NFC East Off-Season Changes
After decades of being the poster children of drug abuse, Dallas was working to clean itself up, so it was a surprise when they recruited LB Randy Gregory. Gregory cost himself a pretty penny for being too hooked on weed or being too stupid not to smoke weed DURING the NFL Combine. Either way, if Dallas can give the man some smarts, getting him with the 60th pick is a bona fide steal. Other big moves include grabbing G La’el Collins after he went undrafted due to Baton Rouge police wanting to interview him in the investigation into the murder of his girlfriend. He is currently not a suspect and if he is fully exonerated, this is THE mass robbery of 2015 and could be a historic robbery. The rest of the draft focused on adding more depth to his huge offensive line and bolstering his defense. CB Bryon Jones should be an impact player for them this year. They also added DE Greg Hardy in free agency. He’ll be suspended through Week 12, but he’ll be a boost to his defense down the stretch and into the playoffs.
On offense, the biggest story is letting go of DeMarco Murray and just adding Darren McFadden to replace him. I really don’t know why they didn’t go after Zac Stacy. He seems to fit well behind his line and he was dirt cheap. Regardless, McFadden is made of cupcakes and he’s going to be fool’s gold this year. If this unit stays intact, he’s going to want RB Joseph Randle on his team.
Fantasy starters: QB Tony Romo, WR Dez Bryant
Fantasy bench: RB Darren McFadden, WR Terrance Williams, TE Jason Williams, Dallas D/ST
Fantasy Sleeper: RB Joseph Randle
I have no idea where to start with this kit. Speaking of billing! Goodbye QB Nick Foles, RB LeSean McCoy and WR Jeremy Maclin and hello QB Sam Bradford and RBs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews. Bradford seems to be as fragile as they come, but that running back tandem is the best in the league if Mathews can stay healthy. The Eagles replaced Maclin with a better receiver at a much lower cost when they drafted Nelson Agholor from USC in the first round. He’ll light up the game back and provide a very nice compliment to WR Jordan Matthews. He runs a 4.42 in the 40-yard dash, has great hands and is a good route runner.
On defense, the Eagles acquired Kiko Alonso from Buffalo for McCoy. This brings Alonso back under his former college coach. He’ll definitely help fill out the race if he returns to fitness after missing the 2014 season with a torn ACL (never a good thing for a space hog). The other key component addressed in this year’s draft by Philly was working on its leaky secondary. They did it triply, selecting Utah’s S Eric Rowe in the second round and CB JaCorey Shepherd and Randall Evans in the sixth round; one from each Big 12 Kansas school. However, there’s a good chance this draft will be remembered in Philly for what Chip Kelly allegedly offered to get Marcus Mariota. It seems a LOT too much, but even a player or two or a choice or two less seems like too much. If Bradford stays healthy, this team is destined for the playoffs and the trade offer will be forgotten. Oh yeah, the Eagles also signed Tim Tebow!
Fantasy starters: RB DeMarco Murray, WR Jordan Matthews, Philly D
Fantasy bench: QB Sam Bradford, RB Ryan Mathews, WR Riley Cooper, TE Zach Ertz
The Fantasy Sleeper: WR Nelson Agholor
New York Giants:
The biggest addition for the Giants this season is bringing back WR Victor Cruz. If he comes back to shape, he and WR Odell Beckam Jr are a receiving duo that can make QB Eli Manning look like a competent NFL QB (see David Tyree). Other than that, his defense isn’t good and he’s getting old and his running game is a mess. With only six picks in this year’s draft, they couldn’t address every area of need. They selected DE George Selvie in free agency. However, he has a good year out of his seven and doesn’t think he can provide much help to Jason Pierre-Paul.
They recruited OT Ereck Flowers from Miami in hopes of providing some run blocking for that unit to perform this year. They are counting on RB Rashad Jennings to stay healthy and win the contract he signed last year. Andre Williams was useful in his absence, but he wasn’t overly impressive. They added PPR stud Shane Vereen from New England to add a dimension that was sorely lacking in their backfield. Drafting S Landon Collins in the second round out of Alabama was a good move because they are sadly lacking in secondary talent and Collins is better than anything else they have in the uniform. They added another safety in the fifth round in Mykkele Thompson of Texas. Nice additions, but not close enough to cover the shortcomings in DL and LB.
Fantasy starters: WR Odell Beckham Jr, WR Victor Cruz
Fantasy bench: QB Eli Manning, RB Rashard Jennings, RB Shane Vereen, TE Larry Donnell
Fantasy Sleeper: None come to mind
The Redskins didn’t do anything flashy in the off-season other than signing DT Stephen Paea, who had his best year in Chicago last season, and DB Dashon Goldson after 2 disappointing seasons at TB. They didn’t add anyone else notable through free agency, but they drafted individual pieces that will help the team as a whole (it needed help on all counts). They know they need to run to the ball to be successful and Alfred Morris hasn’t really wowed, so they decided to draft Iowa OT Brandon Scherff in the first round to help open holes right away and hope that the fifth round pick, Alabama’s G Ari Kouandjio, see plenty of time on the field this year as well.
They added some depth at the RB spot in the third round with the pick of Matt Jones from Florida. He goes 6’2 231 so he can help open holes or get the tough yards Morris can’t. They added a fourth-round slot WR in Duke’s Jamison Crowder and drafted DE Preston Smith in the second round out of Mississippi St. Smith stopped the run on a solid Bulldogs defense, but will be traded to OLB in the 3rd of the Skins. -4 defense.
Fantasy starters: RB Alfred Morris, WR DeSean Jackson
Fantasy bench: QB Robert Griffin III, WR Pierre Garcon, TE Jordan Reed
Fantasy sleeper: WR Jamison Crowder