Free Agency Fallout


As the clock struck noon on the opening of the NFL’s “legal tampering” free agency period, it seems like we have all been in a whirlwind of breaking NFL news. Notifications galore were making NFL fans and the fantasy football community check their devices for updates at a record pace for any NFL transactions. Now that the initial free agency frenzy has settled down, it’s time to take a closer look at the fantasy implications all this maneuvering will initially have on your fantasy and dynasty assets.

If you have been out of the country or under a rock for the last week, I will get you up to date with all the NFL moves we have witnessed. Mainly illustrating what players have changed area codes. How will players be implemented in their new offenses? Only time will tell but here we go for some fast fantasy reactions: 

 

Quarterback

Kirk Cousins, QB Falcons

Transaction: Signed a four-year, $180 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: The arrival of Kirk Cousins instantly raises the value of Drake London and Kyle Pitts. This duo finally has a legitimate quarterback throwing them the ball. The Falcons also brought in Darnell Mooney, Rondale Moore, and Ray-Ray McCloud to open up the offense which only makes life easier for the veteran quarterback. This offense is on the rise, oh yeah, and by the way they have Bijan Robinson ready to be unleashed.

 

 

Russell Wilson, QB Steelers

Transaction: Signed a one-year, $1.21 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: One team's trash is another team's treasure. After being run out of town in Denver, Russell Wilson signed with the Steelers who were desperate to move on from the turnstile they had at quarterback last year. Wilson was the only quarterback on the roster until they added Justin FieldsGeorge Pickens and Pat Freiermuth will be the main benefactors of Wilson’s arrival. 

 

Justin Fields, QB Steelers

Transaction:  Acquired in a trade with the Bears for a conditional sixth-round pick.

Fantasy Reaction: The team has already stated that Wilson will be that starter when camp begins. We'll see how long that will last. At least Justin Fields will be learning from a pro until the time comes for him to take over. Fields is a buy-low in dynasty leagues right now, so get those deals out now. 

Sam Howell, QB Seahawks

Transaction: Acquired in a trade with the Commanders along with 2024 fourth- and sixth-round picks for 2024 third- and fifth-round picks

Fantasy Reaction: Although the Seahawks have Geno Smith on the roster, they could not resist the opportunity to bring Sam Howell. Howell will compete with Smith for the starting gig. Should Howell prevail, the gunslinger will be feasting on NFL defenses with the trio of D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Jaxson Smith-Njigba bringing down passes. 

 

 

Gardner Minshew, QB Raiders

Transaction: Signed a two-year, $25 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: Speaking of gunslingers, Gardner Minshew is heading to Vegas, where he should fit right at home in the black hole. Minshew-mania will run wild all over Aidan O’Connell and he will be the starter soon enough. Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, and Michael Mayer better rest up because they are sure to be active early and often. Minsheew should be rostered in all two-quarterback and super-flex leagues. 

Jacoby Brissett, QB Patriots

Transaction: Agree to terms on a one-year, $8 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: Jacoby Brissett is a stopgap until whichever rookie that's drafted is ready to take over. 

Sam Darnold, QB Vikings

Transaction: Signed a one-year, $8.75 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: Sam Darnold will be a bridge until the rookie that's drafted is ready to start. But I will say I’m intrigued to see what he can do with Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and T.J. Hockenson when he is healthy at his disposal. He could be a sleeper this year if he can be the good Darnold, and not the evil one.

 

In case of emergency break glass signings:

  • Jameis Winston, QB Browns: Signed a one-year, $4 million deal 
  • Kenny Pickett, QB Eagles: Acquired in a trade with the Steelers along with a 2024 fourth-round pick, for a 2024 third-round pick, and two 2025 seventh-round picks
  • Joe Flacco, QB Colts: Signed a one-year deal worth up to $8.7 million
  • Mac Jones, QB Jaguars: Acquired in a trade with the Patriots for a 2024 sixth-round pick
  • Tyrod Taylor, QB Jets: Signed a two-year deal worth up to $18 million
  • Jimmy Garoppolo, QB Rams: Agreed to terms on a one-year deal
  • Marcus Mariota, QB Commanders: Signed a one-year, $6 million deal
  • Desmond Ridder, QB Cardinals: Acquired in a trade with the Falcons for Rondale Moore
  • Drew Lock, QB Giants: Signed a one-year, $5 million deal
  • Mason Rudolph, QB Titans: Signed a one-year, $2.87 million deal
  • Josh Dobbs, QB 49ers: Agrees to a one-year deal.

 

Running Backs

Saquon Barkley, RB Eagles

Transaction: Signed a three-year, $37.75 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: Saquon Barkley lands in a great spot and boy did Tiki Barber's feathers get ruffled. At first glimpse, one would think that his touchdown total may take a hit with Jalen Hurts’s goalline tush push work. Hurts may get his goalline plunges but so will Barkley. This will be hands down the best team Barkley has been on! What do you think he will do when there are no eight-man in-the-box fronts anymore since opposing defenses also have to focus on stopping A.J. Brown, Devonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert? Barkley will feast this year on the ground and through the air, so enjoy the ride.

