Today in this article, we will be taking a high level snapshot look at which moves in the offseason are good for Fantasy or just Football….or maybe even both.
There are certainly a lot of opinions on how the Free Agents that have signed with new teams will pan out in the 2018.
Let’s start off with a much debated player and his move, Sammy Watkins;
Sammy Watkins moving to the Chiefs is definitely not a good Fantasy Football move.
Not only is Sammy Watkins’ ceiling not as high as everyone believes, but now the ceilings of all the other weapons have just started crumbling.
Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill ( and Kareem Hunt to a certain extent) no longer have the high ceilings they had in previous seasons. With an extra long deep threat receiver like Watkins, Pat Mahomes now has lots of mouths to feed in Kansas City.
Last year, a super efficient Alex Smith completed 67% of passes from 505 attempts and you have to expect the number to perhaps stay the same, but the accuracy to go down.
However, this is an awesome move for football. The Chiefs now could have one of the most potent offences in the AFC if Mahomes hits the ground running. He certainly has the arm for it and the confidence, but this screams to me for fantasy like only 1 player of the 3 receivers and Hunt will be able to perform in any given week.
The one saving grace is that Kansas could be in a lot of high scoring games this year as their defence has seen better days, but I certainly am squeamish with taking any of the KC players with their current draft price and there being a real possibility that their trends are pointing downwards. That’s not to say at least one of them can defy the negative impact and have a WR1 season.
So in conclusion Watkins to KC – Bad for Fantasy, good for Football
Next up, Allen Robinson/Trey Burton to the Bears;
Allen Robinson now calls home to one of the best landing spots he could have hoped for… but only if Mitch Trubisky steps up.
Allen Robinson, with his contract that he signed and the opportunity in Chicago, he could legitimately be a steal in this years drafts. At the very least, he is a sure fire bestball diamond with the potential ceiling that he has. Clear number 1 WR (though with that, brings the appropriate coverage), has a good run game compliment (unless Howard leaves), and HC Matt Nagy, a good coach at getting the most out of players in his schemes (as long as you fit) and finally, a defence that has leaks and has the potential for shootouts – a big factor in my opinion in confidence at 2nd tier WR for fantasy purposes.
All signs point to a good comeback year for Robinson coming off of that lengthy injury last year.
In addition to Allen Robinson, Trey Burton joins the overhauled Chicago Bears offence and Trey will be a TE that is hotly debated about in fantasy world.
Early murmurs are that he will play out of the slot, leaving 2nd year TE Adam Shaheen with the blocking duties. This could leave Trey in a very nice position.
Tight Ends are usually first reads for newer quarterbacks as they acclimatise to the NFL and Trey Burton is going to be a star when all is said and done. Not quite sure where Trey Burton’s ADP ends up but if its anywhere near 9th or 10th round, I am ALL OVER that. He is locked in to a top 10 TE finish (which is hardly an achievement, lets be honest) and certainly has the capability to finish above the stalwarts of Greg Olsen, Kyle Rudolph, Delanie Walker. He’ll get the looks and receptions and could also get the TDs too with the Bears offence certainly going to visit the redzone more than they did last season.
Just a further point on the impact of the Trey Burton / Allen Robinson signings, this is also a great move for Jordan Howard (and Tarik Cohen). Allen Robinson and Trey Burton signings makes it almost certain that the run game will face less stacked boxes and keep defences more honest. This means Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen can find a bit more room and break off a few longer players (in Jordan Howards case, anyway). His ADP of early to mid 2nd round is probably about right so if you find yourself drafting a WR of Julio or Odell in round one, Jordan Howard is probably a guy that is there in Round 2 alongside your Dalvin Cooks or LeSean McCoy/Devonta Freeman types.
In conclusion these moves are good for Fantasy AND good for Football. Hurrah!
