Best 2013 NFL Free Agents

These unrestricted free agents could experience drastic fantasy value changes come next season.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

Another and perhaps the most important aspect of offseason fantasy football is keeping track of any free agents that are switching teams. Switching teams and the effect it can have should not be overlooked by a smart owner. Simply because player A was a stud with one team doesn't mean his peak performance will translate well to another. The opposite can also be true as an average player can become gold in the right situation.

Below is six big name guys who may find new homes by the time the 2013 fantasy draft rolls around. All are unrestricted free agents and outside of a franchise tag, all may end up in new homes next season.


Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens

2012 stats: 3,817 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, 10 interceptions; 22 rush yards, 3 rushing touchdowns

On a normal offseason, Joe Flacco as an unrestricted free agent wouldn't produce anything more than a mild yawn. While a quarterback able to lead his team to the playoffs, Flacco has yet to show he can make that big leap into elite status.

Fortunately for Flacco, this offseason is the best time for him to possibly test the free agent waters. With no big names available and with a weak class of quarterbacks to choose from on draft day, Flacco could command major cash from teams like Arizona and Kansas City, who would see him as a major upgrade.

Fantasy Analysis: Ultimately, Flacco will use other team's interest to parlay a lucrative deal with Baltimore, who would also be in poor shape if he left. Even with the weapons the Ravens have on offense, Flacco will remain a low end starter, high end back-up on fantasy teams.


Shonn Green, RB, New York Jets

2012 Stats: 1,063 rush yards, 8 rush touchdowns; 151 receiving yards

Shonn Greene enjoyed a career year in 2012 in terms of rushing attempts, touchdowns and rushing yards. While not considered a primary back by many, Greene has shown flashes of being a feature back teams could rely on. Another note to consider is that he achieved his 1,000 rushing on a team with no passing game to speak of.

Fantasy Analysis: While not the sexiest name out there at the running back position, Greene could be a decent second back or flex option. If he lands on a more balanced team, his stock will increase.


Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

2012 Stats: 59 catches for 801 yards and 3 TDs

A person has to feel sorry for Dwayne Bowe. A talented receiver with top 10 ability, Bowe has been hampered by a string of injuries coupled with horrendous quarterback play. Look for Bowe to bolt from Kansas City to the first team with a solid quarterback that shows interest.

Fantasy Analysis: A change of scenery is exactly what fantasy owners are hoping for Bowe. He is a talented receiver with big play ability that is being wasted in his current situation. Even with the addition of new head coach Andy Reid, Bowe's best shot would be anywhere but KC.


Reggie Bush, RB, Miami Dolphins

2012 Stats: 986 rush yards, 6 rush touchdowns; 292 receiving yards, 2 receiving touchdowns

While by no means is Reggie Bush an elite running back, he has shown over the past two seaosns that he is the type of back that can be productive in the right situations. With the ability to both run the ball and catch it, Bush has that one-two punch that today’s NFL is looking for. Heading into 2013, Bush will still only be 28 years old, which means the best may be ahead of him.

Fantasy Analysis: Reggie Bush is a lifetime number-two back who may be best used as a situational start or flex option. Combine him with a solid number-one and another back who is a borderline two, and you got yourself a recipe for success.


Mike Wallace, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

2012 Stats: 64 catches for 836 yards and 8 TDs

In a contract season, Mike Wallace underachieved in a number of areas. He showed shoddy route running skills as well as a tendency to drop balls; two things that will doom you in the NFL. That being said, he does possess the one attribute that trumps those negatives, and that's speed. With Wallace's breakaway speed, you can expect teams to be very interested in this free agent status.

Fantasy Analysis: Wallace proved yet again in 2012 that he is a feast or famine type of fantasy receiver. Basically he's either on his game and looking like a top five guy or just so out of it that you are lucky to get one reception and 15 yards. While not top shelf talent at this point, Wallace will remain a good second or third wideout in 2013.


Wes Welker, WR New England Patriots

2012 Stats: 118 catches for 1,354 yards and 6 TDs

Welker is the product of the New England offense and the efficiency of quarterback Tom Brady. Brady and Welker have a connection that borderlines on the psychic and both are better fantasy options for it. New England would be a fool to not get Welker back; as would Welker with New England.

Fantasy Analysis: No offense to Wes Welker, but if he is in any other uniform but the Patriots next season he isn't anything better than a third wideout. Welker's fantasy value hinges on him staying with Brady. If that happens, then he is a solid number one receiver in all fantasy formats.


James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on

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