With the start of free agency just weeks away (March 9th), we at FanTav thought it would be fun to rank the best potential fantasy starters going into next year (which are of course unrestricted free agents). Now some of these guys will likely re-sign contracts with their respected teams before they hit the market; whereas, some players not listed in this segment will be released by their teams due to their cap hit or reduced value (RG III and possible Kaepernick?). Regardless, as of today, these are the best fantasy value players that are technically not on a team for 2016.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: Fitzmagic was really supposed to be insurance this last season as a high end backup, but after Geno Smith failed to reimburse a teammate for a plane ticket, the Harvard man stepped in and played well. Fitzpatrick is coming off of a career year and should be retained by the Jets, but how much can the Jets afford to give the man with the giant hipster beard?
HB1 Doug Martin: As the second best runner in the league last year (as far as rushing yards), The Muscle Hamster’s agent thinks that Dougie’s combined favorable age and skills will result in him hitting the free agency “jackpot” this offseason. Will the Bucs shell out the big bucks or will Dougie end up on the Texans, Titans, Giants, or Browns next season?
HB2 Matt Forte: Forte has been hands down one of the most versatile backs in his career as both a threat running the ball and catching it out of the backfield. However, due to the fact he’s pushing his 30’s, Forte’s value likely take a small hit as an elite runner. I expect him to join a Super Bowl contender and split carries as the lead back. He’d fit well in Indianapolis, Seattle, or Green Bay.
WR1 Alshon Jeffrey: There’s a 99% chance the Bears franchise tag Jeffrey considering they just traded Brandon Marshall away last season, lack much depth at WR, and recognize that Jeffrey is among the most talented young WRs in the game. He technically is on the list, but shouldn’t be going anywhere.
WR2 Travis Benjamin: The Cleveland Brown doesn’t have much of a track record of success as far as multiple seasons of success, but he produced some monster fantasy performances on a terrible team last season. He’ll likely cash in either with Cleveland or somewhere desperate for a WR due to a dismal WR market.
TE Antonio Gates: Gates intended on retiring last season, but the terrible play by the Chargers left him with a bad taste in his mouth. This offseason the legendary pass catcher has three options: does he retire, finish his career with the Chargers, or try to sneak onto a contender as an exclusive redzone threat?
FLEX Lamar Miller: The Dolphins have expressed interest in retaining Miller, but as all fantasy owners know they failed to give him the feature back number of touches last season that he deserved. Because of this, both parties need to decide what’s the best fit. The Dolphins likely won’t want to give Miller a huge contract and the solid running back could be tempted to go elsewhere.