The Ten Biggest Fantasy Football Free Agents And Range Of Outcomes
While we are still waiting for the rubble of the 2019-20 NFL season to settle, savvy fantasy football players have already started to draft their 2020 fantasy teams and to think about their dynasty fantasy football teams and how they plan on re-working them over the course of the offseason. Of course, our fantasy game is reliant upon what happens with actual NFL football free agents. If talented players go to bad situations, that isn’t great! If a talented quarterback heads to a new team where he will/would be replacing a sub-par QB, that is great for our purposes!
These free agents were found from SpoTrac and are by no means ALL of the available free agents. They are, by our estimation here at RotoExperts, the players who are most likely to be on new teams in 2020 and who would also have massive ramifications on fantasy football if they were to switch teams. That doesn’t mean we want your favorite teams to lose good players, this is merely a handicapping of the situation given the available data.
Essentially, this is a list of players whose free agency leans (one way or or the other) are going to change the landscape of fantasy football over the next calendar year and a look at some of the ranges of outcomes that exist for each player.
Fantasy Football Free Agency Possible Outcomes
We have now all heard the rumors that the Chargers organization is done with Rivers and for good reason. The team was actively bad in 2019 (as we will get to later on in this article) and Rivers averaged only 7.1 adjusted yards per attempt which was his worst since 2012 and the fifth-worst of his career. The question is: does Rivers have anywhere else to go for sure? The Buccaneers would be an option if they move on from Jamies or perhaps the Miami Dolphins would be interested in a different veteran quarterback. If Rivers went to Miami, Jacksonville, or Chicago, there is a reasonable argument that he could make them a better team and a more interesting fantasy offense but he is probably largely overrated at this point and we may have seen the last of him as a quality starting NFL QB.
Should AJ Green leave the Bengals when he is finally about to play with an elite quarterback? It seems like the median outcome is Green being franchise tagged and “accepting” it but given Green’s health situation and how pathetic the team was in 2019, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if he left. The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles are the two teams that are poised to win right away (Patriots because of BB and the Eagles because of the overall strength of the roster) that desperately need the services of someone like Green. Staying put in Cincy would actually be solid for Green’s fantasy value as the top WR in a pass-heavy system with a talented new rookie. Departing to somewhere like Arizona (becoming Kyler’s REAL #1) or Philadelphia might even be better.
Things got pretty testy between the Colts coaching staff and Eric Ebron in the second half of the 2019 season. It was reported that Ebron had a specific sit down with the coaching staff and asked for his role to be expanded; it was expanded for exactly one game before it went back to normal. The fact is that he is a luxury on a team that just wants to run the ball as much as possible after the loss of their franchise quarterback. Similar to how Jared Cook had a whole second-career after not panning out at his first few stops, it wouldn’t be surprising if Ebron rediscovered his 2018 magic with a team like Green Bay (in desperate need of receiving help), Baltimore (need to upgrade on the Hayden Hurst/Nick Boyle rotation spots), or even the Dallas Cowboys who have shown they do not trust Blake Jarwin as a full-time player.
If you do not think Jameis Winston is good for fantasy football, you are inaccurate. He propelled both Chris Godwin and Mike Evans to top-12 per game finishes in 2019 and if he returns in 2020, he will do the same. The mystery is that it seems that Bruce Arians and the Buccaneers coaching staff are not very interested in bringing Jameis back. Wherever Winston ends up starting next, he will bring a full-volume passing offense with him that will spike the fantasy value of the weapons already in place. Los Angeles (Chargers, not the Rams), Oakland, Carolina (if Newton is injured beyond repair), and Jacksonville are all destinations where Winston could conceivably start and improve the offense for fantasy football purposes in 2020.
A story as old as time: a franchise sets up their entire offensive game plan around using one running back on every play. That running back accumulates a ton of value statistics (including touchdowns) and the fan base comes to love the player. The coaching staff identifies that player as the most important player on the team despite evidence to the contrary. The team then pays a WAY above market rate to keep that running back on the team. This is the Ezekiel Elliot story from last season except now it is happening to Henry. Should the Titans re-sign Henry for massive money? Of course not. Will they? It seems more likely than not. However, as we saw superstar RB Le’Veon Bell leave in free agency last year it is not impossible that another bad team would give Henry an insanely large contract offer. Henry’s dynasty value will take a fairly large hit if he leaves the Titans organization.
As horrible as it would be for the Cowboys to let Cooper, Randall Cobb and Tavon Austin (don’t laugh) all walk in the offseason as Jason Witten either retires or follows Jason Garrett to New York, they still might do it. They had ample opportunities to pay him over the offseason and during the season and made no progress. They also still have to pay Dak Prescott before they think about a mega-extension for Cooper. While Dallas is a perfect situation for Amari (gets to play half his games indoors with an elite QB) that doesn’t mean that money from New England, Philadelphia, or either of the New York teams would not turn his head. In an ideal world (as a fantasy football player and not a Cowboys fan), Amari signs in Arizona and is the perfect scheme fit for Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray.
The market for Robby Anderson is a little different than it would be for Amari Cooper. Cooper is a floor raiser; he would make any offense that he enters better. When he is on the field and healthy, he commands a certain amount of attention. Anderson is an elite vertical threat but as we saw last year with the Jets, if the rest of the team is horrible it just does not matter much. It seems clear that the Jets are not interested in bringing him back and given the strengths of Sam Darnold, I understand. Signing in Cincinnati as Joe Burrow’s new go-to deep threat would be an amazing role for him or as the deep threat complement to D.J Moore in Carolina, he could excel and put Curtis Samuel in a spot that he is better suited for as purely a peripheral offensive player.
There is no fantasy football free agent that I, personally, care less about than Melvin Gordon. He is going to get a contract that doesn’t represent his skill level and he is going to be discussed by talking heads as if he “matters” at an NFL level. Gordon is a below-replacement level player who tricks teams into giving him too much volume, very similar to Jarvis Landry. Gordon won’t be back with the Chargers and the oft-quoted landing spot for him is in Tampa Bay. If he heads to Tampa or signs as the starting running back for the Houston Texans, he will again return top-15 per game running back fantasy value but you’ll have to pinch your nose as you plug him into your starting lineup every week.
Of the players listed so far, Henry is probably the player who is most likely to get a massive contract offer from the team he has already played for and stay put. It is more fun to imagine him going to a team, that, you know, is trying to be good. Henry has been an 8.9 yards per target player over his four-year career (heavily limited by injuries) and would be an unreal good addition to the aerial attack in Dallas, as a Greg Olsen replacement in Carolina, a Russell Wilson target in Seattle, or a true Cadillac in the Ravens offense if they decide to truly commit to the three-tight end offense. Bottom line is: Henry is a stud and his condition will improve drastically if he leaves the uncomfortable confines of the Chargers organization
While this is a banner year for wide receivers in the NFL draft, it is not so much a year that you want to be shopping for a wide receiver in free agency. Sanders, who is coming off an Achilles tear and a year where he was traded for a fifth-round pick, is going to make national headlines when he signs with the New England Patriots (not actually, but he does really seem like a Patriots signing). I would not be hoping my favorite team signs the aging slot technician but the fact that he posted 9.5 yards per target as a member of the 49ers this year is probably a positive indicator that he has some juice left.