Players to Watch In Free Agency: Fantasy Football
It is very important to have players to watch for in free agency for fantasy football purposes. Every offseason signing impacts a team for fantasy greatly, whether a quarterback signs a contract for big money or a back-up running back signs for cheap money. In deep dynasty leagues, every move counts, so here are some big-name players to watch for this upcoming offseason.
Teddy Bridgewater started from week three to week seven this season in place of the injured Drew Brees. In those weeks, Bridgewater average 17 fantasy points per game, including a four-touchdown game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He additionally was a top 12 fantasy quarterback during this time as well. Teddy Bridgewater is set to be a free agent, but he may stay in New Orleans to be the backup for Drew Brees once again. If he leaves, he most likely will be starting elsewhere. Drew Brees could also leave as he is a free agent as well.
This offseason has already been fairly interesting with Jameis Winston. Winston has already stated that he is worth $30 Million and would be extremely unhappy if he was franchise tagged. Winston his a high risk, high reward quarterback who isn’t afraid to take risks. This makes him a very strong fantasy football quarterback as he finished as a top-three fantasy quarterback. He averaged just under 21 fantasy points per game this season. He is a true gun-slinger who may not be successful on the field but is successful in fantasy.
Other Quarterbacks to Watch:
- Ryan Tannehill
- Drew Brees
- Tom Brady
- Dak Prescott
- Phillip Rivers
Melvin Gordon sat out to start this season to attempt to prove a point to the Los Angeles Chargers. He failed in this attempt. In this first five weeks in which Gordon sat, Austin Ekeler excelled in the starting role. Ekeler was the second-best fantasy running back just to Christian McCaffrey up until Gordon came back. Even when Gordon came back, Ekeler still finished as a top-five fantasy running back in PPR formats. Because of this, I expect Melvin Gordon to not return and for him to go elsewhere. Melvin Gordon will still be a very solid running back no matter where he goes.
People really forget about Kareem Hunt and it is pretty obvious why. It’s hard to showcase your talent when you share a backfield with Nick Chubb, but he doesn’t have to do that anymore since he was only with the Cleveland Browns for a one-year deal. Kareem Hunt is still 25 and just two years ago he was averaging 20 fantasy points per game in 11 games for the Kansas City Chiefs. I expect him to be a fantasy stud and sleeper heading into next season.
Other Running Backs to Watch:
- Derrick Henry
- Kenyan Drake
- Carlos Hyde
- Lamar Miller
- LeSean McCoy
Amari Cooper has been one of the most fantasy football players since he entered the league. He has been an extremely boom-or-bust player. This could be due to the system he is in or just him as a player, but it seems like it is the latter. Cooper, along with quarterback Dak Prescott, are both set to hit free agency and it is unlikely they will be able to retain both of them. If they do, Cooper is very similar to what he was last season: a top 20 wide receiver with hot and cold games. If he leaves, you never know what he could be, but if he leaves, maybe he will no longer be a boom-or-bust player and could get some consistency with a new offense and quarterback.
Breshad Perriman is a very interesting story entering this offseason. The former first-round pick has bounced around the league being on three teams in four seasons. The interesting part is how he finished this past season. After Mike Evans went down, Perriman slid into that big, target guy role for gunslinger Jameis Winston. In those games, he averaged 25.4 PPR points per game finishing just behind Julio Jones for the second-best wide receiver during that span. Maybe the young, first-round pick needed time to develop and teams didn’t give him that chance. Either way, it is interesting to see where he goes and for what price.
Other Wide Receivers to Watch:
- Robby Anderson
- A.J. Green
- Emmanuel Sanders
- Randall Cobb
- Geronimo Allison
This past season, Austin Hooper finished just outside the top-five fantasy tight ends in PPR formats, all while missing four games. Hooper averaged the third-most PPR points this season among tight ends just behind George Kittle and Travis Kelce. Austin Hooper is due to be a free agent, and I doubt that he will be on a team in which he has to compete for targets with a wide receiver duo like Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. A change of scenery may be nice for him.
After an injury in week one, Hunter Henry came back strong starting in week six as he finished as a top-five fantasy tight end with a struggling quarterback. Henry averaged 12.8 PPR points down this stretch and is set to hit free agency. He, as well as Julio, competes with a lot of talented receivers for targets, so a change of scenery may also benefit him as well.
Other Tight Ends to Watch:
- Eric Ebron
- Tyler Eifert
- Blake Jarwin
- Charles Clay
- Vance McDonald (Club Option)
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