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Published: March 20, 2018 at 05:10 p.m.
Updated: March 22, 2018 at 07:27 p.m.

Fantasy players affected by free agency moves

The NFL's free agency frenzy hasn't just affected the fantasy value of players who will wear new uniforms in 2018. The collateral damage affects those already on the teams that have either acquired or lost talented assets. Here's a list of players who haven't changed teams, but will experience some change in fantasy appeal moving forward.

25 Photos Total

  • If there were any doubt that Adams was going to be the No. 1 option in the pass attack for Green Bay, it was eased when the team decided to release veteran Jordy Nelson. While the addition of Jimmy Graham could mean a small hit in the red-zone, Adams should still see more than his share of targets in the Packers offense. Oh, and he has some dude named Aaron Rodgers throwing him the football too. He's a WR1. 25

    Greg Trott/Associated Press

    Winner: Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

    If there were any doubt that Adams was going to be the No. 1 option in the pass attack for Green Bay, it was eased when the team decided to release veteran Jordy Nelson. While the addition of Jimmy Graham could mean a small hit in the red-zone, Adams should still see more than his share of targets in the Packers offense. Oh, and he has some dude named Aaron Rodgers throwing him the football too. He's a WR1.

  • I couldn't have been more excited about Henry's prospects entering free agency, but his value took a hit when the Titans added the versatile Dion Lewis into the mix. That hurts Henry's ceiling and makes him less attractive in PPR leagues, as Lewis will command a lot of work in the passing game. I still like Henry as a No. 2 fantasy running back in all drafts, but his chances of moving into the elite conversation took a hit. 24

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Loser: Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

    I couldn't have been more excited about Henry's prospects entering free agency, but his value took a hit when the Titans added the versatile Dion Lewis into the mix. That hurts Henry's ceiling and makes him less attractive in PPR leagues, as Lewis will command a lot of work in the passing game. I still like Henry as a No. 2 fantasy running back in all drafts, but his chances of moving into the elite conversation took a hit.

  • New coach Jon Gruden said that Cooper will be the "focal point" of the Raiders offense moving forward. This is a good bit of news for his chances to rebound after what was an atrocious 2017 campaign. The Raiders then released Michael Crabtree and replaced him with Nelson, who is on the downside of his career. While I see Oakland as a run-first team, Cooper will be their first option in the pass attack. He is on the rise. 23

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Winner: Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders

    New coach Jon Gruden said that Cooper will be the "focal point" of the Raiders offense moving forward. This is a good bit of news for his chances to rebound after what was an atrocious 2017 campaign. The Raiders then released Michael Crabtree and replaced him with Nelson, who is on the downside of his career. While I see Oakland as a run-first team, Cooper will be their first option in the pass attack. He is on the rise.

  • While I expect the Raiders to run the football a ton under Gruden next season, Lynch is now in a crowded backfield after the addition of Doug Martin. Furthermore, Beast Mode will turn 32 in April and is the oldest member of that backfield with Martin, DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard. Even if Lynch retains his starting job, which I expect will be the case, he'll be far from a featured back. Lynch will be a low-end flex pick. 22

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Loser: Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders

    While I expect the Raiders to run the football a ton under Gruden next season, Lynch is now in a crowded backfield after the addition of Doug Martin. Furthermore, Beast Mode will turn 32 in April and is the oldest member of that backfield with Martin, DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard. Even if Lynch retains his starting job, which I expect will be the case, he'll be far from a featured back. Lynch will be a low-end flex pick.

  • Alright, so Case Keenum might not be Peyton Manning ... but can we all agree that he is an upgrade over the combination of Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch? Under primarily Keenum's direction, the Vikings had a top-10 (Adam Thielen) and a top-20 PPR wide receiver (Stefon Diggs), in addition to a top-10 tight end (Kyle Rudolph). That's good news for both Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, who should move up in 2018 rankings. 21

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Winner: Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos

    Alright, so Case Keenum might not be Peyton Manning ... but can we all agree that he is an upgrade over the combination of Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch? Under primarily Keenum's direction, the Vikings had a top-10 (Adam Thielen) and a top-20 PPR wide receiver (Stefon Diggs), in addition to a top-10 tight end (Kyle Rudolph). That's good news for both Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, who should move up in 2018 rankings.

