Now that we are passed the NFL franchise tag period, I thought it would be fun to take a handful of free agency and predict where they might end up, with fantasy upside implications of course. Below I will highlight a dozen free agents and where I would like to see them go based on a combination of best fit and highest fantasy upside. With that, lets jump right in!
Kenny Golladay, WR – Miami Dolphins
Aaron Jones, RB – Miami Dolphins
The ties between Miami and Kenny Golladay are no secret. He’s a Miami guy and would love to play close to home. Additionally, Miami needs to give Tua some weapons on offense, and this pairing makes sense. As for Aaron Jones, Miami needs a bell-cow back to balance out their offense and take some of the pressure of Tua, and Jones is that workhorse back who can give the Dolphins precisely what they need. What this also does is allows Miami to use their two first-round picks to bolster their offensive line. By signing Golladay and Jones, the Dolphins don’t need to worry about drafting offensive weapons and can focus on trenches.
As for fantasy implications, Golladay slots in as WR2, and Jones is a solid RB1. These two signings, and related OT draft selection, also raises Tua stock.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR – New York Jets
Chris Carson, RB – New York Jets
The New York Jets are another team with two first-round draft picks, and I’ve heard expert predictions saying the Jets will take Zach Wilson with the 2nd overall pick in this year’s draft; personally, I think that’s an awful move for the Jets. Quarterbacks taken in the first round over the last 10+ seasons don’t work out as expected and while I’m not saying Wilson will be a bust, why not fix things that can be fixed, like their offensive line! If the Jets sign JuJu and Chris and keep Sam Darnold, they can draft Penei Sewell, OT from Oregon with the 2nd overall pick, and target Azeez Ojulari, LB from Georgia with the 23rd overall pick. This allows the Jets, and new head coach, to further bolster their o-line, strengthen the defense, add weapons on offense both in the backfield and in the receiver corp to give Darnold, maybe his first-ever chance, at having a semi-decent season. There are plenty of QB’s that can be had later in the draft, like Peyton Ramsey from Northwestern or Jamie Newman from Wake Forest, who the Jets can take time evaluating and bring on board.
As for fantasy implications, Smith-Schuster becomes a WR1, and Carson becomes an RB2. By the Jets selecting an OT at #2 in the draft, Darnold becomes dynasty-relevant mildly.
Hunter Henry, TE – Arizona Cardinals
Will Fuller, WR – Arizona Cardinals
Providing the Cardinals can figure out their salary cap issues, I would love to see Hunter Henry and Will Fuller sign in Arizona. The Cardinals need a TE, and, well, I think Fuller signing with the Cardinals would add insult to injury for everything going on with Houston, not to mention, when healthy, Fuller is a beast. Arizona, like so many teams in the NFL, seems to be in a semi-going for it state where their mix of vets and younger players is intriguing. While I don’t think these two moves alone pushes the Cardinals over the hump, they certainly address some offensive concerns.
For fantasy, Henry should profile as a TE2, and Fuller, if he can stay healthy, is easily a WR2 with WR1 upside.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB – Houston Texans
Since I just mentioned the Texans above, I thought it would be fitting to talk about “Fitzmagic” next. I put Ryan in Houston for one basic reason – Deshaun Watson. For several reasons, the Texans CANNOT trade Watson – salary cap hit which would cripple the team for years; the simple fact there isn’t a return big enough to match Watson’s value; Watson is a top-5 QB in the NFL, and trading him would be unprecedented and ultimately the worst decision ever made by an NFL team. For all of those reasons and the fact, I think Watson will sit out for most, if not all, the 2021 season, sign Fitzpatrick and let him play. He’s already used to the idea that he’s the guy who will be keeping the seat warm for someone else, so if Watson ends his hold out before the end of the season, Fitzpatrick will step aside as he has with so many others franchises. This signing is just smart, which given the Texans organization as a whole, is the exact reason it won’t happen – but it should!
For the last few years, Fitzpatrick has had some fantasy value as a late-round flier. Because of his ever-changing role in dynasty, he also presents bye week and matchup options as a QB2 on deeper rosters.
TY Hilton, WR – Indianapolis Colts
AJ Green, WR – Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts are primed and ready to make a run in 2021, and I don’t see any reason why they let Hilton walk. AJ Green would love a ring and won’t get that chance in Cincy anytime soon. Yes, AJ Green is getting older, and yes, he’s lost a step from his prime, but he can still be a force on the field, not to mention a veteran presence on the sideline and in the locker room. The Colts should give their new QB as many weapons as possible, and these two signings make sense.
Given that the Colts are making a run in 2021 and should be throwing the ball a fair amount with a QB at the helm, both Hilton and Greene become WR2 options in fantasy. Hilton does have WR1 upside depending on how he and Wentz pair up in pre-season and as the season rolls on.
Cam Newton, QB – Washington Football Team
Last year I thought Cam would sign with the Washington Football Team just like I do this year. The Patriots have ruled out re-signing Cam, and he does want to play in 2021. Washington doesn’t have a true QB1 in their stable, and I’m not sold on the idea they will give Heinicke a legitimate shot to start. Signing Cam to a one-year deal won’t hurt Washington and provides veteran leadership for the team.
On the Football Team, the fantasy value for Cam under Ron Rivera is much higher than it was in New England. If Cam does sign here, I can see him putting up decent numbers, with the understanding his scrambling days will most likely be behind him.
Corey Davis, WR – Cincinnati Bengals
Jonnu Smith, TE – Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati needs to acquire weapons for their young QB. They also need to bolster their offensive line seriously. By the Bengals signing Davis and Smith, they can then use the #5 overall pick to go after Rashawn Slater, an OL from Northwestern. Some people may wonder why I don’t have the Bengals re-signing AJ Green, but as I mentioned above, Green, I feel, will be chasing a ring that the Bengals aren’t set up to do in the next year or two.
Should the Bengals make these moves, Davis would easily slot in a WR1, and Smith could become a sneaky TE2 with TE1 upside. The addition of the OT in the draft also helps Burrows and Mixon in fantasy and dynasty roles.
As always, feel free to reach out via Twitter @drunkenangelz.