NFL Free Agency Winners/Losers: Dynasty
One of the reasons why I enjoy playing Dynasty so much is because of free agency. The players that you have worked so hard to acquire over the previous couple of seasons or the players that you have drafted and kept on your roster can experience so much change in just a few short days.
Players that you felt very comfortable having as solid pieces of your Dynasty roster on Sunday can suddenly be buried on a NFL depth chart by Wednesday. Inversely, players that you acquired cheap in preparation of free agency can experience a huge uptick in their Dynasty stock due to a variety of different reasons.
There’s so much strategy that goes into playing Dynasty, but at the end of the day you’re at the mercy of NFL GMs and coaches. This aspect makes it so much more interesting than your standard redraft leagues and it’s one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about the format.
This 2021 free agency has been interesting – to say the least – and there’s a lot to unpack and dissect from a Dynasty perspective. With that in mind, below you’ll find four players who saw their Dynasty stock increase and four players who saw their stock take a tumble. Do you have any of these players on your Dynasty roster? It’s time to find out what you should expect from them after the dust has settled in free agency.
When looking at all the moves that the Patriots made during free agency, it’s hard not to call Newton a winner. After playing with a lackluster receiving corps in 2020, Newton now has plenty of weapons around him to help take the pressure off of his shoulders. Newton needs playmakers around him to compensate for his lack of pure arm talent, but he still can be so dangerous with his legs at this point of his career. Now with Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne all in town, Newton’s set up to succeed in 2021 if he is the day one starter.
As if going from Sean McVay to Dan Campbell wasn’t enough, Goff has now seen a dramatic drop-off in terms of talent with his receiving group. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods were the key to Goff’s success previously in Los Angeles and they’re no longer going to be there for him. Goff did have the potential to have Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones there to catch passes in Detroit, but they both left via free agency. In 2021, Goff will have Tyrell Williams, Breshad Perriman, and Quintez Cephus as his main receivers. While there’s always the possibility that Detroit adds one or two other pieces via the NFL Draft, this is about as much of a downgrade as you can find for a QB in the NFL. For a QB that relies on his playmakers as much as Goff, it’s not going to be pretty next season.
In my mind, there was a very small percentage chance that Carson was back with the Seattle Seahawks in 2021. His lengthy injury history made it unlikely that he was going to be given any sort of starting role somewhere, but the Seahawks surprised me and brought Carson back for next season. The contract allows them to get out of it easily after this year if they want to, but Carson went from a potential backup somewhere in the league to still having a clear starting role. That’s a winner in my book.
This one’s pretty obvious, right? After saying repeatedly that the Raiders want to get Jacobs more involved in the passing game for the past couple of seasons, they’ve done nothing but contradict themselves. With adding players like Jalen Richard, Theo Riddick, Lynn Bowden Jr., and now Kenyan Drake, the Raiders seem hellbent on not utilizing Jacobs to his full capabilities. Drake signed a big contract for a backup RB, which indicates that they plan on using him. On top of Drake’s signing, Jacobs no longer has one of the best offensive lines blocking in front of him. Gabe Jackson, Rodney Hudson, and Trent Brown are all in different cities now and the plan is unclear on how the Raiders plan to reload that room. All of this combines to lower Jacobs’ Dynasty stock significantly.
After playing with Dwayne Haskins, Colt McCoy, Case Keenum, Kyle Allen, and Alex Smith over the past two seasons, McLaurin is now going to have Ryan Fitzpatrick chucking him the ball. This is a significant upgrade over what he’s had in the past and he’s already produced fantastic numbers despite the QB play. Fitzpatrick loves to lock onto his WR1 and McLaurin is certainly going to be that option for him in 2021. He could put up some crazy numbers this season.
Throughout the early part of the off-season, I was touting Mims as a buy in Dynasty leagues due to the high potential that his situation improved for the better. He was a 2nd-round pick last season, he showed flashes of his talent in 2020, and he was going to have a new head coach and/or QB. While I still believe that Mims can be a viable fantasy contributor in this offense, the additions of Corey Davis and Keelan Cole limit the upside just a bit for Mims. With proven veterans being added to this roster, it’s simply now a question of how many targets will be left over for Mims.
With Jonnu Smith and Corey Davis both leaving this receiving depth chart, there aren’t many available pass-catchers left. A.J. Brown will certainly be in line for a massive target share in 2021, but Firkser stands to benefit just as much. He returned to the Titans on a one-year deal and he should be utilized heavily as a receiver in this offense. He’s shown that he can be a reliable receiving option over the middle of the field and he was constantly coming onto the field on third downs over Jonnu in 2020. It’s unlikely that he pushes top-12 production in 2021, but he can certainly be a valuable depth piece for your Dynasty roster.
After leaving Justin Herbert, it was unlikely that Henry landed in a better situation for fantasy football, but there was still some reason for optimism. There were some teams that had plenty of cap space and a need at the TE position. However, rather than land somewhere like Jacksonville or the New York Jets, Henry chose to sign a massive deal in New England. While this is great for the Patriots from a pure football perspective, it’s not the same for Henry’s fantasy outlook. With Smith already on the roster, there may not be enough targets to go around in a low passing volume offense to support Henry as a top-12 fantasy option. He’ll still be relevant, but the days of him being a top-10 fantasy option are behind us.