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Published: March 14, 2016 at 04:41 p.m.
Updated: March 14, 2016 at 05:11 p.m.

Free agency fantasy winners and losers

The NFL's free agency frenzy has been one wild ride, as a number of big-name players have changed teams (and in many cases, fantasy values). There were also other moves around the league, including a major trade and the suspension of a talented wide receiver, that have occurred during the free-agent period. Here's a look at the biggest fantasy winners and losers from the last week.

20 Photos Total

  • Miller, who was under-utilized during much of his time with the Miami Dolphins, landed in a tremendous spot after signing a four-year, $26 million deal with the Texans. The talented runner out of Miami (FL) should fit right in as the featured back in the absence of Arian Foster, who thrived in Houston's run-based offense. Miller is now in the RB1 conversation as a surefire first- or second-round selection in drafts. 20

    Al Messerschmidt/Associated Press

    Winner: Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans

    Miller, who was under-utilized during much of his time with the Miami Dolphins, landed in a tremendous spot after signing a four-year, $26 million deal with the Texans. The talented runner out of Miami (FL) should fit right in as the featured back in the absence of Arian Foster, who thrived in Houston's run-based offense. Miller is now in the RB1 conversation as a surefire first- or second-round selection in drafts.

  • Yeldon was poised to improve on his rookie campaign, at least until the Jaguars signed former New York Jet Chris Ivory to a five-year, $32.5 million contract. That's a lot of dough, right? While it might not guarantee that Ivory will be the team's new featured runner, it does mean that Yeldon is going to lose a lot of work to his new veteran teammate. This is going to be a backfield committee mess to avoid. 19

    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Loser: T.J. Yeldon, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Yeldon was poised to improve on his rookie campaign, at least until the Jaguars signed former New York Jet Chris Ivory to a five-year, $32.5 million contract. That's a lot of dough, right? While it might not guarantee that Ivory will be the team's new featured runner, it does mean that Yeldon is going to lose a lot of work to his new veteran teammate. This is going to be a backfield committee mess to avoid.

  • Martin finished third in fantasy points among running backs last season, rushing for 1,402 yards while scoring seven total touchdowns. So when the Boise State product agreed to a five-year, $35.75 million deal to remain with the Buccaneers, well, it was a win for fantasy owners. I do have some concerns over Martin's lack of consistent production in 2015, but he's still a lock top-20 overall pick for 2016. 18

    David Drapkin/Associated Press

    Winner: Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Martin finished third in fantasy points among running backs last season, rushing for 1,402 yards while scoring seven total touchdowns. So when the Boise State product agreed to a five-year, $35.75 million deal to remain with the Buccaneers, well, it was a win for fantasy owners. I do have some concerns over Martin's lack of consistent production in 2015, but he's still a lock top-20 overall pick for 2016.

  • Ivory is coming off the best fantasy season of his career, posting 1,070 rushing yards with eight total touchdowns. That helped him rank eighth in fantasy points among running backs. Unfortunately, his move to Jacksonville all but wrecks his chances at duplicating those totals. With Yeldon also in the backfield mix, Ivory can't be seen as much more than a No. 3 or 4 fantasy running back heading into next season. 17

    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Loser: Chris Ivory, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Ivory is coming off the best fantasy season of his career, posting 1,070 rushing yards with eight total touchdowns. That helped him rank eighth in fantasy points among running backs. Unfortunately, his move to Jacksonville all but wrecks his chances at duplicating those totals. With Yeldon also in the backfield mix, Ivory can't be seen as much more than a No. 3 or 4 fantasy running back heading into next season.

  • Forte, one of the top running backs in fantasy football over the last eight seasons, agreed to a three-year, $12 million deal to replace Ivory in New York's backfield. The Jets told him that the team sees him "as an every-down back," which is music to the ears of fantasy fans. Even at the age of 30 and with Bilal Powell and Khiry Robinson in the mix, Forte still figures to be a top-30 overall pick with added value in PPR leagues. 16

    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Winner: Matt Forte, RB, New York Jets

    Forte, one of the top running backs in fantasy football over the last eight seasons, agreed to a three-year, $12 million deal to replace Ivory in New York's backfield. The Jets told him that the team sees him "as an every-down back," which is music to the ears of fantasy fans. Even at the age of 30 and with Bilal Powell and Khiry Robinson in the mix, Forte still figures to be a top-30 overall pick with added value in PPR leagues.

