Free Agency Winners and Losers

A look at the biggest winners and losers for fantasy by position after one week of free agency

The dust settled on the first wave of free agency and we aren't likely to see many big splash moves outside of maybe a former starting quarterback taking a job elsewhere. Who were the biggest fantasy winners and losers?

Quarterback winners

Kyler Murray, ARI - Maybe the biggest fantasy winner in all of free agency. He gains a true #1 receiver and now the Cardinals have the personnel to run Kliff Kingsbury’s offense true to its most aggressive incarnation.

Josh Allen, BUF - Added Stefon Diggs rounding out an excellent wide receiver trio with an ascendant receiving tight end

Drew Brees, NO - Emmanuel Sanders is just about perfect to fill the gaping hole at WR2 in the Saints offense.

Gardner Minshew, JAX - Minshew avoids a camp battle with the trade of Nick Foles and should be a solid asset in QB2/Superflex leagues in 2020.

Jarrett Stidham, NE - Right now he should be considered the favorite to start Week 1 for the Patriots and more than rosterable in 2QB/Superflex leagues.

Nick Foles, CHI - Foles should be considered the starter in Chicago unless we hear otherwise and he could unlock some of the value of the Matt Nagy offense that Mitchell Trubisky left dormant.

Tyrod Taylor, LAC - Cam Newton or a draft pick could still torpedo Taylor’s opportunity, but all outward indications point to him being the Chargers starter this year. He is a quality runner and should at least be bye/injury/matchup filler in 1QB and startable in 2QB if the Chargers don’t make any more moves at quarterback.

Ryan Tannehill, TEN - Staying in Tennessee was expected and best for his fantasy prospects, but Tom Brady rumors did cast a small shadow on his chances of returning to the Titans.

Teddy Bridgewater, CAR - At least he got a starting job. Kyle Allen was a viable fantasy quarterback at times, and he spent a year on the same Saints team as Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady in 2018.

Marcus Mariota, LSV - Mariota got a deal that seems to contemplate the possibility of him taking over as the starter over the next two years on a team with a less than entrenched #1.

Running Back winners

David Johnson, HOU - He was left for dead in dynasty leagues and now should at least be a startable weekly RB2 with a chance to return to fantasy prominence.

Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson, LAR - The Rams could still add a veteran or draft pick, but for now it looks like a Brown/Henderson committee in 2020.

Kenyan Drake, ARI - Drake stays with the team that he broke out with late last year and his main competition for touches got traded.

Nyheim Hines, IND - The guy who helped make Austin Ekeler a fantasy stud is playing quarterback for the Colts now. Let’s see if the coaches actually ramp up Hines usage in the passing game.

Jordan Howard, MIA - For now. The Dolphins should still add another back, but if it is not one of the top 5-7 in the draft, Howard’s value should be similar to Todd Gurley’s this year. The addition of Ereck Flowers and Ted Karras to the Dolphins line also helps.

Devin Singletary, BUF - For now. The Bills were connected to Melvin Gordon III but didn’t get a deal done. They should still add another back in free agency or the draft.

Justin Jackson, LAC - For now. The Chargers didn’t add anyone to replace Melvin Gordon III, but they could take a back on the second day of the draft.

Wide Receiver Winners

Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller, CHI - Nick Foles will be a breath of fresh air for the Bears downfield passing game.

Chris Godwin, TB - Godwin’s route-running strength overlaps with Tom Brady’s style more than Mike Evans ability to win at the catch point downfield.

Marquise Brown, BAL - The Ravens had a lot more urgency to upgrade their run defense than they did to upgrade their wide receiver group despite both contributing greatly to their premature playoff exit.

Will Fuller V, Kenny Stills, Randall Cobb, HOU - The Texans will add a rookie or two, but this trio will be relied on to convert Deshaun Watson’s talent to production and points. Stills has the best chance of playing 16 games, while Fuller has the highest ceiling, but it is yet to be seen how much easier it is to defend the Texans pass offense without DeAndre Hopkins.

DJ Moore, CAR - Moore’s strengths as a receiver match up much better with new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater than Curtis Samuel’s.

Emmanuel Sanders, NO - Sanders should be set up for success in an established offense and his years of experience should make the ramp up period shorter in a new offense without the benefit of an offseason.

TY Hilton, IND - Even an aging Philip Rivers is an upgrade for Hilton from Jacoby Brissett.

Allen Lazard, GB - The Packers didn’t make any dramatic moves to upgrade a wide receiver group that finished the year with Lazard as the #2 option, although an early draft pick is surely joining him.

