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Top 20 NFL Free Agents (2024 Fantasy Football)

Top 20 NFL Free Agents (2024 Fantasy Football)

Many teams are studying free agency right now, looking at where they need to improve and who is available to fill that role.

There are valuable players at every position, and organizations are ready to throw the bank at them, but we are going to specifically look at the ones that impact your fantasy roster.

Obviously the franchise tag could take some players off that list, but this is a look at the current landscape and the top 20 free agents going into the 2024 season.

Top 20 NFL Free Agents

Kirk Cousins (QB – MIN)

Cousins will be the most coveted quarterback and possibly player in this upcoming offseason. Until his Achilles tear, he was Mr. Durable, never missing a game due to injury. As long as he’s medically cleared, he should be ready by training camp. He’s also been consistent and exemplary during his career; he’s the only quarterback to have thrown four seasons with 4,000+ passing yards and 25+ touchdowns over the previous eight seasons. Not Aaron Rodgers, not Tom Brady, just Cousins. Any team that believes they are a quarterback away from being a contender should try to bring him in and as we saw with the Vikings’ offense after he was gone, he brings a tremendous amount of value.

Saquon Barkley (RB – NYG)

Barkley has expressed that he wants to be a Giant for his entire career, but the business of the NFL sometimes does not allow for that. Many teams will try to bring him in if he doesn’t get re-signed. He’s one of the most athletic players in the league and in fact, the Giants’ offense didn’t do much unless it was through Barkley by either the run or pass game. Teams with running back concerns should make him a top priority.

Tee Higgins (WR – CIN)

Higgins will be the most coveted wide receiver based on his age. At 24, he still has so much left in the tank. And wherever he goes, he’s proven to have WR1 capabilities in a situation where he could have been lost in the crowd, as was the case with the Bengals. He has the size, speed, and hands to handle over 130 targets and put up top-tier numbers.

Mike Evans (WR – TB)

We need to discuss whether Evans should be considered one of the greatest wide receivers. He just had his tenth consecutive 1,000-yard receiving season and Evans is the only player to ever accomplish that; the next closest is Randy Moss with six consecutive seasons. His size gives him the advantage against most defensive backs, and he has shown that he makes plays no matter who is throwing to him.

Josh Jacobs (RB – LV)

Jacobs largely regressed from his 2022 season, where he led the league in yards from scrimmage, but you can certainly put some of that blame on the dumpster fire that was the Raiders this year. He is still one of the best dual-running backs in the league and could be a vital piece in an offense that desperately needs a running back.

Dalton Schultz (TE – HOU)

Schultz made the move from Dallas to Houston and was a vital part of the success surprising success of that team. It isn’t the best list of free agent tight ends, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he re-signed with the Texans.

Baker Mayfield (QB – TB)

Mayfield got a prove-it deal from the Buccaneers, and he wasn’t even named the starter until the end of training camp. It was the right choice though, and Mayfield had the best season of his career, with highs in passing yards, touchdowns, and completion percentage. He could be highly sought-after for some quarterback-needy teams, but Tampa Bay should be the favorite to retain him.

Derrick Henry (RB – TEN)

The long reign of King Henry in Nashville is likely coming to an end, and he should be playing for a new team in 2024. People have wanted to write Henry off, as they couldn’t believe he could continue this level of production, but he put up another 1,000+ yard season and had a league-leading 280 carries. Henry is still among the toughest runners to take down in the league, with the third-most broken tackles amongst running backs and second-most yards after contact this year.

Michael Pittman Jr. (WR – IND)

Even without a competent quarterback throughout his career, Pittman has been productive, and he’s coming off his second season of 1,000 receiving yards. He’s a great route runner who can create separation and he finished fourth in route wins and eighth in win rate on man coverage. Indianapolis would be dumb to let Pittman walk, especially with Anthony Richardson still essentially a rookie next year, but he should be one of the more sought-after receivers.