  • The top-scoring player in fantasy football last season, Wilson has lost Graham (Packers) and Paul Richardson (Redskins) to free agency. Those two players alone contributed 173 targets, or 42 percent of all the wide receiver/tight end targets on the team a season ago. While I don't expect Wilson's value to tumble too far, losing these two players (plus a boatload of defenders) is still going to hurt next season. 20

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Loser: Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

    The top-scoring player in fantasy football last season, Wilson has lost Graham (Packers) and Paul Richardson (Redskins) to free agency. Those two players alone contributed 173 targets, or 42 percent of all the wide receiver/tight end targets on the team a season ago. While I don't expect Wilson's value to tumble too far, losing these two players (plus a boatload of defenders) is still going to hurt next season.

  • The loss of LeGarrette Blount leaves Ajayi as the projected starter for coach Doug Pederson, so an increase in touches should be expected in 2018. I'm projecting him as a viable flex starter and a middle-round pick in drafts. Pederson does like to use committees, however, so don't be surprised to see Corey Clement get an uptick in opportunities. He's the real sleeper to watch in this backfield, especially in all PPR formats. 19

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Winner: Jay Ajayi, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

    The loss of LeGarrette Blount leaves Ajayi as the projected starter for coach Doug Pederson, so an increase in touches should be expected in 2018. I'm projecting him as a viable flex starter and a middle-round pick in drafts. Pederson does like to use committees, however, so don't be surprised to see Corey Clement get an uptick in opportunities. He's the real sleeper to watch in this backfield, especially in all PPR formats.

  • The Browns have had one hell of an offseason, adding Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry and Carlos Hyde to their offensive attack. That comes with some collateral damage to the value of Gordon, though. His ceiling is a bit lower now with his projected targets on the decline. In fact, he's likely no longer the first Browns wideout who'll be drafted in PPR leagues ... that will be Landry. I like Flash as more of a No. 3 wideout now. 18

    David Richard/Associated Press

    Loser: Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns

    The Browns have had one hell of an offseason, adding Tyrod Taylor, Jarvis Landry and Carlos Hyde to their offensive attack. That comes with some collateral damage to the value of Gordon, though. His ceiling is a bit lower now with his projected targets on the decline. In fact, he's likely no longer the first Browns wideout who'll be drafted in PPR leagues ... that will be Landry. I like Flash as more of a No. 3 wideout now.

  • How is Fitzgerald a winner? Well, who were the Cardinals quarterbacks before the additions of Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon? (*crickets*) Some fantasy fans will scoff at the notion that Bradford is an upgrade, but Arizona was running Blaine Gabbert out there a season ago ... and Fitzgerald still put up great numbers. The future Hall of Famer is right there on the WR1/WR2 borderline in PPR next season. 17

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Winner: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

    How is Fitzgerald a winner? Well, who were the Cardinals quarterbacks before the additions of Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon? (*crickets*) Some fantasy fans will scoff at the notion that Bradford is an upgrade, but Arizona was running Blaine Gabbert out there a season ago ... and Fitzgerald still put up great numbers. The future Hall of Famer is right there on the WR1/WR2 borderline in PPR next season.

  • The trade that sent Landry to Cleveland has opened the door for Parker to reach the high expectations he had coming out of Louisville, right? Maybe, but the Dolphins also added veterans Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola to a pass attack that will also field a burner in Kenny Stills. Let's also not forget deep sleeper Jakeem Grant. I just don't see Parker seeing enough targets to make a consistent impact for owners. 16

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Loser: DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins

    The trade that sent Landry to Cleveland has opened the door for Parker to reach the high expectations he had coming out of Louisville, right? Maybe, but the Dolphins also added veterans Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola to a pass attack that will also field a burner in Kenny Stills. Let's also not forget deep sleeper Jakeem Grant. I just don't see Parker seeing enough targets to make a consistent impact for owners.

