By: Nate Leer
This offseason brought many free agent moves that significantly impact the fantasy football landscape, particularly a couple big moves at QB and WR. Except for players such as WR Dez Bryant and RB DeMarco Murray still expecting to sign somewhere, most of the dust has settled on this year’s free agent movement. Let’s take a look at how that affects players in 2018.
15 Most Impactful Players With New Homes in 2018:
1. Jerick McKinnon – RB – SF: McKinnon is the player who on paper benefits the most from his offseason move. He improved as a runner last year and was already an exceptional receiver out of the backfield. He looks like great value if he falls to round 3 of your draft.
2. Kirk Cousins – QB – Vikings: Cousins goes to a complete offense with a nice set of weapons for him to utilize. However, the Vikes prefer to win with D and the running game so don’t draft Cousins as more than a platoon QB. His bigger impact might be that he helps all the other Viking players and potentially pushes other QBs down the draft board if someone takes him too early.
3. Allen Robinson – WR – Chi: Robinson might be the most talented player to change teams this year but his new home is way less than ideal. What’s his upside? It is hard to imagine a scenario where the Bears have a high volume passing game which leaves Robinson as a big play and red zone specialist. He is a risky pick and I will avoid him as anything more than a WR3.
4. Brandin Cooks – WR – LAR: I have never been a big fan of Cooks as a fantasy option because he is muchore dependent on big plays than on volume for his value. That makes him unpredictable from game to game which I try to avoid. This move is essentially a lateral one to me for his value in 2018. He will once again be a homerun threat in a good O but will not receive enough targets to be a priority target in drafts.
5. Carlos Hyde – RB – Cle: I think football fans are underestimating Hyde’s new team because of their history. That is fair but not helpful for fantasy football. They have added many pieces to the O and could add more, particularly on the O line, with their stash of draft picks. Having a decent passing game and quality O line could be a noon for Hyde. However, it is also possible the Browns take one of the many talented RBs early in the draft, maybe even Saquon Barkley at #1. If that happens, Hyde’s value plummets.
6. Dion Lewis – RB – Ten: Lewis is unlikely to get even close to half of the carries in Tennessee due to the presence of Derrick Henry. His value lies in his all around game though and he is attractive as an RB3 with upside, especially in PPR leagues.
7. Allen Hurns – WR – Dal: Hurns looks to benefit the most from the Dez Bryant release. He could have sleeper value as a WR3. If the ‘Boys draft a WR real early, it may push Hurns down in fantasy drafts but could actually help his value. A player such as Calvin Ridley would help open up the field for Hurns and TE Jason Witten but rookie WRs rarely command a high volume of targets.
8. LeGarrette Blount – RB – Det: Similar to Hyde, Blount’s situation is highly dependent on the draft. If the Kitties take a RB early, it obviously hurts his value. Conversely, help at almost any other position helps him. Obviously an OL prospect could open running lanes, a WR could keep Ss deeper and even help on D could keep games closer meaning more running the ball.
9. Jimmy Graham – TE – GB: I am a big fan of this fit although I suspect the Cheddar Heads in my leagues will take Graham too early. Graham doesn’t stretch the field anymore but his elite red zone skills paired with QB Aaron Rodgers could lead to a monster TD year.
10. Jarvis Landry – WR – Cle: Landry brings an impressive resume as maybe the elite pure pass catcher in the league. Now the question is whether he can continue his string of 4 years with at least 100 catches. I think the Cleveland O may have added just enough to help Landry be a good WR3.
11. Sammy Watkins – WR – KC: Watkins seems like a perfect fit with young QB Pat Mahomes’s giant arm. However, young QBs are notoriously unpredictable and Watkins is likely to be streaky as primarily a deep threat.
12. Isaiah Crowell – RB – NYJ: Different veteran RB, same story. Depending how the draft shakes out, Crowell’s range of outcomes is anywhere from a top 20 or higher fantasy RB to being a complete nonfactor.
13. Trey Burton – TE – Chi: Burton is an interesting case because his talent, the system he is going to and the opportunity to be the #2 receiving option are all great indicators for potential success. However, the QB play is a virtual unknown so don’t get too excited!
14. Jordy Nelson – WR – Oak: Jordy left the perfect scenario but had a fairly soft landing. If you can nab him as a low end WR3 or WR4, he could return sneaky value.
15. Sam Bradford – QB – Ari: Bradford is little more than a streaming option at QB especially given his injury concerns. However, his presence does have a significant impact on the other players in the O. Larry Fitzgerald and the other WRs obviously benefit from having an experienced, talented QB and it gives Ds something to think about besides just stopping RB David Johnson.
10 more players with new homes: Michael Crabtree – WR – Bal, Terrelle Pryor – WR – NYJ, Tyrod Taylor – QB – Cle, AJ McCarron – QB – Buf, Jeremy Hill – RB – NE, Donte Moncrief – WR – Jac, Frank Gore – RB – Mia, Case Keenum – QB – Den, Jonathan Stewart – RB – NYG (another old RB likely to be impacted by a draft pick), Cameron Meredith – WR – NO.