Devin Singletary (RB – HOU)

Singletary was an afterthought when he signed with the Texans, and many believe he would play second fiddle to Dameon Pierce. Pierce dealt with injuries and was just ineffective, and it helped Singletary’s stock. It was great in Buffalo, but he shined in Houston, and he should be a valuable piece wherever he lands.

Tony Pollard (RB – DAL)

It was supposed to be a breakout season for Pollard after the Cowboys decided not to keep Ezekiel Elliott. While Pollard still had some good surface numbers, the metrics tell another story. He had another 1,000-yard season, but his 4.0 yards per carry is the lowest of his career, he only had six total touchdowns, and he was 45th in production premium. But Pollard was still the best runner in the Cowboys’ backfield this year, and he looks like a prime candidate to get the franchise tag.

Hunter Henry (TE – NE)

Henry’s numbers with the Patriots were a lot lower than when he was with the Chargers, but in his defense, he was on one of the worst statistical offenses over the last couple years. The underlying metrics show that he can be productive; he was second among tight ends in production premium and second in dominator rating. He could be valuable again if he finds his way to a better offense.

D’Andre Swift (RB – PHI)

Swift came to Philadelphia and had his first 1,000+ rushing yard season, as he finally got to shine in the featured back role that he never saw in Detroit. But while his numbers look great due to volume, he dropped almost a full yard per carry (5.5 to 4.6), and his 4.7 yards per touch were a career-low. He could stay in Philadelphia, but when Saquon and Jacobs are off the market, teams may look to Swift.

Marquise Brown (WR – ARI)

The Arizona era for Hollywood Brown wasn’t good, and he averaged just 49.5 receiving yards per game and seven touchdowns in two years. Some of that had to do with injuries and the level of quarterback play in some games. Brown will likely land in a spot as a Y-receiver to compliment another top pass-catcher, and with his speed and separation abilities, he could find a profound role.

Austin Ekeler (RB – LAC)

Was this year the start of the decline for Ekeler, or a one-off? He was the star of every fantasy lineup in 2022, but this season was a massive drop-off. Much of it involved missing three games, but the Chargers were also a mess. It doesn’t look like he’ll return to the Bolts, so where he goes will be important, especially whether it’s a place where he can be the guy or if he’ll be part of a committee. Either way, Ekeler is still valuable as one of the best pass-catching running backs in the league.

Zack Moss (RB – IND)

With Jonathan Taylor getting a long-term deal, we should believe Moss is finding a new home. Moss proved he could handle getting a featured role with some fantastic performances while JT was on the PUP list. He might not get that full feature role, but he could see a team where he can get a solid snap share.

Joe Flacco (QB – NYJ)

Was Flacco’s run in Cleveland good enough for another team to sign him as their starter? That will be a big question for this offseason. Don’t be surprised if he signs with a team that might be in win-now mode and needs a veteran quarterback, or if Flacco becomes the veteran backup to one of the incoming rookies.

Calvin Ridley (WR – JAX)

It was an up-and-down season for Ridley, but 1,016 receiving yards and eight touchdowns are some fantastic numbers. Whether or not he remains in Jacksonville will be the big question, but he proved, especially toward the end of the season, that he’s still got it.

Tyler Boyd (WR – CIN)

Boyd is someone who was under-appreciated in Cincinnati. He was an afterthought in a group with Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. It is shocking to believe that he had consecutive 1,000+ receiving yards in 2018 and 2019 in that crowded room. Boyd is someone whose career could be rejuvenated with a fresh start on another team.

Gabe Davis (WR – BUF)

Davis is undoubtedly a wild card; he’s had games where he blows up for your lineup, then he’ll turn around and give you nothing. Davis even had five games where he was on the field and did not record a single receiving yard. But the touchdown numbers are there, with no fewer than six in any of his four seasons. Maybe Davis will have a bigger role wherever he goes next.

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