NFL Betting Advice: Impact of Offensive Skill Player Moves on Handicapping
With all due respect to the NFL, the NBA offseason and free-agency period has you beat by a mile. There was not a single day during the start of free-agency where basketball fans weren't at the edge of their seats refreshing Twitter to see which massive superstar was switching teams. The NBA is a league where that's possible, and unfortunately, football is not.
However, the NFL offseason has provided us with enough key movement from players of elite status to players who are serviceable NFL veterans. We all know about the Odell's and Antonio's of the world, but there were other big moves made by guys who are either looking for a fresh start or fell out of favor with their previous team.
If you bet on the NFL in any way manner, it's vital to understand player movement and depth charts because football is the ultimate "next man up" sport.
Below is a list of notable offensive players who will be wearing a different uniform for at least the upcoming season and into the foreseeable future. Their previous teams are noted in brackets.
Current team: Jacksonville Jaguars (Philadelphia Eagles)
Nick Foles has gone from Super Bowl hero to Jacksonville, which is about a big of a downgrade you can make in pro football. Don't get me wrong, Jacksonville did have a great season two years ago when they made the AFC title game with Blake Bortles under center, but they regressed immensely last year. With Foles now presumed as the starter, the offense has a capable quarterback, and his presence alone should keep defenses honest, allowing Leonard Fournette and the ground game to churn out production. Foles started just five games last season for Philadelphia and completed 72.3 percent of his throws for seven touchdowns and four interceptions. The Jaguars O-Line isn't as good as the Eagles, so that is cause for concern for the four-year $88 million-dollar man.
Current team: Denver Broncos (Baltimore Ravens)
The Joe Flacco era finished in Baltimore with a big thud as he was injured and then had his job taken over by an upcoming stud QB in Lamar Jackson. Now, Flacco finds himself on the other side of the country, in a battle for the starting QB for the Broncos position with Drew Locke. Flacco started just nine games last season for the Ravens, and he completed just 61 percent of his passes for 12 TDs and six INTs. The Broncos did retool the weapon shelf as they have Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant and DaeSean Hamilton as top candidates for targets. It's hard not to see the Broncos as a run-first team though, and it'll be on Flacco to find his spot in the pecking order on offense.
Current team: Miami Dolphins (Arizona Cardinals)
Let's call a spade a spade here. Rosen was never allowed to succeed by the Cardinals. And because of that, the former No. 10 overall pick gets a fresh start on a team that's desperately looking for their franchise quarterback to take them to the next step. Rosen's stats aren't impressive, but considering he played for a very poor all-around team like the Cards it's easy to cut him some slack. He's in a QB battle with the journeyman QB that is Ryan Fitzpatrick, but Rosen has the inside track to the starting role.
Current team: Miami Dolphins (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Ryan Fitzpatrick and his magic beard find themselves on another team, this time a team that has no general direction. As mentioned above, the QB battle is real between him and Rosen, so the veteran QB will need to win the job out of training camp to find himself starting again. An injury could change all that, though, and we just hope the Dolphins don't force him to get rid of his magical beard.
Current team: Washington Redskins (Denver Broncos)
Case Keenum has seen both ends of the success spectrum over the last two years. He provided us with the Minnesota Miracle in 2017, only to follow that up with a disastrous 6-10 season with the Broncos. Keenum is a serviceable quarterback, but this was more of a panic signing as the incumbent starter, Alex Smith, is still dealing with the effects of his broken leg. Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins needs time to grow, so this is Keenum's team until he falters.
Current team: New York Jets (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Nobody knows the motto "bet on yourself" better than Le'Veon Bell, who passed up a $14.5-million one-year contract to sign a massive four-year deal worth $52.5 million (which could be upwards of $61 million from incentives). Bell should be fresh considering he sat out the entire season and he's just 27 years of age. However, it's going to be tough to get up to game speed after all the time off. Therefore, if Bell is going to be the focal point of this offense like Gang Green expect him to be, they better hope he's putting in the work before the season gets underway. I predict he won't have a terrible season, but it won't be anywhere close to the Bell production we've grown accustomed to.
