Free Agency Roundtable: Odell Beckham to the Cleveland Browns - Footballguys

The Footballguys staff breaks down every fantasy implication of Odell Beckham's trade to the Cleveland Browns.

Phil Alexander: The Giants shocked the NFL by trading Odell Beckham Jr to the Browns for a first-round pick, second-round pick, and safety Jabrill Peppers. Let's discuss the fantasy ramifications for the key players on both sides of the trade:

Baker Mayfield

Phil Alexander: Once Freddie Kitchens took over as offensive coordinator in Week 9 last season, Mayfield finished as the QB8 in standard scoring leagues. How much does the addition of Beckham raise his ceiling?

Sigmund Bloom: Mayfield will surely be hyped at a position where investing fantasy draft capital is unnecessary. With Todd Monken at OC and the ridiculous array of weapons, he could outperform a sure to rise ADP, but there will likely be better risk/reward propositions in 2019 fantasy drafts. Obviously, this is a massive win if he’s on your dynasty teams.

Jason Wood: While I don’t necessarily disagree with Sigmund about quarterback being a position where investing heavy draft capital is unnecessary, the industry groupthink can be misleading. Don’t trust lazy analysis suggesting any quarterback with a starting job is good enough to win your league. Drafting quarterbacks late is a fine strategy, but keep in mind you’re banking on your late-round pick to greatly exceed expectations. Patrick Mahomes II won leagues last year because he was both a late-round pick and the top producer at the position. That simply doesn’t happen most years.

Drafting a quarterback shouldn’t be much different than any other position. You’re looking for value. And Mayfield has profit potential despite a rising ADP. With most fantasy pundits suggesting waiting on a quarterback is the only correct move, he’ll last longer in drafts than he should for a player with a real shot at being a top-5 performer. As long as he’s being drafted a round or two after the consensus top-5 come August, I’ll happily invest.

Alessandro Miglio: Mayfield has elite fantasy potential and all the hype that comes with it, but I’m not sold it will be reflected in his ADP. Fantasy stalwarts like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, and others are still going to require premium draft spots at the position, so I’m with Jason. There is room for Mayfield to end up a relative bargain.

Andy Hicks: The hype is going to be real for all Cleveland players this year, but there are risks. How is rookie head coach Freddie Kitchens going to manage expectations? The second year can be difficult for young quarterbacks and Mayfield, while confident, will make mistakes. This is going to be a high-pressure situation and a poor start could be brutal. If you take Mayfield at ADP, you’ll need a stable backup as well, just in case the Browns are still the Browns. But there’s no denying, if Cleveland looks as good on the field as they do on paper, Mayfield could be among the fantasy elite in 2019.

Daniel Simpkins: I was afraid Cleveland would ruin Mayfield by sending him into the fray too quickly in his rookie season, but he was clearly up to the challenge. The supporting cast for Mayfield is tremendous with one of the better offensive lines in the NFL, the addition of Beckham, the emergence of Nick Chubb, and the continued presence of Jarvis Landry and David Njoku. It’s reasonable to expect at least a top-10 finish from Mayfield this year with the tools he has at his disposal.

Will Grant: I also like Mayfield for a top-10 quarterback finish, but like Andy, I worry about the high expectations. Mahomes blew the doors off expectations for a second-year player, and a lot of people will see Mayfield and his supporting cast in a similar light. The Browns are already being talked up as a playoff team. That's a ton of pressure to put on a young team, a new coach, and a young quarterback. Mayfield handled the pressure well last season, so there is an equal chance he can live up to the hype. In dynasty leagues, he's one of the top quarterbacks to own, and in redraft leagues, he'll probably land somewhere between QB5 and QB8

Dan Hindery: The addition of Beckham certainly helps, though Mayfield was already being valued as an elite option even before the trade. He has been going off the board as the QB5 in early best ball leagues on DRAFT, only a few spots behind Aaron Rodgers (QB3) and Deshaun Watson (QB4). Mayfield deserves to be drafted as a top-5 quarterback based both upon a reasonable expectation of second-year improvement and the better weapons at his disposal. He ranks fourth for me personally, ahead of Rodgers but behind Watson, Luck, and Mahomes.

