Fantasy football: How will free agency affect your draft?

Toby Gerhart
Toby Gerhart is rumbling his way to Jacksonville, but don’t be fooled by his big signing money.
Credit: Getty Images

The ball has dropped in the NFL’s Times Square, leading to dozens of front-line players changing teams in free agency.

So far, the majority of cash has gone to linemen and defensive backs. But there have been some tell-tale moves made at skill positions, impacting the fantasy stock of many.

PT cruising

The cap-strapped Saints wanted to fit in both franchise player Jimmy Graham and stud safety Jairus Byrd. Therefore, they had to choose between Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles.

They’ve gone with the former, meaning the PT Cruiser is going to be a PPR monster in 2014. The two backs combined for 148 catches last year and recently released Lance Moore chipped in 27 more catches. Thomas has a realistic shot at 85 receptions.

Next man up

The Cowboys made it official Tuesday, cutting Miles Austin. That leaves sophomore Terrance Williams as an every-down receiver and sets up him for a monster campaign. Although Williams played on just 68.2 percent of the snaps last year, he opened eyes with a 44-736-5 line. This year represents a perfect storm as he’ll be playing 100 percent of the snaps and seeing consistent single coverage in new offensive coordinator Scott Linehan’s pass-happy scheme.

Out of the shadow

Toby Gerhart has been Adrian Peterson’s caddy for four seasons. Now he’s getting a chance to run his own show as the Jaguars handed him a $10.5 million contract Tuesday. The problem is that Gerhart has no lateral juice or long speed and is playing for a Chad Henne-led team that projects to rarely reach the red zone. Both Jacksonville and fantasy owners will be disappointed by their return on investment.

NBA pickups …

1. Pero Antic, C, Hawks – A sharp-shooting 7-footer that’s now starting at center.

2. Amare Stoudamire, PF, Knicks – We can accept the rest days for a guy averaging 16 points and six boards with a block as a starter.

3. Matt Barnes, SF, Clippers – The injuries to Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick aren’t healing anytime soon.

MLB sleepers …

Find value in these guys late in drafts:

1. Kole Calhoun, OF, Angels – Likely will bat leadoff, ahead of Trout, Pujols and Hamilton. Monster opportunity.

2. Brad Miller, SS, Mariners – A second-round pick in 2011 that is expected to beat out Nick Franklin.

3. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies – The post-hype prospect is red-hot this spring. We love stacking guys at Coors.

Follow Metro fantasy sports writer Adam Levitan on Twitter @adamlevitan.



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