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Free Agency Frenzy: Fantasy winners and losers

The free-agency frenzy has been a wild ride, as several big-name players will be wearing new uniforms in 2020. We've also seen some trades, none more relevant than the one that sent DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona in a deal that also included David Johnson. So, who have been the winners and losers among players who switched teams? Here's a look (this article will be updated as more moves are made).


David Johnson, RB, Houston Texans: Johnson landed in a great spot to get back into the good graces of fantasy fans, as he'll play a featured role in Houston. While a recent rash of injuries could drive his draft price down a bit, he did average over 20 fantasy points in the first six games of 2019. I like him as a No. 2 fantasy runner with a third- or fourth-round price in 2020 drafts.

Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills: Diggs is a winner because he'll almost certainly see more than the 94 targets he had in his final season with the Vikings. He also gets to play with a big-armed quarterback in Josh Allen, who will no doubt look to him in the vertical pass attack. While I don't see Diggs moving into the WR1 tier, the talented wideout should be a surefire No. 2 option in drafts.

Todd Gurley, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Gurley landed a quick, 1-year contract with the Falcons and is projected to be their lead back. That's the good news, at least for now, but will Atlanta take a running back in the 2020 NFL Draft? That remains to be seen. In a best-case scenario where Gurley is the unquestioned top back, he'll be a risk-reward No. 2 fantasy back in drafts.

Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Brady is coming off a disappointing season that saw him average 16.5 fantasy points per game (his worst total since 2002). With Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and other talented players now at his disposal though, Brady should rebound back onto the fantasy radar. In fact, I'd expect the soon-to-be 43-year-old to be ranked among the top 10-12 fantasy quarterbacks.

Philip Rivers, QB, Indianapolis Colts: Rivers is also coming off a very disappointing campaign, averaging just 14.7 fantasy points per game (his lowest total since 2012). The good news is that he'll now play behind a solid offensive line with talented options like T.Y. Hilton and Marlon Mack in the mix. While he won't be a QB1, Rivers should be seen as a late-round No. 2 option in drafts.

Rob Gronkowski, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: In a shocking (or maybe not) move, the Patriots traded Gronkowski to the Buccaneers. This means the former fantasy star with be reunited with Tom Brady in an offense that's looking stacked. While Gronk will remain a No. 1 tight end in fantasy, expecting him to return to elite status might be unrealistic. Still, he's clearly back on the radar.

Hayden Hurst, TE, Atlanta Falcons: A former first-round pick in the 2018 draft, Hurst has failed to meet expectations after two seasons. He's in a good spot to emerge into a nice fantasy option in Atlanta, however. With Austin Hooper out of the mix, there are nearly 100 available targets in the offense. Hurst could see a good portion of those chances, making him a viable No. 2 tight end in 2020.

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Carolina Panthers: Bridgewater's stock is on the rise, as he's now the projected starter in Carolina. I would temper expectations, however, as he averaged just 15.1 fantasy points in six games where he led the Saints in pass attempts last season. With that said, Bridgewater won't be much more than a late-round pick in most 2020 drafts ... assuming he's even selected.

Nick Foles, QB, Chicago Bears: Foles will have to compete with Mitchell Trubisky for the starting role, but he's in a great spot to succeed. Bears coach Matt Nagy was his offensive coordinator in Kansas City, and John DeFilippo was his quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia. With that being said, Foles is likely to be a late-round selection (at best) at what is a very deep quarterback position.


Melvin Gordon, RB, Denver Broncos: Gordon has been a fantasy star for most of the last four seasons, but a move to Denver puts a damper on his value. That's due to the presence of both Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, who along with Gordon combined to form what could be a confusing backfield committee. As a result, Gordon should be seen as a fantasy flex starter in 2020.

Austin Hooper, TE, Cleveland Browns: Hooper finished as the TE6 a season ago, but his 14.7 points-per-game average was third most. Unfortunately, he will struggle to duplicate that in a Browns offense loaded with talented pass-catchers like Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, David Njoku and Kareem Hunt. While I still see Hooper as a top-10 tight end, his ceiling has definitely taken a hit.

Robby Anderson, WR, Carolina Panthers: The addition of Anderson is good news for the Panthers offense as a whole, but it doesn't do much for his fantasy value. In fact, he'll go from a top option in New York to third or fourth (at best) with D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel in the mix. Oh, and don't fogert about pass-catching monster Christian McCaffrey. Anderson will be a WR4/5 in 10-team drafts.

Randall Cobb, WR, Houston Texans: Cobb was a free-agent winner when he signed with the Texans, but the addition of Brandin Cooks puts him into the "loser" department. Houston now has a lot of mouths to feed in the passing game, so Cobb's potential target share figures to be less than stellar. At this point, the veteran wideout is likely to be no more than a late-round pick as a WR4/5 in most drafts.

O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Howard's value was already a sinking stock after a disappointing 2019 campaign, and now the Bucs added Gronkowski to an offense that's chock full of playmakers. The move leaves Howard as maybe the fourth-best option in the pass attack for Brady, and it will also likely keep him from being selected outside of the late rounds (if at all) in most re-drafts.

Jason Witten, TE, Las Vegas Raiders: Witten ranked 11th in fantasy points among tight ends last season, so he was a viable starter in 12-team leagues. That won't be the case in 2020, though, as he'll play a secondary role to budding star Darren Waller. The Raiders also played just 15.8 percent of their offensive snaps in "12" personnel in 2019, so Witten's targets and snaps are destined to decline.


DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Hopkins ranked fifth among wide receivers in fantasy points a season ago, and I can see him being right in that same range in 2020. The Cardinals have one of the most talented offensive teams in the league, and they're going to play fast under coach Kliff Kingsbury. That's good news for Nuk, who should see 150-plus targets and remains a top-15 selection.

Jordan Howard, RB, Miami Dolphins: Howard is a push for now, because I expect the Dolphins to draft a running back to share the workload. In fact, this could end up being a bit like the situation we saw with Howard and Miles Sanders in Philadelphia a season ago. I'd project Howard as a potential flex starter at this point, but his true value won't be known until after the 2020 NFL Draft.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, New Orleans Saints: Sanders landed in a good spot with the Saints, but I don't see his numbers rising even with Drew Brees under center. The Saints have a lot of mouths to feed, so Sanders could be unreliable ... much like he was in 2019. He'll have some huge games at times (good for best ballers), but he shouldn't be seen as more than a No. 4 fantasy wideout.

Eric Ebron, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers: Ebron lands in a good spot in terms of the pass attack, which should be productive with Ben Roethlisberger back under center. The problem is he could also be sharing time at tight end with Vance McDonald. That would of course limit his ceiling. At this point, Ebron should be seen as a late-round, No. 2 fantasy tight end in most 2020 fantasy drafts.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Las Vegas Raiders: Mariota fell behind Ryan Tannehill on the depth chart in Tennessee a season ago, and now he'll find himself behind Derek Carr in Las Vegas. While rumors swirl about Carr in potential trades, Mariota is in the same position now that he was at the end of last season ... a backup quarterback with no real significant value in fantasy football leagues.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTubeand Instagramfor the latest fantasy football news and analysis!

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