Somewhat lost in the excitement about the addition of Beckham is the potential improvement Cleveland has made on the other side of the ball. The Browns young defense ranked 12th in DVOA last season and added Sheldon Richardson and Olivier Vernon, which gives them one of the most talented defensive lines in the NFL. Cleveland still has cap space to continue to add talent in the back seven as well. There are likely to be plenty of games the Browns can win with defense and the running game, so Mayfield might not need to throw as much as the other top quarterbacks.

Justin Howe: I love Mayfield's outlook, but I'm not willing to take him early. If he winds up with a QB6 ADP, for example, I wouldn’t touch him. There are simply too many players with similar week-to-week ceilings who can be had much later. Why take Mayfield in Round 8 if Jared Goff and Ben Roethlisberger will be there in Rounds 11 or 12?

But if he's already yours in dynasty or keeper leagues, rejoice! This is a talent-packed group of runners and receivers -- one that can carry even a mediocre passer to a QB1 finish.

Odell Beckham Jr

Phil Alexander: Mayfield is arguably the most talented quarterback Beckham has played with in college or as a pro. Is he back in consideration as the overall WR1 in fantasy football?

Sigmund Bloom: Beckham probably loses a little for being in a stacked offense, but gains more in a quarterback quality bump. I won't argue with anyone taking him as the WR1, but will probably have him closer to WR3.

Jason Wood: Beckham should absolutely be in consideration as the top fantasy receiver. While he will probably see fewer targets in Cleveland, the quality of those targets will increase. Beckham should return to the elite touchdown rate of his early years and is the odds on favorite to lead the position in scoring. I won't beat anyone up for choosing Julio Jones or DeAndre Hopkins, but Beckham has the perfect combination of high floor and high ceiling you should be looking for in the first round of drafts.

Alessandro Miglio: Mayfield, as a rookie, was better than Eli Manning has been in years. Beckham gets an obvious upgrade here, and that is going to turn him into a consistent fantasy stud.

Andy Hicks: Beckham was already my No. 1 receiver heading into the 2019 season and this trade doesn’t change my opinion. Mayfield is a clear upgrade over Manning at this stage, and Beckham is the best wide receiver of this generation. Offseason training will be crucial for Beckham to develop a good rapport with Mayfield, but there isn’t much reason to believe they won’t click.

Daniel Simpkins: I wouldn’t go as far as calling him the WR1, but I do think we’ll see Beckham back among the top options at wide receiver after having two substandard fantasy seasons. Andy hit the nail on the head with Mayfield. Even with much to learn, he’s much better than Manning at this stage in their respective careers.

Will Grant: Beckham should be back in the discussion for WR1 with this move. The knock over the last few seasons, however, is his ability to stay healthy. Beckham has played in just 16 games over the last two seasons and has only one 16 game season on his resume in five years. That pushes him into the second round for me and probably means he won’t appear on many of my rosters. If you’re willing to take him in the first round, make sure you build depth at wide receiver later in the draft to guard against injury. Otherwise, enjoy the big points per game numbers Beckham will provide this season.

Dan Hindery: Beckham deserves to be in the conversation for WR1 but he’s one of several receivers with a strong case. DeAndre Hopkins, Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Michael Thomas, Antonio Brown, and Julio Jones each look like strong options and should be in the same general tier.

I currently have Beckham as the WR3 behind Hopkins and Hill. It makes sense to break ties in favor of Hopkins and Hill due to likely game scripts and surrounding talent. The Texans don’t have much of a running game and are forced to throw regardless of the score, which makes Hopkins a safer bet to again see 10+ targets per game (he has averaged 170 targets per season since 2015). The Chiefs defense ranked 26th in DVOA and has lost more talent than they’ve added this offseason, which should lead to another year filled with shootouts that will again benefit Hill’s fantasy production.