 

 

Derrick Henry, RB Ravens

Transaction: Signed a two-year, $16 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: Well what everyone thought would happen, came to fruition. Derrick Henry is no longer a Titan. Now he gets to run behind one of the best offensive lines in the game. Once Keaton Mitchell gets back healthy from his torn ACL, these two will form a dynamic Thunder-and-lightning combination for opposing defenses to try and stop.

 

Aaron Jones, RB Vikings

Transaction: Signed a one-year, $7 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: I think revenge was on Aaron Jones’s mind when he signed with the Vikings. He will get a chance to stick it to the Packers twice this year. With Alexander Mattison gone, Jones will be the lead dog in this backfield but look for Ty Chandler to still be involved.

 

 

Josh Jacobs, RB Packers

Transaction: Signed a four-year, $48 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: Josh Jacobs heads to Green Bay to be the lead back after the Packers decided to move on from Aaron Jones. Although A.J. Dillon did ultimately re-sign with the Packers, Jacobs should be an RB1 for dynasty leaguers and will be drafted in the second round for season-long leagues.

 

Tony Pollard, RB Titans

Transaction: Signed a three-year, $24 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: Although Derrick Henry is gone, Tony Pollard will have to contend with splitting touches with Tyjae Spears. Pollard has proven that he can do it all, but I’d rather have Spears at a much cheaper price.

Joe Mixon, RB Texans

Transaction: Acquired in a trade with the Bengals, for a seventh-round pick

Fantasy Reaction: After news started circulating that Joe Mixon was going to be released from the Bengals when they signed Zack Moss the Bengals turned around and traded the running back to Houston. The Texans are going all in this season for a championship and Mixon could be in for a great year as he should see the majority of the time share over Dameon Pierce.

 

 

 

Austin Ekeler, RB Commanders

Transaction: Signed a two-year, $11.43 deal

Fantasy Reaction: Is Austin Ekeler washed up after a disappointing 2023 season? Well, we’re all going to find out. I think Ekeler will be splitting touches with Brian Robinson, but will see the majority of the passing down work for the Commanders this Fall.

Zack Moss, RB Bengals

Transaction: Signed a two-year $8 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: As previously mentioned Zack Moss’s arrival meant that Mixon’s days were numbered in Cincinnati. Moss will be involved in this offense, but I’m more interested in rostering Chase Brown as he could be dynamic in the passing game with Joe Burrow and company.

 

 

Gus Edwards, RB Patriots

Transaction: Signed a two-year, $6.5 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: Gus “The Bus” Edwards is riding out West to be the lead back for the Los Angeles Chargers. Edwards does not have much competition for touches now but I can see the Chargers drafting plenty of offensive skilled pieces in April. I’d try to sell high at this point in dynasty leagues if I could.

D’Andre Swift, RB Bears

Transaction: Signed a three-year, $24 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: If you want to see the true meaning of Running Back By Committee (RBBC) take a look at the Bears running back room (D’Andre Swift, Khalil Herbert, and Roschon Johnson). Swift will probably be getting the majority of the touches, but for me I would let another fantasy manager deal with this line-up nightmare heading into the season. 

Devin Singletary, RB Giants

Transaction: Signed a three-year, $16.5 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: The running back musical chairs continue with Devin Singletary heading up to New York. With Barkley now in Philly there is a huge void and touches to be had. Singletary is another candidate to sell high because I can see not only Eric Gray start garnering more touches as the season progresses, but the Giants could add another running back in the draft.

Antonio Gibson, RB Patriots 

Transaction: Signed a three-year, $11.25 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: Antonio Gibson and his swiss-army skill set is one of the most intriguing running backs heading into the season. Sure Rhamondre Stevenson will still be the running back to be drafted first, but Gibson will make his mark in the receiving game. The Patriots are really lacking receiving playmakers and I could see Gibson being set all over the field to make plays and be a safety valve for Brissett and whichever rookie quarterback they draft.

 

DeeJay Dallas, RB Cardinals

Transaction: Signed a three-year, $8.25 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: Will be backing up James Conner but could see action due to Conner’s injury history.

Wide Receivers

Calvin Ridley, WR Titans

Transaction: Signed a four-year, $92 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: If Will Levis can get his crap together he could be in for a helluva year with Calvin Ridley coming to town. Ridley along with DeAndre Hopkins, Treylon Burks, Chigoziem Okonkwo, Tony Pollard, and Tyjae Spears is a pretty sick list of weapons right there. Ridley should be the leader in targets amongst this group. This might be a good time to sell high on Ridley in dynasty leagues.

