Fantasy Football: Free Agency Reaction Day 1
Monday marked the opening of the “legal tampering” period in the NFL and while it started out as a slow trickle, by around midnight that trickle had turned into a flood. Let’s dive in, shall we:
Broncos sign Case Keenum– this is a big win for Demaryius Thomas and Emanuel Sanders, but probably not a huge win for Keenum. The Broncos WR’s will reap the benefits of an experienced QB who had a 67.4% completion percentage in 2017 and made Stefon Diggs and Adam Theilen top-end fantasy options. Put Sanders and Thomas in your Top 30 WR’s, Keenum probably a bye week filler at QB with Top 15 upside. Sleepers here are Jake Butt (TE) and Carlos Henderson (missed 2017 with injuries).
Bears sign Allen Robinson and Trey Burton – Bears are building an offense that is remarkably similar to the 2017 Eagles. It worked for Carson Wentz as he made a huge leap from 2016 to 2017, so maybe it will work for Mitchell Trubisky. Allen Robinson will play the Alshon Jeffery role, Cam Meredith and Kevin White will take on the Nelson Agholar and Torrey Smith jobs. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen will do their best Jay Ajayi/Lagarrette Blunt/Corey Clement impersonations while Trey Burton and Adam Shaheen try to provide the same athleticism at TE that Ertz and… well, Burton provided the Eagles. The entire Bears offense is now on the fantasy radar, including Trubisky as a sleeper to pop Top 10 value. This could be a completely different offense in 2018.
Chiefs sign Sammy Watkins – This seems like an odd landing spot for Watkins who has spent his entire career bouncing from unproven QB to unproven QB. In Buffalo, he had Tyrod Taylor and his best year there was 1000 yards, 9 TD. In LA, Jared Goff found him for 600/8, so what will his numbers look like with new signal caller Pat Mahomes in KC? The Chiefs still have Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill, so Watkins is a natural fit as the outside threat. That said, Andy Reid loves to mix up his play calling and get creative and isn’t the type of offensive mind to pound his WR1 with double-digit targets every week. If everything goes perfectly in KC, Watkins can return Top 15 value but you should draft him as a Top 30 WR. I put his projection somewhere around 75 receptions, 950 yards, and 7 TD.
Vikings sign Kirk Cousins – Here it is, the granddaddy of them all. Cousins whopping $84 million fully guaranteed three-year pact with the Vikings puts him at the helm of what is about to be one of the most dangerous offenses in the NFL. Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph and Dalvin Cook get massive fantasy value bumps here. Cousins put up Top 10 QB numbers each of the past three seasons in Washington where he averaged 4392 yards, 27 TD and 12 INT on 67% completion with inferior supporting players. Thielen and Diggs are virtually getting a 2017 Case Keenum on steroids. Keenum posted a 67% completion in 2017 with a 7.4 YPA, Cousins comes in with a 7.8 and a higher TD ratio. Cousins is a Top 5 WB, Diggs and Thielen are easily Top 30 WR’s, Dalvin Cook is a Top 5 RB, Kyle Rudolph is a Top 10 TE. Draft all with comfort.