Justin Howe: Sure, he can be considered as the WR1 in early drafts. With the wide receiver rankings so close, as Dan alluded to, it's hard to make a strong case for or against anyone in the middle of Round 1 here in March.

The quarterback upgrade should be a big one, of course. Not just because Mayfield is so intriguing, but because Manning was so awful. Few quarterbacks look downfield less often than Manning, so Beckham's big-play potential has been suffocated. Turning him into a YAC-hungry check-down receiver was terrible miscasting. There's the red zone, too, where Beckham excelled early in his career. Last season, Manning completed just 49% of his red zone throws and posted a blah 85.1 rating from up close. Mayfield, on the other hand, put up a solid 5.6% touchdown rate as a rookie, so it’s fair to expect Beckham’s touchdown numbers to climb back into the double digits.

At the moment, I'd rather have Hopkins. Ask me in July, though, and I could see Beckham riding higher with a strong training camp

Jarvis Landry

Phil Alexander: Landry's fantasy football value has always been tied to an enormous target share. Does the addition of Beckham ding his counting stats due to decreased targets, or will he benefit from the defensive attention his former LSU teammate will command?

Sigmund Bloom: Landry will remain a boom/bust weekly option, continuing his 2018 second-half trend of fewer targets and receptions but more value per target. He could end up being a draft value if his cost comes down on the Beckham trade news and the Browns show signs of the same hyperproductive/hyperaggressive approach new offensive coordinator Todd Monken oversaw in Tampa last year.

Jason Wood: Landry finally gets a chance to be a No. 2 after most saw him as miscast as a No. 1 in Miami and Cleveland. You have to expect a drop in his near historic target share, which makes Landry a volatile fantasy option. He's a WR2 in PPR formats and ideally a high variance WR3 in non-PPR.

Alessandro Miglio: The Browns tried to use Landry vertically last season much more than the Dolphins ever did, and he had some success in his new role. But he was only 22nd in standard fantasy scoring while commanding the eighth-most targets at his position. Beckham is going to command defensive attention -- theoretically opening up the offense for his teammates -- but will it be enough to get Landry the volume he needs to score big fantasy points? I’m not convinced.

Andy Hicks: Landry was down less than one target per game last year from his 161 target season in Miami, but his receptions dropped by over 30. He also failed to see 10 targets in any game down the stretch, compared to reaching that number in six of his first eight games last season. Landry’s ADP will ultimately determine his value. If he falls far enough, it’s worth placing a bet he’ll see similar targets to last year but improve his catch rate without the pressure of being the No. 1 target.

Daniel Simpkins: The addition of Beckham won’t be helpful for Landry in terms of reception numbers. Cleveland will want to justify all the draft and player capital they gave up, so they will look to get the ball in Beckham’s hands more often than not. The quality of Landry’s receptions, however, may be better than they’ve been at any point in his career. With lots of defensive attention focused on Beckham, Landry could be open a lot more and has the potential to reach a career high in yardage and/or touchdowns.

Will Grant: Yes, Beckham will draw away coverage, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to a big season for Landry. Unless Cleveland turns into Kansas City or Pittsburgh on offense, I see Landry posting similar numbers to last year -- 80 catches, ~1,000 yards, and five touchdowns are close to his ceiling. He would benefit most if Beckham remains injury prone, but even then, David Njoku and Antonio Calloway are no slouches.

Dan Hindery: The negatives outweigh the positives for Landry. Cleveland now has a lot of mouths to feed at the skill positions in what isn’t likely to be a high-volume passing attack (given the team’s defensive talent and strong running game). Landry will benefit from a bit more single coverage but isn’t likely to be an impact fantasy player without seeing his typically huge target numbers. I’m not buying at his early ADP (50th overall).

