clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NFL free agent frenzy likes and dislikes

Which moves have got the blood pumping and which have left me a bit cold.

NFL: Preseason-Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Free agency has only been open for just over 24 hours and during that time we’ve seen a huge swathe of deals being made. I’ve taken a look at some of those with fantasy implications and come up with my likes and dislikes from the moves made so far.

Like - Sammy Watkins to the Kansas City Chiefs

My favorite move so far and not just from Watkins’ point of view. He’s been an underwhelming player in his four years in the league, suffering multiple injuries and being used sparingly in his one season in Los Angeles. However he showed flashes down the stretch last year, averaging two points per game more from week 10 onwards than he managed in the first half of the season. The biggest upside comes in what he will do for the rest of the pieces on the Chiefs offense, taking coverage away from the talented trio of Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt. With Pat Mahomes taking over at quarterback, that’s quite an arsenal of offensive weapons at his disposal and I’m all in on the Chiefs being one of the leading offenses in 2018.

Dislike - Jordy Nelson to the Oakland Raiders

I’ve loved watching Jordy Nelson over the course of his career, but his departure from the Packers and subsequent pick up by the Raiders has left me underwhelmed. Clearly not the same player he was before the knee injury, Nelson has landed in a good but not great spot with a talented quarterback, but when you’re used to catching passes from Aaron Rodgers, anyone else is a downgrade. Nelson is only one year removed from being the WR1 in fantasy, where led the league in touchdown receptions, and he’s likely to see more than the 88 targets he saw last year, but I fear his best days are well behind him and his biggest upside will be as a red zone target.

Subnote: I am also not a fan of the release of Michael Crabtree who has 25 touchdowns over the past 3 seasons and is two years younger than Nelson. He will not be out of work for long.

Like - Dion Lewis to the Titans

I LOVE this move by the Titans. The most exciting running back duo in the league last season was Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara for the Saints and Tennessee have gone and created their own version of that pairing. Derrick Henry has been given the starting gig with DeMarco Murray moving on and that will allow Lewis to make hay doing what he does best, getting the ball in space and making players miss. Lewis finished 2017 as the RB12 in a crowded backfield in New England, and with clearer role in a talented offense, he is primed to continue his form into next year. This move is also perfect for Marcus Mariota with another receiving weapon at his disposal. Exciting times ahead in Nashville.

Dislike - Jonathan Stewart to the Giants

I understand the move from a coaching/GM point of view. No one knows Stewart’s abilities better than former OC Mike Shula and they must think there’s still some life left in Stewart’s 30 year-old legs, but the stats and the trend say otherwise. His yards per carry have declined in each of the last four years, and he finished as the RB34 in 2017. Not exactly a stellar move with little potential in my eyes for 2018.

Like - Jerick McKinnon to the 49ers

The 49ers blew any potential competition out of the water, offering McKinnon a 4-year, $30m deal, but regardless of that, I like the fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. We’ve seen in recent years how much running backs getting targeted in the passing game under Shanahan, with Carlos Hyde alone seeing 88 passes in 2017. McKinnon is well capable of managing that load as he caught 51 of 68 targets in the Vikings’ offense last season, as well as rushing for 570 yards. Jimmy Garoppolo will need a reliable target out of the backfield and McKinnon has the chance to improve of his RB25 status from last year as the feature back in an offense poised to break out in 2018.

Like - Jimmy Graham to the Packers

I remain a Jimmy Graham believer and if playing with Aaron Rodgers doesn’t give you upside, then nothing will. Coming off a season where Graham finished as the TE4 with 10 touchdown receptions, he is primed to be a target hog in an offense lacking a ton of receiving options. The Packers have been looking for a consistent receiving tight end since Jermichael Finley last played in 2013, and a player with the upside of Graham, who has potentially a couple of good years left at age 31, could be the answer the Packers are looking for.

Poll

Which is your favorite free agent move?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Sammy Watkins to KC
    (16 votes)
  • 13%
    Dion Lewis to TEN
    (13 votes)
  • 35%
    Jerick McKinnon to SF
    (33 votes)
  • 33%
    Jimmy Graham to GB
    (31 votes)
93 votes total Vote Now