Olabisi Johnson, MIN - The Vikings are sure to draft a receiver or two, but Johnson is the WR2 for the moment.

Tight End winners

Hayden Hurst, ATL - Hurst goes from bit player in Baltimore to inheriting one of the best fantasy tight end situations in the league in Atlanta. He might be more valuable than Austin Hooper in 2020.

Blake Jarwin, DAL - Jarwin flashed as a downfield target in a small sample size last year, and the Cowboys let both Jason Witten and Randall Cobb while signing Jarwin to an extension.

Mark Andrews, BAL - Not that Hayden Hurst was siphoning off that many targets, but whatever drag Hurst was on Andrews fantasy value acceleration is gone now

Dawson Knox, BUF - Vast tracts of land will be open for Knox to roam in with Stefon Diggs stretching defenses

Irv Smith, Kyle Rudolph, MIN - The trade of Stefon Diggs moves the tight ends up in the target pecking order.

Jace Sternberger, GB - The Packers didn’t add Austin Hooper, so it looks like Sternberger will have a big opportunity in 2020.

Quarterback Losers

Cam Newton, FA - Newton doesn’t have much left to pick from and the lack of an offseason will make it difficult for his new team to commit to him as a starter in 2020.

Jameis Winston, FA - Winston will be a backup. His best case scenario is as a potential starter in waiting in Pittsburgh.

Andy Dalton, CIN - Dalton didn’t get traded to New England or Chicago and will probably be released sooner or later.

Running Back Losers

James White, Sony Michel, NE - It really looks like the Patriots are going to march into Week 1 with Jarrett Stidham at quarterback.

Phillip Lindsay, Melvin Gordon III, DEN - Gordon should still be a solid RB2 with weekly RB1 upside, but he had to be hoping for a richer deal and a less talented/accomplished partner. Lindsay certainly lost value, but he’s more 1B than backup, so he might be a buy low in dynasty.

Carlos Hyde, HOU - Hyde turned down a two-year, $10 million dollar deal from Houston that would have kept him at least rosterable in fantasy leagues, but instead will likely be lucky to be an RBBC member come Week 1.

Todd Gurley, ATL - Gurley’s 2020 outlook probably didn’t take that big of a hit with the move from Los Angeles to Atlanta, but the Rams unwillingness to lock in future guarantees had to hurt his long term value.

Wide Receiver Losers

Julian Edelman, NE - The bottom could drop out of his value if the Patriots don’t make a move at quarterback between now and the start of the regular season. You can’t replace the timing and chemistry he had built with Tom Brady.

Robby Anderson, CAR - Anderson joins up with a quarterback who isn't the boldest or most effective deep passer in Teddy Bridgewater and he won't be the #1 with DJ Moore atop the target tree. Returning to the Jets would have been a better fantasy outcome for Anderson.

John Brown, Cole Beasley, Stefon Diggs, BUF - Josh Allen’s erratic passing doesn’t create the biggest production pie and now there’s another big mouth to feed.

Curtis Samuel, CAR - For now. And maybe Samuel will be better off if Joe Brady is wise enough to call a lot of screen, crossing patterns, and quick slants to get Samuel’s speed in play in ways other than using him to stretch defenses. Teddy Bridgewater’s lack of deep passing effectiveness is a problem for Samuel either way, but it's also an issue for Robby Anderson. Maybe a smart team will call Carolina about Samuel and he'll get a new home.

Mike Evans, TB - Tom Brady is more of a timing/reads/rhythm passer than a 50-50 ball/throw your receiver open gunslinger, and Evans will likely suffer for the stylistic change at quarterback.

Tight End Losers

Austin Hooper, David Njoku, CLE - He’ll share with David Njoku in a likely run-first two-tight end offense for at least this year, and the Browns also have two very good wide receivers and a quality receiving back. Njoku isn’t even draftable in redraft leagues now, and he won’t have dynasty appeal unless he moves on to another team. If you like Njoku, now is the time to make an offer.

Chris Herndon, NYJ - The Jets picked up Ryan Griffin’s 2020 option, making this a two-tight end offense.

Vance McDonald, Eric Ebron, PIT - The Steelers didn’t release McDonald, but they added a pure receiving tight end in Ebron, which means McDonald should be brushing up on his blocking. Ebron joins a pass offense with three young talents at wide receiver, an aging quarterback, and another functional receiving tight end.

More articles from Sigmund Bloom

See all

More articles on: Analysis

See all

More articles on: Offseason

See all