Justin Howe: It's no secret Landry's target share is going to fall. Beckham isn't a mere deep threat; he's an across-the-field target hog. Landry took on 25% of Cleveland’s targets once Mayfield got under center, and 44% among wideouts, which is right in line with the NFL average for clear-cut WR1s. But Landry is no more of a WR1 than I am. He’s a limited player with a clearly defined skillset, and as the other guys have discussed, he doesn't provide much fantasy value without huge target volume. If we project last year's rates onto, say, 125 targets, it's a 68-816-3 season -- barely worth drafting.

I'll have some best-ball interest, however, as there will be a few weeks opponents sell out against Beckham and Landry sees 10+ targets. Just don’t expect that to be the norm, or anything close.

David Njoku

Phil Alexander: Mayfield's ascension under Kitchens in the second half of last season helped make Njoku a top-10 tight end. Are there enough targets left to go around in Cleveland for Njoku to break out in his third NFL season?

Sigmund Bloom: Like Landry, Njoku will likely see fewer targets, but more value per target. That's not a recipe for a breakout, and he will likely be over-drafted, but could still deliver on increased expectations because he is an ascendant talent who is only 22.

Jason Wood: Njoku doesn't appeal to me. He's probably the least talented offensive starter in Cleveland. Sure, he's young and athletic, but he profiles as a situational and opportunistic contributor who should trail Beckham, Landry, Chubb, and possibly Kareem Hunt in touches.

Alessandro Miglio: Njoku will be the best value in the Cleveland offense this season. Inconsistency has shaded his considerable upside to this point in his career, but he might be the one player on the Browns who flies under the radar in fantasy drafts. If his play matches his talent in year three, the potential is there for a top-5 tight end finish.

Andy Hicks: Njoku has the potential to be a red zone monster. While he may not see the target volume most elite tight ends do, he still profiles as a solid fantasy starter. We have seen many defenses struggle to deal with athletic tight ends, and if the Browns do their homework, they should be able to use Njoku to create mismatches. It wouldn’t be surprising, though, if Njoku follows up huge games with complete stinkers due to the lack of reliable targets.

Daniel Simpkins: The bar for top-10 fantasy tight ends is set pretty low, so Njoku should easily get there again this year. He may be a disappointment to some because they’ve been waiting years for a transcendent season that puts him among the top two or three finishers at the position. But that’s unrealistic considering all the other pass-catching options now in Cleveland. For a tight end to post an elite season, they generally need to be the first or second option in their team’s passing game. I just don’t see that kind of target priority for Njoku given the presence of Beckham, Landry, and Chubb.

Will Grant: Landry and Njoku are in the same boat. Both are great talents but with Beckham in town, they're fighting for scraps. Njoku should still approach last season's numbers -- about 700 yards and four or five touchdowns -- making him a viable starter in 12-team fantasy leagues, but not a breakout star.

Dan Hindery: The addition of Beckham hurts Njoku. We have seen big splits for Evan Engram with and without Beckham in the lineup. The targets just weren’t there for Engram to put up big fantasy numbers with Beckham seeing 10 targets per game. Njoku is fighting an uphill battle to get enough targets for a breakout fantasy season.

Justin Howe: Njoku will be a dicey week-to-week TE1, but a TE1 nonetheless. Let's not lose sight of just how muddied and volatile the tight end ranks look right now. Njoku's athleticism and playmaking skills are thrilling - remember, he posted an elite Speed Score and Adjusted Explosivity Index just two years ago. With Beckham on board, this won't be the breakout we were expecting a week ago, but I still like Njoku's value as the TE7 or TE8.

Phil Alexander: Alessandro is the only one who got this right. If we're assuming Mayfield makes the jump to elite fantasy quarterback, it's sound process to buy up the cheapest piece of the Browns passing game. Njoku, who went at pick 8.05 in my first best ball draft since the Beckham deal, is currently that guy.

