With the offseason blues in full force, any bit of news can keep fantasy owners intrigued and help pass the time until their drafts for the upcoming season. This is especially the case with dynasty league football. It’s funny to see how fast owners will jump on the waiver wire to pick up the next stud player. Even better to see when owners pick up a player in late May because they read that a seventh-round wideout is impressive at organized team activities (OTAs). If you aren’t impressive in shorts playing against no defense I would worry.
This article is more focused on making moves to pick up veterans that can play a stop-gap role for your team should you need it so your young talent can develop and your team does not suffer. There are a few players out there that I believe are buy low veterans that can produce at a high rate.
Arizona, desperate for anyone to play quarterback and potentially slow down the carousel of horrid quarterbacks coming through the doors in the desert, made a trade with the Oakland Raiders to acquire an aging but still productive
Carson Palmer. Oakland sent Palmer and a seventh-round pick to Arizona for a sixth-round pick in the 2013 draft. Palmer arrives in Arizona at roughly the same age Kurt Warner was when he became a Cardinal. The same place where Warner was not always a No. 1 but where he did have some productive seasons and brought the Cardinals to their only Super Bowl appearance in the team history.
Palmer should not have an issue being the No. 1 guy as long as he can stay upright and healthy. With the cast of characters behind him, Palmer is a welcome addition and the first legitimate quarterback in Arizona since Warner. Palmer threw for more than 4,000 yards last season in Oakland with a wide receiving corps equally as bad as the Arizona quarterback depth chart. Coming into the situation with
Andre Roberts and a developing
Michael Floyd, his future looks foreseeably better.
Palmer’s arm might not be as strong as it once was, but having a potential breakout player like Rob Housler at tight end should give Palmer a chance to put up big numbers over the next few seasons. The offensive line is obviously a question mark for the Cardinals and the running situation is completely up in the air (Rashard Mendenhall,
Ryan Williams and two rookies). He should be available cheap in most leagues if he is not a free agent already. In my opinion, he can be a guy that could give you decent-to-good production especially if your quarterback situation is questionable or you are waiting on young guys to develop.
Chris Johnson is someone you may cringe at the thought of owning after he has constantly disappointed the past few seasons based on a high average draft position and a lackluster performance. He is by no means a bad running back, but he has not been the explosive running back he was a few years ago. It may be the “fat and happy” contract he got, the loss of
Vince Young, or many other things.
Johnson made headlines during free agency because he disagreed with the signing of Shonn Greene, but I think it will do nothing but help Johnson. Johnson was at his best as a lead back but with help. LenDale White was a huge help to Johnson early in his career (minus stealing a ton of touchdowns). After White left, Johnson had help from Young lining up in the shotgun as defenses were not sure how to attack Young and Johnson in the same backfield. Once White and Young were gone, Johnson shouldered the load by himself with no legitimate backfield help and a less-than-great offensive line. With the addition of Greene and Johnson’s less-than-big production the past few years, owners should be more than willing to take change on the dollar to move Johnson. I think now is the time to buy if the price is right.
Heyward-Bey has been behind the 8-ball since he came into the NFL. Drafted seventh overall by the Oakland Raiders, many viewed him as a reach at best and a talent that did not need to be taken in the top 10. Taken before others like Percy Harvin, Kenny Britt, Hakeem Nicks and Mike Wallace, Heyward-Bey had plenty of pressure on him from the start.
He started off his rookie season plagued by injuries in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp and never made a great connection, only catching nine balls his rookie year and never going for more than 950 yards in any season in Oakland. He was finally released after the 2012 season and signed with the Colts. He has been impressive thus far and
Andrew Luck has nothing but good things to say. He is on a one year prove-it deal, but I see a lot of upside.
The pressure is off him with
Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton having good years last season, and, if he can make a connection with Luck, he could be brought back after this season.
Reggie Wayne is in the twilight of his career and Heyward-Bey could have a bigger impact if he sticks with Indianapolis past this season. Luck’s receivers had more drops than any other unit in the league, and the more they work together the better they can be.
The recent signing of
Ahmad Bradshaw helps not only the run game but is a huge boost in the passing game as Bradshaw is great at the passing game as both a blocker and a receiver. I see receiver as the position that is added and dropped the most in the leagues I have. If you don’t have promise or you haven’t performed lately, you are not staying on a roster long. He was a free agent in my leagues, and if he is rostered he shouldn’t cost much.