  • Diggs is coming off the best season of his career, as he finished 19th in PPR points among wide receivers despite missing two games. He should be able to improve on that finish in 2018, as the addition of Kirk Cousins makes Diggs, Thielen and everyone on the Vikings offense more attractive on some level. If Diggs can stay on the field for a full 16-game season, 1,000-plus yards is possible for this talented wideout. 15

    Todd Rosenberg/NFL

    Winner: Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings

    Diggs is coming off the best season of his career, as he finished 19th in PPR points among wide receivers despite missing two games. He should be able to improve on that finish in 2018, as the addition of Kirk Cousins makes Diggs, Thielen and everyone on the Vikings offense more attractive on some level. If Diggs can stay on the field for a full 16-game season, 1,000-plus yards is possible for this talented wideout.

  • The Bills might have added A.J. McCarron as a free agent, but is he an upgrade over Tyrod Taylor at the quarterback position? Time will tell, but it's hard to trust a field general who has made just 133 pass attempts in four years to come right in and be reliable. As a result, you have to wonder about how effective Benjamin will be in Buffalo's run-based offense. At best, K.B. will be picked as a high-end No. 3 fantasy wideout. 14

    Adrian Kraus/Associated Press

    Loser: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Buffalo Bills

    The Bills might have added A.J. McCarron as a free agent, but is he an upgrade over Tyrod Taylor at the quarterback position? Time will tell, but it's hard to trust a field general who has made just 133 pass attempts in four years to come right in and be reliable. As a result, you have to wonder about how effective Benjamin will be in Buffalo's run-based offense. At best, K.B. will be picked as a high-end No. 3 fantasy wideout.

  • When Lewis left for Tennessee, it made Burkhead a much more interesting fantasy option in 2018. While the team also added Jeremy Hill, Burkhead is closer in skill set to Lewis and projects to see an increase in touches in his absence. Burkhead scored eight times in 10 games a season ago, and his tools as a pass-catcher make him a solid PPR option. He's a player to watch during the summer months. 13

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Winner: Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots

    When Lewis left for Tennessee, it made Burkhead a much more interesting fantasy option in 2018. While the team also added Jeremy Hill, Burkhead is closer in skill set to Lewis and projects to see an increase in touches in his absence. Burkhead scored eight times in 10 games a season ago, and his tools as a pass-catcher make him a solid PPR option. He's a player to watch during the summer months.

  • We hope that the Colts will have Andrew Luck back under center next season, and that's nothing but good news for the Colts offensive skill position players. However, you also have to think that newly-signed Eric Ebron will command some of the targets that were scheduled for Doyle in the pass attack. I still see him as a No. 1 fantasy tight end, but Doyle is now on the lower end of that scale in all 2018 leagues. 12

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    Loser: Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts

    We hope that the Colts will have Andrew Luck back under center next season, and that's nothing but good news for the Colts offensive skill position players. However, you also have to think that newly-signed Eric Ebron will command some of the targets that were scheduled for Doyle in the pass attack. I still see him as a No. 1 fantasy tight end, but Doyle is now on the lower end of that scale in all 2018 leagues.

  • Woods is coming off the best fantasy season of his career, posting 781 yards and five touchdowns despite missing four games due to injuries. With Sammy Watkins now in Kansas City, the USC product should expect to see a bigger target share in what was one of the best offensive attacks in the NFL a season ago. Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds also figure to see more chances, but Woods is the Rams wideout to grab. 11

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Winner: Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams

    Woods is coming off the best fantasy season of his career, posting 781 yards and five touchdowns despite missing four games due to injuries. With Sammy Watkins now in Kansas City, the USC product should expect to see a bigger target share in what was one of the best offensive attacks in the NFL a season ago. Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds also figure to see more chances, but Woods is the Rams wideout to grab.

