Quite possibly the best thing about Fantasy Football is that there’s no true season. Yeah, of course the 16/17 weeks where you’re playing head to head matches is the real meat and potatoes of it all, but there is always something happening in the NFL that hardcore fantasy players (or writers looking for offseason articles) can hear about. Yes, we’re so far away from even preseason games that I cry a little just thinking about it. In addition to learning more about the players entering the draft I’ll be talking about this year’s top free agents by position and where they might land.
First though we need to take a look at what teams are in the market for a QB and what type they’re looking for. Teams in need of a starting caliber QB include the Buccaneers, Jets, Texans, Bills, and Rams. It’s also important to note that there are teams that desperately need a backup in case of things like a sophomore slump, nagging injury, or mentor role. These teams include the Cardinals, who might enter the regular season with 10 QBs on the active roster, just to be safe. The 49ers, Raiders, Cowboys, and Browns should be in the market for capable backups. Even the Jets, Chargers, Seahawks, Vikings and Titans could add some depth at the position to have some QB2 battles in camp and the preseason. Now on to the free agent arm candy…get it? because they throw the, nevermind…
1. Mark Sanchez- Being the top QB in a free agency class usually means you’re a solid player. This year things seem a little less than rosy. Sanchez had a rough go of things after taking over the Eagles offense in place of an injured Nick Foles, though Jordan Matthews owners appreciated the extra targets. The lowlight came when after facing the Seahawks in week 14 Michael Bennett referred to Sanchez as,”trying to impersonate a good quarterback.” Nevertheless there is a market for the guy and if he doesn’t return to the Eagles he could find himself with a familiar face. Yeah that’s right, I think Mark Sanchez could end up in Buffalo with Rex Ryan. Now I’m not saying this is a great move, but it’s one of only a few truly open QB jobs in the league today. We all know Sanchez wants to be a starter in the league and this might be his best bet. I think Cleveland might also work and even the Rams are a possibility, but if Sanchez moves, it’s most likely going to be back to the AFC East.
2. Brian Hoyer- Let’s go back a little over a year ago. the Browns had just moved an under producing Trent Richardson to the Colts. At that moment things seemed more dismal than usual for the Browns, which is saying something. Then in steps hometown kid Brian Hoyer, another Brady backup in a new city looking to take the reigns of a team. Watching Hoyer play in those few games was truly entertaining. The QB had a sharp zip on his passes and the Browns aerial attack was looking formidable with Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon *sigh*. Now Hoyer, the guy who has twice breathed life into the Browns offense is on the open market. Hoyer is a guy who can take care of business on the field for about three years while you’re hopefully grooming a young player. This means he could land with the Bills, the Titans, or stay in Cleveland. Mike Pettine seems unwilling to put any faith in a Johnny Manziel era starting next season so Cleveland would be wise to lock up the QB with a 2 year deal. However, reports are that the Browns and Hoyer are, “drifting apart” from one another. I think Tennessee makes sense because if they nab Hoyer they can dangle that #2 pick out in front of Chip Kelly’s face and watch the Eagles trade away two number one picks and the better part of a draft class for Mariota. Hoyer would have a good shot at getting the starting gig and I would begin figuring out how to hype Justin Hunter yet again.
3. Jake Locker- Speaking of the Titans we have their former 1st round pick to talk about. Locker might possess the best impressive to frustrating talent combo of any QB in fantasy football. He was once the rookie who stepped in for an injured Matt Hasselbeck and looked like he was going to run the Titans for years. Now…not so much. In fact, Locker might not find a big market for his talents. If Hoyer is a guy who can run a team for up to three years Locker might be the guy for an 8-10 game stretch before getting benched after falling off. Remember when I said the cardinals need another backup or 7? Well I think this would be a prime deal for both sides. If the Cards can ink Locker to a 1 year deal He’ll get to work with offensive guru Bruce Arians and maybe the Cradinals would have a legitimate plan for the inevitable Carson Palmer retirement. I know Drew Stanton did a fine job taking over in relief of Palmer last year but if the Cardinals want to ball out in the NFC West they need to plan as if Palmer isn’t going to be on the team this year, so in two years when he actually isn’t they are not feeling queasy. This move makes wonderful football sense so it only has about a 3% chance of actually happening.
4. Ryan Mallett- The second Brady backup on this list. Man, someday I hope there’s a free agent class of Hoyer, Mallett, and Cassell. Acquired by the Texans in a trade last year to more or less give Bill O’Brien a familiar face. Mallett looked, well, I don’t know, serviceable in his playing time. Early reports are that he’s getting the Texans starting gig so it looks like he’s staying away from the possibility of being tackled by JJ Watt which would definitely be my move if I was a QB. I’d be the backup practice squad QB for the Texans over suiting up as a starter for the Jags and you know my reason? There’s literally no way JJ Watt can sack me if I’m on his team. Mallett will probably end up with a 2 or 3 year deal with a good portion of the money up front this year so if the move to Tom Savage is made in a season or two it’ll be an easy cap break for Houston.
5. Josh McCown- The free man among all of the, “pending free agents,” McCown who was released by Tampa Bay is taking meetings with many teams. McCown is taking more meetings than movie stars take talk show appearances. McCown is talking meetings like he’s trying to see which jersey perfectly matches his eye color. McCown is taking meetings like he has a bunch of frequent flyer miles that are going to expire. I tweeted about it yesterday but the only reason we’re hearing so much about him is that due to him being released, McCown is available to meet with teams now while the other free agents must wait until March 10th. Specifically 4 P.M. on March 10th. The past two years have told us just about all we need to know about McCown. He can’t start for your squad, but he’ll be a good backup who can assist a younger player. So far McCown has sat down with Buffalo, the Jets, and the Bears where he has a familiarity with both John Fox and Adam Gase dating back to Carolina and Detroit respectively. McCown would be a solid candidate to land with the Jets. He’ll most likely ride behind Geno Smith and if Geno keeps doing what he does McCown will be a starter for Gang Green in no time. It opens up the Jets draft so they won’t be thrown into full on panic mode if the top two QBs are gone by #6. This, just like the Locker move makes so much sense it has to happen, so it won’t. We can put the percentage of my Locker AND McCown predictions both happening somewhere around winning the lottery right as a bolt of lightning hits you.