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Published: March 17, 2018 at 03:13 p.m.
Updated: March 20, 2018 at 02:10 p.m.

Fantasy Free Agency Winners and Losers

The frenzy that is the NFL's free agency period hasn't disappointed, as several fantasy stars have changed teams, been traded or even released. Here's your first look at the winners and losers so you can start prepping for your 2018 drafts (never too soon)!

25 Photos Total

  • Cousins is the lone quarterback to finish in the top six in fantasy points in each of the last two seasons, yet he's still on the board in the final five to six rounds of most drafts. He should sustain that level of production in Minnesota, where he inherits a ton of talent in Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, and Kyle Rudolph. The Vikings had just 20 dropped passes (tied for third-fewest) as a team all of last season. 25

    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    Winner: Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings

    Cousins is the lone quarterback to finish in the top six in fantasy points in each of the last two seasons, yet he's still on the board in the final five to six rounds of most drafts. He should sustain that level of production in Minnesota, where he inherits a ton of talent in Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, and Kyle Rudolph. The Vikings had just 20 dropped passes (tied for third-fewest) as a team all of last season.

  • Hyde scored 40 percent of his PPR points last season as a pass catcher, and he saw 15 percent of San Francisco's target share. Both of those totals will tumble in Cleveland, where he'll lose targets to Duke Johnson. The Browns also have more options in the pass attack after adding Jarvis Landry to go with Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman and David Njoku. For now, Hyde can't be expected to duplicate his breakout 2018 campaign. 24

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    Loser: Carlos Hyde, RB, Cleveland Browns

    Hyde scored 40 percent of his PPR points last season as a pass catcher, and he saw 15 percent of San Francisco's target share. Both of those totals will tumble in Cleveland, where he'll lose targets to Duke Johnson. The Browns also have more options in the pass attack after adding Jarvis Landry to go with Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman and David Njoku. For now, Hyde can't be expected to duplicate his breakout 2018 campaign.

  • McKinnon is a big winner in the world of fantasy football, at least as long as the Niners don't add another impact running back in free agency or the draft. Based on his new deal (four years, $30 million), he should see a ton of opportunities in an offense that has produced at least one top eight PPR runner in three straight seasons. As it stands, McKinnon should be considered a surefire top-40 choice in all PPR drafts. 23

    Peter Read Miller/Associated Press

    Winner: Jerick McKinnon, RB, San Francisco 49ers

    McKinnon is a big winner in the world of fantasy football, at least as long as the Niners don't add another impact running back in free agency or the draft. Based on his new deal (four years, $30 million), he should see a ton of opportunities in an offense that has produced at least one top eight PPR runner in three straight seasons. As it stands, McKinnon should be considered a surefire top-40 choice in all PPR drafts.

  • Watkins saw just 70 targets and finished 41st in PPR points among wide receivers last season as a member of the Rams. Now in Kansas City, how can we expect him to see a big increase in targets with Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Kareem Hunt in the mix? Let's also keep in mind that new starter Patrick Mahomes has thrown 35 passes in the NFL. Watkins will be drafted in all leagues, but he's no more than a No. 3 or 4 option. 22

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Loser: Sammy Watkins, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

    Watkins saw just 70 targets and finished 41st in PPR points among wide receivers last season as a member of the Rams. Now in Kansas City, how can we expect him to see a big increase in targets with Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Kareem Hunt in the mix? Let's also keep in mind that new starter Patrick Mahomes has thrown 35 passes in the NFL. Watkins will be drafted in all leagues, but he's no more than a No. 3 or 4 option.

  • The Bears have made some major moves on the offensive side of the football, none bigger than adding Robinson to an offense that was in desperate need of a No. 1 wide receiver. The Penn State product, who missed most of last season with an injured knee, will see more than his share of targets and should be seen as a No. 2 fantasy wideout. He could be even better if Mitchell Trubisky can make a "Jared Goff leap" in season two. 21

    Logan Bowles/NFL

    Winner: Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears

    The Bears have made some major moves on the offensive side of the football, none bigger than adding Robinson to an offense that was in desperate need of a No. 1 wide receiver. The Penn State product, who missed most of last season with an injured knee, will see more than his share of targets and should be seen as a No. 2 fantasy wideout. He could be even better if Mitchell Trubisky can make a "Jared Goff leap" in season two.