If you look at the top-10 fantasy tight ends in most seasons, about half are target hogs on teams that lack other viable pass-catchers and the other half saw their counting stats inflated by top-10 scoring offenses. There's no doubt Njoku will lack elite volume in 2019, but the requisite offensive set up is clearly in place and we aren't talking about an ordinary tight end.

Njoku will be 23 when the season starts. From a size and athleticism standpoint, he's comparable to Travis Kelce, and he's coming off an impressive second NFL season. Per Pro Football Reference, Njoku is one of only seven tight ends in the last 25 years to post over 630 receiving yards at age 22. The other members of that cohort are Rob Gronkowski, Jason Witten, Aaron Hernandez, Jeremy Shockey, Todd Heap, and Jermichael Finley -- all former fantasy standouts at the position.

Njoku showed a strong rapport in the red zone with Mayfield last season and figures to see added scoring opportunities in 2019. Defenses are also going to have to decide how to account for Beckham, Landry, and Chubb, which will leave Njoku free to roam the seam and rip off chunk plays. He may not require elite target volume to post a top-5 tight end season, especially given the landscape of the position.

Nick Chubb

Phil Alexander: Running back production is heavily correlated to the performance of a team's offense as a whole. At least until Kareem Hunt returns from suspension, do you see the addition of Beckham as a significant boost for Chubb? Prior to the trade, Chubb was typically coming off the board in early best ball drafts towards the end of Round 2. Are you buying at that price?

Sigmund Bloom: Chubb should be worth the big investment in drafts. Cleveland projects as one of the highest scoring offenses in the league and the favorite to win the division (and I'm a Western PA born and bred Steeler fan). Chubb could lead the league in rushing scores and see lots of light boxes from opposing defenses.

Jason Wood: The additions of Hunt and Beckham will hopefully keep Chubb in the second round. If that happens, he becomes the top target for anyone drafting near the turn or later. Chubb has the talent to be the league's top fantasy runner, and there's no reason to think a more productive passing offense means fewer opportunities for the Browns running backs.

Alessandro Miglio: There are going to be plenty of fantasy points to go around in Cleveland this season. But I'm concerned Hunt will eat into Chubb’s fantasy value after he serves his eight-game suspension. A borderline first-round fantasy pick for a guy who might be in a committee half the season is a bit rich for my tastes.

Andy Hicks: Chubb rushed for almost 1,000 yards in 10 games as a featured runner during his rookie season. Any thoughts of stacked boxes have been put to rest with the addition of Beckham. Very few things go as planned in the NFL, but if this offensive group gels as a unit, Chubb will have plenty of big leads to protect. Late in round two? Sign me up.

Daniel Simpkins: Chubb is a stud, and those who haven’t caught up to that reality are going to be steamrolled by it this season. Beckham will only help to open things up for the talented runner. I’m not worried about Kareem Hunt siphoning significant touches in the second half of the season. He is merely a redundancy plan in case of an injury to Chubb.

Will Grant: I was excited about Chubb at the end of last season, and that was before Beckham joined the team. With Beckham preventing teams from stacking eight defenders in the box, Chubb’s prospects of becoming an elite running back increase. He finished as the RB17 despite being featured in only 10 games as a rookie. I’m penciling him in for a top ten finish this season and would be glad to take him as soon as the early second round.

Dan Hindery: Chubb is a solid value if the late second round ADP sticks. The Browns offense should be one of the league’s best, which should produce a lot of red zone trips and scoring opportunities. If Cleveland is as good as most expect, there will be plenty of positive game scripts which would mean a lot of fourth-quarter carries for Chubb as the Browns look to protect leads and run the clock.

The biggest concern is the looming return of Kareem Hunt. We now know Hunt will return for the final eight games of 2019, right in time to provide fresh legs and a big boost to the offense for the stretch run. If Hunt steps into 40-50% of the touches late in the season, Chubb will disappoint when his fantasy managers need him most.

