by Rob Grimwood – @FFBritBaller
After dissecting the winners from the last few weeks’ transactions, unfortunately there were also some losers from a fantasy perspective we need to address too.
Which of the moves have a negative impact on a players fantasy value? Let’s dive in:
How dare I besmirch the name of a fantasy God i hear you say. Well, it’s quite simple – Hopkins has gone from a team where he was the main weapon where everything went through him, to a team with a wider and deeper plethora of talent and a quarterback who is less proven than his old one, Deshaun Watson.
I am not for one second suggesting that Hopkins is going to be a fantasy bust in 2020, but I think it’s fair to say he, individually, was a loser from free agency when you’re talking fantasy value. In his 7 years as a Texans, Hopkins has averaged 90 receptions for 1,229 yards per season with 8 TD’s per season.
Will he keep to these figures in Arizona? Potentially, of course, however I think he will be more along the 80 for 1,100 and 6 TD line considering the amount of mouths Kyler Murray needs to feed in that offense – that would have seen him around the WR 11 – 14 range in PPR scoring in 2019. Still a WR1 in fantasy, just no longer a “top 5” weapon, in my opinion.
As an honourable mention too, Deshaun Watson’s fantasy value has to have taken a hit too as I struggle to see how Will Fuller, Randall Cobb, Kenny Stills or Keke Coutee are going to replicate Hopkins’ production, either singularly or as a team effort. With no real draft capital to bring in a replacement superstar either, it begs the question where will Watson be able to sustain his QB1 tag in fantasy.
Patriots skill positions fantasy values
As of right now, we are still uncertain what is happening in Foxborough as regards to the Pats’ immediate future. With only a shade under $1mil left in cap space, it certainly looks like New England will be quarterbacked by either second year Jarrett Stidham, or in the way of an incoming rookie at the back end of the first round.
Either way, it’s fair to say the fantasy value of Sony Michel, James White, Julien Edelman and N’Keal Harry remains uncertain until we know who is under centre, but their combined value has to drop mainly due to the fact TB12 is no longer their leader.
Unfortnuately for Pats’ fans it looks like the last decade of dominance is coming to an end, and with it comes the fantasy value of it’s skill positions. They all lost out this off season.
Who remembers David Njoku’s 639 yards with 4 TD’s in 2018 sparking fantasy hype in 2019 only for it to come crashing down thanks to a season long wrist injury? Yeah, that was a derailed train that looks like it’s going to remain that way unless he gets traded away.
Thanks to the seemingly unnecessary move to acquire hot property Austin Hooper from Atlanta, Njoku’s fantasy production is about as questionable as whether the Browns will get to 8 wins or not this year.
With characters such as OBJ, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt and now Hooper all likely ahead of Njoku in the receiving pecking order – unless Baker Mayfield suddenly makes a giant leap back to super-stardom, Njoku may well be a fantasy ghost again in 2020.
Keenan Allen and Mike Williams
We know both Allen and Williams are extraordinary talents in the NFL and will likely continue to be highly productive and fantasy relevant. However, with Pip Rivers off to pastures new in Indy and the re-sign of Hunter Henry on the franchise tag, the fantasy outlook for this dynamic duo is in question for the time being.
If the Chargers manage to get hold of Tua or more likely Justin Herbert as their new signal caller through the draft, then one would assume it would be business as usual in 2020 – Keenan Allen being a target hog and Mike Williams commanding targets in the redzone. But until then, they both have to be considered as losers from this season’s off season action. No more trusted connection with Rivers and Henry still around taking TD opportunities away.
New York Jets
How many fantasy players did the Jets have in the top 40 (not including QB’s) of PPR scoring in 2019? Zero. Top 50? 1 – Lev Bell. Jamison Crowder was just outside the top 50. In fact, there was only 3 Jets’ players to have over 100 PPR points throughout the 2019 season.
So what have they done as an organisation to combat and improve this? They failed to re-sign one of those players, Robby Anderson, signed the lackluster former first round pick Josh Doctson and the flighty journeyman Breshad Perriman. With bigger needs likely targetted in the draft (offensive line, edge rusher and defensive secondary), it’s likely that this make-shift ensemble will be the fantasy options heading into the 2020 season. Eeesh. The Jets are off-season losers as things stand. Poor Sam Darnold!