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Mastermind Moment
by FF Mastermind's Michael Nazarek

Free Agency 2017: 12 Moves in 12 Days
Saturday, March 25th, 2017


Free agency got off to another big bang this year due to the two-day non-tampering "negotiating" period where some deals were "informally" announced. Many big player moves and a few trades have happened, so after 12 days, there is plenty to analyze from a fantasy perspective. Let's hit the top 12 moves/trades and see where it leads us in 2017...

1) New England Acquires WR Brandin Cooks and TE Dwayne Allen allowing TE Martellus Bennett to Leave via Free Agency.

It's quite obvious that the rich get richer. As much as I hate to admit it, the Patriots just can't seem to do anything wrong. Coming off two Super Bowl wins in three years, QB Tom Brady just got that much more dangerous with the addition of Cooks and Allen. Brady may be approaching 40 years old this August, but these moves lock him in as a top three fantasy QB, if not the #1 guy. As for Cooks and Allen, Cooks should remain a serious threat to score in any given week, but the presence of a healthy TE Rob Gronkowski likely limits his upside a bit. Still, I don't see him losing much value. As for Allen, if his health holds up, he could come close to the seven scores Bennett produced in 2016. That is a fairly big IF, though. The Patriots also added RB Rex Burkhead, as he'll compete with RB James White and RB Dion Lewis for playing time, and free-agent RB LeGarrette Blount could still be re-signed. Don't think it won't happen. Blount has never wandered far from HC Bill Belichick, and it has gotten him two rings. Bottom Line: The Patriots are showing no signs of slowing down, making it that much tougher for the rest of the league, much less the AFC East, to catch them.

2) Tampa Bay Signs WR DeSean Jackson and allows WR Vincent Jackson to Leave via Free Agency.

Everyone knows WR Mike Evans is a top 5 fantasy WR STUD, but a health D-Jax on the opposite side to spread the field with his speed could push Evans into even higher company. Most of all, this helps QB Jameis Winston, as he enters his third season, since he could mature into a solid top 10 fantasy starter with the addition of Jackson. The presence of TE Cameron Brate, whom re-signed as an exclusive-rights free-agent, makes this pass-game one of the more potent ones in the league, that is, assuming this Jackson can stay healthy. I'm betting you will see plenty of fantasy owners who wait to grab their starting QB until the mid-rounds of their league draft won't hesitate to grab Winston. As for Jackson's fantasy prospects, if he develops quick chemistry with Winston and stays healthy, he still has the potential to be a top 30 fantasy WR easily.

3) The New York Giants Release WR Victor Cruz and Sign WR Brandon Marshall days after the Jets Release him.

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