Free Agency Roundtable: Wide Receiver Rapid Reactions

The staff gives quick-hitting fantasy slants on some of the less heralded wide receiver moves from around the league.

Give me your one-to-two sentence fantasy slant on the following wide receivers who changed teams during the free agency period:

Danny Amendola

Alessandro Miglio: The Patriots do a good job of cutting bait at the right time. Danny Amendola won't do much in Miami.

Jason Wood: Amendola was a fringe contributor in New England. I can’t imagine he'll possess much value in Miami. Easy pass.

Phil Alexander: I actually don't hate the idea of Amendola as a mid-to-late-round pick in PPR leagues. Jarvis Landry's departure leaves a massive slot target void in Miami.

Stephen Holloway: Significant contract for Amendola, who could be a good fit replacing Landry as a slot receiver. Amendola is a gamer but has a lot of competition in what has been a middling passing offense.

Daniel Simpkins: The Dolphins are an organizational mess. We’re about to see them bottom out and Amendola will go down with the ship.

Justin Howe: The new Landry, Amendola comes to town much cheaper but also significantly older and wildly injury-prone. Amendola loses the shine of the Patriots offense, where he’s injected plenty of situational PPR value over the last half-decade. He looks maxed out projection-wise around 65-70 catches as a Dolphin. Those receptions will be worth far less without Tom Brady throwing him multiple red zone passes each week.

John Brown

Alessandro Miglio: Can he stay healthy? Brown is a great boom-or-bust option with Joe Flacco throwing him the ball -- if he's actually on the field.

Jason Wood: I've been accused of being a John Brown truther in the past, and it's certainly enticing to see him land on a team with holes at wide receiver. However, his health and performance issues are too significant to ignore and Brown needs to be drafted as a late-round backup.

Phil Alexander: Love the player, but hasn't been right in two years. If he can get healthy, possible late-round gem.

Stephen Holloway: Hopeful Brown can get healthy and prosper on this one-year prove it contract. If healthy, he can be a solid second wide receiver behind Crabtree and provide much improved receiving talent in Baltimore.

Daniel Simpkins: I’m cranky about him going with the Ravens, a team that is living off their past reputation.

Justin Howe: A personal favorite of mine for years – his first two seasons were truly tantalizing – Brown has been set back by injuries and a sickle-cell illness. He’ll get his chance to rehab his value on a one-year deal on the rebuilt Ravens, so there’s plenty of opportunity in play. If he plays 16 games, Brown has a strong chance at 60+ high-impact catches in one of the league’s most voluminous passing games.

Michael Crabtree

Jason Wood: Michael Crabtree was better than Amari Cooper every season, yet the Raiders opted to part ways with the veteran. He remains a productive player and steps into a lineup clamoring for his skill set. Flacco is no world beater, but he can find the open man and will keep Crabtree among the most-targeted receivers in the AFC. An easy buy as a rock-solid fantasy WR2 this season.

Phil Alexander: Potential target hog. Agree with Jason -- he profiles as a quality WR2.

Stephen Holloway: Crabtree landed on his feet after being cast off by Oakland. He signed a three-year, $21 million contract ($11 million guaranteed) and should be the most productive wide receiver Baltimore has seen in a while.

Daniel Simpkins: I’m not happy about the landing spot. He’ll certainly get targets, but the ceiling for this offense is capped.

Justin Howe: Loath to throw downfield of late, Flacco will likely utilize Crabtree plenty on short and intermediate routes. The question is whether we can trust Crabtree, a drop machine recently, to capitalize and catch 80 balls. If he gets there, they’ll be relatively low-impact receptions.

Dan Hindery: Crabtree’s game has never relied on speed, so he has a chance to continue to be effective in his 30s even if he loses a step.

Ryan Grant

Jason Wood: Ryan Grant was treated unfairly by the Ravens, who signed him to an absurd four-year, $29 million deal before vetoing it after a "failed" physical when Michael Crabtree conveniently became available. The Colts landed Grant on a one-year deal that is more in line with his worth. Grant set a career high with 45 receptions last year and is no better than a bye week option in PPR leagues.

Phil Alexander: He may have lost out on millions after "failing his physical" with the Ravens, but if it's any solace, he's got a better shot at fantasy value with the Colts, provided Andrew Luck is healthy.

Stephen Holloway: Indianapolis got a bargain in the aftermath of Grant failing his physical. He could surprise as a deep target if both he and Luck can get healthy.

Daniel Simpkins: After getting hosed by the Ravens, I’m happy to see him find a role with the Colts. With Donte Moncrief gone, there is room for another receiver.

Justin Howe: You have to feel bad for Grant, who lost at least $9 million to the Ravens’ apparent buyer’s remorse. Bummer, but it wasn’t deserved money. Grant is a painfully limited receiver with no downfield ability; he’s probably not as good as holdover Chester Rogers and looks like a rough bet for 50+ receptions.

Dan Hindery:Landing in Indianapolis instead of Baltimore probably helps his fantasy prospects. Grant has a legitimate shot to be Luck’s WR2, which should lead to fantasy relevance.

Jarvis Landry

Alessandro Miglio: Landry is part of a dramatic offensive overhaul in Cleveland, but he isn't going to see the volume he did in Miami.

Jason Wood: Landry is a reception machine and should be a good fit with either Tyrod Taylor or a rookie who needs a security blanket. He's a viable WR2 in most formats.

Phil Alexander: I'm not sure we can rely on Landry's trademark target volume in Cleveland. Only one ball to go around for him, Josh Gordon, Corey Coleman, Duke Johnson Jr, and David Njoku.