Third on our list, Brandin Cooks to the Rams
Now whilst many here will make the direct link between Cooks’ role being the one Sammy Watkins left is quite lazy. However, how can Cooks get anything more than Sammy did in that offence?
It’s not a funnel through 1 WR type offence like in Dallas and lets not look past the fact this is now Cooks’s 3rd team, meaning 2 teams have kinda given up of the former first round pick out of Oregon State. I know there has been talk that the Rams want to tie up Cooks to a long term deal, and if they do, they money they pay him will potentially say a lot on how they will use not only him, but potentially the other pieces on this offence. The Rams giving up essentially their 1st round pick says to me that they like him over the other WR in this draft class (as they would’ve had the pick of the bunch where there were in the draft) and that potentially, he could carve out a #1 role there. But as Woods and Kupp showed last year, they are talented receivers and the NFL teams now are scheming up ways of trying to support multiple receivers on teams and moving away from the traditional WR1/WR2/WR3 roles, but instead finding a particular role for each player in the team and meshing that all together in way to create mismatches (let’s not also forget Todd Gurley is on this team too). As there are lots of receivers in LA, Cooks wont draw the best coverage all the time and the NFC West is atrocious defensively this year outside of LA so could put up some nice numbers, just don’t expect it week to week.
Therefore it remains to be seen whether this move is a good one for fantasy because I don’t think we are in a position to be able to forecast whether Cooks does anything more than Sammy did last year (this would obviously make him a bust in the eyes of people drafting him in fantasy however). Cooks could be one for bestball leagues should he fall to a nice round (4 or 5, maybe even 6 perhaps in PPR???) as he wont have a great deal of targets, but there will be games where he goes off (similar to Watkins in the KC setup) but as Cooks is essentially a Sammy Watkins type, this is still good for football because it keeps the Rams on the front foot and they are still going to be one of THE teams to watch this year. Judging by all the moves they have made this offseason, they are all in on this year (REALLY like Rams Defence as a fantasy option this year).
In conclusion, Cooks to the Rams is middle of the road for Fantasy and good for Football.
Finally, we are going to take a look at Jerick McKinnon to the 49ers;
On money alone, you would have to assume that this is a good move for both fantasy and football.
You don’t pay a RB this day in age $30m over 4 years. So one has to assume that McKinnon gets at least a 75% market share in this backfield.
He no longer has to endure a running back by committee approach like he has in Minnesota all his career and finally gets a chance to show that he can be the guy. He replaces Carlos Hyde and joins Matt Breida and Joe Williams in a Kyle Shanahan Scheme that has seen the HC work wonders with the talent at his disposal.
But before we all go and draft him in the 2nd or 3rd Round, just remember who Jerick McKinnon is.
Jerick Mckinnon is a slight, passing down back. he has averaged less than 4ypc in the last few seasons at Minnesota and seemingly never progressed enough there to take over from Adrian Peterson when he left. They drafted Dalvin Cook last season and also brought in Latavius Murray. This is hardly making any positive noise for McKinnon’s ability. Whilst he is a good change of pace back and a good pass catcher, is that the type of RB that the 49ers want to invest all the money on? McKinnon has never carried the ball more than 160 times, never amassed over 600 yards on the ground, nor has he had any season of over 1000 yards total or had more than 5 touchdowns in a season (he also fumbled 3 times last season). In my opinion he is nothing more than a complimentary back but then again he is only 25. The RB position is a young mans game, however.
Whilst many will judge this as a good move for fantasy for Jerick McKinnon owners in dynasty or maybe in PPR redraft leagues, but I do not want any part of McKinnon this year at his current price. I am not saying he cant succeed under Shanahan in his types of offence, but I would rather let someone else take him in the draft (potentially as their RB1) but I for one cannot see McKinnon being in the top 20 RBs this season. I would rather see him do it first before I believe the hype and the ability that the new star 49ers RB has.
In conclusion, Jerick McKinnon to the 49ers is a good move in football for him, but bad for fantasy.