Tue Mar 5 10:03am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
Le'Veon Bell will be hot item
Free agency is about to kick off in the NFL. It is always an exciting time of the year, especially for fantasy players. Players change teams, impacting the entire fantasy landscape. Some players land in good spots. Others land in spots that likely won’t help their fantasy value. We are going to take a look at some of the top free agents and discuss their best landing spots. These aren’t necessarily spots where they will likely sign, but where we hope they will sign from a fantasy perspective.
Nick Foles, QB. Talk is that Foles has already agreed to terms with the Jaguars, taking over as their starting quarterback. This isn’t a great spot from a fantasy perspective. The Jaguars don’t have a top passing game and are more of a run-first team. A better spot for Foles might be Washington or even Denver. These teams have better overall options in the passing game.
Le’Veon Bell, RB. Bell is the top offensive free agent on the market. He will be coveted by several teams. The Jets seem to be the front runner but his fantasy value might be best if he signs with the Texans. Houston has the best offense of the teams in need of a starting back. Bell would serve as a three-down back for an explosive Texans offense. HIs value would be really high with a move to Houston. The Jets wouldn’t be a bad spot for him, either, but his ceiling might be a little more limited in that offense.
Mark Ingram, RB. Ingram has been a mainstay in the Saints offense several seasons, but gets his chance to have more of a feature role with a new team. He has shared a lot of work in recent seasons. There are a lot of teams looking for running back help. A team that might make good sense for Ingram is the Eagles. This team hasn’t settled on a back in recent years. Ingram seems a good fit for the offense and could shine in a lead role for a rushing attack that can be very good.
Tevin Coleman, RB. Coleman might fly under the radar a little but this guy has big-time talent. He is an explosive back that can do well on three downs. He will be heavily sought after in free agency. The Jets might be a team that makes the most sense from a fantasy perspective, getting a chance to serve as a three-down back with the team. He could get a workout in that offense, providing a lot of total yardage potential for fantasy teams. The Texans also are intriguing but he could lose out on some carries in that offense with D’Onta Foreman probably a better inside runner than Coleman.
Golden Tate, WR. Tate didn’t exactly take off with the Eagles after his trade but still produced pretty well. He is getting older but is a top possession receiver that can still get the job done. He is the top free agent receiver on the market right now. An ideal landing spot for Tate would be the Patriots. We aren’t sure New England spends the money to get him, but his fantasy value would be high with a move to New England. Tate would be a great fit for the offense and rack up a ton of catches with the Patriots.
Adam Humphries, WR. The best spot for Humphries might be to just stay put, re-signing with the Bucs. He has been getting his targets in that offense as the No. 3 receiver and fills the role well. New head coach Bruce Arians should be a plus for the offense and passing game. Humphries should get plenty of targets if he were to stay with the Bucs.
Devin Funchess, WR. Funchess has not lived up to his potential with the Panthers. A change of scenery should do him some good. A nice landing spot for him to reach his potential is the Colts. The Colts are looking for a legit No. 2 receiver opposite T.Y. Hilton. Funchess could flourish in a more pass-friendly offense, getting to showcase his abilities.
Tyrell Williams, WR. Williams isn’t a game changer but a solid receiver that does a good job of stretching the field. He has shown the ability to start in past seasons with the Chargers, so it is not out of the question for Williams to start with his new team. And a team that seems to be a good fit for Williams is the Jets. New York needs to shore up their receiving corps and Williams would seem a good fit for this up and coming offense. The Jets might be the team to best showcase his talents.
Tyler Eifert, TE. Eifert can’t seem to stay healthy but when he is on the field, he produces. Eifert has a top skill set for the position and can be a difference maker in the passing game. There are a lot of teams that could use an upgrade at tight end, but the Saints seem the best option for Eifert. This s a team that has featured the tight end in the past and produced big fantasy numbers. Eifert could flourish in this offense.
Jared Cook, TE. Cook had a career season with the Raiders last year. He was an elite fantasy tight end for the first time in his career. So it seems logical that re-signing with the Raiders would be best for his fantasy value. A new team might not do him much good from a fantasy perspective. Cook would be best served staying put with the Raiders.
Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at email@example.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman called quarterback Eli Manning while the team drafted Duke QB Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in the first round on Thursday night to reiterate that Manning is expected to remain the starter in 2019. "It's your job to win games and keep this guy off the field," head coach Pat Shurmur told Manning. Gettleman mentioned that Jones could sit on the sidelines for multiple years before he becomes the starter. There have been mixed reviews on Jones, as some scouts like him and others think he is a "pedestrian talent" and a "backup." Jones obviously won't have any redraft value in 2019 fantasy drafts, and Manning will be an uninspiring QB2.
San Francisco 49ers PK Robbie Gould won't be traded, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said that the team will not trade franchise-tagged kicker Robbie Gould. The veteran kicker isn't interested in a long-term extension with San Fran and has requested to be traded. If not, he has also threatened to hold out this summer. Gould was hoping to be on the free-agent market and wanted to return to Chicago, where his family resides. Despite his frustration, the 36-year-old booter made 97.1 percent of his 34 field-goal tries last year and is an 87.7 percent kicker in his lengthy career. He should remain on the map as a viable fantasy kicker for the 49ers despite his unhappiness.
Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said that wide receiver Tyreek Hill "will not take part in any team activities" while he's being investigated for child abuse. A voice recording has surfaced that gives evidence towards Hill's mistreatment of his son while talking to his fiance. The boy suffered a broken arm, and the couple could lose custody of the child. Hill is likely to face a lengthy suspension from the NFL despite not being formally charged with any crime. The 25-year-old has become one of the most productive receivers in the NFL after recording 87 catches for 1,479 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2018. It might not matter, though, as he could be released by KC eventually. His absence would hurt quarterback Patrick Mahomes' overall upside, although tight end Travis Kelce and receiver Sammy Watkins could benefit with more targets.
The Arizona Cardinals are prepared to keep quarterback Josh Rosen if they don't receive a suitable trade offer for him. Rosen is firmly on the trading block after the team selected QB Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in the first round on Thursday night. The Giants, Dolphins and Chargers have discussed Rosen with the Cardinals, but he profiles as a backup, at best, for all three teams. If a trade happens, it'll probably come on Friday. However, no matter how it shakes out, it doesn't look like Rosen will be a starter for any team in 2019. The Cardinals traded up into the top 10 to take Rosen in last year's draft, but that was with Arizona's previous coaching regime.
New York Giants QB Eli Manning is expected to be the team's starter entering the 2019 season, an arrangement that head coach Pat Shurmur indicated was the goal with Manning's job being to win enough games to keep rookie QB Daniel Jones off the field.
Fantasy Spin: If this sounds familiar it's because you heard it from every GM that drafted a QB last season, and yet all those rookies were starting sooner than later. Sure, Manning is almost guaranteed to start in Week 1, but with the G-Men likely to struggle it might not take long for the organization to decide it's time to look to the future. Whatever nominal value Manning might've had is all but gone with Jones' arrival.
Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill will not take part in any team activities for the 'foreseeable future,' according to GM Brett Veach, who added the team will gather more information before making the 'right decision.'
Fantasy Spin: This action is in direct response to an audio recording that came out earlier in the day that appears to feature Hill discussing events surrounding the injury suffered by his three-year-old son. Clearly the decision not to prosecute Hill is not the end of this story, and it's unclear what the final resolution will be regarding Hill's future in the NFL.
The Los Angeles Chargers selected Notre Dame defensive tackle Jerry Tillery with the No. 28 overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft. Tillery has a high football IQ and is extremely athletic. The Chargers needed help on both lines, so Tillery fills a big need. There is evidence that he can be a dominant football player, but he'll need to be coached up at the next level. He has versatility and can play in either a 3-4 or 4-3 defensive scheme. The Bolts need Tillery's big body to clog up lanes and rush the passer.
The New York Giants traded up with the Seahawks and selected Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker with the No. 30 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Baker is a very consistent football player and is the first straight corner taken in the 2019 draft. He's good at breaking up passes and making tackles in the open field. Baker doesn't have elite speed, but he has great instincts and could become a lockdown corner in the NFL. He can play zone or man coverage and is physical on the outside.
The Carolina Panthers selected Florida State edge rusher Brian Burns with the No. 16 overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft. Burns will bring the heat off the edge for the Panthers in his rookie season. He's an athletic freak and put on some weight without losing any speed before the NFL combine. Burns has quick-twitch speed and will help a Carolina D that really needs to rush the passer much better. He should make an immediate impact in 2019.