  • Ajayi's value was on the rise after the Dolphins lost Miller to the Texans, but why would the team then offer C.J. Anderson a huge contract (which Denver matched) if Ajayi was their true back of the future? For fantasy football purposes, it's a sign that the Dolphins don't view the Boise State product as a three-down runner. I'm expecting them to bring in major backfield competition in the months to come. Stay tuned... 15

    Bill Wippert/Associated Press

    Loser: Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins

    Ajayi's value was on the rise after the Dolphins lost Miller to the Texans, but why would the team then offer C.J. Anderson a huge contract (which Denver matched) if Ajayi was their true back of the future? For fantasy football purposes, it's a sign that the Dolphins don't view the Boise State product as a three-down runner. I'm expecting them to bring in major backfield competition in the months to come. Stay tuned...

  • This wasn't a free-agent move, but the deal that sent Murray to Tennessee is a <a href="http://www.nfl.com/fantasyfootball/story/0ap3000000642156/article/trade-to-titans-boosts-demarco-murrays-fantasy-value" target="_blank">win for fantasy owners</a>. No longer will Murray, the top fantasy runner in 2014, be stuck in a backfield committee (as he was with the Eagles). Instead, the Oklahoma product will move into a featured role for new coach Mike Mularkey. Look for Murray to be seen as a high-end No. 2 fantasy running back and a top-30 overall choice. 14

    Al Tielemans/Associated Press

    Winner: DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans

    This wasn't a free-agent move, but the deal that sent Murray to Tennessee is a win for fantasy owners. No longer will Murray, the top fantasy runner in 2014, be stuck in a backfield committee (as he was with the Eagles). Instead, the Oklahoma product will move into a featured role for new coach Mike Mularkey. Look for Murray to be seen as a high-end No. 2 fantasy running back and a top-30 overall choice.

  • First, the Broncos lost Peyton Manning to retirement. After that, Brock Osweiler left the team to sign a huge deal with the Texans. That leaves the team, as it stands, with Mark Sanchez as their starting quarterback. While reports of a potential trade for Colin Kaepernick remain a topic of conversation, the current unstable quarterback situation isn't good news for the value of either Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders. 13

    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    Loser: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos

    First, the Broncos lost Peyton Manning to retirement. After that, Brock Osweiler left the team to sign a huge deal with the Texans. That leaves the team, as it stands, with Mark Sanchez as their starting quarterback. While reports of a potential trade for Colin Kaepernick remain a topic of conversation, the current unstable quarterback situation isn't good news for the value of either Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders.

  • The trade that sent Murray to the Titans opens the door for Mathews to take over the lead-back duties in Philadelphia. While he failed to make a major fantasy impact in that role as a member of the San Diego Chargers, Mathews did average over five yards per attempt last season. Unless the Eagles deal him or add another impact runner, Mathews is now on the radar as a No. 2 fantasy running back for 2016. 12

    Chris Keane/Associated Press

    Winner: Ryan Mathews, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

    The trade that sent Murray to the Titans opens the door for Mathews to take over the lead-back duties in Philadelphia. While he failed to make a major fantasy impact in that role as a member of the San Diego Chargers, Mathews did average over five yards per attempt last season. Unless the Eagles deal him or add another impact runner, Mathews is now on the radar as a No. 2 fantasy running back for 2016.

  • Confused? After all, the Bears let Forte leave as a free agent. That opens the door for Langford to take over as the featured back, right? Well, news that the Bears made a bigger offer to Anderson (which he turned down) is a cause for concern. If the Bears offered Anderson $19 million over four years, does that show a lack of faith in Langford? This is a situation for fantasy fans to monitor in the weeks and months to come. 11

    Brian Blanco/Associated Press

    Loser: Jeremy Langford, RB, Chicago Bears

    Confused? After all, the Bears let Forte leave as a free agent. That opens the door for Langford to take over as the featured back, right? Well, news that the Bears made a bigger offer to Anderson (which he turned down) is a cause for concern. If the Bears offered Anderson $19 million over four years, does that show a lack of faith in Langford? This is a situation for fantasy fans to monitor in the weeks and months to come.

