Each year it is very important to keep an eye on free agent moves and their impact on the fantasy landscape. In this article, I will examine the potential impact of some of the most significant free agent wide receiver signings.
Robinson moves from the Jaguars to the Bears. Robinson missed the majority of his 2017 season due to an ACL tear with the Jaguars and now moves to the suddenly dangerous Chicago Bears. Robinson will be the clear number 1 wide receiver with the Bears and should benefit from a more consistent QB in Trubisky. In 2016, Robinson had 73 catches for 883 yards and 6 TDs. Expect an uptick from those numbers more comparable to Robinson’s 2015 where he had 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 TDs. Robinson could reestablish himself as a bonafide deep threat under new coach Matt Nagy.
Crabtree becomes the number 1 wide receiver for the Ravens, desperate to revive their flailing offense. Crabtree is a consistent red zone threat scoring 25 of his 51 touchdowns in the red zone. Flacco has been very happy with his new “favorite target” Crabtree.
Hurns has the potential to become the top receiver for the Cowboys. Hurns has missed 11 games over the last two years. If he stays healthy, he can be very productive. The Cowboys have said they will utilize a committee approach at wide receiver, but Hurns has the most upside with a 1,000 yard season under his belt during the 2015 season.
Meredith moves from the Bears to the Saints. He has the experience to be the wide receiver two for the Saints. Meredith lost his 2017 season to an ACL tear but will be looking to reach his productivity of 2016 where he had 888 yards and 4 tds in 14 games. Meredith will benefit from an offense whose only proven wide receiver is Michael Thomas. He is only 25 which should help his recovery.
Grant moves to the Colts from the Redskins. Expect the Colts to utilize him more after signing him to a one year, five million dollar contract. A lot of his success or failures depends on the health of his new quarterback Andrew Luck.
Richardson was signed to a five year, 40 million dollar contract with the Redskins including 20 million guaranteed. Richardson is an electric player coming off his best season with over 700 yards and 6 TDs. Richardson could excel with Redskins as he will now compete with Doctson/Crowder for targets rather than Baldwin.
Matthews joins the Patriots on a one year one million dollar contract. Matthews 2017 season was ruined by injuries. He can benefit from being with the Patriots especially the first four games with Edelman out. Matthews also plays the slot which could be beneficial with Amendola now in Miami. Matthews could be a good late round sleeper in deeper leagues.
Amendola goes from the Patriots to the Dolphins. Amendola should continue his success from last year in the slot as he replaces Jarvis Landry. Useful late round pick in PPR leagues who can potentially catch 80 passes. Amendola had 61 catches last year for the Patriots.
Willie Snead landed in Sean Payton’s dog house last season due to a suspension and health concerns (hamstring). Snead had just 8 catches for 92 yards last year after recording 72 catches for 900 yards in 2016. Expect the Ravens to utilize him after signing him to a two year contract for ten million dollars. A new environment should be beneficial for Snead.
Benjamin joins the paltry offense of the Buffalo Bills. He instantly becomes the Bills top wide receiver and potentially only viable fantasy threat depending on what happens with LeSean McCoy. Benjamin is in much better shape than the last few summers. QB situation is a downgrade with either McCarron, Allen or Peterman.
Cooks moves to his third team in the last three years as he joins the explosive Rams offense. After playing with Brees and Brady, Cooks will now have Jared Goff as QB. Cooks joins Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp in a crowded Ram receiving core. Cooks averaged 953 yards and 6 TDs over his last three seasons. Expect comparable production as he joins the Rams.