Free Agent Fallout: AFC North

April 1, 2018

 

 

Steelers

 

QB - Ben Roethlisberger

 

RB - Le'Veon Bell, James Conner

 

WR - Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Martavis Bryant

 

TE - Jesse James

 

No new arrivals in free agency to this Steelers team, and why should they. They have been phenomenal on the offensive side with Brown and Bell being constantly at the top of their position. As for the others in the offense it's very inconsistent, JuJu showed that he has good talent and route running ability but he wasn't as predictable with Brown in as he was with Brown sidelined with injury's. Also the TE position has been irrelevant since Heath Miller and will continue unless they draft a TE this year.

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Ravens

 

QB - Joe Flacco

 

RB - Alex Collins, Javorius Allen, Kenneth Dixon

 

WR - Michael Crabtree, John Brown

 

TE - Maxx Williams

 

 

John Brown - Hopefully this is a good addition for both sides. Brown has been struggling with the sickle cell trait for a few years and it has caused problems for him on and off the field. Brown’s player type fits well with Joe Flacco because he is a speedster and he has shown in the past to be a good route runner. Health permitted he should be a good addition and in fantasy a boom-bust player. Good player for Best Ball.

 

 

 

Michael Crabtree - This signing can be taken many different ways.The Positives to this signing is that he is now the unquestioned WR1 in this offense and should get a hefty target load this year. The negative with him is that he will have a definite downgrade at the QB position and the offense is very slow paced team. They rely on their defense and play a run based scheme which obviously doesn't help Crab. Not to mention their draft needs are on the offensive skill positions so he could be pushed this year as well.

 

Overall The Ravens have gotten better this free agency with both their acquisitions in the receiving corps. The are just very limited with what they have at the QB position. Flacco has been a mediocre QB at best over the last few years and only got paid because of his magical playoff run. Alex Collins looks to be taking over the running game and played very well for them as the chain mover and power back. He even showed some surprising pass catching ability during parts of last season. The other two backs, Dixon and Allen, both have the ability to become fantasy relevant and especially Dixon because of his pass catching ability combined with explosiveness. The TE Maxx Williams is a talented player from Minnesota but always was held back by injury and a crowded position group and he looks to have the position this year will the ability to surprise some people this coming year.

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Bengals

 

QB - Andy Dalton

 

RB -  Joe Mixon, Gio Bernard

 

WR - AJ Green, Brandon LaFell, John Ross

 

TE - Tyler Eifert,

 

Overall the Bengals underperformed last year. It was supposed to be their year because of their additions to the team. First round talent Joe Mixon, and their first round pick John Ross both had disappointing years. Starting off at WR AJ Green was a boom-bust player but still ended at a respectable WR 10. At times LaFell was startable in deeper formats but in general there wasn't a reliable 2nd WR for the Bengals. John Ross should be healthier this year with an opportunity to be that WR2 in the offense but he is still a late round flier in fantasy drafts. At the RB position I am fairly high on Joe Mixon this year. He has top 5 RB potential because of his pass catching ability. Only problem I see with him is his health because of the upright running style he has, if I draft Mixon I will be certain to draft Bernard as a very good backup to him. As for TE, Eifert is a massive man with grat pass catching ability, but is only as good as his health. When healthy he can be top 5 at the position but since that hasn't happened since 2015 so his value takes a hit.

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Browns

 

QB - Tyrod Taylor

 

RB- Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson

 

WR - Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, Corey Coleman

 

TE - David Njoku

 

 

Tyrod Taylor - This is the year. The year that the Browns offense comes up from the dead and they can actually compete with other teams. Tyrod is the perfect bridge QB for the Browns because of his versatile skill set as a passer and a runner. And he has the best receiving core that he has ever had and a great pass catching RB by the name of Duke Johnson. He has been a consistent low end QB 1/high end QB2 over the last few years with the Bills and i think he will continue that streak. He is not the type of QB to win you a championship, but he rarely turns the ball over and his running abilities create a high floor on a week to week basis. Watch out for Tyrod this year.

 

 

Carlos Hyde - Good NFL signing for the Browns, he gives them a more talented Isaiah Crowell and with a better team he will have more opportunities than Crowell did last year. But this situation compared to the situation he had in San francisco is way worse. He will lose a lot of receptions to Duke and that will make him a TD dependent player, which I do not like on my teams. Not even mentioning the fact that they might draft another RB for more competition in the backfield. Stock down in this move.

 

 

Jarvis Landry - Juice is a very good player, and will definitely help this offense next year. He also fits exactly what Tyrod does well which is the short and intermediate routes which should also help him this year. He should also still get upwards of 90 receptions making him still a PPR beast. I would expect him to regress back to about 4-5 TDs this year as opposed to 7 that he had last year because his target types and also the red zone weapons that are already on Cleveland team already. Expect a small downgrade this year, but a solid season nonetheless.
 

Overall the Browns are on the come-up. The new additions are exactly what they needed and with even more to come in the draft, they should be set to take a huge leap this year. Josh Gordon is looking in the best shape he has been in and is in my opinion a top 20 receiver because of his eminence upside in 50/50 plays and in the endzone. Duke Should take a step down this year because of Hydes role in this offense and also game script because of what looks to be a more competitive team who could have more leads than they have had before. The TE position is TBD on how fantasy relevant it will be. Njoku has TE 1 overall potential because of his athleticism, but he is very raw in the blocking game and as a receiver as a whole. Over the next few years he will be a force to be reckoned with as he grows and becomes more experienced at the position.

 

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Twitter - @ConorButts5

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