Phil Alexander: Give me a quick fantasy slant on the following players who changed teams during the free agency period:
Tyrell Williams - Signed 4-year, $44M deal with OAK
Jason Wood: A soul-crushing move for a receiver many thought could thrive as a No. 1 in a new home. Instead, he goes from second fiddle to a very good receiver (Keenan Allen) to second fiddle to an all-time great receiver (Antonio Brown). To buy into Williams, you have to believe the Raiders offense will be a top-10 unit. I'm not ready to go there.
Daniel Simpkins: Nice move to further upgrade the Raiders passing attack.
Justin Howe: He was paid exceptionally well, but I don’t know how many deep balls he’s ticketed for. With a gun-shy quarterback and an offensive guru who is well aware of that fact, Williams should spend much of 2019 as a decoy for Brown. He’ll post two-to-three big games, but that doesn’t make him draftable. I love Williams’ talent, but this is the 2019 version of Paul Richardson Jr.
Andy Hicks: It only appears he was paid well on the surface, Justin. In reality, this is a one year deal. Williams can be cut in 2020 with no cap hit if he underperforms or the Raiders don’t want to keep paying him $11 million per year. Williams has intriguing talent and Oakland has improved in free agency, but there are still too many question marks surrounding the offense to over-invest in one of its secondary pieces.
John Brown - Signed 3-year, $27M deal with BUF
Jason Wood: The Bills are likely going to be near the bottom of the league in pass attempts, and near the top in 3-and-4-wide sets. Brown fits well with Josh Allen’s big arm but will be a boom/bust option and difficult to start with confidence most weeks.
Andy Hicks: Brown’s deal is another one that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Like Williams, he’s effectively on a one year deal. It doesn’t look like Brown has the same ceiling he did before being diagnosed with sickle cell trait, but he flashed a bit of his old form last year despite playing in Baltimore’s anemic passing offense. At age-29, he’s nothing more than a decent late-round flier as Allen’s new deep threat.
Justin Howe: Between Brown and Robert Foster, Allen now has two elite deep-ball specialists. I’m skeptical he’ll be able to find them consistently, but this was big news for the Bills’ offense. Brown looks like a decent late-round flier, though Foster intrigues me more, as he’s already spent a year with Allen.
Phil Alexander: I want to love Brown playing with Allen, who led all relevant quarterbacks in deep pass attempt percentage last season. The problem is Allen’s 36.5% completion rate on those deep attempts was ninth-worst among quarterbacks with at least 200 dropbacks. If it becomes clear Zay Jones will be the odd man out in Buffalo’s wide receiver corps, Brown becomes more interesting, but as it stands, there’s little more here than late-round best ball appeal. If only he had landed in Green Bay or Pittsburgh.
Devin Funchess - Signed 1-year, $10M deal with IND
Jason Wood: Intriguing under-the-radar signing. Funchess is only 24-years old and at least some of the blame for his dismal 2018 can be laid at Cam Newton’s feet. Funchess could end up a total non-factor with the Colts, but he could also thrive as Andrew Luck's No. 2 target. He's someone to target in redraft leagues as long as his ADP doesn’t skyrocket.
Daniel Simpkins: Curious signing by the Colts, but a better landing spot for Funchess than any other free agent wide receiver has found.
Chad Parsons: Funchess is at a career crossroads on a one-year 'prove it' contract. Fortunately, he fits well with the Colts as a big-bodied red zone compliment to T.Y. Hilton. Funchess is a good bet for WR3/4 fantasy production with upside into WR2 territory.
Phil Alexander: I’m all aboard with WR2 upside for Funchess in Indianapolis.
Andy Hicks: Funchess lands in the perfect situation on a one-year deal where he’ll be forced to perform or become an NFL journeyman. He still has a theoretical ceiling, but I have to take a closer look at why he pulled a disappearing act last season before making a decision on his 2019 value.
Justin Howe: The Colts wide receiver depth chart was practically empty, so yeah, this is a best-case scenario landing spot for Funchess. Chester Rogers looks like he can only play in the slot, so Funchess should take on all the outside reps he can handle. I know he’s almost always disappointed, but he’s a playmaker on the ball and still surprisingly young. 25 (in May) isn’t a bad age to start fresh.
Jamison Crowder - Signed 3-year, $28.5M deal with NYJ
Jason Wood: Crowder has never lived up to the hype. Every year analysts throw out "100-catch upside" and he ends up being a middling, chain mover. I don't see him becoming a centerpiece of the Jets offense, particularly with Le'Veon Bell dominating as a receiver out of the backfield.
Daniel Simpkins: Slot receivers are the new black. The Jets continue to surround Darnold with helpful pieces.
Andy Hicks: Unlike Williams, John Brown, and Funchess, Crowder gets a two-year window to ply his trade. The Jets don’t really have a number one receiver, but Crowder isn’t suited to be that guy. If things go well he could be a solid WR2, but after missing most of last year with injuries, he needs to prove he can stay on the field in 2019.
Phil Alexander: The Jets prioritized signing Crowder and the slot receiver in Adam Gase’s offenses have never gone wanting for volume. If Sam Darnold carries over his success from the last four games of 2018, Crowder has top-30 wide receiver potential. Since the signing, Crowder’s ADP has jumped 30 spots, but he’s still barely cracking the top-200 in best ball leagues. There is still value to mine here.