  • Lewis heading to Tennessee was definitely not a best-case scenario for fantasy owners. Derrick Henry will be the lead runner for new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, so Lewis will be used as a pass catcher in what could be a confusing backfield committee. On a positive note, LaFleur did lead Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman to top-20 PPR finishes for Atlanta in 2016. I'd look at Lewis as a PPR flex starter next season. 20

    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    Loser: Dion Lewis, RB, Tennessee Titans

    Lewis heading to Tennessee was definitely not a best-case scenario for fantasy owners. Derrick Henry will be the lead runner for new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, so Lewis will be used as a pass catcher in what could be a confusing backfield committee. On a positive note, LaFleur did lead Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman to top-20 PPR finishes for Atlanta in 2016. I'd look at Lewis as a PPR flex starter next season.

  • Graham did score 10 touchdowns a season ago, but he also hauled in fewer than 60 percent of his targets and posted some of the worst catch and yardage totals of his career. Still, catching passes from a future Hall of Famer in Aaron Rodgers in an offense that no longer has Jordy Nelson makes Graham a surefire No. 1 fantasy tight end. He should put up eight or more touchdowns as one of Rodgers' top red-zone options. 19

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Winner: Jimmy Graham, TE, Green Bay Packers

    Graham did score 10 touchdowns a season ago, but he also hauled in fewer than 60 percent of his targets and posted some of the worst catch and yardage totals of his career. Still, catching passes from a future Hall of Famer in Aaron Rodgers in an offense that no longer has Jordy Nelson makes Graham a surefire No. 1 fantasy tight end. He should put up eight or more touchdowns as one of Rodgers' top red-zone options.

  • The release of Michael Crabtree leaves Nelson as the new No. 2 option in the pass attack behind Amari Cooper. Still, Nelson's value is going to take at least a slight hit. The soon-to-be 33-year-old was almost non-existent in Green Bay without Rodgers a season ago, and the Raiders aren't going to give him nearly as many red-zone opportunities. Nelson will be on the No. 3 wideout radar in most pre-draft leagues. 18

    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Loser: Jordy Nelson, WR, Oakland Raiders

    The release of Michael Crabtree leaves Nelson as the new No. 2 option in the pass attack behind Amari Cooper. Still, Nelson's value is going to take at least a slight hit. The soon-to-be 33-year-old was almost non-existent in Green Bay without Rodgers a season ago, and the Raiders aren't going to give him nearly as many red-zone opportunities. Nelson will be on the No. 3 wideout radar in most pre-draft leagues.

  • When the Jets signed Crowell, it reminded me of their 2015 addition of Chris Ivory. He would finish 10th in PPR points among running backs that season. While I'm not projecting Crowell to finish nearly that high, he should see enough touches to improve on his finish (31st) from a season ago. In fact, Crowell should out-touch Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire in what will be a committee. He'll be a low-end flex starter. 17

    Ron Schwane/Associated Press

    Winner: Isaiah Crowell, RB, New York Jets

    When the Jets signed Crowell, it reminded me of their 2015 addition of Chris Ivory. He would finish 10th in PPR points among running backs that season. While I'm not projecting Crowell to finish nearly that high, he should see enough touches to improve on his finish (31st) from a season ago. In fact, Crowell should out-touch Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire in what will be a committee. He'll be a low-end flex starter.

  • Martin, who has averaged a grotesque 2.9 yards per carry over the last two seasons, lands in what projects to be a crowded Oakland backfield. While Marshawn Lynch is not guaranteed to return, NFL Network's Mike Silver suggests the Raiders have no plans to "part ways" with the veteran runner. Even in a best-case scenario, Martin would be the lead back in a three-headed backfield monster under coach Jon Gruden. 16

    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Loser: Doug Martin, RB, Oakland Raiders

    Martin, who has averaged a grotesque 2.9 yards per carry over the last two seasons, lands in what projects to be a crowded Oakland backfield. While Marshawn Lynch is not guaranteed to return, NFL Network's Mike Silver suggests the Raiders have no plans to "part ways" with the veteran runner. Even in a best-case scenario, Martin would be the lead back in a three-headed backfield monster under coach Jon Gruden.