  • Can we all agree that it's just not going to happen for Abdullah in the world of fantasy football? Despite possessing the skills to be a productive runner, the Nebraska product has failed to rush for 600 yards or catch more than 25 passes in a single season at the pro level. With the addition of Blount to this backfield, there's now a good chance that he'll lose early-down work while falling to third on Detroit's depth chart. 10

    Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

    Loser: Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions

    Can we all agree that it's just not going to happen for Abdullah in the world of fantasy football? Despite possessing the skills to be a productive runner, the Nebraska product has failed to rush for 600 yards or catch more than 25 passes in a single season at the pro level. With the addition of Blount to this backfield, there's now a good chance that he'll lose early-down work while falling to third on Detroit's depth chart.

  • The Ravens haven't adding a running back in free agency, and the retirement of Danny Woodhead de-clutters the team's backfield (at least for now). Collins, who looked solid in the second half of last season, projects to be the top back for coach John Harbaugh with Javorius Allen and Kenneth Dixon behind him. If the Ravens don't add an impact runner in the draft, Collins could be worth a top-60 pick in all re-drafts. 9

    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Winner: Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens

    The Ravens haven't adding a running back in free agency, and the retirement of Danny Woodhead de-clutters the team's backfield (at least for now). Collins, who looked solid in the second half of last season, projects to be the top back for coach John Harbaugh with Javorius Allen and Kenneth Dixon behind him. If the Ravens don't add an impact runner in the draft, Collins could be worth a top-60 pick in all re-drafts.

  • For a short period of time, it looked like Powell might see a bigger role in the Jets offensive attack after the retirement of Matt Forte. That was until the team added Isaiah Crowell, who figures to take over the early-down work and lead the Jets in backfield touches next season. That leaves both Powell and Elijah McGuire as far less attractive fantasy options with lower ceilings. Powell is now just a late-round selection. 8

    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Loser: Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets

    For a short period of time, it looked like Powell might see a bigger role in the Jets offensive attack after the retirement of Matt Forte. That was until the team added Isaiah Crowell, who figures to take over the early-down work and lead the Jets in backfield touches next season. That leaves both Powell and Elijah McGuire as far less attractive fantasy options with lower ceilings. Powell is now just a late-round selection.

  • I'm not sure that Carson will ultimately end up as the No. 1 running back in Seattle, as the team could look to fill the position by dipping into a loaded 2018 draft class. But, for now, the Oklahoma State product projects to be atop the depth chart with veterans Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls no longer in the mix. Carson showed some potential during his four games as a rookie, rushing for 208 yards on 49 rushing attempts. 7

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Winner: Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks

    I'm not sure that Carson will ultimately end up as the No. 1 running back in Seattle, as the team could look to fill the position by dipping into a loaded 2018 draft class. But, for now, the Oklahoma State product projects to be atop the depth chart with veterans Eddie Lacy and Thomas Rawls no longer in the mix. Carson showed some potential during his four games as a rookie, rushing for 208 yards on 49 rushing attempts.

  • Gallman was a useful flex starter for PPR owners at the end of last season, rankings 22nd at his position over the final four games. Unfortunately, he's unlikely to retain a larger role in the Giants offense after the addition of veteran Jonathan Stewart. You also have to figure that the team will address the running back position in the NFL draft (maybe Saquon Barkley), so Gallman's arrow seems to be pointing down. 6

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Loser: Wayne Gallman, RB, New York Giants

    Gallman was a useful flex starter for PPR owners at the end of last season, rankings 22nd at his position over the final four games. Unfortunately, he's unlikely to retain a larger role in the Giants offense after the addition of veteran Jonathan Stewart. You also have to figure that the team will address the running back position in the NFL draft (maybe Saquon Barkley), so Gallman's arrow seems to be pointing down.

