NFL Free Agency Fallout: Early Returns


The NFL is a wild, wild world! We got a taste, a preamble if you would, of the action to come last week with Aaron Rodgers returning to Green Bay, Russell Wilson heading to Denver, and Indianapolis dealing Carson Wentz to Washington. With the legal tampering officially underway, fantasy implications abound around the league. Let’s dive in!

Amari Cooper traded from the Dallas Cowboys to the Cleveland Browns

Word began to circulate last week that the Dallas Cowboys were opting to keep Michael Gallup and Dalton Schultz over Amari Cooper. We found out that Cooper was traded to the Cleveland Browns. Cooper’s fantasy outlook certainly takes a hit. Leaving one of the most prolific offenses in football, attached to one of the better quarterbacks in the game, for one of the most run-heavy offenses in the league, with a questionable quarterback situation at best. If I could sell Amari Cooper for 90 cents on the dollar, I might take that deal before the bottom drops out on his market.

Mike Williams resigns with the Los Angeles Chargers (3 years, $60 mill.)

Great move for Mike Williams and the Los Angeles Chargers. Williams stays connected with Justin Herbert and the high-powered Chargers offense. Williams will remain an inconsistent, albeit an explosive WR 2 in fantasy football.

Chris Godwin slapped with the franchise tag by Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers are getting the band back together. With Tom Brady returning from his brief hiatus/retirement, the Bucs are also bringing back Chris Godwin on the franchise tag. Chris Godwin will remain a rock-solid, high-end WR2 in fantasy.

Mitch Trubisky signs with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2 years, $14 million)

Mitch Trubisky was the hottest name out there as we entered free agency. Trubisky was rumored to be signed by Buffalo, but Pittsburgh emerged as the suitor for his services. I can’t recommend starting Trubisky in fantasy, but his upside cannot be lower than the recent ineptitude we have seen from Big Ben. I would keep Diontae Johnson and Chase Claypool right where you have them in your fantasy rankings.

Christian Kirk signs with the Jacksonville Jaguars (4 years, $72 million)

When the news broke on the Christian Kirk signing, I thought Twitter might break. Christian Kirk, a good player, signed a monstrous contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Kirk will be the top receiving option in Jacksonville moving forward. I do not believe the Jaguars’ offense will be that great next season, but a step in the right direction does seem plausible. I view Christian Kirk as more of a ‘flex’ starter, not a WR 2.

Evan Engram signs with the Jacksonville Jaguars (1 year, $9 million)

I like this signing a lot for Jacksonville and Evan Engram. We have seen tight ends find success in the Doug Pederson offense. The Jaguars did not make a long-term commitment to Evan Engram, so he has every motivation to put up a big season. As it always is with Evan Engram, he has to stay healthy. I don’t mind taking a stab at Evan Engram as a fringe TE 1.

Zay Jones signs with the Jacksonville Jaguars (3 years, $24 million)

Did I mention that the Jaguars were busy on Monday? They are also bringing Zay Jones into the mix. Zay Jones may be a better benefit to the Jaguars’ offense and Trevor Lawrence in real life than in fantasy. Jones isn’t worth starting in fantasy football for the time being.

James Conner resigns with the Arizona Cardinals (3 years, $21 million)

There were a few teams that were in on James Conner, but fortunately for his fantasy value, he is returning to the desert. Conner will be a foundational piece in the Cardinals offense for the foreseeable future and stands to be one of the biggest winners in fantasy football thus far in free agency.

Chase Edmonds signs with the Miami Dolphins (2 years, $12.6 million)

Chase Edmonds is fleeing the desert for South Beach. The Miami Dolphins signed him to starters money. Miami has not been able to establish a consistent ground game in recent memory. I don’t necessarily believe that Chase Edmonds moves the needle for them. Oddly enough, I don’t think this signing takes the Dolphins out of the running for an early draft pick on a rookie running back.

Cedrick Wilson signs with the Miami Dolphins (3 years, $22.8 million)

The Cedrick Wilson signing is a savvy move for a Dolphins team looking to add talent around Tua, but I don’t believe Wilson gravitates towards fantasy value. This type of move solidifies Jaylen Waddle as the alpha in the Dolphins’ passing attack.

Mike Gesicki slapped with the franchise tag by the Miami Dolphins

Mike Gesicki is being brought back under the franchise tag by the Dolphins. I don’t recommend trusting Gesick for any fantasy value.

Michael Gallup resigns with the Dallas Cowboys (5 years, $62.5 million)

If you have Dynasty shares in Michael Gallup, get excited. With Amari Cooper traded, there are 100 targets to go around this Cowboys offense. Michael Gallup has shown glimpses of a downfield playmaker, and given the contract he was just given, he will be provided every opportunity to capitalize on that promise. I like Michael Gallup as a surprising WR 2.

Dalton Schultz slapped with the franchise tag by the Dallas Cowboys

Dalton Schultz being franchised is the BEST POSSIBLE outcome for his fantasy value. Dak Prescott and Dalton Schultz have a strong connection, and Schultz is a locked-in top ten option at the tight end position.

Zach Ertz resigns with the Arizona Cardinals (3 years, $31.65 million)

With Christian Kirk moving on. With A.J. Green likely moving on. Zach Ertz is ascending in value in the Arizona offense. Kyler Murray and Zach Ertz found immediate chemistry. I like Zach Ertz a lot heading into 2022.

D.J. Chark signs with the Detroit Lions (1 year, $10 million)

I hate this fit for D.J. Chark. Chark is a talented, down-the-field threat. Chark has shown explosive play-making ability. Nothing can hamper an explosive play-maker like Jared Goff. I would steer clear of D.J. Chark in fantasy leagues, and if I have shares, I would be dealing.

David Njoku slapped with the franchise tag by the Cleveland Browns

I don’t know why Cleveland franchised David Njoku. It was an odd decision. You cannot trust David Njoku in fantasy leagues.

J.D. McKissic signs with the Buffalo Bills (2 years, $7 million)

If you were not already avoiding the Buffalo Bills backfield–you certainly are now. The Bills backfield is a fantasy mess. McKissic loses a ton of value and is nothing but a speculative PPR play.

Braxton Berrios resigns with the New York Jets (2 years, $12 million)

Braxton Berrios re-signing with the New York Jets is a solid move for the player and the franchise. Berrios emerged as the season went on last year. Berrios isn’t a sexy fantasy player. Berrios will bring value as a late-round flier in PPR leagues.

C.J. Uzomah signs with the New York Jets (3 years, $24 million)

The New York Jets have been trying to upgrade their tight end position forever. I don’t believe C.J. Uzomah is the answer for fantasy purposes. Uzomah will help the Jets offense and Zach Wilson’s development significantly more than your fantasy team.

Mo-Allie Cox resigns with the Indianapolis Colts (3 years, $18 million)

Mo-Allie Cox is an interesting topic of conversation. Admittedly, we don’t know who will be under center for the Indianapolis Colts right now. With Jack Doyle retiring, there is a role for an every-down tight end in Indianapolis. Mo-Allie Cox is worth a late-round flier.

Will Dissly resigns with the Seattle Seahawks (3 years, $24 million)

Will Dissly re-signing in Seattle is yet another head-scratching move for the Seahawks franchise. The Seahawks just traded for Noah Fant in the Russell Wilson deal. Nothing says featuring a tight end like re-signing your previous tight end! The Seattle Seahawks tight end position is shaping up as a headache for fantasy players.

James White resigns with the New England Patriots (2 years, $5 million)

James White returns to New England to complicate an already muddled backfield. Wash, rinse, repeat.

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