  • Taylor wasn't a free-agent add, but he did see his value increase when he was dealt to the Browns. Now the unquestioned starter for coach Hue Jackson, Taylor has the best weapons he's ever had at his disposal in the form of Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson, Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman, and David Njoku. When you also consider his skills as a runner, T-Mobile could end up being a late-round draft steal. 15

    Al Tielemans/Associated Press

    Winner: Tyrod Taylor, QB, Cleveland Browns

    Taylor wasn't a free-agent add, but he did see his value increase when he was dealt to the Browns. Now the unquestioned starter for coach Hue Jackson, Taylor has the best weapons he's ever had at his disposal in the form of Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson, Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman, and David Njoku. When you also consider his skills as a runner, T-Mobile could end up being a late-round draft steal.

  • I don't consider Keenum a huge "loser" in Denver, as he'll have Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders at his disposal in the pass attack. With that said, the overall offensive talent isn't as deep as it was during his breakout season in Minnesota. You also have to wonder if Keenum can duplicate what were career bests in completion percentage and touchdown rate. At best, he'll be a useful No. 2 fantasy quarterback. 14

    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Loser: Case Keenum, QB, Denver Broncos

    I don't consider Keenum a huge "loser" in Denver, as he'll have Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders at his disposal in the pass attack. With that said, the overall offensive talent isn't as deep as it was during his breakout season in Minnesota. You also have to wonder if Keenum can duplicate what were career bests in completion percentage and touchdown rate. At best, he'll be a useful No. 2 fantasy quarterback.

  • Bradford is a winner for several reasons. First, his lucrative one-year, $20-million contract had some NFL players (Eric Weddle) shaking their heads. Second, he'll be the favorite to start ahead of Mike Glennon and any rookie the Cardinals might add in the draft. And third, he enters an offense with David Johnson and a future Hall of Famer in Larry Fitzgerald. Bradford could be a useful matchup-based starter. 13

    Matt York/Associated Press

    Winner: Sam Bradford, QB, Arizona Cardinals

    Bradford is a winner for several reasons. First, his lucrative one-year, $20-million contract had some NFL players (Eric Weddle) shaking their heads. Second, he'll be the favorite to start ahead of Mike Glennon and any rookie the Cardinals might add in the draft. And third, he enters an offense with David Johnson and a future Hall of Famer in Larry Fitzgerald. Bradford could be a useful matchup-based starter.

  • Moncrief had been a viable sleeper during his time with the Colts, but he could never stay on the field long enough to make a major fantasy impact ... and that was with Andrew Luck under center. Now in Jacksonville, he'll join a team that ran the ball more than any other team in the league a season ago. Moncrief will also have to compete with Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole and Allen Hurns for opportunities. 12

    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Loser: Donte Moncrief, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Moncrief had been a viable sleeper during his time with the Colts, but he could never stay on the field long enough to make a major fantasy impact ... and that was with Andrew Luck under center. Now in Jacksonville, he'll join a team that ran the ball more than any other team in the league a season ago. Moncrief will also have to compete with Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole and Allen Hurns for opportunities.

  • Burton lands in a good spot to become a potential sleeper in fantasy leagues, as he'll compete with Adam Shaheen for the right to start next season. New head coach Matt Nagy liked to utilize the tight end position while in Kansas City, so Burton should have a chance to etch out a nice role as Trubisky's security blanket in the pass attack. He'll be worth a late-round look in drafts at what is a thin position. 11

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Winner: Trey Burton, TE, Chicago Bears

    Burton lands in a good spot to become a potential sleeper in fantasy leagues, as he'll compete with Adam Shaheen for the right to start next season. New head coach Matt Nagy liked to utilize the tight end position while in Kansas City, so Burton should have a chance to etch out a nice role as Trubisky's security blanket in the pass attack. He'll be worth a late-round look in drafts at what is a thin position.

