A decade ago, the “Top 10 Offseason Transfers” column was typically a list of big quarterbacks who moved teams and wide receivers who got traded. But fantasy players are getting smarter. If you say obvious things, you will waste precious paper space and precious time. Let’s get to the heart of the matter and see how less exciting moves (for fantasy players) will impact the 2023 Draft and Dynasty trades.
Texans waive Robby Smith after one season, hire 49ers DC and former Texans player Demeko Lyons
Lyons took over as the 49ers’ defensive coordinator in 2020, and despite myriad injuries, the defense still finished middle of the pack on fantasy scores. By 2022, the 49ers boasted the third-best defense in the fantasy world. After six seasons as a player, Lyons returns to where he enjoyed much success as team captain and Pro Bowler. Not only can the Fantasy GM hope for an improvement in defense, but as his 49ers go through in 2022, the Ryans can hope to bring San Francisco offensive talent to his H-Town (meaning the Texans will fantasy is not an easy win for his offense). Game coordinator Bobby Slowwick arrives to lead the offense.
Vikings Sign DE Marcus Davenport, Hire Brian Flores as DC
The Vikings had one of the worst defenses in the NFL last season, a fantastic third from the bottom. After being unfairly fired as Miami head coach and spending a year rubbing shoulders with the Pittsburgh staff, Flores is making steady progress as the Vikings’ defensive coordinator. In his last two seasons as manager at South Beach, Flores’ defense ranked fourth overall in Fantasy (2020) and third overall (2021). He also has defensive end Marcus Davenport chasing the quarterback. It’s a good start to defensive reconstruction.
Panthers Acquire Frank Reich, Top Pick and Trade
Reich was definitely not the sexiest hire. Some would argue that the Panthers already have former interim coach Steve Wilkes. Wilkes took over the trash can fire five games into the season, and after trading Christian McCaffrey, led the Panthers to a 6-6 record over the next 12 games. and Robbie Anderson. Reich has dealt with quarterback volatility during his tenure in Indianapolis, and the Panthers’ trade of the No. 1 pick for Bryce Young has given a proven quarterback developer the opportunity to turn him into a pitcher himself. You have the chance to shape your chosen gifted clay.
Eagles re-sign CBs James Bradbury and Darius Slay
If a team goes all out to make it to the Super Bowl, the deadline for submitting bills is usually the following year. We saw it happen the year after the Rams won, and Philadelphia didn’t win it all, but the Eagles still have to pay the price. Unlike the Rams, the Eagles had many high-quality draft picks. But the big deal for Philadelphia was re-signing veteran cornerbacks Bradbury and Slay. They contribute to a defense that continues to play outstanding football in the back end, pass rushers continue to be a threat in the backfield and should be able to keep the team as one of the fantasy top 5 units.
Bears trade 1st overall draft pick
When the Bears traded their first pick, it had two very important implications. The first was that they were really going all in on quarterback Justin Fields, and the second was that they realized he was in dire need of a receiver upgrade. . Stepping DJ Moore completed 63 receptions for 888 yards and seven touchdowns on 118 targets. In addition to Moore, they acquired the Panthers’ first-round pick (which became OT Darnell Wright) and two second-round picks (Garvon Dexter and Tirik Stevenson). Fields was a fantasy football monster averaging over 40 points per game in Weeks 9 and 10 of last season.
Bengals sign OT Orlando Brown Jr.
Ever since Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow ended his rookie season with a knee injury, the Bengals’ goal has been to improve his upfront protection. The Bengals have a plethora of weapons for Burrow, but they still have protection issues after trying to upgrade from the front five that pulled them to the Super Bowl. Brown brought in a championship-level pedigree from Kansas City and will allow the coaching staff to shuffle the line and put the best five on the field. The Bengals are knocking on their door every year, and improving their line could be the improvement they need to not only be in the big game, but to bring home the Lombardi Trophy.
Ravens sign Odell Beckham Jr.
You might wonder how a 30-year-old receiver returning from an injury that took him out of the season could have such a big impact. This is because it was a transfer considering the contract status of Lamar Jackson. With Jackson’s return to the Ravens, a healthy OBJ (and Zai Flowers’ exciting rookie) joins the receiving corps and is primed for a big season. Additionally, the town has a new OC of him named Todd Monken. It’s a complete makeover for the offense and the former MVP.
Dolphins Hire Vic Fangio, Acquire CB Jalen Ramsey
The sharp decline in the Dolphins’ defensive numbers in Fantasy from the 2021 season to 2022 has been astonishing. Yes, there were injuries, but last season seemed like a lot of holes. It’s hard to say what to say about Fangio as a head coach, but there’s no denying his value as a defensive coordinator. He chose his destination himself and decided to go to Miami. Joining him is Ramsey, who is 28 and still has plenty of tire tread. Ramsey is very versatile and he has a lot of tools in his toolbox. Sure, they’re paying him a premium, but giving up a third-round pick and a reserve tight end won’t hurt their present and will hardly kill their future. Combined with the elite talent on this defense, Fangio is a quality combination that should return Miami to a top-five spot in the fantasy world.
Lions Overhaul Secondary
Last season, the Lions’ pass defense was among the worst in the NFL. This result was great for a player-hostile fantasy GM. There were many shootouts and the Lions found themselves on the wrong side too often. Their answer was to completely dismantle secondary batteries. Say goodbye to former first-round pick Jeff Okder, who was traded to Atlanta, and say hello to CJ Gardner-Johnson and Cameron Sutton. They’re not only getting proven ballers to put into their defensive backfield, but they’re also getting them on bargains and on short-term deals, so both sides remain motivated to perform well. Combine that with a proven pass rush and the Lions could make a significant step defensively in 2023.
Jets Acquire Aaron Rodgers
Quarterback play hobbled the Jets last season, but regardless of what you think of Rodgers personally, he’s still a baller. Look for all the receivers and back numbers that A-Rod could improve upon coming to the Big Apple. For example, Michael Salfino thinks Garrett Wilson will be a top 5 fantasy receiver. He’s become more risk-averse than he used to be, but he can still throw and knows how to distribute the ball. Since the Jets hired former Packers offensive coordinator and ousted Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett to head offense for Robert Saleh’s team, he’s faced an offense he’s familiar with.
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