 

Keenan Allen, WR Bears

Transaction: Acquired in a trade with the Chargers for a 2024 fourth-round pick

Fantasy Reaction: Caleb Williams will fall into a great situation with the addition of Keenan Allen to this offensive line-up. Both Allen and D.J. Moore should easily see over 100 targets and possibly reach 90-plus receptions each. 

 

 

Marquise Brown, WR Chiefs

Transaction: Signed a one-year, $11 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: The rich get richer! This might be the spiciest wide receiver signing this offseason. Marquise Brown will finally reach his potential and be Tyreek Hill Jr. if he can stay healthy. Head Coach Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes are licking their chops.

 

 

 

Diontae Johnson, WR Panthers

Transaction: Acquired in a trade with the Steelers along with a 2024 seventh-round pick in exchange for cornerback Donte Jackson and a 2024 sixth-round pick

Fantasy Reaction: Bryce Young finally has a legit WR1 to throw to. Diontae Johnson should post WR2 numbers for fantasy managers this year.

 

 

Jerry Jeudy, WR Browns

Transaction: Acquired in a trade with the Broncos, for 2024 fifth- and sixth-round picks 

Fantasy Reaction: Although Amari Cooper’s target share will take a hit, I think he will be happy to see Jerry Jeudy lining up on the other side of the field. It should alleviate Cooper getting double-covered on just about every play. Now let’s see if Deshaun Watson can stay on the field and get these two the damn ball.

 

 

Curtis Samuel, WR Bills

Transaction: Signed three-year, $30 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: This is another wide receiver signing I love this off-season. Curtis Samuel landing in Buffalo is a possible match made in heaven. Josh Allen will be the best quarterback that Samuel will see throwing him the ball. Samuel will compliment Stefon Diggs well, but if Diggs happens to be dealt Samuel will flirt with WR2 numbers this season.

 

Darnell Mooney, WR Falcons

Transaction: Signed a three-year, $39 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: Kirk Cousin gets a new toy with the Falcons landing Darnell Mooney. Mooney will be an excellent third option after Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and Bijan Robinson. He will be a WR4 for fantasy managers in 2024. 

Gabe Davis. WR Jaguars

Transaction: Signed a three-year $39 million deal 

Fantasy Reaction: I’ve never been a Gabe Davis fan, because he is too boom or bust for me. Davis will be a decoy in this offense allowing Christian Kirk and Evan Engram to have more open looks.

The best of the rest signings:

  • Rondale Moore, WR Falcons: Acquired in a trade with the Cardinals in exchange for quarterback Desmond Ridder
  • Isaiah McKenzie, WR/KR Giants: SIgning a one-year deal
  • Van Jefferson, WR Steelers: Agreed to terms on a one-year deal
  • Ray Ray McCloud, WR Falcons: Signed a one-year, $6 million deal
  • DeVante Parker, WR Eagles: Agreed to terms on a one-year deal
  • Cederick Wilson, WR Saints: Agreed to terms on a two-year deal
  • Devin Duvernay, WR Ravens: Signed a two-year, $8.5 million deal 
  • Chris Moore, WR Cardinals: Signed a one-year deal

 

Tight Ends

Jonnu Smith, TE Dolphins 

Transaction: Signed a two-year $10 million 

Fantasy Reaction: Finally the Dolphins have a tight end. Jonnu Smith had an excellent year with the Falcons last season, splitting targets with Kyle Pitts. Smith gives the Dolphins a useful third option for Tua Tagovailoa. If you decide to pass on a tight end in the earlier rounds, Smith is a name to remember in the double-digits rounds. 

 

 

Zach Ertz, TE Commanders

Transaction: Signed a one-year, $5 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: How much does Zach Ertz have left in the tank? Only time will tell but if he’s healthy he can provide TE2 numbers in deeper leagues

Hayden Hurst, TE Chargers

Transaction: Signed a three-year, $21.75 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: Which Hayden Hurst are the Chargers getting? The one that can average around 10 fantasy points per game or the missing link. At least for now, he will have plenty of opportunities with the Chargers lacking playmakers.

Mike Gesicki, TE Bengals

Transaction: Signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: The Bengals just added another athletic freak. More weapons for Joe Burrow. Mike Gesicki is another sleeper to grab in the later rounds.

 

 

Will Dissly, TE Chargers

Transaction: Signed a three-year, $14 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: Will Dissly has shown flashes at times in the past but has also been an injury waiting to happen. He will bring some much-needed competition for Hurst to see who will be the TE1 for the Chargers.

 

Irv Smith Jr., TE Chiefs

Transaction: Signed a one-year $1.292 million deal

Fantasy Reaction: If Travis Kelce goes down with an injury look out.

 

Austin Hooper, TE Patriots

Transaction: Signed a one-year deal worth up to $4.25 million

Fantasy Reaction: Austin Hooper will help out in blocking which will allow Hunter Henry to get more targets.

 

Who was your favorite free agent signing so far this season? If you would like to discuss this further or have any fantasy questions reach out to me on X at @smooth1074

 


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