We have seen some big moves so far in Free Agency. Some understandable. Others? Not so much. No matter what it may look like on the surface, the teams feel like it makes them better. With many of the largest moves now done and the Draft still a month away, how do we at Fantasyhotread.com feel about the moves? To find out, we poll many of our writers. Below are the responses we got back from each of them and what it means for the player’s fantasy value. I mean, that is what it is really all about anyway. Let’s dive right into our third segment (and arguably the most fun to draft) Wide Receivers.
Cooper set career highs in receiving yards and touchdowns during his first full season in Dallas, and he saw eight or more targets in half of the Cowboys games. He is the unquestioned alpha in their wide receiver room and should continue to develop with Dak Prescott under center.
One of the biggest free-agent dominoes to fall was Cooper’s decision to stay in Dallas. Hampered by nagging injuries down the stretch of last season led to some quiet weeks when fantasy owners needed him the most and could lead to a dip in his ADP. Consistency is a concern, and both Michael Gallup and Blake Jarwin will demand their share of targets as well.
Cooper finished the season as the WR10 in fantasy, and I feel like that is a very fair area to project him again considering the offensive consistency from 2019 to 2020. However, this is one of the more frustrating WR1s to own as his week to week consistency is bonkers – 38% of his games went under ten fantasy points. You aren’t wrong to draft him in that WR10 range, but I will be staying away.
Cooper is a guy that will finish as a top 8 WR but feel more like a WR12. I like his game and his upside, but in a pinch, I am taking Gallup at his ADP overusing a top 24 pick on Cooper.
Amari Cooper staying with Dallas- Along with Prescott, the Cowboys also kept Amari Cooper. This is not only good for both of these two, but it is also great for Michael Gallop. A young receiver who needs someone across from him. As does Cooper. This duo could be one of the top receiving threats in the NFL for many years to come. As long as Dallas gets Prescott under contract to throw to them.
Last season, Cooper was a key component for Dak Prescott’s success. He set career highs in both TD’s and yards while securing 79 of 119 targets. Under new Head Coach, Mike McCarthy, Cooper could be in line for his best season yet.
With Cooper resigning for four more years ensures his fantasy value for fantasy football. On the elite Dallas offense, Cooper was the WR10 for all of last season and he should be in line for another great season especially with Dak staying. He gets a lot of targets per game (nearly 7.5 a game) and that should stand in 2020.
Hopkins has been a mainstay in the elite fantasy wide receiver discussion since the day he stepped on the field. He now heads to a team with an equally dynamic quarterback, and much more explosive offense and some weapons around him to draw coverage. Nuk may not see the volume that he is used to (150+ targets in five straight seasons), but he is heading to a team that will hang and allow points and has a chance to continue to be a top 3 wide receiver for fantasy football purposes.
Hopkins has gotten it done every year in the league, no matter who was playing quarterback in Houston (anyone remember T.J. Yates?!) While he is the clear-cut lead receiver in Arizona in terms of talent, he enters into a locker room that also boasts veteran Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, and Andy Isabella. While Nuk’s value takes a hit from the sky-high outlook while in Houston, I refuse to overthink this one. He’s still a WR1 in my book until I see otherwise.
People are salivating to see the Kyler – Hopkins connection in this air raid offense. However, I see as a downgrade in terms of fantasy production. While we could deep dive into the numbers behind this, I will simply tell you his 10.6 targets per game over the past three years will be much harder to sustain in Arizona. It is certainly possible that his shrinking target share could be offset by the passing volume, but I am currently betting against this.
Hopkins is WR2 no matter where he plays unless some team starts Brock Osweiler. The Cards have a nice WR core with Hopkins, Fitz, and Kirk but Hopkins is still going to be peppered with targets in the most pass friendly system in the NFL.
DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona- Although Kyler Murray is still young and growing, at this point he is a downgrade from Watson. Although not much of one. Hopkins also will make up for any of this with his incredible hands and catching ability. With this being the case, Hopkins should be fine. And of course, happy being away from BOB.
In what was the most shocking move of the off-season, Hopkins has a new home. He is going to add another level to this offense and step right in as Kyler Murray’s go-to option. There might be a slight decline, but an 85 catch and 1100 yard season is highly probable.
This is by the most shocking free agency news of all, I mean what was Bill O’Brien thinking? Hopkins should thrive in Arizona’s offense with young Kyler Murray at QB and a clear WR1 spot open for him. Hopkins was fourth in targets per game last season with Houston, so he’s going to be the guy getting the majority of the looks.
Saying that A.J. Green has “struggled” to be available in recent seasons is similar to saying that Donald Trump has struggled as President. You have been able to put literally no faith in either. That said, when he is healthy he is still a difference-maker and his current ADP of WR28 makes his upside difficult to resist.
It’s hard to get excited about a football player in his 30’s who just missed an entire season due to injury. Yes, A.J. Green is certainly not your average football player, but his best days are behind him. And while Joe Burrow may someday be a star, every rookie signal-caller has growing pains.
With AJ Green opting to miss the entire dumpster fire of a season in 2019 compounded by a complete overhaul of an offense with a (likely) new rookie QB at the helm – I can confidently say I have no idea what to expect from AJ Green this year. Add in the fact that Green has missed 29 games in the last four years, and I am already spent thinking about this. There is a chance he’s cooked, and you wasted your pick – there is also a chance he finishes as WR1. We have a wide range of outcomes here. Take a shot on him as your WR2 if you want, but that will likely come with too much risk for me.
