The 2021 free agent period is set to be one of the most exciting in history. Given that many big names are likely to change teams, we are sure to have a lot to analyze and discuss in the coming weeks. Until then, let’s take a trip back in time and look at some of the best free agent transfers based on the value of fantasy in the last 30 years.
The parameters are simple. Every player had to move from one NFL team to another, which is why he won’t see Warren Moon (CFL to NFL) or any undrafted free agents like James Robinson. The player also had to see an increase in the value of fantasy, at least on some level. For example, Jerry Rice moved to the Oakland Raiders in 2001 was a good move as a free agent, but he had been great in San Francisco, so he wouldn’t fit in.
So without further ado, here are my top 12 player moves in free agency since 1990.
1. Drew Brees (2006)
Brees played five seasons in San Diego early in his career, before signing with the Saints in 2006. That was one of the best moves in fantasy football history, as Brees went on to produce great totals while running the Saints offense. coach Sean Payton. . He threw more than 4,500 yards eight times, including four 5,000-yard drives, and produced 491 touchdown passes in 228 games.
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2. Priest Holmes (2001)
Holmes was primarily an afterthought in fantasy circles in his first four NFL seasons, as he rushed for more than 588 yards only once in that time with the Ravens. However, he moved to Kansas City in 2001, and his shares soared with coach Dick Vermeil. For the next three years, Holmes led all running backs in rushing yards, receiving yards, total touchdowns and overall fantasy points.
3. Michael Turner (2008)
Turner was trapped behind LaDainian Tomlinson during his first four seasons in San Diego, severely limiting his fantasy appeal. He then signed with the Falcons and thrived on the stat sheets early on, rushing for nearly 1,700 yards and 17 touchdowns while finishing fourth in fantasy points among running backs. He then rushed to score a combined 60 touchdowns in five seasons in Atlanta.
4. Peyton Manning (2012)
Manning was a superstar in Indianapolis, but saw his stock plummet when a neck injury caused him to miss the entire 2011 season. The Colts selected Andrew Luck, allowing Manning to move to Denver as a free agent. His action rose again for the Broncos, as he recorded 14,863 passing yards and 131 touchdown passes in his next 48 games and was in the top six quarterbacks three times.
5. Rich Gannon (1999)
Gannon had a nearly forgettable NFL career during his time in Minnesota, Washington and Kansas City, but moving to Oakland was a blessing. In his first four seasons with the Raiders, he averaged nearly 4,000 passing yards, 303 rushing yards and 29 total touchdowns. He finished no worse than third in points during that time, including one season (2002) in which he was the best fantasy quarterback.
6. Kurt Warner (2005)
Warner was a superstar during his time in St. Louis, but injuries became a problem in 2002, and he finally signed with the Giants for a forgettable season (2004). He then signed with the Cardinals the following year to endorse Matt Leinart, but took first place and reestablished himself as a fantasy asset. Warner also led the Cardinals to their only franchise appearance in a Super Bowl (XLIII).
7. Keenan McCardell (1996)
McCardell was selected by the Redskins, but began his playing career in Cleveland, where he only had one season with more than 234 yards. He then signed with Jacksonville, where he became a valuable fantasy asset. Over the next six seasons, McCardell had more than 70 receptions five times, more than 1,000 receiving yards four times, and formed a solid fantasy combination with Jimmy Smith.
8. Jay Novacek (1990)
Novacek had a good season with the Cardinals before signing with the Cowboys as a Plan B free agent. He continued to score more than 600 yards in each of his next four seasons, during which time he finished as a tight end in the top three. times, including a year in which it ranked first (1992). Novacek also produced 705 yards, the best of his career, and finished third in points in his final season at Dallas (1995).
9. Ed McCaffrey (1995)
McCaffrey opened his career with four mediocre seasons in New York and San Francisco, during which time he produced a year with more than 600 yards. He then went on to record three seasons with more than 1,000 yards and five seasons with at least seven touchdowns. He combined with Rod Smith to form a powerful fantasy duo that even finished in the top five in points at the position during the 2000 campaign.
10. Plaxico Burress (2005)
Burress had two good seasons at Pittsburgh before seeing his totals drop in 2003 and 2004. He then signed a deal with the Giants the following year and shined, posting a combined 207 receptions, 3,227 yards and 29 touchdowns in his last three seasons. . Burress played in 10 games in 2008 and missed the next two seasons due to off-field problems, but his move to New York added to his value.
11. Curtis Martin (1998)
Martin was very productive during his three seasons with the Patriots, during which time he scored 37 total touchdowns. He signed with the Jets in 1998 and was even better, rushing for more than 1,000 for seven straight seasons while scoring a combined 63 touchdowns. That includes a 2004 season when Martin rushed for 1,697 yards and 12 touchdowns in his 32-year season.
12. Shannon Sharpe (1999)
Sharpe was an absolute fantasy monster during his time with the Broncos, but he missed all but five games during his senior year with the team. He signed with the Ravens the following season at age 32 and emerged as a star, ranking in the top three in points between tight ends in Baltimore’s two seasons. Sharpe retired as one of the best tight ends in NFL history.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst at Sports Illustrated and a Hall of Famer for the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Y Instagram for the latest breaking news on fantasy football and the best analysis in the industry.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.