Justin Howe: The Browns running backs should be solid, if unspectacular, for fantasy purposes. Chubb was a revelation as a rookie, but an unhealthy chunk of his production was touchdown-based. I like the Browns' 2019 outlook, of course, but I rarely jump at RB1s who (a) are facing regression and (b) figuring to top out around 30 receptions. Even if Duke Johnson Jr is shipped off, as anticipated, I don't foresee Chubb becoming a versatile bell-cow.

Saquon Barkely

Phil Alexander: David Johnson's performance last season suggests even the most talented running backs can struggle to overcome a terrible supporting cast. Barkley has been routinely going as the 1.01 in early best ball drafts. Do Beckham's absence and the Giants lack of offensive talent scare you off Barkley as the best player in fantasy football?

Sigmund Bloom: Barkley isn't going to budge from his 1.01 draft spot. His floor is still very high in PPR leagues, but defenses are going to devote all of their resources to stop him and the Giants offense is going to become less -- not more -- creative. You probably still have to take him at 1.01, but kind of hope you don't draw the pick and look to trade down if you do (and it's permitted).

Jason Wood: Sigmund is right. Barkley won't fall far from the 1.01 slot and probably shouldn’t. Some may rank him behind the likes of Alvin Kamara, McCaffrey, and Ezekiel Elliott, but it's hard to argue for a larger downgrade. Barkley will be in the running for 90-100 receptions based on the current makeup of the Giants receiving corps. And New York’s offensive line is better on paper than it was in 2018 due to the addition of guard Kevin Zeitler.

Bob Henry: Barkley might even clear 100 catches next year, Jason. In fact, we could see Christian McCaffrey and Barkley both top 100 catches in the same season. Running backs are the new wide receivers.

Justin Howe: I’ll raise you 25 catches, Bob. Barkley will be a target monster this season.

Alessandro Miglio: I agree with the David Johnson comparison, but only to a point. Johnson was coming back from a season-ending injury last year, and I'm not convinced he was all the way back to form. Barkley's value is going to come in volume -- as a pass-catcher alone, he could lead the league in targets at running back. He is talented enough to warrant the first pick in spite of a potentially awful offense.

Dan Hindery: Johnson’s 2018 season is a non-injury, worst-case scenario for Barkley but not one we are likely to see play out for two reasons:

  • Arizona’s offense was historically bad last season, finishing almost 50 yards per game behind the league’s second-worst offense. The Giants offense could be mediocre but the improved offensive line (especially with the addition of Zeitler) and solid skill position talent should lead to an offense that is way better than Arizona’s terrible 2018 unit.

  • Johnson’s stats suffered in large part due to his lack of usage as a receiver (he saw 44 fewer targets in 2018 than he did in 2016). There is no reason to expect Barkley to see fewer targets in 2019. In fact, the loss of Beckham should open up more targets for Barkley.

In PPR leagues, Barkley is still the best choice at 1.01. He racked up over 2,000 yards and had 91 catches in a mediocre Giants offense in 2018. Swapping out Beckham for Golden Tate and Zeitler shouldn’t be too much of a net negative for Barkley. In standard scoring or 0.5 PPR, there is a case to be made for Ezekiel Elliott at 1.01 if the Dallas offensive line is back to full health, but that is something we will have to monitor as the offseason progresses.

Andy Hicks: Barkley has demonstrated his elite talent. The yards and receptions will be there this year, but I worry about his touchdown numbers. 15 total touchdowns will be hard to replicate with the Giants current roster makeup.

Daniel Simpkins: Barkley was able to produce in a relatively barren landscape last season, but could things temporarily grind to a halt as the Giants completely bottom out? It’s possible. Remember how Todd Gurley had a quality rookie season, then struggled in his sophomore year when poor quarterback play and Jeff Fisher’s unimaginative coaching were too much to overcome. I could see something similar happening to the Giants in 2019. I’m looking in a different direction if I draw the 1.01 in a redraft league this year.