Adam Humphries - Signed 4-year, $36M deal with TEN
Jason Wood: This is a make-or-break year for Marcus Mariota and the Titans, and I don’t see things ending well. Humphries was surprisingly productive in Todd Monken's pass-happy system last year, but Tennessee isn’t going to sling the ball around. He'll be over-drafted in most leagues.
Daniel Simpkins: Underrated signing. Humphries will help a team that lacked a true slot option last year.
Andy Hicks: Humphries’ contract is well structured and could last the entire four years if he plays well. At the very least, he’ll be a Titan for the next two or three years. We’ll need to see how he clicks in this offense, but the fact the Patriots were hot and heavy for his services has to be considered a positive.
Justin Howe: 10.6 yards per catch and nine touchdowns over 311 career targets? How exactly is this an underrated signing?
Phil Alexander: I’m with you, Justin. If 6-3-44-0 weekly receiving lines are your thing, Humphries is your man.
Cole Beasley - Signed 4-year, $29M deal with BUF
Jason Wood: The Bills are going to spread the ball around, and won't be pass-heavy. Beasley goes from a middling desperation play in Dallas to a total zilch in Buffalo.
Daniel Simpkins: Beasley is a nice addition to a team that needed a reliable slot receiver. But can Josh Allen learn to read the field and not take off when his first read isn’t open? It remains to be seen.
Andy Hicks: At age 30 and having never finished ranked higher than WR40, Beasley is not draft-worthy.
Phil Alexander: Yeah, Beasley has no fantasy value in Buffalo, but I’ll be interested to see how his presence shakes up the team’s wide receiver depth chart. Robert Foster helped win fantasy leagues down the stretch last season. He could have surprising fantasy value again in 2019, but only if the Bills decide to keep Zay Jones on the bench in three receiver sets.
Breshad Perriman - Signed 1-year deal with TB
Jason Wood: A lottery ticket in hopes he can revive his career in Bruce Arians' offense, but not someone worth spending a pick on in redraft leagues.
Daniel Simpkins: A reclamation project on his third team. There is no reason to believe he’ll ever put it together.
Andy Hicks: After busting in Baltimore, Perriman at least showed signs of life in Cleveland. He lands in a good situation in Tampa Bay under Arians. It’s enough to make him a speculative late-round flier.
Phil Alexander: Good stuff, Andy. I thought I was the only one who noticed Perriman flirting with top-30 wide receiver numbers once he started seeing regular snaps with Cleveland last season. From Weeks 13-15, he caught a 30+ yard pass in every game. Jameis Winston’s deep ball accuracy is questionable, but we know he’ll throw downfield plenty with Arians calling the shots. I’m scooping up Perriman in the late rounds of best ball drafts in hopes he locks up the WR3 gig in Tampa Bay.
Danny Amendola - Signed 1-year, $4.5M deal with DET
Jason Wood: Move along. Nothing to see here.
Daniel Simpkins: Detroit is trying to model their team after the Patriots, but they’ve created a bizarro version of New England. Signing an old, oft-injured ex-Patriot receiver was one of the most predictable moves of the off-season for Matt Patricia and company.
Andy Hicks: Why did they even bother? Amendola turns 34 this year, has a chronicled injury history and has never come close to sniffing a top-40 fantasy season. Don’t make the same mistake as the Lions by adding Amendola to your team.
Justin Howe: I’ll be the contrarian in this discussion. Amendola is a PPR darkhorse. Matthew Stafford missed Golden Tate terribly last year. Career nobody Bruce Ellington stepped in late last year and commanded 26 targets over his three full games. It wouldn’t be an upset for Amendola to catch 60-65 passes, albeit those of the low impact variety.
Jesse James - Signed 4-year, $28.5M deal with DET
Jason Wood: James was better in Pittsburgh than he gets credit for, but it's hard to see him as an every week fantasy starter no matter the system.
Daniel Simpkins: Detroit’s free agent signings were either strange fits or overpays. James feels like the latter.
Justin Howe: A blocker practically devoid of quickness or speed, James isn’t even the most intriguing tight end on his own team. James and Michael Roberts will cap each other’s upsides and keep Detroit’s tight ends off the fantasy radar.
Tyler Kroft - Signed 3-year, $18.75M deal with BUF
Jason Wood: Kroft will be part of a four-or-five-headed monster in spread formations. He could have sneaky value if Buffalo features him in the red zone, but he's among a handful of late round tight ends who may or may not have fantasy relevance.
Daniel Simpkins: Kind of interesting since Jason Croom is currently his only real competition.
Andy Hicks: Kroft was fantasy relevant when Tyler Eifert missed the 2017 season, though he’s coming off a lost year himself. It would be a surprise if he were to become a fantasy starter, but stranger things have happened and the tight end position isn’t very deep.
Justin Howe: I was actually impressed by Kroft’s receiving ability in Cincinnati. I just don’t see much fantasy appeal in an offense that would love to throw fewer than 20 passes a game. Kroft could become a red zone weapon, but he’ll likely never be fantasy-startable in Buffalo.
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