  • Mahomes was a big winner when the Chiefs announced that Alex Smith was being traded to the Washington Redskins. He won even more when they added Sammy Watkins as a free agent. That gives the big-armed quarterback a valuable deep threat in a pass attack that also has Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, and Kareem Hunt coming out of the backfield. Mahomes will now be one of the better fantasy sleepers at his position. 5

    Ed Zurga/Associated Press

    Winner: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

    Mahomes was a big winner when the Chiefs announced that Alex Smith was being traded to the Washington Redskins. He won even more when they added Sammy Watkins as a free agent. That gives the big-armed quarterback a valuable deep threat in a pass attack that also has Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, and Kareem Hunt coming out of the backfield. Mahomes will now be one of the better fantasy sleepers at his position.

  • There were some fantasy folks out there that liked Breida as a potential sleeper with Carlos Hyde on his way out the door in San Francisco. That fell to pieces when the team added Jerick McKinnon, however. Coach Kyle Shanahan has said that he wants to use his new lead back much like he used Devonta Freeman in Atlanta, which leaves Breida in a complementary role. He's going to be a handcuff in most 2018 drafts. 4

    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    Loser: Matt Breida, RB, San Francisco 49ers

    There were some fantasy folks out there that liked Breida as a potential sleeper with Carlos Hyde on his way out the door in San Francisco. That fell to pieces when the team added Jerick McKinnon, however. Coach Kyle Shanahan has said that he wants to use his new lead back much like he used Devonta Freeman in Atlanta, which leaves Breida in a complementary role. He's going to be a handcuff in most 2018 drafts.

  • Much like Mahomes, Trubisky is going to be a popular sleeper at the quarterback position next season. The Bears made him a lot more attractive based on several moves, including the addition of a No. 1 wideout in Allen Robinson, a speedster in Taylor Gabriel and an intriguing tight end in Trey Burton. This doesn't guarantee that he'll be drafted at what is a very deep position, but Trubisky has some definite fantasy upside now. 3

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Winner: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears

    Much like Mahomes, Trubisky is going to be a popular sleeper at the quarterback position next season. The Bears made him a lot more attractive based on several moves, including the addition of a No. 1 wideout in Allen Robinson, a speedster in Taylor Gabriel and an intriguing tight end in Trey Burton. This doesn't guarantee that he'll be drafted at what is a very deep position, but Trubisky has some definite fantasy upside now.

  • See Trubisky's blurb ... the Bears look ready to move on from their former first-round selection. That's due in large part to the fact that White has missed 27 of his first 32 pro games due to injuries. A one-time sleeper candidate, the West Virginia product is now buried on Chicago's depth chart with little chance to make an impact in the stat sheets. At this point, White is all but undraftable in all fantasy football leagues for 2018. 2

    Kevin Terrell/Associated Press

    Loser: Kevin White, WR, Chicago Bears

    See Trubisky's blurb ... the Bears look ready to move on from their former first-round selection. That's due in large part to the fact that White has missed 27 of his first 32 pro games due to injuries. A one-time sleeper candidate, the West Virginia product is now buried on Chicago's depth chart with little chance to make an impact in the stat sheets. At this point, White is all but undraftable in all fantasy football leagues for 2018.

  • It still amazes me that Bortles has been a top-13 fantasy quarterback in three straight seasons, including two where he ranked inside the top 10. And while the Jaguars will continue to be a run-based team, the return of Marqise Lee along with the additions of Donte Moncrief and Austin Seferian-Jenkins gives him some nice weapons in the pass attack. The Jaguars also added Andrew Norwell to help bolster the offensive line. 1

    Ryan Kang/NFL

    Winner: Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

    It still amazes me that Bortles has been a top-13 fantasy quarterback in three straight seasons, including two where he ranked inside the top 10. And while the Jaguars will continue to be a run-based team, the return of Marqise Lee along with the additions of Donte Moncrief and Austin Seferian-Jenkins gives him some nice weapons in the pass attack. The Jaguars also added Andrew Norwell to help bolster the offensive line.