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NFL Free Agent Frenzy: The AFC West

by Photo of Jake Langbecker

A look at the fantasy impact of the moves in the AFC West

NFL Free Agent Frenzy: The AFC West

Can you believe we are up to part six of our 8 part series already? Today we look at the fantasy impact of the free agent frenzy in the AFC West featuring the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, and San Diego Chargers.

We will update the post as new moves are made but as of now rosters are current as of August 9th. We will list player additions and subtractions if we feel they have a fantasy impact. Offensive linemen might get listed because of their influence on position players and defensive players will be listed if we think the team defense is worth drafting. Let's get to it.

Denver Broncos

Record Last Season - 4-12

Key Additions/Re-signings: Willis McGahee

Key Losses: Laurence Maroney

Fantasy Impact: Not many changes out in Denver other than a swap of back-up running backs. Knowshon Moreno will be the feature back but isn't coming off a great fantasy year. Moreno wouldn't be a great option as your number two running back but would be very serviceable as a number three running back or flex position player.

Kyle Orton is the incumbent starting quarterback but his backup Tim Tebow is drawing plenty of attention. Either way, Brandon Lloyd is coming off a breakout season and should be considered a good option at receiver. There's a chance his 1,400 yard season last year was a fluke but if Orton holds on to the starting job there's no reason to think the two won't connect again.

Sleeper: Kyle Orton. Even though he's receiving plenty of competition from Tebow, Orton had a surprisingly efficient fantasy season throwing for 3,600 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions.

Kansas City Chiefs 

Record Last Season - 10-6

Key Additions/Re-signings:  Steve Breaston, Tamba Hali, Kelly Gregg, Sabby Piscitelli, Brandon Carr, Le'Ron McClain

Key Losses: N/A

Fantasy Impact: Jamaal Charles is a top 5 running back, and now has Le'Ron McClain to help clear the way for him. If Charles is available whenever you select in the first round you should seriously consider taking him, even in a top 3 spot. Steve Breaston had his most successful season under Todd Haley when he was a coach in Arizona and is hoping to recreate that now in Kansas City. Breaston will benefit from playing opposite Dwayne Bowe and should have a very productive year. Bowe is a top 5 fantasy receiver and Breaston would make a great third receiver on your fantasy team.

Sleeper: Chiefs Defense. They added some nice pieces and re-signed others. They figure to control the ball on the ground a lot with their strong running game which will keep the defense off the field and shorten the game. Consider the Chiefs as a very good fantasy defense this year.

Oakland Raiders 

Record Last Season - 8-8

Key Additions/Re-signings: Kevin Boss

Key Losses: Nnamdi Asomugha, Zach Miller

Fantasy Impact: Surprise, surprise, the mess that is the Oakland Raiders franchise doesn't have a lot of high quality fantasy players. Darren McFadden is a top 10 running back and will be especially valuable in PPR leagues but does have some durability concerns. Make sure to draft Michael Bush as a handcuff if you take McFadden earlier.

Sleeper: Kevin Boss. Jason Campbell doesn't have great targets at receiver so expect him to look for Boss often.

San Diego Chargers

Record Last Season - 9-7

Key Additions/Re-signings:  Vincent Jackson, Bob Sanders, Eric Weddle, Travis LaBoy, Jonas Mouton, Corey Liuget

Key Losses: Darren Sproles

Fantasy Impact: Now this is a team with some fantasy studs. Philip Rivers is a top 5 fantasy quarterback and you could argue he should be the first one taken. Antonio Gates is a top tight end and if he can stay healthy is worthy of being one of the first tight ends off the board.

Ryan Matthews would make a great second running back. He didn't have a great fantasy season last year but should see more carries with Sproles gone and should improve after a year of NFL experience. Vincent Jackson is back and you can consider him a top 10 fantasy receiver again. Without any contract issues Jackson will re-assume the role of River's favorite target.

The Charges defense led the NFL last season in yards allowed. The bring back Eric Weddle and add Bob Sanders, Travis LaBoy, Jonas Mouton and Corey Liuget. They also play in a division that includes 4 games against the Raiders and Broncos. The Chargers defense will be a top 5 defense this year in fantasy.

Sleeper: Malcolm Floyd. Rivers is going to throw a ton of touchdowns and defenses will key on Jackson and Gates, this will leave Floyd with single coverage on the outside and should mean a good fantasy season.

Check back tomorrow for our NFC South preview tomorrow and be sure to visit Charged.fm for all your NFL ticket needs.


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