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Published: March 14, 2017 at 11:13 a.m.
Updated: March 22, 2017 at 07:35 p.m.

2017 NFL free agency: Fantasy football winners and losers

The NFL's free agency frenzy has seen a number of big-name wide receivers change teams, but the impact has been far less significant at both the quarterback and running back positions (at least to this point). With that being said, here's the early fantasy football winners and losers of the 2017 NFL free-agent period.

13 Photos Total

  • The Raiders have a solid offensive attack under talented quarterback Derek Carr, but that doesn't mean Cook will (finally) emerge into a No. 1 tight end for fantasy fans. What's more, I feel like Cook would have been better off staying with the Green Bay Packers. Now in Oakland, he's an upgrade over Clive Walford but won't be worth more than a late-round flier. Remember, Cook has never lived up to his fantasy potential. 13

    Ryan Kang/Associated Press

    Loser: Jared Cook, TE, Oakland Raiders

    The Raiders have a solid offensive attack under talented quarterback Derek Carr, but that doesn't mean Cook will (finally) emerge into a No. 1 tight end for fantasy fans. What's more, I feel like Cook would have been better off staying with the Green Bay Packers. Now in Oakland, he's an upgrade over Clive Walford but won't be worth more than a late-round flier. Remember, Cook has never lived up to his fantasy potential.

  • Murray scored 12 touchdowns behind one of the best rushing offenses (Oakland) in the NFL last season, but he still didn't crack the top 10 in fantasy points among runners. Now with the Vikings, he'll be running behind a line that added Reilly Reiff and Mike Remmers but was still dead last in the NFL in rushing offense a year ago. Fantasy fans should also expect to see Jerick McKinnon involved, so Murray doesn't win here. 12

    Matt Patterson/Associated Press

    Loser: Latavius Murray, RB, Minnesota Vikings

    Murray scored 12 touchdowns behind one of the best rushing offenses (Oakland) in the NFL last season, but he still didn't crack the top 10 in fantasy points among runners. Now with the Vikings, he'll be running behind a line that added Reilly Reiff and Mike Remmers but was still dead last in the NFL in rushing offense a year ago. Fantasy fans should also expect to see Jerick McKinnon involved, so Murray doesn't win here.

  • While it's true that the Patriots have Dion Lewis and James White already in house, Burkhead is still a winner in fantasy land. Why? Well, Lewis has been prone to injuries and White is better used in a situational role. Also keep in mind that New England paid Burkhead $3.5 million, which makes him the team's highest-paid runner since Fred Taylor (2010). Unlike seasons past in Cincinnati, Burkhead will be drafted in 2017. 11

    Paul Jasienski/Associated Press

    Winner: Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots

    While it's true that the Patriots have Dion Lewis and James White already in house, Burkhead is still a winner in fantasy land. Why? Well, Lewis has been prone to injuries and White is better used in a situational role. Also keep in mind that New England paid Burkhead $3.5 million, which makes him the team's highest-paid runner since Fred Taylor (2010). Unlike seasons past in Cincinnati, Burkhead will be drafted in 2017.

  • Lacy landing in Seattle might be good news for the Seahawks offense as a whole, but it's not ideal in fantasy circles. While the one-time superstar will be in a system that leans on the run, you can't forget the presence of both Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise in the backfield. Unless injuries occur, I don't see a scenario where Lacy can be drafted as more than a borderline No. 2 or 3 running back in standard leagues. 10

    Greg Trott

    Loser: Eddie Lacy, RB Seattle Seahawks

    Lacy landing in Seattle might be good news for the Seahawks offense as a whole, but it's not ideal in fantasy circles. While the one-time superstar will be in a system that leans on the run, you can't forget the presence of both Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise in the backfield. Unless injuries occur, I don't see a scenario where Lacy can be drafted as more than a borderline No. 2 or 3 running back in standard leagues.

