The 2021 NFL offseason officially kicks off on March 17, when free agency begins. Most years, there is a deal or two done within the first 15 minutes. However, with the salary cap decrease, deals may be a bit slower to happen this year. While each team’s fan base is hopeful their team is active in free agency, fantasy football players are anxious to see who signs with what team as it impacts the player’s fantasy value. In a four-part series, I give the best fantasy landing spot for the top five free agents at each position. Next up is wide receivers.
I didn’t include restricted free agents in this article as they usually end up back with their current teams. Also, salary cap situations did play a role in the pairings. As much as everyone wants to see the best free agent wide receiver end up with the Green Bay Packers, their cap situation guarantees it won’t happen. So without further ado, let’s dive into it.
Kenny Golladay → Indianapolis Colts
Many were surprised when the Detroit Lions didn’t place the franchise tag on Golladay. Given the bad blood between the team and Golladay, he has played his last down in Detroit. While a hip injury limited Golladay to only five games in 2020, he averaged 13 or more fantasy points per game for the third season in a row. During his 2019 breakout season, Golladay had 1,190 receiving yards, 11 touchdowns, and averaged 15.5 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, the Colts will likely let T.Y. Hilton walk in free agency, opening up the WR1 spot in Indianapolis. While the team has high hopes for Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell, they still need a true WR1. With Carson Wentz under center, Golladay should maintain his mid WR2 status next season.
JuJu Smith-Schuster → New York Jets
After the Pittsburgh Steelers re-worked Ben Roethlisberger‘s contract, the odds of JuJu returning increased. However, the Steelers have two other young wide receivers they like and might not be willing to match the contract JuJu will get on the open market. Meanwhile, the Jets will either have Sam Darnold or a rookie quarterback under center come Week 1. Since the Jets don’t have a tight end they can count on, the next best thing they can provide the quarterback with is an elite slot receiver. With Jamison Crowder entering the final year of his deal, the Jets could replace him with JuJu. If they do, JuJu could very well lead the league in targets and be a PPR machine.
Will Fuller → Detroit Lions
While Fuller had a breakout season in 2020, the Houston Texans tried to move him at the trade deadline. With the Texans’ future direction up in the air and limited cap space, they will move on from Fuller. Given his injury history and PED suspension, Fuller comes with risk. However, the one team that would benefit him the most would be the Lions. They will lose Golladay as well Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola in free agency. Fuller would step in as the Lions’ WR1 and see plenty of targets. However, don’t expect the Lions to shovel out a lot of money for a wide receiver on the open market as they are rebuilding. Another potential good landing spot for Fuller would be Baltimore Ravens.
Corey Davis → New England Patriots
With the Titans opening up cap space earlier this week, there is a chance they can re-sign Davis before he hits the open market. However, if he does, the Patriots would be the perfect fit for him. Despite A.J. Brown‘s presence in Tennessee, Davis had a breakout season in 2020 with almost 1,000 receiving yards and averaged 13.7 fantasy points per game. However, the Titans are a run-first offense, and Brown isn’t going anywhere, limiting Davis’ upside. In New England, Davis would take over as their WR1 and become the focal point of their passing attack. The Patriots would have to solve their quarterback situation first, but if they do, Davis would be in line for a top-20 finish in 2021.
Curtis Samuel → Washington Football Team
If Samuel hits the open market, expect Washington to aggressively pursue him. There is the obvious connection between Samuel and former Carolina Panthers turned current Washington head coach. Coming off his breakout season in 2020 with 118 total touches for 1,051 scrimmage yards while averaging 14.1 fantasy points per game, Samuel is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential. In Washington, he would step into the WR2 role in an offense that had a running back finish second on the team with 110 targets last season. Adding Samuel opposite of Terry McLaurin in Scott Turner‘s offense would turn him into a fantasy star.
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