By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
RealTime Fantasy Sports
Once again it was a busy offseason in free agency and trades, leading to many top players switching teams or getting more help around them. We are here to fill you in on the fantasy winners and losers this offseason. These are guys that were either helped or hurt by the offseason. Keep this in mind when getting your rankings together for the coming season.
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Bears. The Bears added several new weapons for the second-year quarterback, improving their receiving options a lot this offseason. The team got a possible No. 1 receiver in Allen Robinson. Chicago also added a top playmaker and slot receiver with the signing of Taylor Gabriel. And lastly, the Bears got a new starting tight end, signing Trey Burton to take over the tight end duties. These three players are big upgrades for the team and should help the development of Trubisky for the coming season. Things are looking up for the second-year signal caller.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Packers. Graham had his choice of teams but landed with the Packers this offseason. He gives the team a new dimension in the passing game, a legit elite tight end. He should get a ton of targets in the pass-first offense and has a chance to produce like the fantasy tight end of past years with the Saints. This was a great landing spot for his fantasy value. Graham should see a big bump in production from the past few seasons with the Seahawks.
Donte Moncrief, WR, Jaguars. This signing was a little under the radar but the ultra-talented Moncrief gets a fresh start with a new team. The Jaguars has some departures at receiver, giving Moncrief the opportunity to emerge as the top target in this offense. Moncrief has a ton of talent but injuries and inconsistency have derailed his career. A new team and a chance to be the top target in the passing game could just be the thing to jumpstart Moncrief's career in the right direction. He could be a fantasy factor for the coming season.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings. Cousins heads to one of the best teams in football. Case Keenum was able to play at an MVP level in this offense, which is great news for Cousins. He is a more talented player that can post big numbers in this offense on a consistent basis. Cousins had a lot of suitors but the Vikings were likely the best landing spot for his fantasy value. He has the potential to be an elite fantasy quarterback this coming season.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Jets. Crowell heads to the Jets to take over as their No. 1 back. This is a good landing spot for Crowell, playing in a run-first offense behind a pretty good offensive line. He can improve on his numbers with the Browns and become a much more fantasy relevant player. He isn't going to be an elite player by any means, but could surprise in an offense that probably suits him better. Crowell can be a three-down back and post good total yardage numbers for the Jets.
Jerrick McKinnon, RB, 49ers. McKinnon gets his chance to be a starter, signing a big contract with the 49ers. San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan can't stop singing the praises of McKinnon. He is excited to use his skill set in an emerging offense. McKinnon is going to get a ton of touches as a rusher and receiver, showcasing his big-play ability. He is setup for a breakout season as the lead back in an offense that projects to be pretty good.
Jack Doyle, TE, Colts. Doyle had a career season last year, getting 80 receptions. He was an elite fantasy tight end. And remember, he did this without Andrew Luck as his quarterback. That is where all the good news stops with Doyle. The Colts signed Eric Ebron and the Eric Swoope is back healthy for the Colts. This gives Doyle two top tight ends to compete with for targets. You can expect Doyle to continue to start but he is going to lose playing time and targets to both these players. A repeat of last season is highly unlikely.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs. Watkins got his big deal and moves to a good offensive team. But he might be third or fourth on the pecking chart when it comes to targets with his new team. The Chiefs have Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and running back Kareem Hunt as the leaders of their offense. Watkins is likely to have some big games with this new team but should be up and down. His fantasy value took a bit of a hit with his move to Kansas City.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins. The Dolphins signed some receivers this offseason but lose the best receiver on their team, trading Jarvis Landry to the Browns. This is a huge loss for Tannehill and the passing game. The Dolphins signed Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola to help alleviate the loss of Landry. Neither of those players are near the receiver of Landry, though. Wilson has done little in a starting role, and Amendola has produced well at times, but is oft injured and played in maybe the best offense in football, padding his numbers. Tannehill has some marginal options to work with at receiver with Landry out of the picture. This is a big concern for Tannehill going forward.
Derrick Henry, RB, Titans. Henry owners got their hopes up for a brief time when the team released DeMarco Murray. But that didn't last long with the team signing Dion Lewis a short time later. This means Henry is stuck in a timeshare once again at running back. Lewis is going to take his fair share of work from Henry, especially in the passing game. Henry isn't going to be near the back he could have been if he was the three-down back in this run-first offense. Both backs see their fantasy values take a hit, splitting work.
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots. You never want to count out Brady for his usual big season, but it might be tougher this year after the Patriots' losses. The team traded Brandin Cooks and lost Danny Amendola in free agency. The team also has some holes along the offensive line, which is another concern. The team will do it's best to replace key players in the draft, but younger players don't always pick up this offense quickly. Brady might see a little bit of a downturn in his stats with fewer top offensive weapons to work with this season.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals. The Cardinals signed Sam Bradford to be their starting quarterback, which is likely a plus for Fitzgerald. But the team is super thin at receiver with the losses of John Brown and Jaron Brown. these guys were the No. 2 and 3 receivers for the Carnivals last year. The team has mostly unknowns looking to fill the voids at receiver after Fitzgerald. This is bad news for Fitzgerald, who should receiver all sorts of double teams from the opposition. He might find it harder to get loose this year with the Cardinals having so many question marks at firstname.lastname@example.org