  • Pryor put up 1,007 yards and 136.4 fantasy points (WR18) in what was a breakout 2016 season. Now, he projects to be the No. 1 wideout for a Redskins team that will throw the football often behind quarterback Kirk Cousins. That sounds like a win to me. Also keep in mind that Pryor signed a one-year deal, so he's going to be motivated to improve in order to secure a bigger contract in the future. Pryor will have No. 2 wideout value. 9

    David Richard/Associated Press

    Winner: Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington Redskins

    Pryor put up 1,007 yards and 136.4 fantasy points (WR18) in what was a breakout 2016 season. Now, he projects to be the No. 1 wideout for a Redskins team that will throw the football often behind quarterback Kirk Cousins. That sounds like a win to me. Also keep in mind that Pryor signed a one-year deal, so he's going to be motivated to improve in order to secure a bigger contract in the future. Pryor will have No. 2 wideout value.

  • Wait, how can Cooks be a loser? He's going to the Patriots and Tom Brady! All right, I get the appeal, but this is a lateral move at best. He's averaged just 8.9 fantasy points with four touchdowns in 10 career outdoor games, compared to 11.3 points and 13 scores inside a dome. Cook is also on a team with Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Dwayne Allen, Dion Lewis and James White. Those are a lot of mouths for Brady to feed. 8

    Jim Mahoney/Associated Press

    Loser: Brandin Cooks, WR, New England Patriots

    Wait, how can Cooks be a loser? He's going to the Patriots and Tom Brady! All right, I get the appeal, but this is a lateral move at best. He's averaged just 8.9 fantasy points with four touchdowns in 10 career outdoor games, compared to 11.3 points and 13 scores inside a dome. Cook is also on a team with Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Dwayne Allen, Dion Lewis and James White. Those are a lot of mouths for Brady to feed.

  • You might think that Marshall lost going to a team with Odell Beckham Jr., because he no chance to re-emerge into a No. 1 fantasy wideout (like he was in 2015). But think of it like this ... would you rather he remain with the Jets? Marshall's best seasons are in the rearview mirror, but he heads to a Giants offense that ran three-plus wideout sets more than any team in the NFL last season. I do think his arrival hurts Sterling Shepard. 7

    Evan Pinkus/Associated Press

    Winner: Brandon Marshall, WR, New York Giants

    You might think that Marshall lost going to a team with Odell Beckham Jr., because he no chance to re-emerge into a No. 1 fantasy wideout (like he was in 2015). But think of it like this ... would you rather he remain with the Jets? Marshall's best seasons are in the rearview mirror, but he heads to a Giants offense that ran three-plus wideout sets more than any team in the NFL last season. I do think his arrival hurts Sterling Shepard.

  • Jeffery has the tools to be an elite fantasy wideout, but going to Philadelphia isn't going to allow him to take that next step to stardom. The Eagles also added Torrey Smith to an offense that already has incumbents in Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz in the pass attack, so Jeffery is no lock to hit 140-plus targets in an offense whose leader in that category last season was Matthews (116). Jeffery is a fine No. 2 wideout, but that's it. 6

    Scott Boehm/Associated Press

    Loser: Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

    Jeffery has the tools to be an elite fantasy wideout, but going to Philadelphia isn't going to allow him to take that next step to stardom. The Eagles also added Torrey Smith to an offense that already has incumbents in Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz in the pass attack, so Jeffery is no lock to hit 140-plus targets in an offense whose leader in that category last season was Matthews (116). Jeffery is a fine No. 2 wideout, but that's it.

  • I have Jackson listed as a winner because he's going to an offense that has lacked what he can bring ... a vertical threat who can take it to the house whenever he touches the football. Jackson will also have the advantage of playing alongside a blossoming stud in Mike Evans. On the flip side, I don't see him putting up much greater numbers than he had last season. Look for 1,000-1,100 yards and around five to seven touchdowns. 5

    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Winner: DeSean Jackson, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    I have Jackson listed as a winner because he's going to an offense that has lacked what he can bring ... a vertical threat who can take it to the house whenever he touches the football. Jackson will also have the advantage of playing alongside a blossoming stud in Mike Evans. On the flip side, I don't see him putting up much greater numbers than he had last season. Look for 1,000-1,100 yards and around five to seven touchdowns.

