This is the craziest free agency I can remember in a long time. So far we have seen superstar receivers getting paid the big money and the Quarterback carousel has well and truly been in full swing. Lets take a look at the fantasy impact on those players involved in those blockbuster free agency moves.
RUSSELL WILSON – DENVER BRONCOS
It seems a distant memory now but this was the first blockbuster move that kicked off free agency as Wilson swapped the Emerald City for Mile-High.
Not since Peyton Manning have the Broncos had a legitimate franchise Quarterback. Wilson will bring a spark that a talented Denver offense needs. Especially when you consider that since Manning’s retirement the Broncos have mustered up a mere 115 passing touchdowns whereas in that same time span the Seahawks under Wilson racked up 193 passing touchdowns.
Wilson will automatically increase the fantasy stock of his supporting cast. At 33 Wilson isn’t likely to bounce back as a rusher. But he still has some of the most talented receivers and great depth in the position to continue his dominance as a passer and rack up those fantasy points.
Last year, Wilson missed three games. And, in an underwhelming season, he finished outside the top 12 fantasy QBs for the first time in his career. However, with new surroundings and a talented support cast I view Wilson as a QB1 with top five upside.
DESHAUN WATSON – CLEVELAND BROWNS
It’s not rocket science to see that Watson is a huge upgrade on Baker Mayfield but the looming suspension is a major worry. On this note if you are in desperate of a QB or playing in a deep league then it’s well worth stashing Jacoby Brissett who is next in line for the Browns.
It may take a few weeks for Watson to get rid of them cobwebs and hit the form we became accustomed to seeing from him in a Texans uniform. It’s no secret that, when Watson is under centre, he is a legit dual threat quarterback who racks up fantasy points for fun.
What does Watson have in Cleveland that he never had in Houston? The answer is simple. A dangerous support cast which has one of the best running back tandems in the NFL in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The Browns have acquired Amari Cooper from the Cowboys (let’s be honest, he’s a much better target for Watson than what Brandin Cooks was).
Plus, there is a still a chance that Jarvis Landry will re-sign with the Browns. That will give Watson two quality targets alongside tight end David Njoku who is set for a larger role now that Austin Hooper has headed to Tennessee.
I view Watson as a QB1 – but obviously a lot will depend on those looming lawsuits and a likely suspension. And those managers looking for dual threat fantasy QB – beware!
Kevin Stefanski is a coach that is all about running the ball and has spent some serious draft stock on their offensive line so it’s unlikely that the Browns abandon the running game. This will take away some of the dual threat value and Fantasy points.
DAVANTE ADAMS – LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Another dynamite free agency move. The question on everyone’s lips is whether Davante Adams will still be an elite fantasy receiver and the answer is yes. Derek Carr may not be Aaron Rodgers but Carr is still a very good quarterback.
And, until now, Carr has not had an elite wide receiver at his disposal. Amari Cooper has arguably been his best option but he’s not Davante Adams by any stretch of the imagination.
The Rodgers-Adams connection was one of the best in the NFL. The good news is that Adams has already played with Derek Carr in college football at Fresno State which will be a huge bonus for their chemistry.
Let’s be real for a minute though, Adams will still be an elite WR in fantasy football but a drop off is almost certain. In Vegas they have a lot of mouths to feed. Particularky when you consider the likes of Waller or Renfrow – and even Josh Jacobs is getting involved more in the pass game.
From a fantasy perspective the biggest beneficiary of the move will be Derek Carr. I expect the Quarterback to play lights out in 2022.
I love Davante Adams and he helped me win several championships over the past few years. But, right now, i’d imagine most of us will have more faith in drafting players such as Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase in redraft leagues. Across the past few years Adams was the clear WR1 but he is likely going to be viewed as a WR4 – 6.
TYREEK HILL – MIAMI DOLPHINS
A little bit like the speedster himself. This was a move that escalated quickly as Hill, as he opted to swap Kansas City for Vice City. In a free agency full of surprises this is actually the move that has surprised me the most. I never saw Hill leaving Mahomes.
I’ll be honest, from a fantasy standpoint I am not keen on the move one bit. Hill leaves a pass heavy Chiefs for a Dolphins offense with Tua under center. I mean to go from Mahomes to Tua is a significant downgrade. Tua isn’t exactly much of a big downfield passer of the ball. The Quarterback tied 28th amongst his peers for 20+ yard big plays.
On the other hand, I am intrigued to see how McDaniel deploys Hill in this Dolphins offense. Last season we saw the Dolphins eventually open up the playbook with various packages for Jaylen Waddle and I would expect them to do the same for Hill.
I think we will see McDaniel use Hill in a similar way to how the 49ers used Deebo Samuel as a gadget type of player. If so, I’d expect Hill to end up as WR 1-3 with the level of speed that he has.
I’ll still be targeting Hill in fantasy leagues. But, unlike previous years, I won’t be as disappointed if I miss out on him. Similar to the Adams outlook, I would still rather select players like Kupp, Jefferson and Chase over him right now. But, at the WR 4 – 7 ADP it’s almost certain you’ll get bang for your buck from Hill. After all, he’s just come off a career year in KC.