Stephen Holloway: He could be the top targeted wide receiver in what’s shaping up as a nice corps in Cleveland. Taylor is a better quarterback than they have had in quite some time and the Browns could greatly improve on offense if they can replace the gaping hole left by Joe Thomas’ retirement.

Daniel Simpkins: I’m confident he’ll get the targets, but I wish he had ended up on a team with a better overall offense and fewer viable pass catchers.

Justin Howe: Landry, who just finished his combine 40-yard dash this morning, is as situation-dependent as they come. If Taylor takes to his low-impact dump-off game, Landry could again chase 90+ receptions. Otherwise, he’ll be an afterthought (think PPR WR3 value, at best).

Donte Moncrief

Alessandro Miglio: The Jaguars let Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns go so they could sign Donte Moncrief to a big one-year deal. "This makes perfect sense," said no one.

Jason Wood: A curious approach to the wide receiver position by the Jaguars this off-season for sure. Moncrief flashed in Indianapolis but never pulled it all together and I see his role in Jacksonville as complementary.

Phil Alexander: I guess the Jaguars saw him as Allen Robinson arbitrage. His best years may still be ahead of him, but doubtful he emerges in a run-heavy offense with Blake Bortles and a crowded receiving corps.

Stephen Holloway: Moncrief has been overrated since his second year in the NFL when he caught 64 passes for 733 yards. He will likely be under-used this year as he hopes to earn another payday after this one-year deal for a surprising $10 million.

Daniel Simpkins: The landing spot could have been better, but a one-year deal keeps hope alive if you own him in dynasty. Either he does well and Jacksonville keeps him or he signs with a potentially better fit next year.

Justin Howe: Another favorite of mine, Moncrief boasts all of the explosiveness in the world, though he rarely flashed it in Indianapolis. He’ll have an even tougher time separating himself in Jacksonville’s crowded corps.

Jordy Nelson

Alessandro Miglio: Joins the AARP Raiders in Oakland. Nothing to see here.

Jason Wood: Had Jordy Nelson returned to Green Bay this year, I was prepared to champion him as a value pick if he fell outside of the top-15 at the position on draft day. However, the Packers decision to part ways with the 33-year old gives me pause. The Raiders decision to sign him does nothing to change my concern, as they are making plenty of questionable roster decisions under Gruden. Nelson is a hard pass for me as anything more than a low-end WR3.

Phil Alexander: Last year's results without Aaron Rodgers were not promising for the 33-year-old.

Stephen Holloway: As a long-time fan, I am hopeful last year was an outlier and Nelson can turn it around in Oakland. He could benefit from playing alongside Amari Cooper and Derek Carr should play better than he did last year.

Daniel Simpkins: He looked finished to me last year. Playing in Gruden’s antiquated offense may bury his value.

Justin Howe: The Michael Crabtree role – rich in timing/instinct routes and red zone opportunity – is open and laid out for Nelson. Assuming he’s healthy, it’s easy to project a return to 80+ catches and a run at double-digit scores. He’s got the look of a great reclamation project as Cooper continues to flail as an NFL WR1.

Dan Hindery: Nelson might not have much more left in the tank. His signing is one of many signs Gruden may be living in the past.

Paul Richardson

Alessandro Miglio: What a great free-agent deal for Paul Richardson Jr, who now has Alex Smith throwing him the ball. Smith helped Tyreek Hill get to fifth in cumulative wide receiver fantasy scoring last season.

Jason Wood: I was initially taken aback by Washington's willingness to spend $40 million on Richardson, who set career marks last year in Seattle with 44 receptions for 703 yards and six touchdowns. However, Richardson is young and has blazing speed. If he remains healthy, he'll provide Smith with a necessary deep threat to keep opposing defenses honest. I don't like paying for deep threats in fantasy drafts, particularly those who struggle to catch the ball more than 50% of the time, so I'll pass on him unless he comes at a backup price.

Phil Alexander: Made some amazing plays for the Seahawks once he got healthy. It doesn't matter for our purposes if Washington overpaid -- Richardson is positioned for a second straight career year.

Stephen Holloway: Most were surprised by his contract, especially the $20 million guaranteed, but Richardson finally produced last year and could benefit as a deep threat for the suddenly Smith, who was an effective downfield passer in 2017. Expect Richardson to be undervalued in fantasy next season.

Daniel Simpkins: It’s a ho-hum landing spot. I like Richardson as a talent, but I doubt Smith’s strengths will continue to match up with what Richardson can do.

Justin Howe: The speedy yet oft-injured Richardson gets a change of scenery, though it's unlikely Smith turns him into a consistent deep threat. He'll bring some value to Washington, but not necessarily to his fantasy outlook. He’s behind at least three or four guys in the pecking order.

Dan Hindery: The Washington offense missed DeSean Jackson last year. Richardson should step smoothly into that role and Alex Smith was extremely efficient and aggressive with the deep ball last season. Richardson is an intriguing fantasy sleeper for an offense that needs a go-to playmaker to emerge.

Torrey Smith

Jason Wood: Torrey Smith is a complete fantasy non-factor.

Phil Alexander: I can see him as a late-rounder in Best Ball leagues if you think he can do a passable Ted Ginn Jr impersonation as Cam Newton’s top downfield threat.

Stephen Holloway: Not expecting much from Smith who has not produced since leaving Baltimore several years back.

Daniel Simpkins: He might help the offense from the standpoint that he can stretch the field, but I don’t see him making a fantasy impact.

Justin Howe: Smith has quietly turned 9 of his last 89 catches (a studly 10.1%) into touchdowns. Assuming he's again utilized as a burner and red zone threat, he could rehab his value nicely in Carolina.

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