2013 NFL Free Agency: Beanie Wells and the Top Remaining Available Free Agents
Most of the big names have signed, but here are a few guys who have not signed but could still have an impact in 2013:
1. Fred Davis, TE, WAS – Will either re-sign with Washington or go home to Cleveland. Always shows potential to be a valuable receiver when healthy, but has never started 16 games in a season. Consider him a backup tight end for fantasy purposes.
2. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG – This is a tough one. Bradshaw has been productive when healthy, but he’s clearly not right, and foot problems are of course that much worse for a running back. There have not been any solid rumors – he may have to work out for teams and prove he’s healthy for training camp before he signs. For Fantasy, he could still be a reasonable RB3 if he lands somewhere with a starting job.
3. Beanie Wells, RB, ARZ – He actually had a nice 2011 for 14 games, but has otherwise been an injured bust over four seasons. He was especially awful with 2.7 yards-per-carry over eight games last season, but the Cardinals were such a mess that a change of scenery could help. Pittsburgh is rumored to have shown interest. Wells could be someone to target as a last-pick roll-of-the-dice, or an early-season free agency pickup if he makes it through the preseason unscathed and in line for carries.
4. Brandon Lloyd, WR, NE – Lloyd had a decent season for the Pats last year, but isn’t getting any younger. He’s not expected to find many suitors, and most experts expect him to wind up back in New England. If that’s the case, he could see increased receptions with Wes Welker gone and his replacement, Danny Amendola, a health question. Lloyd will remain a WR3/Flex option in fantasy leagues, with WR2 potential as he would be NE’s most durable receiver by attrition.
5. Felix Jones, RB, DAL – Jones never panned out as a feature back in Dallas, eventually losing the starting job to DeMarco Murray. He has shown glimpses of potential each of the last four years, but has been unable to string together a solid season as a feature back. Expect him to wind up as a backup – you can draft him late as a handcuff if your league is deep enough.
6. Michael Turner, RB, ATL – My, how the mighty have fallen! All those carries finally took their toll on Turner last season, and the Falcons have brought in Steven Jackson to replace him. Perhaps a change of scenery will get him the opportunity to show that he isn’t done, but the track record for running backs with over 1600 career carries who are on the wrong side of 30 is not good. Avoid him on draft day, though perhaps he can wind up in a role where he can vulture some touchdowns.
7. Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, OAK – Remember when the Raiders wasted the No. 7 overall pick with him? He’s now free agency fodder. He still has some speed to burn, so he could ascend to low-end WR2 or, more likely, a WR3 position, in the right system. The Patriots are a rumored destination, and could actually be a good fit…
8. LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB, ARZ – Arizona continues cleaning house after low-balling Stephens-Howling. His touches have decreased each of his last four seasons, and he didn’t even return kickoffs full-time last year. Avoid.
9. Kevin Walter, WR, HOU – A career possession receiver, he’s acceptable as a bye-week fill-in and little else at this stage. Also rumored to be a potential Patriot, which would increase his value from “acceptable” fill-in to “decent” fill-in.
10. Jason Campbell, QB, CHI – The “best” QB still on the market. He could wind up starting someplace like New York (Jets), Cleveland, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, or Arizona, or take a good-money deal as a backup. If he starts, and where, he could have some value – but it really will depend on his landing spot. He’s a low-end QB2 at best anyway.
11. Peyton Hillis, RB, KC – Rumors have him visiting Green Bay and St. Louis. His 2010 has been confirmed a fluke, but if he winds up with the Packers he could conceivably get carries just because they have no one else to give it to.
12. Cedric Benson, RB, GB – Yeah, we’re really scraping the bottom of the fantasy barrel here. At least he paid off his parking tickets.