Mike Gillislee: No one saw their fantasy value rise more over the offseason than Gillislee, who takes over as New England’s new big back, a role that led to LeGarrette Blount leading the NFL in rushing touchdowns with 18 last season. Blount managed a pedestrian 3.9 YPC, while Gillislee got 5.7 (and scored nine times on just 110 touches) and is four years younger. He needs to improve his blocking, but Gillislee goes from a mediocre offense to arguably the league’s best, and he should approach 250 carries (Blount saw 299 last year, and the rest of the roster is filled with passing down backs). Gillislee is currently being drafted as the No. 23 running back off the board, but there’s legit RB1 upside here.
Martellus Bennett: Rarely does a player’s fantasy value rise leaving New England, but Bennett goes from No. 2 on the tight end depth chart (behind arguably the best ever at the position) to No. 1 on a team with just as good of a quarterback throwing to him. The Packers’ passing offense is one of the most prolific in the league, and Bennett is a huge red-zone threat with little competition at tight end. His last two years in which he’s played 16 games, he’s averaged 73 catches for 809 yards and seven touchdowns (and that’s with him sharing time with Gronk last season). Bennett could easily be a top-five fantasy tight end in 2017.
Marshawn Lynch: He picked a good spot to land after coming out of retirement, as Lynch comes home to the Bay to join an Oakland roster with little competition at running back. Moreover, the Raiders have one of the league’s best offensive lines. It’s unclear how much left in the tank Lynch has at 31 years old and not playing last season, but he’s rightfully being drafted as a top-15 fantasy back.
Jeremy Maclin: He’s not going to be a fantasy star, but Maclin could be undervalued coming off an injury-plagued season, and more importantly, his value gets a boost with his new environment if for no other reason than the differences in volume. The Ravens have led the NFL in pass attempts each of the past two seasons whereas the Chiefs have been one of the most conservative teams in football (Baltimore attempted a whopping 1,019 more passes than Kansas City over this stretch). Maclin is slated to play the slot with his new team (where he’s best suited) and is the favorite to lead the Ravens in targets.
Terrelle Pryor: A revelation last year, Pryor eclipsed 1,000 yards and scored five touchdowns seemingly out of nowhere (he entered the season with nine career targets). And that was while dealing with a terrible QB situation in Cleveland. Pryor is just scratching the surface of his talent after only recently switching to wide receiver, and he now joins a Washington team with a far better quarterback and passing attack (and one that just lost DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon). Pryor could quickly emerge as Washington’s No. 1 wideout and has top-15 fantasy WR upside.