2019 NFL Free Agency - Part 1
Okay, so we could really just call this edition WTF is going on here!?! But I think we will just stick with free agency edition (for now). Remember trades and acquisitions are happening at a rapid pace, but we got you.
There is a lot of movement that is going to impact your fantasy football drafts (that sound you hear is all the mock drafts being ripped and redone). And while some of these acquisitions the player wasn’t a free agent (yeah, we are looking at you Antonio Brown), they have been acquired during the free agency period.
To make it slightly easier we will do this by positions:
Le’Veon Bell, New York Jets: Even with a year out, Bell will upgrade the New York Jets running game. But for a team that ranked 26th in rushing, averaging 101.4 yds per game, it’s a low bar. Buyer beware, according to Football Outsiders, the Jets offensive line ranked 32nd in run blocking last season.
So, running back sat out one year, second year quarterback under center, new head coach, questionable wide receivers, and oh yeah 32nd ranked offensive line. None of that equals a top five fantasy running back.
Mike Davis, Chicago Bears: Davis has been in the NFL for four years, but you wouldn’t have known that, because he didn’t really excel until last year with the Seattle Seahawks. Davis rushed 112 times with four touchdowns and 514 yards. He also was on the receiving end of 34 receptions for 214 yards and one touchdown.
Davis averaged 2.84 yards after contact. Twenty-one of his rushing attempts were in the red zone. Jordan Howard is gone.
Don’t reach…but don’t sleep on Davis. Look to acquire his services mid-rounds in your draft.
Frank Gore, Buffalo Bills: Aging running back with second year quarterback is not a good combination. But what will worry you more is that Gore did not have a rushing touchdown in 156 rushing attempts last year. And he will be sharing the backfield with LeSean McCoy.
Kareem Hunt, Cleveland Browns: In case you haven’t heard, the Cleveland Browns are serious about 2019 NFL season. However, until we find out how long Hunt’s suspension will be for next season…hard pass.
Carlos Hyde, Kansas City Chiefs: Hyde was let go in Cleveland last season when Nick Chubb started to emerge. Now he will be playing behind Damien Williams who is trending up. Hyde is on your waiver wire watch list.
Latavius Murray, New Orleans Saints: Mark Ingram is out of New Orleans and Murray is in. For those who draft Alvin Kamara this is really good news.
Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns: Oh, have you heard Beckham is now in Cleveland. Get you some.
Danny Amendola, Detroit Lions: Amendola is the quintessential slot receiver. His value is more suited for PPR leagues than standard leagues.
Cole Beasley, Buffalo Bills: Beasley is a steady sure handed receiver.
In 2018, 46 of his 69 receptions came on routes less than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage. Now he is in Buffalo with a second-year quarterback who has accuracy issues. Beasley could very well be the PPR darling of the 2019 season and quarterback Josh Allen’s security blanket.
Josh Bellamy, New York Jets: Nah!
Antonio Brown, Oakland Raiders/Tyrell Williams, Oakland Raiders: The Raiders have acquired both Brown and Williams. This will go under the heading “be careful what you wish for”. Quarterback Derek Carr has a 7.9-yard average for depth of targets. This is tied for the fifth shortest among quarterbacks.
Unless there is a substantial upgrade in quarterbacks (and seriously Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger?) both wide receivers are downgraded in your fantasy draft. Now, I know there will be those who will reach for Brown, but if you draft him in the first round ahead of say…Beckham or DeAndre Hopkins or Julio Jones or Mike Evans or…you see where this is going.
Brown will be good he won’t be great.
John Brown, Buffalo Bills: Brown had 42 receptions for five touchdowns in 2018 with the Arizona Cardinals. But what is most important for you, he averaged 17.0 yards per carry. His quarterback now is Josh Allen. Allen has accuracy issues, but he took a deep shot on 19.7% of his passes last season. That was the most among any quarterback in the league.
While Beasley will be his Allen’s safety net, Brown might be the sneaky sleeper if they can get on the same page.
Jamison Crowder, New York Jets: Nah!
Devin Funchess, Indianapolis Colts: First impression…why? With all the money the Colts have in free agency they choose Funchess? Funchess catches 35% of contested balls, that’s 84thbest. He also averages a paltry 1.9 yards after catch per reception. That’s tied for 114thout of 116 qualified receivers. Don’t do it.
Adam Humphries, Tennessee Titans: Humphries had a career high year last season. He had 76 receptions for five touchdowns and 816 yards. For his career he has caught 92.4% of his catchable passes.
If quarterback Marcus Mariota can stay healthy, Humphries will be PPR gold and standard league WR3 borderline WR2 potential.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Chicago Bears: Chicago, just because Bill Belichick knew how to get the most out of Patterson doesn’t mean you will. Fantasy value next to nil.
Dwayne Allen, Miami Dolphins: Who is going to throw him the ball?
Charles Clay, Arizona Cardinals: Uncertainty in quarterback, new head coach and last season Clay averaged 8.8 yards per catch on 184 receiving yards. No.
Tyler Croft, Buffalo Bills: Kroft is a blocking tight end. Unfortunately fantasy football does not provide points for tight ends who can block. No.
Demetrius Harris, Cleveland Browns: David Njoku is the play here.
Jesse James, Detroit Lions: Seriously, is there anyone left in Pittsburgh? In a shallow tight end market, James is worth a look.
Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars: Foles will be reunited with John DeFlippo, the Jaguars offensive coordinator. Trust Foles be wary of his wide receivers.
Oh, there is so much more movement to talk about. And we will get to it all. Until next week.