  • Richardson showed some flashes of potential last season, posting career numbers across the board in what was his final run in Seattle. But despite being guaranteed $20 million in his new deal with the Redskins, he's no lock to see a huge bump in targets with Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, Chris Thompson, and Jordan Reed all in the mix. I see Richardson as a late-round option with not much of a stats ceiling. 10

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Loser: Paul Richardson, WR, Washington Redskins

    Richardson showed some flashes of potential last season, posting career numbers across the board in what was his final run in Seattle. But despite being guaranteed $20 million in his new deal with the Redskins, he's no lock to see a huge bump in targets with Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, Chris Thompson, and Jordan Reed all in the mix. I see Richardson as a late-round option with not much of a stats ceiling.

  • I should put an asterisk next to Stewart's name, as he's a "winner" until the Giants draft a running back in April. Based on the movement of other teams, most notably the Browns, Saquon Barkley could find his way to the Big Apple and smash any value Stewart has to smithereens. But for now, the veteran projects to start ahead of Wayne Gallman in an offense he knows during his time in Carolina with offensive coordinator Mike Shula. 9

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    Winner: Jonathan Stewart, RB, New York Giants

    I should put an asterisk next to Stewart's name, as he's a "winner" until the Giants draft a running back in April. Based on the movement of other teams, most notably the Browns, Saquon Barkley could find his way to the Big Apple and smash any value Stewart has to smithereens. But for now, the veteran projects to start ahead of Wayne Gallman in an offense he knows during his time in Carolina with offensive coordinator Mike Shula.

  • I would have liked to see Bridgewater land with a team that gives him a clear path to the top spot on the depth chart. Instead, he's likely to be the No. 2 quarterback behind veteran Josh McCown on a Jets team that also figures to add another signal-caller in the NFL Draft. Unless he somehow comes on top during training camp, Bridgewater isn't going to have a whole lot of fantasy value in re-drafts next season. 8

    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    Loser: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, New York Jets

    I would have liked to see Bridgewater land with a team that gives him a clear path to the top spot on the depth chart. Instead, he's likely to be the No. 2 quarterback behind veteran Josh McCown on a Jets team that also figures to add another signal-caller in the NFL Draft. Unless he somehow comes on top during training camp, Bridgewater isn't going to have a whole lot of fantasy value in re-drafts next season.

  • McCarron went from the backup in Cincinnati to a potential starter in Buffalo, where the team fields Nathan Peterman (and no one else) at quarterback. McCarron could end up competing with a rookie too, as the Bills are a virtual lock to take a quarterback in the upcoming draft, but he'll have a chance to start regardless. While not draftable in most seasonal formats, McCarron could have some matchup value. 7

    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Winner: AJ McCarron, QB, Buffalo Bills

    McCarron went from the backup in Cincinnati to a potential starter in Buffalo, where the team fields Nathan Peterman (and no one else) at quarterback. McCarron could end up competing with a rookie too, as the Bills are a virtual lock to take a quarterback in the upcoming draft, but he'll have a chance to start regardless. While not draftable in most seasonal formats, McCarron could have some matchup value.

  • Wilson might have been considered a winner at first, as he joined a Dolphins pass attack that traded Jarvis Landry to Cleveland. That was until the Dolphins added Danny Amendola to what is now a crowded corps of receivers that also includes DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, and Jakeem Grant. While there are targets to be had in Landry's absence, picking the right wideout each week could prove futile in fantasy land. 6

    G. Newman Lowrance/Associated Press

    Loser: Albert Wilson, WR, Miami Dolphins

    Wilson might have been considered a winner at first, as he joined a Dolphins pass attack that traded Jarvis Landry to Cleveland. That was until the Dolphins added Danny Amendola to what is now a crowded corps of receivers that also includes DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, and Jakeem Grant. While there are targets to be had in Landry's absence, picking the right wideout each week could prove futile in fantasy land.

