With free agency looming closer and closer, coinciding with the official start date for the new league year (Wednesday, March 14th at 4:00PM EST), Pack to the Fantasy has you covered with news relating to the top free agents and their fantasy impact now and in the future. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the players making waves before free agency begins.
Drew Brees – Nobody expects Brees to leave New Orleans, and I don’t think there’s any reason he would at this juncture. This could be the best chance he has had at a Lombardi Trophy since Super Bowl XLIV. No change in fantasy relevance here, as he is pretty locked into that 2nd tier of quarterbacks. Prediction: New Orleans
Kirk Cousins – The belle of the ball, the grand prize of 2018 NFL free agency this offseason, Kirk Cousins can transform somebody’s offseason with just a signature on the dotted line. The rare starting quarterback that hits free agency in his prime years, Cousins has been linked to every quarterback needy team, including Minnesota, Arizona, Denver, and the NY Jets. Minnesota would be a perfect landing spot for him to make several contending runs, but Arizona could be another solid landing spot as they have several pieces in place as well to make a go of it. Fantasy-wise, Cousins would see his value rise the most in Minnesota, but Denver could be a pretty good spot for him as well with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to throw to. Prediction: Minnesota
Teddy Bridgewater – An excellent story coming back from such a gruesome knee injury, Bridgewater would be an excellent pickup to see if he’s still got the raw ability he showed in spurts in Minnesota. A well-liked player and quality athlete, Bridgewater would be a decent fit for teams that miss out on Kirk Cousins, so his deal with a team will almost certainly come later on in free agency. His fantasy worth is dependent on where he lands, but even then, he shouldn’t be drafted in seasonal leagues. Prediction: NY Jets
Case Keenum – Keenum should parlay a much sweeter deal than the 1 year pact he signed with Minnesota last offseason, coming off his excellent season a year ago. He has the chance to come out of the free agent market with a contract to start for a team, but would need to probably wait out the top couple quarterbacks and see what happens. In any case, he should not be drafted no matter where he lands.
Sam Bradford – Bradford spent most of 2017 injured, so if he lands somewhere, it would surely be a 1 year deal. Buffalo has shown the most interest following their trade of Tyrod Taylor, but more than likely as a bridge quarterback to another QB they will likely draft in April. Ignore him in fantasy for now.
Dion Lewis – Lewis has some untapped potential, but I’m not sure with his durability issues if he can play on all 3 downs. He would be a nice change of pace for a team that has an established back that they don’t want to give 300 carries. San Francisco, Indianapolis, the NY Jets are among several teams interested in his services so we’ll see where he ends up. Prediction: NY Giants
Carlos Hyde – Hyde was never a good fit in Kyle Shanahan’s zone-blocking system, but Hyde was used creatively in the passing game as well as between the tackles. Needing a change of scenery, Hyde would seem to fit well with the Colts under Frank Reich, who with Philadelphia, employed several backs to rotate in and out. Hyde could see a rejuvenation if he lands in Indianapolis, where more than likely, they wouldn’t be able to get a chance at Saquon Barkley. Prediction: Indianapolis
Jerick McKinnon – Never seemed to get a fair shake in Minnesota, but always seemed to find the field when the back in front of him got hurt, McKinnon publicly has stated he wants to be a feature back in the NFL. He won’t get that opportunity in Minnesota, so to free agency he goes. Many teams would be after his services, but for what he wants, he may have to wait a bit in free agency. He could be a steal for a team both in real life and in fantasy. Prediction: NY Jets
LeGarrette Blount – Blount wasn’t too much of a fantasy factor in 2017, but could end up in a beneficial situation. Championships seem to follow him, so if he can be the thunder to somebody else’s lightning and take some wear and tear off of a running back already on a roster, he can provide that. One of the more underrated players in football, sometimes that just doesn’t translate in fantasy, but keep an eye on where he lands.
Isaiah Crowell – Crowell had some success but with the Browns down, never really got the chance to salt games away. He did reach 200 carries last season, but with the amount of talent he has, it just may never fully realize. He will continue to be a productive player, but it remains to be seen if he will get the chance to be a featured back one more time.
WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS
Allen Robinson – Only 2 years removed from a 1,400 yard/14 TD season, Allen Robinson did not get the Jacksonville franchise tag, so he will become a hot commodity. His ACL injury should be fully healed by the time training camp hits, so there will be a ton of teams in play, including Chicago, Baltimore, and Oakland. He would be more than likely the top receiver wherever he lands, which should bode well in fantasy. Prediction: Baltimore
Jimmy Graham – Never one to throw a block, Jimmy Graham is a receiving threat only. But one that can add a big time dynamic to an offense. Could he return to New Orleans? That would make a ton of sense as Drew Brees hasn’t had that TE threat since Graham left the Saints. Graham’s landing spot should heavily shake up the rankings, but Graham should definitely stay in the top 7-8 at the position. Prediction: New Orleans
Sammy Watkins – Sammy always seemed to be the decoy for other players in the Rams offense, but in free agency, he should be a featured player wherever he lands. Watkins has tantalizing potential and could return to being a WR1 in the right situation. Prediction: Chicago
Tyler Eifert – A huge injury risk, Tyler Eifert seems to always pop up on free agent lists. He’ll surely receive a 1 year “show me” deal to see if he can stay healthy for even half the season. The talent is there, but playing 24 of a possible 64 games will put that label on you. Very hard to invest in him and his negotiations could end after the NFL Draft. Prediction: Denver
Paul Richardson – Richardson flashed the most potential last season before getting hurt, but he may have priced himself out of Seattle. Wherever he ends up would get a big time deep threat and at age 25, at his peak years. Prediction: Washington
Trey Burton – Burton is a Swiss-army knife, do it all type of tight end, and proved his worth helping the Philadelphia Eagles realize their first Super Bowl. Burton should get the chance to start somewhere and could be a fantasy factor depending on the landing spot. Prediction: Green Bay
Donte Moncrief – Moncrief has disappointed since he was drafted by Indianapolis, but the talent is certainly there. Somebody will take a chance on him to see if he can realize a bit of that potential. In the right situation, he will be pretty much where he’s been in fantasy circles, somebody you will take with one of your last picks, hoping he pans out. Prediction: Kansas City
Stay tuned to Pack to the Fantasy as we’ll pore over some of the moves made at free agency officially begins on 3/14!