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8 Contract Situations to Monitor This Offseason (2022 Fantasy Football)

Jun 21, 2022

Every offseason, there are a number of NFL contract situations to monitor. Some result in notable players hitting free agency or getting traded ahead of the NFL Draft, while others linger into training camp. We’ve already seen a flurry of major moves this offseason, but there are still several situations worth monitoring as we get deeper into the summer months. Some of these situations, such as Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo, seem certain to end with a trade or a release. Others are less clear.

Andrew Erickson and Derek Brown took a look at eight contract situations worth monitoring as we get closer to training camp and break down the potential fantasy implications.

Fantasy Football Redraft Draft Kit

Deebo Samuel (WR – SF)

  • Odds he is the starter in SF: 85%
  • Odds he is released/traded: 15%
  • Who to draft in fantasy if he cut/traded: George Kittle

Analysis: If Deebo Samuel isn’t in the starting lineup this season in San Francisco, we should be punching George Kittle‘s ticket to the moon. Over the last three seasons, Kittle has finished in the top four at his position in fantasy points per game and yards per route run (minimum 20 targets per PFF) each season. If Samuel isn’t there to compete with him for the alpha role in this passing offense, Kittle should be in contention to be the TE1 overall in 2022.
– Derek Brown

Jimmy Garoppolo (QB – SF)

  • Odds he is the starter in SF: 25%
  • Odds he is released/traded: 75%
  • Who to draft in fantasy if he cut/traded: Trey Lance, Brandon Aiyuk

Analysis: Trey Lance is slipping in fantasy drafts due to several reports surfacing about his underwhelming play at OTAs and because veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo remains on the roster. But after 49ers beat reporters butchered the Trey Sermon situation last season and the 49ers’ massive investment in Lance last year, I view this situation as an easy buy-low scenario.

Garoppolo’s shoulder surgery is the reason he hasn’t been traded. Coach Kyle Shanahan recently said he still thinks the 49ers will trade Garoppolo — which they were trying to do before his surgery — but that he’s not certain of the outcome. Once he is deemed healthy, I’d presume he gets moved or released to a QB-needy team or to a roster that sustains an injury at the position.

That sets the stage for Lance to start in Year 2 and smash for fantasy football. Lance averaged 54 rushing yards per game in his three games played with at least a 50% snap share. The mark was the highest ever by a rookie quarterback.
Andrew Erickson

Dalton Schultz (TE – DAL)

  • Odds he is the starter in DAL: 90%
  • Odds he is released/traded: 10%
  • Who to draft in fantasy if he is cut/traded: Tony Pollard

Analysis: If Dalton Schultz were to hold out or get traded before Week 1, we should buy into any Tony Pollard hype even more. While Ezekiel Elliott will remain a thorn in his side and many will flock to Jalen Tolbert, Pollard would be a darkhorse option to become a focal point in the passing game, with Michael Gallup also iffy to be ready anytime soon. Pollard has been rumored already to be mixing in as a slot option. A role he performed quite well with in 2021. Last year Pollard was electric in the passing game, ranking third in yards per route run with the 13th-highest slot rate (10.2%) among running backs (minimum 20 targets, per PFF).
Derek Brown

Terry McLaurin (WR – WAS)

  • Odds he is WR1 in WAS: 85%
  • Odds he is traded/holds out: 15%
  • Who to draft in fantasy if he traded: Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel

Analysis: Terry McLaurin is amidst a contract dispute, Curtis Samuel has struggled to stay healthy and 2021 third-rounder Dyami Brown failed to fire as a rookie. Dotson’s biggest strengths to me are his reliability and the floor that he can offer the Commanders, which will translate into target volume. That’s what he did during his final season at Penn State, posting an absurd 43% dominator rating while racking up the 8th-most receptions in his draft class. Dotson’s sure hands – 4th percentile career drop rate of two percent – will help him vacuum up targets from Carson Wentz and make him the favorite to be the right behind McLaurin in the target pecking order. He’s already looking ‘ELECTRIC’ at OTAs.
Andrew Erickson

DK Metcalf (WR – SEA)

  • Odds he is the starter in SEA: 75%
  • Odds he is released/traded: 25%
  • Who to draft in fantasy if he is cut/traded: Tyler Lockett

Analysis: Despite entering his age 30 season, Tyler Lockett didn’t show any signs last year of falling off. Lockett was ninth in yards per route run and receiving yards per game (minimum 50 targets, per PFF). Even with questionable quarterback play surrounding him, Lockett would be the Northwest version of Brandin Cooks as an underrated target hog.
Derek Brown

Baker Mayfield (QB – CLE)

  • Odds he is the starter in CLE: 10%
  • Odds he is released/traded: 90%
  • Odds he is the starter in CAR: 55%
  • Who to draft in fantasy if he cut/traded to CAR: D.J. Moore, Robbie Anderson

Analysis: The soon-to-be-ex-Browns quarterback has shown the ability to support multiple fantasy weapons (not-named Odell Beckham Jr. when healthy) so D.J. Moore should be firmly at the top of the fantasy WR2 conversation during the fantasy football draft season.

Jarvis Landry – as the Browns’ No. 1 – finished as WR19 and WR13 in half-point scoring in 2018/2019 with Mayfield at quarterback.
Andrew Erickson

Lamar Jackson (QB – BAL)

  • Odds he is the starter in BAL: 95%
  • Odds he is released/traded: 5%
  • Who to draft in fantasy if he is cut/traded: Tyler Huntley

Analysis: Tyler Huntley would vault into the mid QB2 conversation with the potential to be a top 12 option if Lamar Jackson were out of the equation. Huntley still has plenty to improve upon in his game through the air, but his legs would fuel fantasy goodness even if he’s only league average as a passer. Huntley averaged 8.8 rushing attempts and 56.8 rushing yards per game in the five games he played 86% of the snaps or higher. Last season, that rushing output weekly would have been second to only Lamar Jackson among quarterbacks.
Derek Brown

Kyler Murray (QB – ARI)

  • Odds he is the starter in ARI: 80%
  • Odds he holds out or trade: 20%
  • Who to draft in fantasy if holdout or trade: Marquise Brown, Zach Ertz

Analysis: Head coach Kliff Kingsbury is literally ‘praying” for a deal to get done for Murray.

Seems the Cardinals’ hands are tied in the matter to pay up to lock-down Murray long-term or face reality without a franchise QB.

I’d be all over buying the discounted Cardinals like Murray and Ertz with concern the deal isn’t done. Because it will be before camp kicks off.
Andrew Erickson

2022 Fantasy Football Staff Consensus Rankings

2022 Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros



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