  • Crabtree, who was released by the Raiders in favor of Nelson, lands in a better spot in terms of his fantasy value in Baltimore. The Ravens don't have much in terms of pass catchers at this point, so the Texas Tech product should lead this team in targets. Keep in mind that Crabtree has scored eight touchdowns in each of the last three seasons ... no Ravens wideout had more than four during the 2017 season. 5

    Ben Margot/Associated Press

    Winner: Michael Crabtree, WR, Baltimore Ravens

    Crabtree, who was released by the Raiders in favor of Nelson, lands in a better spot in terms of his fantasy value in Baltimore. The Ravens don't have much in terms of pass catchers at this point, so the Texas Tech product should lead this team in targets. Keep in mind that Crabtree has scored eight touchdowns in each of the last three seasons ... no Ravens wideout had more than four during the 2017 season.

  • Ebron was one of the best tight ends in fantasy football at the end of last season, but moving to Indianapolis was not a favorable move for his 2018 appeal. The Colts have Jack Doyle on the roster, so Ebron won't be a "featured" option. In fact, the North Carolina product is unlikely to even be drafted in most fantasy leagues. At best, he's a TE2 option. 4

    Al Tielemans/Associated Press

    Loser: Eric Ebron, TE, Indianapolis Colts

    Ebron was one of the best tight ends in fantasy football at the end of last season, but moving to Indianapolis was not a favorable move for his 2018 appeal. The Colts have Jack Doyle on the roster, so Ebron won't be a "featured" option. In fact, the North Carolina product is unlikely to even be drafted in most fantasy leagues. At best, he's a TE2 option.

  • Why is joining a crowded Patriots backfield a good thing for Hill? Well, it gives him a chance to earn a bigger role than he had in Cincinnati a season ago. In a best-case scenario, Hill could push Mike Gillislee down the depth chart and take over as the "bruiser" in coach Bill Belichick's backfield. With that said, Hill still has much to prove before he warrants any sort of attention in 2018 fantasy drafts. 3

    Aaron M. Sprecher/Associated Press

    Winner: Jeremy Hill, RB, New England Patriots

    Why is joining a crowded Patriots backfield a good thing for Hill? Well, it gives him a chance to earn a bigger role than he had in Cincinnati a season ago. In a best-case scenario, Hill could push Mike Gillislee down the depth chart and take over as the "bruiser" in coach Bill Belichick's backfield. With that said, Hill still has much to prove before he warrants any sort of attention in 2018 fantasy drafts.

  • Some might consider Seferian-Jenkins a winner, but I believe he lost value moving from New York to Jacksonville. Sure, he'll have some red-zone upside with his new team ... but look at all the mouths Blake Bortles will have to feed with Marqise Lee, Donte Moncrief, Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole in the passing attack. Plus, the Jaguars offense will still be based on Leonard Fournette and the run. Buyer beware. 2

    Jason Behnken/Associated Press

    Loser: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Some might consider Seferian-Jenkins a winner, but I believe he lost value moving from New York to Jacksonville. Sure, he'll have some red-zone upside with his new team ... but look at all the mouths Blake Bortles will have to feed with Marqise Lee, Donte Moncrief, Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole in the passing attack. Plus, the Jaguars offense will still be based on Leonard Fournette and the run. Buyer beware.

  • I see Blount as a winner in that he'll see a similar role in Detroit to the one he left behind in Philadelphia. That means early-down and goal-line opportunities ahead of Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah. While Blount has rarely been as valuable in most PPR formats, he will be a draftable option in all leagues next season. I consider him a No. 4 or 5 fantasy running back and potential matchup-based flex choice. 1

    Damian Strohmeyer/Associated Press

    Winner: LeGarrette Blount, RB, Detroit Lions

    I see Blount as a winner in that he'll see a similar role in Detroit to the one he left behind in Philadelphia. That means early-down and goal-line opportunities ahead of Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah. While Blount has rarely been as valuable in most PPR formats, he will be a draftable option in all leagues next season. I consider him a No. 4 or 5 fantasy running back and potential matchup-based flex choice.

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