Fantasy Football

2015 Fantasy Football: The Best Free Agency Moves of the AFC

With most of the big name free agents off the board, we will be doing a four part piece on the best and worst moves made in this offseason’s free agency. We will start with the best moves made in the AFC.

QB Free Agent Signing
Thad Lewis, CLE

I didn’t want to go with the default pick of Brian Hoyer to the Texans because I believe Ryan Mallet will be the starting QB. They may have been better off just saving the money and keeping Tom Savage as a backup. Hoyer isn’t much better than Ryan Fitzpatrick.

So Lewis to Cleveland it is. I’ve been watching this kid for a few years now and watched him at Duke. I’ll go out on a limb right now and say although Lewis is signed to be a backup, he will give the Browns the best chance to win this season.

We have a very small sample size on Lewis, however, his numbers are not bad if you’re judging him as a rookie. Lewis has thrown 189 passes in his career while appearing in seven games. He has completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 1,092 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions. He also brings an ability to make plays with his legs.

Johnny Manziel is dealing with personal issues and was horrendous when he played. Josh McCown has had one good six game run in a decade and was at the reins of the worst offense in football last season. He could not produce with Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, now he has Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe. As of this moment, I honestly believe that Lewis gives the Browns the best chance to win and is making far less money.

RB Free Agent Signing
DeAngelo Williams, PIT

Williams is not a flashy signing at this point in his career, nevertheless, he’s just what the Steelers need. He’s not expected to carry the load like Frank Gore in Indy. He’s just there to fill a role the Steelers proved they were lacking in the 2014 Wild Card round. They need somebody to spell Le’Veon Bell on occasion and be a serviceable backup should he get injured. Bell is also expected to be suspended for two games this season and Williams is capable of filling in and being a starter for a few weeks.

Unlike LeGarrette Blount, Williams is a team guy that will understand his role. Pittsburgh will not have the same issues in 2015 that they had with Blount in 2014. Williams is merely a role player and that’s exactly what the Steelers need.

WR Free Agent Signing
Jeremy Maclin, KC

This one was easy. Maclin is coming off an 85 reception, 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns season. That’s ten more TDs than the entire Chiefs WRs corps. Regardless of if you believe it’s a waste to pay a WR if Alex Smith is your QB, surely a GM can’t think like that. Maclin fits perfectly in Andy Reid’s system. That’s probably why he drafted him. He can dominate on crossing routes and slant patterns. If you get him the ball in space, he can rack up the yards after catch. Maclin was the best WR available and KC scooped him up. Assuming his knee doesn’t implode, it’s hard not to love what Maclin brings to the table. He gives the Chiefs WR unit a great chance to catch a TD for the first time in a long tim. Huge upgrade from Bowe.

TE Free Agent Signing
Jordan Cameron, MIA

There is a lot not to like about Cameron. There is little question about his talent or playmaking ability, though. Nonetheless, the concussion issues are very troubling and Charles Clay is a better player than Cameron. With that said, the Bills gave Clay a ridiculous amount of money for a guy who has had one solid season and has struggled with lower body injuries. Bringing in Cameron saved the Dolphins a lot of money and still gives them an excellent receiving threat.

As long as Dion Sims can step up as the more traditional TE, particularly from the blocking front, Cameron should be a great fit in Miami. He can really stretch the seam. Ryan Tannehill can certainly use the weapon. This was a nice pickup for the Dolphins.

Defender/IDP Move
Ndamukong Suh, MIA

Suh slightly edges out Darrelle Revis for this honor. Suh has a bigger impact on the game since he’s an interior lineman and fills a bigger void in Miami. What I mean by that is the Jets also signed Antonio Cromartie, Buster Skrine and Marcus Gilchrist. They’ve also drafted Calvin Pryor, Dee Milliner and Dex McDougal with high draft picks the past few seasons. All these DBs, kind of seem like overkill. Especially when you are in dire need of a QB.

Suh should cause all types of mayhem in the middle of the Dolphins defense. He will have a major impact against both the pass and run. Miami immediately joins the conversation as a potential top NFL defense. Say what you want about the money but Suh was the best player on the market. You have to pay for quality in the NFL. It’s hard not to be happy about signing Suh.

Kenny Stills, MIA

Stills is not a great WR, however, this trade saved Miami a ton of money and they pretty much got an equal talent to replace Mike Wallace for six percent of the price. Both Stills and Wallace have very similar skill-sets and skill-level. The Dolphins were looking to move the contracts of Dannell Ellerbe and Mike Wallace thanks to the trade acquisition. Not only did Miami free up cap space, they aren’t any worse for doing so. Wallace needed to go and Stills’ presence made it possible to move him.

In the end, Stills is a young talent with a very high ceiling. Getting rid of Ellerbe’s contract alone was worth the third-round pick.

Devin McCourty, NE

Imagine if New England didn’t re-sign McCourty. They already lost Revis, Brandon Browner and Vince Wilfork off their defense. McCourty is a premier safety and the Patriots would have been crazy to let him walk. McCourty is a bright spot in an otherwise quiet free agency for New England. There is a reason Belichick chose him to build his secondary around.

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