As I crawled through the desert wearing my backpack filled to the brim with toilet paper and various lotions, dying of sports thirst, a small rain drop landed squarely on my nose. The NFL players narrowly approved a new collective bargaining agreement Saturday night, lengthening the season by one game and expanding the playoffs to 14 teams; the rain drop for which I’d been longing. Then on Monday, the flood gates opened with a downpour of high profile free agent signings, trades and franchise taggings on the first day of legal tampering.
Lightning struck when then Texans inexplicably handed DeAndre Hopkins and a 2021 4th rounder over to the Cardinals in exchange for David Johnson, a 2nd round draft pick and a 2020 4th rounder. The amount of hand sanitizer included in the deal was not disclosed, but my sources tell me at least three ounces of Purell headed back to Houston. The echo chamber seems to believe this move will have a decidedly negative affect on Nuk’s fantasy value, but I’m rose-colored in my year two outlook for the Kliff Kingsbury/Kyler Murray show. If he’s a mid to late 2nd round fantasy pick this year, I’ll dhop all over him.
Later the thunder rumbled as Stefon Diggs was dealt with a 2020 7th rounder to the Bills in exchange for pick #22, their 2020 5th, 2020 6th and 2021 4th rounder. I’ve seen many folks say this was a terrible deal for the Bills, but if you toss the 26 year old Diggs into this draft class he’d go top 10, right? And he’s signed to a reasonably team friendly deal thru 2023. Change of scenery may be just what Diggs needed. I’ll be buying again in 2020 and bumping Josh Allen up my board as well. Anyway, here’s what else I saw for 2020 fantasy football during this already crazy coronavirus-filled NFL offseason:
Chris Godwin – I’d been hoping Jameis would resign in Tampa for the sake of God Wiener. Better the devil you know than Josh Rosen. Of course Brady is better than Rosen, but in his old age he’s shown major cracks in the armor and has become more of a game manager. Godwin and Mike Evans both take minor hits in fantasy value but then again, I’m not in the business of betting against Brady.
Amari Cooper – “Intends” to re-sign with the Cowboys on a 5-year, 100 million dollar deal. As I always say, the road to last place in the NFC East was paved with Amari Cooper’s intentions! We can hope.
Blake Jarwin – The Boys are also committing to Jarwin at tight end as the two sides have agreed to a four year, 24.5 million dollar deal. He’s currently going off the board at pick 157 in early best ball drafts. I’ve become more interested in Jarwin now that the Cowboys are pot committed. My Uncle Arlo is also very pot committed, smells like a skunk in his house!
Jordan Howard – Expected to sign with the Dolphins on a two year $10 million dollar deal. He showed there’s still plenty of juice left for the squeeze while in Philly last season. I’m very interested if he’s the only squeeze in town.
David Johnson – As the surprising centerpiece for Hopkins, the Texans must have a big gig in store for their new DJ. Their original DJ, Duke Johnson, will take a hit to his fantasy value but there’s still some intrigue later in PPR leagues. The big news here is that we now have one less landing spot for the 2020 stud college running back class. Speaking of which, see where I ranked the top 3 rookie backs in my top 20 dynasty running backs and where BOOF ranked them in his rookie running back rankings.
Kenyan Drake – The Cardinals also used their transition tag on Drake yesterday, meaning he’ll very likely end up back in Arizona in 2020. Drake was already going off the board in the early third round in best balls and will likely move solidly into the second round now. He’s a dynamic weapon in a very exciting offense, I’ll own at least a couple shares.
Kyler Murray – Everything’s coming up Kyler! I’ve been drafting Murray in the 80’s in early best balls, but that price is now sure to rise. I’ll likely still be buying the youngster even as the price goes up.
Teddy Bridgewater – Sounds like Teddy Two Gloves is close to signing with the Panthers on a deal that’s rumored to be in the 3-year, 63 million dollar range. I don’t see Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore nor Curtis Samuel‘s values changing drastically if this move is completed, but I am very very curious to see what college wizard Matt Rhule does with this offense.
A.J. Green – The Bengals are using the franchise tag on Green. I still think he has something left in the tank, but I’m not overly excited about him in 2020 as all signs point to rookie Joe Burrow at the helm. The big take away here is my Auden Tate hopes and dreams will now move to the back burner as he falls to number three on the depth chart.
Philip Rivers – Will sign with the Colts on a one-year 25 million dollar deal. Sounds like Jacoby Brissett could now be traded, but I don’t expect teams to be climbing over each other to buy him like the shoppers after bananas at my local grocer.
T.Y. Hilton – Ol’ Man Rivers has the power to rejuvenate Hilton’s career. T.Y.’s early season best ball ADP is around 75, I’d be a buyer in that area but expect him to move up with Rivers at the helm.
Devonta Freeman – The Falcons released the 27 year old Freeman yesterday. Some readers thought I had him ranked too low when I slotted him in at #40 in my top 40 dynasty running backs, but the writing was on the wall. Brian Hill and Ito Smith remain on the roster, but I won’t be surprised if the Falcons pony up one of their top three drafts picks on a rookie running back come draft day. And I’ll be very interested in that young man if they make that move.
Kenny Stills – The DHop trade sure didn’t kill Kenny’s fantasy value. Quite the opposite.
Austin Hooper – Reportedly has agreed to a four-year, 44 million dollar deal with the Browns. The economy is in shambles and NFL teams are throwing around millions like Oprah giving about cars. David Njoku has now been demoted from chief in favor of Hooper. I still love Njoku’s upside if he’s able to get healthy, and he’ll hit free-agency in 2021.
Hayden Hurst – With Hooper on his way out, the Falcons dealt their 2020 2nd and 5th rounders to the Ravens in exchange for Hurst and their 2020 4th rounder. The Ravens’ talented 2018 first rounder has been overshadowed by Mark Andrews in his first two seasons. He’ll be a top late round tight end option for me in 2020 drafts.
Marcus Mariota – Has agreed to a deal with the Las Vegas Raiders, coming into Sin City to back up Derek Carr. They’re reportedly also bringing in Jason Witten because Jon Gruden thinks these two were made to run Spider 2 Y Banana Shake. If nothing else, they’re a nice locker room presence added to a young team. The “Anti-Anthony Brown Effect” if you will.
Cam Newton – It was announced yesterday that Cam will be allowed to seek a trade. All NFL teams are now hiding as Newton seeks. *Ryan Pace peeks head out*
Larry Fitzgerald – Larry Legend signed a one year 11 million dollar contract to return to Arizona for the 2020 season. Fitz was the #35 wide receiver in PPR leagues last year and expressed just how much he enjoys playing for Kliff Kingsbury when he resigned in January. I was ready to say, “expect more of the same,” but with Hopkins in town there’s now a lot of mouths to feed with Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella and even KeeSean Johnson in the mix.
Antonio Brown – The laundry list of reasons for NFL teams to avoid Antonio Brown seems to grow just as quickly as confirmed COVID-19 cases: locker room distraction, helmet drama, sexual misconduct allegations, felony burglary and battery charges. But he issued another apology at the beginning of January so all’s forgiven, right? I’ll put the chances of him ever playing again in the NFL around 40%.
All ADP data sourced from the National Fantasy Football Championship Best Ball 10s.