Will Grant: I missed the boat on Barkley last season, mostly due to the question marks around him on offense. I’m hesitant to make the same mistake again. Maybe the loss of Beckham will cause defenses to cheat on Barkley, but they were doing that last year and still couldn't stop him. He’s still a clear candidate for the number one pick and should certainly be a top three pick in 99% of fantasy leagues.

Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram

Phil Alexander: As the Giants only viable downfield receiving weapons, Tate, Shepard, and Engram are the logical options to soak up Beckham’s vacated targets. Are you bumping these guys up due to the additional projected volume or are you out on any pass-catcher attached to Eli Manning?

Sigmund Bloom: The Giants pass offense becomes fantasy quicksand with the Tate signing. Shepard and Engram were poised for bumps because of the shortage of credible downfield passing options and the likelihood of numerous losing game scripts. But with Tate added to the mix, it will be a frustrating situation week to week, and much like with Barkley, there is the risk the offense stays stuck in neutral for long stretches.

Jason Wood: One of the biggest mistakes fantasy managers make is over-drafting modest talents because opportunities look robust. The Giants offense could simply regress, and even if these guys see more targets, they may not be productive ones.

Alessandro Miglio: Engram will be a value simply because the Giants pass-catchers are going to sink in fantasy drafts. If he’s a consensus borderline TE2, I’m interested, but otherwise, I’d pass on all these guys. Tate might have been a decent option three years ago, but he is not good enough these days to overcome bad quarterbacking. Outside of Barkley, there is nothing to like in New York's passing offense this season.

Andy Hicks: New York could be a trainwreck, and if that’s the case, these players carry significant risk heading into 2019. It’s hard to evaluate until we see the full picture, but the addition of Tate, in particular, is a real head-scratcher. Two teams didn't want him last year and he will be 31 by the time the season starts.

Daniel Simpkins: It’s reasonable to expect the same general stat lines from 2018 for these guys. It just feels like one of those situations where things have to bottom out for the team before Dave Gettleman will be fired and they can start a rebuild in earnest. Shepard and Engram, however, should not be given up on in dynasty formats, regardless of how this year plays out.

Will Grant: The addition of Tate has me thinking of this as a 'quantity over quality' situation. I feel like all three of these guys will be good at times, bad at times, and generally lack high ceilings. Of the three, I like Engram as a mid-range fantasy tight end. The other two are roster fillers -- guys who will flirt with 800 yards and four touchdowns by the end of the season.

Dan Hindery: The addition of Golden Tate muddies the water for Shepard and Engram. Plus, the Giants have extra draft ammunition and could target an outside receiver with an early pick. The departure of Beckham is a net positive for these guys, but the impact isn’t enough for me to give them a big bump from where they ranked prior to the trade.

Justin Howe: Ugh. Why the Giants felt the need to bring Tate on board, with Shepard and Engram already producing well in the slot, is baffling to me. What a redundant collection of talent. There will be targets galore, but good luck assigning them in March.

At first glance, I'm loving the value for Shepard, whose ADP probably won't inflate too much with Tate on board. He's been the most trusted inside option for Manning for a few years now, giving him a big advantage for volume. If he keeps a WR4/5 ADP into June or July, I'll have a ton of exposure to him.

Tate is a total wild card. He's not talented enough to swoop in as the WR1, so I think he'll spend the year waiting in line for possession usage. He's not without value as an underneath playmaker, but we've now seen two teams invest only to quickly cut ties in the past eight months.

Engram should shoot up draft boards. His splits with and without Beckham are striking, as there's very little downfield playmaking in the Giants stable (and a quarterback incapable of going deep). I look for him to spend at least the first quarter of the season making Tate redundant, ripping the seams, and posting volatile TE1 numbers.

More articles from Phil Alexander

See all

More articles on: Analysis

See all

More articles on: Offseason

See all