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Evaluating the Fantasy Impact of Quarterbacks and Tight Ends on New Teams in 2016

Brock Osweiler

Brock Osweiler

As the offseason carries on and we get closer to the NFL Draft, some fantasy football owners are already chomping at the bit. They are looking ahead to not only the annual player selection meeting in Chicago at the end of the April, but their own fantasy drafts as well.

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Sure, the latter may be four months away, but it's never too early to start thinking about fantasy values. Let's take a look at the free agent quarterbacks and tight ends that signed with a new team or were traded, and how the new scenery affects their 2016 fantasy value as things stand at the end of March.

Quarterbacks

Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans

Osweiler may have found big money by signing with Houston, but that won’t help his current fantasy value. In Denver, Osweiler had flashes of looking good, but he also struggled. His stat line for nine games in 2015 was 1,967 yards passing, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. In his last four starts, he had at least 230 yards through the air. In Houston, he'll have DeAndre Hopkins as his go-to guy, and a few other possible weapons. However, in that offense, he's a QB2 at best.

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Mark Sanchez, Denver Broncos

With Osweiler going elsewhere and Peyton Manning retired, the Broncos needed a quarterback. They looked over the free agents and decided to trade a late-round draft pick for Sanchez. This doesn’t mean that Sanchez is locked in as the Week 1 starter, however, as it’s pretty likely the Broncos will add another quarterback or two before training camp comes around. Sanchez isn't a top quarterback option regardless of how it shakes out in Denver.

Robert Griffin III, Cleveland Browns

RG3 basically has one year to prove his worth in the NFL. The contract with the Browns gives him a year to show that he can still be a starting quarterback. He is injury-prone, and now he's on a team that has fewer weapons than the Redskins. If, and it's a huge if, but if RG3 is reunited with the currently suspended Josh Gordon, his fantasy value rises slightly, but he remains a risk on draft day. He's someone that should be targeted in the later rounds with boom or bust potential.

Tight Ends

Coby Fleener, New Orleans Saints

Fleener may end up being undervalued in 2016 drafts because he hasn't really produced during his time in Indianapolis. However, the Saints are looking for a pass-catching tight end, and that's where Fleener steps in. Without a second tight end in the picture, Fleener is the guy in New Orleans. Drew Brees loves throwing to his tight ends (as Jimmy Graham and even Ben Watson can attest to), which should result in a boost for Fleener. His best season was 2014, with 774 yards and eight touchdowns. He should surpass that this coming season.

Ladarius Green, Pittsburgh Steelers

Playing behind Antonio Gates for his whole career, Green hasn't had a chance to show what he can do. While Gates has missed time, giving Green a chance to step in, he hasn't been the No. 1 tight end for a team — until now. His best season was 2015, but that was only 429 yards and four touchdowns (in 13 games). While the Steelers do have plenty of other weapons, they do use the tight end and Heath Miller has retired. It’s pretty safe to assume Ben Roethlisberger will get Green involved in the passing game. He's a low TE1/high TE2 with upside.

Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots

Bennett, now coupled with Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady as his quarterback, is still a TE1. He was a top-tier tight end in Chicago, but now he has cemented that value for 2016. The Patriots prefer to run a two-tight end set (see the Gronk/Hernandez era) and they rely on their tight ends in the red zone. Having Bennett will help Gronk and Brady, and Bennett will certainly get enough volume to maintain TE1 value.

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.