  • Yes, Gates is a little long in the tooth at the age of 36 ... but he still produced 630 yards and scored five touchdowns in 11 games last season. The fact that the Chargers lost Ladarius Green as a free agent also removes the one road block to Gates' potential production for next season. He's still on the radar as a No. 1 fantasy tight end at a position that suddenly has added depth heading into next season. 10

    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    Winner: Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers

    Yes, Gates is a little long in the tooth at the age of 36 ... but he still produced 630 yards and scored five touchdowns in 11 games last season. The fact that the Chargers lost Ladarius Green as a free agent also removes the one road block to Gates' potential production for next season. He's still on the radar as a No. 1 fantasy tight end at a position that suddenly has added depth heading into next season.

  • This has nothing to do with free agency or a trade, but news that Bryant is facing a minimum one-year suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy is <a href="http://www.nfl.com/fantasyfootball/story/0ap3000000643997/article/martavis-bryants-suspension-opens-fantasy-questions" target="_blank">massive news in fantasy land</a>. The talented but troubled wide receiver figured to take the next step on the road to fantasy stardom, but his absence hurts the position's depth ... not to mention the Steelers offense. Markus Wheaton needs to step up. 9

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    Loser: Martavis Bryant, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

    This has nothing to do with free agency or a trade, but news that Bryant is facing a minimum one-year suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy is massive news in fantasy land. The talented but troubled wide receiver figured to take the next step on the road to fantasy stardom, but his absence hurts the position's depth ... not to mention the Steelers offense. Markus Wheaton needs to step up.

  • Fleener is a perfect fit for the Saints offense, making him a potential No. 1 tight end for fantasy owners next season. A talented pass catcher, the Stanford product will take over as the starter in the absence of Benjamin Watson (Ravens) and now projects to see 90-plus targets from veteran quarterback Drew Brees. Remember, the Saints have fielded a top-10 fantasy tight end in each of the last five seasons. 8

    Mike McCarn/Associated Press

    Winner: Coby Fleener, TE, New Orleans Saints

    Fleener is a perfect fit for the Saints offense, making him a potential No. 1 tight end for fantasy owners next season. A talented pass catcher, the Stanford product will take over as the starter in the absence of Benjamin Watson (Ravens) and now projects to see 90-plus targets from veteran quarterback Drew Brees. Remember, the Saints have fielded a top-10 fantasy tight end in each of the last five seasons.

  • Dalton was on pace to be a top-10 fantasy quarterback last season before suffering a busted thumb, so the fact that he's lost both Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu to free agency is notable. The Bengals still have A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert in the mix, but who will fill in at wide receiver next season? Right now, you're looking at the likes of James Wright, Mario Alford, Brandon Tate and well, you get the point. 7

    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Loser: Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals

    Dalton was on pace to be a top-10 fantasy quarterback last season before suffering a busted thumb, so the fact that he's lost both Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu to free agency is notable. The Bengals still have A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert in the mix, but who will fill in at wide receiver next season? Right now, you're looking at the likes of James Wright, Mario Alford, Brandon Tate and well, you get the point.

  • Fantasy owners have been waiting for Green to step out of the shadow of Gates and become a No. 1 tight end for the last two seasons. It took awhile (and a move out of San Diego), but we got our wish when Green signed a four-year, $20 million deal with the Steelers. He's a potential breakout candidate across the board, and the loss of Bryant to suspension should mean even more targets next season. 6

    Greg Trott/Associated Press

    Winner: Ladarius Green, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Fantasy owners have been waiting for Green to step out of the shadow of Gates and become a No. 1 tight end for the last two seasons. It took awhile (and a move out of San Diego), but we got our wish when Green signed a four-year, $20 million deal with the Steelers. He's a potential breakout candidate across the board, and the loss of Bryant to suspension should mean even more targets next season.

