Bills shocked the fantasy world by signing Owens, who loses some of his luster as a result of the move. The superstar wideout has little chance to duplicate the sort of numbers he had with the Cowboys, and at 35 he's clearly heading toward the downside of his career. Considered an elite fantasy receiver in 2008 drafts, Owens is now little more than a No. 2 option in most standard scoring formats.


Team Player Analysis

Tennessee Titans

Nate Washington
A speedster with the skills to stretch defenses in the vertical passing attack, Washington will likely join Justin Gage as the Titans' starting wide receivers. He recorded a career-high 40 catches last season and will have added value in a more prominent role in Tennessee, but Washington isn't about become a fantasy superstar in an offense that's based on the run. He'll be worth a late-round selection.


Tight ends

Team Player Analysis

New England Patriots

Chris Baker
Baker, who hauled in just 21 passes last season after posting 41 receptions in 2007, has rarely been a useable option in fantasy football leagues. That's not likely to change on a Patriots team that doesn't utilize tight ends prominently in the pass attack. The veteran will share duties with Benjamin Watson and Michael Matthews, and none of the trio will warrant serious consideration in fantasy drafts.


Team Player Analysis

Atlanta Falcons

Tony Gonzalez
Gonzalez was the top-scoring tight end in fantasy football last season, posting 1,058 yards and 10 touchdowns. He'll remain a productive player with the Falcons, but he has little chance to duplicate his 2008 totals. Gonzalez, a future Hall of Famer, should still be seen as a top-five option and a surefire fantasy starter at his position. He'll warrant a middle-round selection in both standard and PPR formats.


Team Player Analysis

Cleveland Browns

Robert Royal
Royal signed a new contract with the Browns and is the current favorite to replace Kellen Winslow as the team's No. 1 tight end. Of course, he's not even close to being on the same level as Winslow either on the field or in fantasy football. He'll catch around 30 passes and finish with 250-350 yards, but Royal's level of production won't be nearly enough to warrant serious consideration in drafts.


Team Player Analysis

Baltimore Ravens

L.J. Smith
Smith, once a viable No. 1 fantasy tight end, will have virtually no value this season with the Ravens. The veteran will share duties at the position with Todd Heap, who also loses value as a result of the move. In a run-based offense, Smith won't see enough targets in the pass attack to make a consistent impact with his new team. In fact, the Rutgers product now warrants minimal value in fantasy drafts.


Team Player Analysis

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kellen Winslow
The Buccaneers added a valuable weapon in Winslow, who will be the second option in their new-look passing attack behind Antonio Bryant. Winslow did suffer through an injury-plagued season in 2008, but there's little question about his talent and potential to post monster fantasy numbers. While injuries are a concern, Winslow will see a lot of targets in the new offense and is a surefire fantasy starter.


Kickers

Team Player Analysis

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mike Nugent
The Buccaneers added Nugent, who missed most of last season due to injuries as a member of the Jets but will be back at 100 percent for 2009. The veteran unseated incumbent starter Matt Bryant on the depth chart and will open this season as the Buccaneers' top kicker. Nugent does have a strong leg, but he should be seen as no more than a No. 2 fantasy option at best.


NFL News
CONTENT
15