NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -
Less than a full week into free agency, the fantasy football landscape has seen some big shifts. A lot of moves are for the better, some of the top end fantasy picks are seeing their stock rise even more. Let’s see how some of the most notable free agent signings and contract extensions have impacted their fantasy value.
QB Drew Brees, Saints
Adding Emmanuel Sanders is just another weapon to put in the arsenal. He also has the big-play potential that the Saints are looking for opposite Michael Thomas. Throw in Alvin Kamara and Jared Cook, and it’s simply too much talent for a defense to account for at all times. Brees should have another solid season.
WR Emmanuel Sanders, Saints
He was already a quality PPR receiver with the Broncos and 49ers, but Brees is the best quarterback that Sanders has played with, and it should help his numbers. Volume wise, we’ll have to wait and see how often he’s targeted and how he’s used. But the writing was on the wall in San Francisco. The 49ers were trending away from Sanders and toward Deebo Samuel and Kendrick Bourne. Sanders is in the perfect spot.
QB Tom Brady, Buccaneers
Given what Brady had to work with as receivers last year, it goes without being said that his situation has improved greatly. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were fantasy football touchdown monsters in 2019. They should have just as many opportunities to score. The same can be said for O.J. Howard, who may finally breakout for good with a quarterback that likes to use his tight ends.
WR DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals
Technically, I see this as more of a lateral move. But still, Hopkins is set up for success again with a pass-happy offense under Kliff Kingsbury and a quarterback like Kyler Murray. As a team that often needs to pass to score, he’s in a prime position to be another top 10 fantasy pick. I’d also say that this is a huge upgrade for Murray to become one of the premier fantasy quarterbacks.
RB Todd Gurley, Falcons
This is a weird one. Gurley’s success really depends on his own health. If he’s on the field, he can be effective enough to score touchdowns. I think it’s an improved move because despite their record, Atlanta’s offense was far more explosive than the Rams. Jared Goff’s deal might sink that team if he doesn’t improve, while Atlanta’s got weapons on weapons to work with, meaning opposing defense can’t just focus on Gurley.
QB Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers
Bridgewater is kind of a wait and see project and most likely your QB2 to start the fantasy season. But with Joe Brady as offensive coordinator, there’s certainly upside. If you can get him late in your draft in August and afford to stash him, go for it.
RB Melvin Gordon, Broncos
Good for Gordon. Bad for Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman (though Freeman’s been a fantasy football lost cause for some time). With a shiny new contract, Gordon appears to be the Broncos bell cow. But who knows how many snaps Lindsay may vulture. For now, I see Gordon as a high-end RB2 off his talent alone.
RB Austin Ekeler, Chargers
The other side of Gordon signing with the Broncos is Ekeler’s new deal with the Chargers. He proved himself during Gordon’s holdout to start the 2019 season, and it’s good to see him rewarded. But what remains to be seen is how the rest of the offense fills out. Will their new quarterback use the running backs like Philip Rivers did? Will the Chargers draft a running back to keep their committee strong? Either way, I think knowing that Ekeler should routinely get 20+ touches makes him a very solid RB2.
QB Deshaun Watson, Texans
I expect Watson to keep airing it out in Houston’s boom or bust offense. But without Hopkins, there’s not nearly as much boom. Nuk made some incredible catches every week. Without a receiver of that caliber, I think Watson’s numbers take a hit. As of right now, their best threat is Wil Fuller V, and good luck keeping him healthy. Even if they draft a great rookie wide receiver, you don’t just replace Hopkins
RB Phillip Lindsay, Broncos
I touched on it earlier, but again, Lindsay will take another step back in 2020 with a running back now firmly ahead of him on the depth chart. We’ll see what his new role becomes (if he’s still there) when the season starts.
RB David Johnson, Texans
First of all, he has to get healthy and stay healthy. If Houston dealt away their most explosive player for him, I think he’s expected to have a significant role. But that said, will the Texans commit to running the ball that much? Not to mention, Duke Johnson already has the role of pass-catching running back. I’m not sure where David Johnson fits in to all of this yet.
WR Stefon Diggs, Bills
He wanted out of Minnesota and got his wish. But if he wants more targets his way, I’m not sure Buffalo is the team for it. Their top receiver in 2019, John Brown, ranked 26th in targets. Now, there’s another mouth to feed. The Bills aren’t an air it out type of team. And even though quarterback Josh Allen is improving, he’s not Kirk Cousins, who despite his shortcomings, is capable of putting up 250+ yard games on the regular. Diggs could easily fall into the 60-catch range, which is a long way off from some of his better seasons in Minnesota.