Current team: Baltimore Ravens (New Orleans Saints)
As the Mark Ingram Era ends in New Orleans, the former Alabama star finds himself in an offense that should be to his liking - the run-oriented Ravens team. Make no mistake about it, the Ravens would love nothing more than to run the ball 50 times a game if they could, and with a big bruising back like Ingram wearing down the defense, contact after contact, we believe they can have plenty of success on the ground. Ingram does have company in the backfield in the form of Justice Hill, Kenneth Dixon, and Gus Edwards, but the Crimson Tide alumni should start the majority of the games.
Current team: San Francisco 49ers (Atlanta Falcons)
One half of the thunder and lightning pair in Atlanta has found a new home in San Francisco. Tevin Coleman and his 18 career touchdowns come to San Francisco to compete for a primary role in the Niners backfield against the likes of Matt Brieda, Alfred Morris and Raheem Mostert. Nobody outside of the organization knows who will win the job, but I figure Coleman has a great shot at landing the starting gig based on his past relationship with Kyle Shanahan, who ran the Falcons offense for a few years when Coleman was with the team. A good back goes a long way in keeping the defense honest as will the return impending return of Jimmy Garoppolo from an ACL injury.
Current team: Philadelphia Eagles (Chicago Bears)
Nobody ever knew what to make of Howard's time in Chicago. One week he'd look quick and elusive and the next he'd look old and slow. A new team and a fresh start should be just what the doctor ordered, and no better place to do that in Philadelphia, where he can be a complementary back to a team that wants to pass the ball all over the field with Wentz back under center. Howard can be a very good back, but he'll need to earn his spot as an every-down back with the likes of high-second round draft pick Miles Sanders in the mix.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Current team: Cleveland Browns (New York Giants)
Current team: Oakland Raiders (Pittsburgh Steelers)
I'm just going to go ahead and group these to similar players into the same paragraph. Beckham Jr. was never treated right by the Giants or their organization, and it's no wonder he forced his way out. Beckham Jr. now lands in Cleveland with a legitimate superstar QB in the making and several other key weapons on offense. The Browns offense will be must-see TV this season, and Beckham will be eager to prove his haters wrong and add to his 44-career touchdown mark.
Brown, on the other hand, goes from an offensive power and perennial playoff contender to the Black Hole in Oakland where he'll catch passes from Derek Carr. The downgrade in QB can't be understated, although the targets should still be high. Oakland is not a place where careers flourish, and Brown is in for one rude awakening. The offense simply doesn't have enough around Brown to succeed, while the defense will give up boatloads of points per game.
Current team: New York Giants (Philadelphia/Detroit Lions)
Golden Tate saw his time split between two teams last season as the nine-year pro went from Detroit to Philadelphia to help them with their playoff run. Now, Tate finds himself on another NFC East team, this time the New York Giants. Simply put, I'm not too sure how Tate is going to flourish or be able to produce like we know he can with Eli Manning throwing him the ball. Tate posted four straight seasons with 90+ catches until last season's injury-riddled campaign that saw him play just eight games and haul in 74 balls. We all know with Manning on the decline, the offensive production will need to go through Barkley at running back. However, I do expect a healthy share of volume thrown in his direction. If he can produce and develop chemistry with Manning, he may be able to keep defenses from loading the box to stop the run.
Current team: Tennessee Titans (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
This is a wide receiver I enjoy watching. Humphries, while just 5-feet-11, has turned himself into a very reliable slot receiver at the young age of 26. He posted career highs last season with 76 catches, 816 yards, and five touchdowns. I believe he can develop chemistry with Mariota, who is more of a short to mid-range style passer and use his speed and elusiveness to his advantage. There aren't too many mouths to feed on the Titans offense, so look for Humphries to be a key player for the Titans this season.
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