Every year, there are a lot of good players that head into training camp as free agents; whether they are asking for too much money or simply waiting to see how injuries play out in training camp, there’s a multitude of reasons.
This year is no different, as there is quite a lot of talent waiting around for openings. Today, we’ll look at the top five players currently not on teams, which means you should be able to get them later in your Fantasy Football draft.
As a quick reminder: all intents and purposes, WinColumnSports uses ESPN PPR scoring when it comes to evaluating players.
#1. Dez Bryant, WR
Without a doubt, Bryant is the best current free agent on the market. I’m a firm believer he has lost a couple steps in the last two years, and will never be a true #1 receiver again. However, that doesn’t mean he’s not serviceable.
Dez Bryant played all sixteen games last year for the first time since 2014. He brought in 69 passes for 838 yards and 6 TDs. Those numbers probably aren’t good enough to be a #1 in the NFL anymore, but he would be an improvement over most teams #2’s and I’d fully expect Bryant to find a team by the time the season rolls around.
If you’re drafting earlier in the year, I currently see Dez Bryant going around the 10th-11th round and I think he’s worth a flyer at that point in the draft.
# 2. Demarco Murray, RB
Just four years removed from being the NFL leader in rushing yards, touchdowns and NFL Offensive Player of the Year, Demarco Murray finds himself unemployed. Murray, who turned 30 earlier this year still has plenty of yards in his legs and will more than likely find a home during training camp.
Demarco Murray started 15 games last year and only rushed the ball 184 times, compared to 293 in 2016. If he can find the middle ground somewhere in the NFL when it comes to touches, he’d be an asset to any fantasy football lineup.
#3. Jeremy Maclin, WR
Jeremy Maclin has always been a WR that had all the potential to be elite, but could never really find the right system in my eyes. Clearly, Maclin is in the downtick of his career; with only 440 yards last season and 536 yards in 2016, he’s currently on the outside looking in when it comes to finding employment.
Maclin couldn’t find the opportunity to shine in a Ravens offence last year that was, for lack of a better word, terrible. I believe he’ll find a job in training camp and will be a serviceable #3 for an NFL team this year.
I wouldn’t draft him in redraft formats, but Maclin could be a good streamer to keep your eyes on during the season.
#4. Eric Decker, WR
Eric Decker (31) may very well be in the twilight of his career. The three-time 1,000+ yard receiver only started eight games last year for the Tennessee Titans. However, in those eight games, he managed to bring in 54 catches for 563 yards and 1 TD.
Eric Decker isn’t worth drafting and won’t be worth streaming unless he can find himself a home where he can be a focal point in the offence again. He may find a team as a #3 receiver heading into 2018, but I’m not holding my breath.
#5. Antonio Gates, TE
Antonio Gates is a sure first-ballot Hall of Famer whenever he finally decides to hang them up. However, Gates has expressed interest in playing in 2018 and he may just find himself back on the Chargers now that Hunter Henry is likely out for the year.
Antonio Gates is an eight-team pro bowler and five-time All-Pro. If he does manage to play in 2018, it’ll be his 17th year in the league at the age of 37.
Tight End is a volatile position in Fantasy Football and if Gates finds a roster spot in 2018, he might be a good streaming option due to his ability to bring the ball down in the end zone.
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