The Tennessee Titans selected Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Simmons was found guilty of malicious mischief in 2016 in an incident that involved several women, which is why he fell in the first round this year. Off-field issues aside, Simmons is a good football player that should be able to produce on Tennessee's defensive line. A lot of teams took Simmons completely off their draft boards because of his background. He has top-five talent, so he could wind up being a steal if he can stay healthy. Because of a knee issue, Simmons is a candidate for the Physically Unable to Perform list to begin the 2019 season.
The Green Bay Packers traded up with the Seahawks and selected Maryland safety Darnell Savage with the No. 21 overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft. It's Green Bay's second pick of the first round on Thursday night. Savage is extremely versatile and had seven interceptions the last two years with excellent ball skills in the secondary. He's also a good tackler, has great range and can also cover receivers in the slot. Savage will be a Swiss Army knife for Green Bay's secondary in 2019 and beyond.
The Atlanta Falcons traded up with the Rams and selected Washington offensive tackle Kaleb Mcgary with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Mcgary doesn't have great length but is physical and is just a solid athlete overall. The Falcons really put an emphasis on their offensive line in the first round, which is great news for quarterback Matt Ryan and the team's running game. Mcgary could wind up playing right tackle in his rookie season in Atlanta.
The New England Patriots selected Arizona State wide receiver N'keal Harry with the No. 32 pick overall in the 2019 NFL draft. It's no secret that the Patriots need wide receiver help with Josh Gordon suspended and tight end Rob Gronkowski retiring. Chris Hogan also left in free agency. Harry checks a lot of boxes and works hard at his craft. It's not easy to pick up New England's offense, so Harry will have his work cut out for him and will need to develop chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, but he could be a sneaky late-round flier in redraft leagues.
The Miami Dolphins selected Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. He becomes the second Clemson defensive lineman to go in the first round this evening behind Clelin Ferrell, who went to the Raiders at No. 4. Wilkins might've been Clemson's best defensive lineman, though, and he can do amazing things for his size. Wilkins can move laterally and has excellent speed and is versatile in different defensive schemes.
The Seattle Seahawks selected Texas Christian defensive end L.J. Collier with the No. 29 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. The Seahawks acquired this pick by sending defensive end Frank Clark to the Chiefs this week. Collier doesn't have elite speed, but he has excellent technique off the edge and produced in college. After Seattle traded Clark, they'll hope that Collier can pick up the slack as an edge rusher pressuring the opposing quarterback.
The Oakland Raiders selected Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. This is the selection that Oakland gained from the Cowboys when they traded receiver Amari Cooper last season. Abram had some really good seasons in college and welcomes contact in the secondary. He's a very good hitter and blitzer. Abram has very good cover skills and can also play in the nickel package well. He can cover tight ends and slot receivers and won't shy away from making plays around the line of scrimmage. The Raiders need a quarterback in the secondary, and Abram can be that for them.
The Washington Redskins traded up with the Colts and selected Mississippi State edge rusher Montez Sweat with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Sweat's draft stock dropped significantly because of a heart issue that made many teams take him off their draft boards entirely. He showed excellent combine speed and has incredibly long arms. Sweat is a gifted athlete, so he could be an absolute steal in this draft if his health issues don't hamper him in his NFL career. Washington needs a pass rusher to replace Preston Smith, so Sweat should help them do that.
The Baltimore Ravens selected Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. Hollywood Brown is cousins with Antonio Brown and has blazing speed. However, he's dealing with a Lisfranc foot injury and it's unknown if he'll be ready for training camp. Brown is electric with the ball in his hand and fits a huge need for a Ravens team that desperately needs production from their receiving corps. But on a run-first team, how will Brown fare, especially in his rookie season? Brown has tantalizing upside in the long term, but we wouldn't expect a whole lot right away. He could get off to a slow start if his foot injury causes him to miss out on development this summer.
The Houston Texans selected Alabama State offensive tackle Tytus Howard with the No. 23 overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft. Quarterback Deshaun Watson was sacked the most in the NFL in 2018, so you could say they've had trouble protecting their signal-caller. He has the feet, balance and athleticism to play in the NFL. Howard has a lot of upside and will immediately improve Houston's weak offensive line, which is great news for both Watson and the team's rushing attack.