  • Britt finished 26th in fantasy points among wideouts last season, which was quite an accomplishment when you consider his quarterbacks (Case Keenum, Jared Goff). Now in Cleveland, he's in the same situation when it comes to his signal-callers (Brock Osweiler, maybe?) but he's no lock to be the No. 1 option with Corey Coleman also in the mix. I'd be surprised if Britt were any better a fantasy option next season than he was in 2016. 4

    John Cordes/Associated Press

    Loser: Kenny Britt, WR, Cleveland Browns

    Britt finished 26th in fantasy points among wideouts last season, which was quite an accomplishment when you consider his quarterbacks (Case Keenum, Jared Goff). Now in Cleveland, he's in the same situation when it comes to his signal-callers (Brock Osweiler, maybe?) but he's no lock to be the No. 1 option with Corey Coleman also in the mix. I'd be surprised if Britt were any better a fantasy option next season than he was in 2016.

  • This was a win for Bennett and the tight end position as a whole. He doesn't lose anything at the quarterback position going from Brady to Aaron Rodgers, and he'll step into an offense that threw the football around 65 percent of the time last season. Bennett is also tied for seventh among tight ends in red-zone targets (39) since 2014, which is an important fantasy stat. Look for Bennett to be drafted as a mid-to-low No. 1 tight end. 3

    Damian Strohmeyer/Associated Press

    Winner: Martellus Bennett, TE, Green Bay Packers

    This was a win for Bennett and the tight end position as a whole. He doesn't lose anything at the quarterback position going from Brady to Aaron Rodgers, and he'll step into an offense that threw the football around 65 percent of the time last season. Bennett is also tied for seventh among tight ends in red-zone targets (39) since 2014, which is an important fantasy stat. Look for Bennett to be drafted as a mid-to-low No. 1 tight end.

  • Garcon ranked 32nd in fantasy points among wideouts a season ago, but he did post 1,000 yards for just the second time in his career. The first time was back in 2013, when he also posted 113 catches in the offense of coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Now the head man in San Francisco, Shanahan's presence should be a real positive for Garcon. With increased targets a virtual guarantee, Garcon should be a top-30 fantasy wideout in 2017. 2

    Damian Strohmeyer/Associated Press

    Winner: Pierre Garcon, WR, San Francisco 49ers

    Garcon ranked 32nd in fantasy points among wideouts a season ago, but he did post 1,000 yards for just the second time in his career. The first time was back in 2013, when he also posted 113 catches in the offense of coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Now the head man in San Francisco, Shanahan's presence should be a real positive for Garcon. With increased targets a virtual guarantee, Garcon should be a top-30 fantasy wideout in 2017.

  • Glennon might be considered a "winner" because he goes from being a backup in Tampa Bay to a starter in Chicago, but let's be honest ... no one is drafting him in standard leagues, and no one sees Kevin White or Cameron Meredith as better fantasy receivers because Glennon is under center. Heck, the Bears might still use one of their earlier draft picks on a quarterback. Oh, and don't forget the whole <a href="http://www.nfl.com/photoessays/0ap3000000791632/blank" target="_new">backup-to-starter trend</a>. 1

    Al Messerschmidt/Associated Press

    Loser: Mike Glennon, QB, Chicago Bears

    Glennon might be considered a "winner" because he goes from being a backup in Tampa Bay to a starter in Chicago, but let's be honest ... no one is drafting him in standard leagues, and no one sees Kevin White or Cameron Meredith as better fantasy receivers because Glennon is under center. Heck, the Bears might still use one of their earlier draft picks on a quarterback. Oh, and don't forget the whole backup-to-starter trend.

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