I think it would be prudent to stay away from AJG this year as he clearly doesn’t want to play for the Bengals any longer. The Bengals also have an underrated WR group with Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate, and John Ross but a questionable system. Is Zac Taylor an NFL coach because of talent or because he knew Sean McVay?
A.J. Green staying with Cincinnati- What to expect from A.J. Green. One of the most talented receivers, he is also one of the most injured. When healthy he is certain for 1,000 yards for the season. With rookie Joe Burrow likely behind center he should also be the veteran calming presence who is counted on to bring him along. If this is the case, Green should be just fine for fantasy if he manages to stay healthy.
Entering his 10th season, this former Georgia Bulldog will be instrumental in what should be Joe Burrow’s rookie year. After sitting out last season Green should be fully healthy, but that isn’t a guarantee. Playing nine games since 2018, he’s a major risk and liability when it comes to staying on the field.
A.J Green’s main issue is his injuries and how he hasn’t played much the past two seasons, but when he is playing, he puts up solid numbers. It’s likely the Bengals are taking Burrow with the first pick so Green could have a good season as long as he stays healthy. He is the WR1 in Cincinnati so plenty of opportunities will come.
Stefon Diggs wasn’t quiet about his desire to get out of Minnesota, and Buffalo was happy to pony up to bring him in. He’ll now be the unquestioned WR1 on a team with a quarterback that throws like Uncle Rico. The upside here is that Diggs and Allen connect and he puts together a monster season. The downside is the Josh Allen occasionally looks like he can’t hit the water from a boat. Expect ups and downs and plenty of spiked weeks followed by goosers. His production could mirror DeSean Jackson during his first Eagles tenure where he’d smash for a few before disappearing for two weeks.
In Diggs, the Bills got the elite, big-bodied receiver they so desperately needed to take the next step offensively. Now the onus falls on QB Josh Allen to take the next steps himself in terms of decision-making and accuracy. And being the clear number 1 target could lend itself to shadowing and double teams from opposing defenses.
I will take the heat from Bills Mafia here and say I would much rather have Cousins passing to Diggs than Josh Allen. I love Diggs, the player, but he is destined to be a much better real-life player than a fantasy asset on the Bills. He flirted with WR1 (fantasy) status on the Vikings for years, but now he is a boom/bust low-end WR2 on the Bills. Look for 4-5 sick highlights in 2020 with multiple 3/55 games sprinkled in between.
I don’t love the move for Diggs. He’s a guy that would flourish with an accurate passer because of his route running and separation ability. Josh Allen is not that guy. He is clearly the WR1 on this team and John Brown is a nice compliment to his game so those factors might even out. The other piece about Diggs is the Bills are widely thought to have the best health and wellness facilities in the NFL. For a guy who has dealt with some injuries in the past, Diggs could finally see 16 games this season.
Stefon Diggs to Buffalo- This is great for Josh Allen. Not so much for Diggs. He goes from a quarterback who has been the third most accurate since 2015 at almost 70% to Allen. A player who has a cannon but doesn’t aim very well. This could be a case of the grass is not always greener for Diggs. At least he will have something else to tweet about in six months.
In what could be both a blessing and a curse, Diggs got his wish and is out of Minnesota. Now in a more run-heavy style offense, there is a chance this former Vikings wideout fails to surpass 1000 yards.
This move is huge for the Bills who are making it clear that they’re all in for this next season. Diggs will be the clear WR1 in Buffalo next season but will be sharing targets with two other solid receivers in John Brown and Cole Beasley all while with a shaky young QB, Josh Allen. Plus, Buffalo is a run-heavy offense.
I don’t want him, period. The offense is driven by CMC, two young pass catchers are already emerging there, he is one snafu from a sizable suspension and his new QB is wildly overrated. A big, fat, NOPE from me.
Awful landing spot. As highlighted above, I do not trust Bridgewater to get the ball to Anderson down the field, and he already must compete with the alpha, DJ Moore, and speedster 2019 draft darling Curtis Samuel. You could do worse with your WR3 slot, but I would much rather have him as my WR4.
Of all the teams he could have gone to, this is possibly the worst. Done so out of his affinity for Matt Rhule, Anderson made a choice with his heart, not his head. With Teddy Bridgewater at the helm, Anderson is likely not to get much workload for a fumbling Panthers team.
In a shocking signing, this underrated deep threat receiver will be joining a young thriving offense. He will be partnered with two outstanding wideouts and the best pass-catching back in the league. Carolina has better weapons opposed to the Jets and Anderson won’t need to be relied upon as much.
This move doesn’t make much sense at all. Carolina has Curtis Samuel and D.J Moore, two young high-potential receivers, and yet they still overpay for Robby Anderson. Anderson is a solid deep threat, but Carolina will succeed in short possession throws with Teddy Bridgewater at QB. Anderson’s value is taking a major hit.
Sanders is still an incredibly valuable piece and is now partnered with one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. Bottom line, Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara will demand the primary attention and Sanders will very quietly slide in as a WR3 by season end. Yes, I said it.
Emmanuel Sanders to New Orleans- Dom’s Pick- This is a great move for the Saints. They needed a second receiver across from Michael Thomas and Sanders is a great fit. With the arm strength of Drew Brees being what it is he will find Sanders early and often in the passing game. Giving the Saints yet another way to attack defenses.
As hard as it is to get good fantasy points from a Saints WR other than Michael Thomas, Sanders should have a stellar season with New Orleans. Sanders is a vet that has speed and route-running skills that don’t go un-looked. Brees loves to throw the ball down the field and with Sanders averaging 9 yards per catch, it should be interesting to see how the pair does together.