Fantasy Football Winners of Free Agency

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NFL teams have officially had since March 17 to sign free agents, aligning with the start of a new league year. Some teams have been dishing out money on big names, while others are standing pat. Either way, it’s safe to see that the 2021 season will see a lot of familiar faces in new places. Fantasy football owners know that this period is crucial as this means new opportunities for productive players to shine with new teams. With the chaos slowing down, it’s time to take a look at some of the biggest winners of this free agency in terms of fantasy football.

 

Corey Davis, WR New York Jets

The Jets inked the former Tennessee Titans wide out to a three year, $37.5 million contract this past month. The payout for Davis comes with the assumption that he will be the number one receiver in 2021. Putting Davis in this role in New York has the potential to bode very well for his fantasy football value. In Tennessee, he was a second option for Tannehill, as A.J. Brown amassed over 100 targets, and Derrick Henry was fed. However, Davis still nearly eclipsed 1,000 yards in the 2020 season with five touchdowns in 14 games. While the Jets offense clearly is not as potent as the Titans, the role Davis will be taking on should be enough to boost his fantasy productivity no matter the QB. However, the Jets are anticipated to upgrade the QB position through the NFL Draft.

Davis knows he is the top option in New York.

Cam Newton, QB New England Patriots

Cam Newton, last year's QB16 in fantasy football.

Newton hopes to bounce back from a shaky first year in New England as he re-signed to a one-year deal worth nearly $14 million. While Newton is not a new face for that Patriots, a lot of his offense will be. The Patriots dished out the money on free agents this month. Signing players like Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor and the tight end duo of Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. These players are not necessarily stars in the league, but they do provide Newton with stability at skill positions. Something that the Patriots had little of in 2020. Everyone knows dual threat QBs are very valuable in fantasy. Newton can still get it done on the ground as he had 12 rushing touchdowns last season. With some new pass-catching weapons in the mix, Cam Newton has nowhere to go but up in terms of fantasy football.

Curtis Samuel, WR Washington Football Team

Samuel with his former team, the Carolina Panthers.

Curtis Samuel’s deal with the Football Team has him primed for a productive 2021 fantasy football season. Samuel is one of those players who always has had great fantasy upside, but hasn’t quite seen the breakout happen yet. But with Ryan Fitzpatrick assumed to be the starting QB for Washington, Samuel may be able to reach his upside as a true deep threat. Fitzpatrick is much more of a gunslinger than Samuel’s former QB, Teddy Bridgewater, in Carolina. In 2020, Fitzpatrick averaged higher depth of target, and yards per attempt than Bridgewater. More aggressive QB play bodes well for the blazing fast wide receiver. 

Chris Carson, RB Seattle Seahawks

Carson should be a great fantasy football option in 2021.

Re-signing Chris Carson to a three-year $24.625 million deal shows that Seattle wants to continue utilizing Carson as the feature back. After a down year in 2020, the Seahawks showed their faith in the running back by re-signing him to this deal. Even though the last year of the deal is voidable, it tells us that for right now, Seattle is still focused on running the ball. Rumors were sparked in Jan. 2021 that Head Coach Pete Carroll wants to re-establish the run game. Fantasy football owners should take not of this. Choosing to pay their number one back for at least the next two years shows that Carroll was serious. Carson is productive when healthy, with back to back 1,000 yard seasons in 2018 and 2019. He also boasts an impressive 4.6 yards per carry over his career. If Seattle continues to put their money where Carroll’s mouth is, I could see a top 12 finish at the position for the feature back. That is if Carson can stay healthy, unlike last season.

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