Adam Levitan

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Fallout: DeAngelo stays

Thursday, July 28, 2011


The dominoes are falling. Wednesday's free agency sweepstakes brought much stronger punches than Tuesday's moves as we saw major fantasy pieces change uniforms. More than 30 stories were worthy of Rotoworld headlines, including Panthers GM Marty Hurney pulling off another forehead-slapper:

* Note: All deals will not be official until Friday night

DEANGELO WILLIAMS RE-SIGNS WITH PANTHERS
DeAngelo Williams is 28 years old and has missed 13 games over the last two seasons due to injury. The Panthers have beastly Jonathan Stewart raring to go as a potential feature back, but have gaping holes all over the rest of the field. So what does Hurney do? How about hand Williams five-year, $43 million contract with $21 million guaranteed. Of course.

The fantasy impact is clear. Stewart, who would have been a borderline first-round pick without Williams, has his upside capped once again. In the six games that the two played together last season, Williams averaged 14.5 carries per game while Stewart saw just 8.5 totes. While that split should be closer this year, I will be reaching higher.

Meanwhile, Knowshon Moreno dodged a bullet. The Broncos will seek a cheaper complement, with Jason Snelling and Willis McGahee reportedly possibilities. Although Moreno's value has taken a hit over the last month, he's very relevant.

MATT HASSELBECK SIGNS WITH TITANS
This is big news for the entire Titans offense. Even though Hasselbeck is no longer anything more than average at age 35, he's a much better bet to move the ball than Jake Locker was. The box will be more open for Chris Johnson, Kenny Britt will benefit from the more accurate veteran and Jared Cook's arrow continues to point straight up. Johnson is certainly a candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick in all fantasy formats.

CHIEFS SNAG STEVE BREASTON FROM CARDINALS
The Chiefs are building quite the offense around Matt Cassel. They used their first-round pick on WR Jonathan Baldwin and now have Steve Breaston as a slot candidate. And as long as Breaston is healthy, we suspect he'll line up ahead of Baldwin in most two-wide sets. Breaston already knows Todd Haley's offense from their time together in Arizona and knee woes can be blamed for his late-season decline last year. We'll have to see how Breaston's ADP reacts to the scenery change before truly evaluating his value.

The addition of Breaston shouldn't hurt Dwayne Bowe too much, but it's just another reason to let someone overdraft last year's breakout stud. As I mentioned in the Draft Guide, Bowe's catch/TD rate is unsustainable.

As for Arizona, they didn't seem too worried about losing Breaston at all. Perhaps that's because they know something about Andre Roberts that the rest of the world doesn't. They've been talking up the 2010 third-round pick and he's already been projected as the starter opposite Larry Fitzgerald. With Kevin Kolb en route, Roberts qualifies as a sleeper. Oft-injured Early Doucet is also on the radar.

SIDNEY RICE FOLLOWS TARVARIS JACKSON TO SEATTLE
The Seahawks weren't willing to pay for a quarterback, but they forked over $41 million to land an elite receiver in Rice. They didn't even wait to bring him in for a Friday physical despite Rice's hip issues. It makes for a nightmare situation for Rice's fantasy prospects. We saw what Jackson could do in Minnesota and it wasn't pretty. Rice's arrow is way down.

SANTONIO HOLMES RE-SIGNS WITH JETS
Holmes' talent and impact on the game is undeniable. The question is if the Jets' run-first offense makes him a reliable fantasy player. The answer is unclear, but now that he's expected to be playing without Braylon Edwards, his targets figure to rise. The Jets will also likely loosen the leash on Mark Sanchez. At Holmes' current average draft position (ADP) of 53.6, there's upside.

QUICK SLANTS
Donte' Stallworth agreed to a one-year deal with the Redskins, where his quarterback will likely be John Beck. Yawn. ... Kyle Orton is tentatively expected to be traded to the Dolphins any minute now. Give Brandon Marshall a little boost. ... The Kevin Kolb trade to Arizona is going down. All Cardinals get a big bump, especially Larry Fitzgerald. ... The Saints re-signed slot man Lance Moore to a five-year deal. He's more important to the Saints than fantasy teams. ... Donovan McNabb was traded to the Vikings. The sad part is I'm not sure he's an upgrade on Christian Ponder. Still, McNabb's strong arm should keep defenses somewhat honest when they try to shut down Adrian Peterson.

STOCK WATCH
Three guys not mentioned above that have seen a bump in value over the last two days:

1. Dez Bryant: Roy Williams wasn't going to beat out Bryant for a starting gig, but it would have been a little fuzzy. Now that Williams is out, the mega-talented Bryant sees the No. 2 WR gig clearly and has a healthy Tony Romo coming back.

2. Ray Rice: In his first three seasons in the league, Rice has scored just 14 touchdowns in 45 games. That was largely due to the vulture presence of Willis McGahee. The Ravens still may add talent to the running back position, but Rice's goal-line opportunities figure to rise either way.

3. Tim Tebow: Despite a regime change, the Broncos are putting their eggs in Tebow's basket by moving on from Kyle Orton. And as I mentioned in the Draft Guide's Bold Predictions, Tebow has the tools to be a fantasy monster. In three starts last season, Tebow racked up 10.3 carries per game and three rushing touchdowns. The passing stats will be a bonus.



Adam Levitan is in his fifth season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
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