Fantasy Free Agent: Where Might Dwayne Bowe Land?
Just three seasons ago, Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe lit up the fantasy football world in a big way, finishing 2010 as the number two WR in standard scoring. Since then, Bowe has probably enraged every single owner he’s had. Many of the more astute fantasy owners passed off at least some of that 2010 production as a mirage due to ease of schedule, but there’s no doubt the ensuing two disappointing seasons were much more about situation than talent.
With Bowe set to hit free agency this spring, that situation has a chance to get better. Today we’ll look at three possible landing spots for Bowe and how it might affect his fantasy performance. It’s time to take a look at this Fantasy Free Agent.
Dwayne Bowe Joins Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings scraped into the postseason this year on the back of a historic 2097 yard season by Adrian Peterson, but going forward the team is going to have to put together some semblance of a balanced offense if they hope to progress; the staff can’t possibly want to trot out Michael Jenkins and Jerome Simpson as the starting receivers in a playoff game again. The team already has a dynamic slot receiver in Percy Harvin, but his own future with his team is in question, and whether Harvin remains a Viking or not, they desperately need someone like Bowe on the outside.
While a Peterson-Harvin-Bowe combo sounds mighty appealing at first glance, Bowe’s fantasy outlook on the Vikings would tentatively remain about the same as it’s been in K.C. as of late. Like with the Chiefs, the main stumbling block in Minnesota for Bowe would be inconsistent (or consistently poor) quarterback play. In his first two years in the league, Christian Ponder has had some bright spots, but for the most part has been an ankle-weight. It’s possible with another year of development along with Bowe’s addition, Ponder could take some big steps forward, but I just don’t see him turning into Brett Favre any time soon.
The other issue for a Bowe-to-Minnesota scenario would be a simple lack of opportunity. The team wants to complement Peterson more, but A.D. is going to continue to eat up 20-30 touches a game. When healthy, Harvin was one of the most targeted receivers in the league, and deservedly so. Assuming Harvin sticks around, that’s probably not changing either. So unless Minnesota magically conjures up a Pro Bowl quarterback, there wouldn’t be enough plays left to make Bowe a reliable fantasy option.
Dwayne Bowe Joins Miami Dolphins
Aside from the brief Brandon Marshall experiment, the Dolphins have been searching for a stud wide receiver for quite a long time, and they’ve made no secret about their intent to fill that void in this upcoming free agency window. It’s possible they end up signing someone like Greg Jennings or Mike Wallace instead, but Bowe could ultimately end up a Dolphin in 2013. Miami isn’t likely to thrust Bowe back into fantasy stardom immediately, but there are plenty of worse places he could go.
It seems like a long time ago, but there was a point during the 2012 season where Dolphins rookie QB Ryan Tannehill was being mentioned right alongside Andrew Luck and RG3. He hit the rookie wall and his play fizzled out, but the hope is alive that Tannehill can become a very good quarterback in due time. In the very least, he’s already better than Matt Cassell. And don’t forget: We’ve seen young QBs able to support an established receiver in fantasy lately. Just this year Reggie Wayne posted some of the highest numbers of his career with a rookie. Marshall was able to put up respectable numbers in Miami with a “young” Chad Henne a few years ago.
The remaining supporting cast in Miami is the right blend for Bowe’s fantasy value. Players like Reggie Bush, Brian Hartline, and Davone Bess are good enough so Bowe isn’t completely smothered by defenses, and at the same time those players aren’t so good to prevent Bowe from being heavily targeted every game. Landing in Miami wouldn’t put Bowe back into the top 10, but I think it could be a solid fit.
Dwayne Bowe Joins Seattle Seahawks
As it stands, the Seahawks’ season is still alive as they continue their unlikely playoff run. As much success as Seattle has had lately, it’s mostly in spite of the production they’ve had at the wide receiver position. Don’t forget, this is a team that has attempted to sign every big name free agent receiver possible in the last few years. Sidney Rice and Golden Tate have been role players with some clutch catches this year, but Seattle is going to need more than that to take the next step.
On paper, the Seahawks’ situation isn’t that dissimilar to the ones in Minnesota or Miami, but what might make it the best fit of all is Russell Wilson’s advanced playmaking ability in the redzone. At his best in 2010, Bowe was a redzone machine, leading the league with 15 touchdown receptions with just 1162 yards. It just so happens that this year, Russell Wilson tied the rookie record for touchdown passes, and I don’t think it’s a fluke. Watching Wilson play, it’s obvious his decision-making and tendency to use his feet to extend plays with the intent to pass translates into touchdowns.
Going into 2013, it’s reasonable to expect Wilson to improve, and the team should still have Marshawn Lynch and a top-notch defense to lean on if Wilson has a down game every now and then. Bowe will probably never get back to his 2010 stats, but 80-85% of those totals is attainable just next season if he joins the Seahawks. Unless you’re talking about the Patriots, there probably isn’t a better fantasy fit for Dwayne Bowe in the league than in Seattle.