  • The retirement of Calvin Johnson is a major blow to Stafford's fantasy appeal moving forward. While just a small sample size, he averaged fewer than 16 fantasy points in the three games Johnson missed in the last two seasons. Stafford, who put up nice numbers in the second half of the 2015 campaign, is now no more than a mid-tier to low-end No. 2 fantasy quarterback with a much lower ceiling without Megatron. 5

    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    Loser: Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions

    The retirement of Calvin Johnson is a major blow to Stafford's fantasy appeal moving forward. While just a small sample size, he averaged fewer than 16 fantasy points in the three games Johnson missed in the last two seasons. Stafford, who put up nice numbers in the second half of the 2015 campaign, is now no more than a mid-tier to low-end No. 2 fantasy quarterback with a much lower ceiling without Megatron.

  • Allen re-signed with the Colts on a four-year, $29 million deal and will be the unquestioned starter now that Fleener has bolted for New Orleans. While he has missed time due to injuries, Allen has proven to be a nice red-zone target and could score eight to 10 touchdowns next season. Under offensive coordinator and tight end guru Rob Chudzinski, Allen could flirt with TE1 numbers next season. 4

    Gary Wiepert/Associated Press

    Winner: Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis Colts

    Allen re-signed with the Colts on a four-year, $29 million deal and will be the unquestioned starter now that Fleener has bolted for New Orleans. While he has missed time due to injuries, Allen has proven to be a nice red-zone target and could score eight to 10 touchdowns next season. Under offensive coordinator and tight end guru Rob Chudzinski, Allen could flirt with TE1 numbers next season.

  • Watson is coming off a nice season in New Orleans, finishing with 825 yards, six touchdowns and eighth in fantasy points among tight ends. Unfortunately, his move to Baltimore on a two-year, $8 million deal makes him almost undraftable for 2016. The veteran joins young players like Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams at what is a crowded position and has no real shot to duplicate his 2015 success. 3

    David Goldman/Associated Press

    Loser: Benjamin Watson, TE, Baltimore Ravens

    Watson is coming off a nice season in New Orleans, finishing with 825 yards, six touchdowns and eighth in fantasy points among tight ends. Unfortunately, his move to Baltimore on a two-year, $8 million deal makes him almost undraftable for 2016. The veteran joins young players like Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams at what is a crowded position and has no real shot to duplicate his 2015 success.

  • Jones cashed in on a five-year, $40 million deal with the Lions and will look to help fill the void left after Megatron's retirement. While I still like Golden Tate more as a fantasy option, Jones figures to see a major increase in targets  in Jim Bob Cooter's aggressive, pass-heavy offense. He's going to be worth a middle- to late-round selection in fantasy leagues ... but he clearly won't be the next Calvin Johnson. 2

    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    Winner: Marvin Jones, WR, Detroit Lions

    Jones cashed in on a five-year, $40 million deal with the Lions and will look to help fill the void left after Megatron's retirement. While I still like Golden Tate more as a fantasy option, Jones figures to see a major increase in targets in Jim Bob Cooter's aggressive, pass-heavy offense. He's going to be worth a middle- to late-round selection in fantasy leagues ... but he clearly won't be the next Calvin Johnson.

  • When the Falcons released Roddy White, the fantasy buzz started to surround Hardy, a second-year wideout out of East Carolina. That buzz was silenced, at least somewhat, when the team added Sanu on a five-year, $32.5 million contract. While he dropped too many passes during his time in Cincinnati, Sanu is going to see more than his share of opportunities, lowering Hardy's ceiling as an NFL sophomore. 1

    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    Loser: Justin Hardy, WR, Atlanta Falcons

    When the Falcons released Roddy White, the fantasy buzz started to surround Hardy, a second-year wideout out of East Carolina. That buzz was silenced, at least somewhat, when the team added Sanu on a five-year, $32.5 million contract. While he dropped too many passes during his time in Cincinnati, Sanu is going to see more than his share of opportunities, lowering Hardy's ceiling as an NFL sophomore.