Mike Fanelli | March 21st, 2020
Every year free agency is full of surprises but this year has been extra wild. Tom Brady is now a Buccaneer, DeAndre Hopkins was traded to the Cardinals without the Texans getting back a first-round pick, and the Colts gave up a top 15 pick and a boatload of money for DeForest Buckner while also signing Philip Rivers to a one year deal. We are almost a week into free agency, yet a lot of players haven’t signed new deals.
For fantasy owners of Melvin Gordon, we hate that he signed with the Broncos. Meanwhile, we love that Emmanuel Sanders joined the Saints. While the first wave of free agency has happened, there are still several fantasy relevant players on the open market. I have put together a list of the best quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end left on the market and their best fantasy landing spot.
Jameis Winston to the Miami Dolphins
When the GOAT comes to town it means you got to pack your bags. More bad news for Winston, other than the Patriots, every other team has a clear cut starting quarterback on their roster. The Patriots would be great for his fantasy value as he would be working with a great coaching staff and have solid weapons in Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry, and James White. However, they reportedly don’t seem interested in Winston and will look elsewhere (Andy Dalton maybe?) for a quarterback. With no clear cut starting spot available, Winston would be best served looking for a backup role where he could push for the starting role.
The Dolphins have Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh Rosen (who could be traded for cheap, another article for another day), and are expected to spend their first of their three first-round draft picks on a quarterback. However, if the Dolphins take Tua Tagovailoa, he will likely spend the 2020 season redshirting as he recovers from a hip injury he suffered at Alabama. Winston would have to beat out Fitzpatrick and show his worth if he wants to be a starting quarterback again in 2021. While it isn’t ideal, Winston’s best shot to remaining a starting quarterback is in Miami.
Devonta Freeman to the Los Angeles Rams
With little cap space, the Falcons released Freeman before free agency started and with Todd Gurley, Jordan Howard, Gordon, and Henry all off the market, Freeman is the best option left. However, veteran running backs with a ton of mileage are rarely given a big contract. Hopefully, you sold off all your shares of Freeman in your dynasty leagues before the start of last season. Because of the plug and play ability of running backs and the very good incoming rookie class, Freeman lacks landing spots that offer enough volume for him to be a top 24 running back in 2020.
Most people were caught off guard when they heard that the Rams were releasing Gurley. His injury history and drop off in play is further proof you don’t pay running backs big money contracts, especially while they are still under contract (again, another article for another day). However, with his release, the Rams are left with Darrell Henderson, Malcolm Brown, and John Kelly at running back. Henderson is the only one with starter upside but if Freeman enters the group, he would provide the experience the unit needs with Gurley gone. With that experience and Henderson’s underwhelming rookie season, Freeman would have a real shot at a high enough volume role to be a flex option or better in 2020.
Robby Anderson to the Philadelphia Eagles
I said it before and I’ll say it again; Anderson should be an Eagle. Nelson Agholor signed with the Raiders while Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson have struggled to stay healthy and make an impact. In fact, the only wide receiver or tight end to play in all 16 games for the Eagles last year was rookie JJ Arcega-Whiteside. While the Eagles expect him to make a bigger impact this season, Arcega-Whiteside had just 22 targets as a rookie. What does Carson Wentz have to do in order to get a healthy weapon?
While Anderson has developed a reputation for bad decisions off the field, he has been very healthy during his NFL career. Anderson has played in all 16 games in three of his four seasons, missing a total of two games. Wentz likes to throw the deep ball and Anderson is one of the better deep threats in the league, averaging almost 15 yards per catch for his career. Pairing Wentz with Anderson would give him the upside to finish the 2020 season as a top 15 wide receiver while also giving Wentz top three quarterback upside.
Delanie Walker to the Washington Redskins
There were three big name tight ends on the market this year. Hunter Henry was given the franchise tag, Austin Hooper signed with the Browns, and Eric Ebron signed with the Steelers. After those three, the market is full of second and third tier guys. The Titans released Walker over a week ago to create cap space and allow Jonnu Smith to take over as the full time starting tight end. However, despite missing 24 games over the last two seasons, Walker can still contribute for an NFL club and a fantasy team.
What is a young quarterback’s best friend? A tight end he can count on. Dwayne Haskins spent his entire rookie season counting on Jeremy Sprinkle and other bums at tight end. Jordan Reed missed all of last season with a concussion, while Vernon Davis only played in four games because of injuries. Reed was released a few weeks ago and Davis retired, leaving Sprinkle as the projected starting tight end. Needless to say, Walker would take over as the starter the second he signs the contract. Walker may be old and dealt with injuries the past few years but could turn into a serviceable low-end TE1 next year based on volume and snap share alone.
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