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Top 3 NFL Free Agency Predictions (2024 Fantasy Football)

Top 3 NFL Free Agency Predictions (2024 Fantasy Football)

The NFL recently announced the salary cap will increase by $30.6M in 2024. The timing is perfect, with many big names hitting the market in 2024.

Let’s take a look at my top-three NFL Free Agency predictions for 2024.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

2024 NFL Free Agency Predictions

Over Five Significant Changes for Running Backs

This year’s Free Agency class at running back is star-studded! After the dramatics around franchise tags and contracts in 2023, the most likely scenario is multiple running backs signing with new teams in 2024. Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs sit at the top of the class, followed by older veterans Derrick Henry and Austin Ekeler. There’s also a variety of backs that can function in both three-down back roles or committee roles, including D’Andre Swift, Tony Pollard, Devin Singletary, JK Dobbins, AJ Dillon, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Antonio Gibson, Zack Moss and more. Teams have a true smorgasbord, depending on their budget and needs.

The Giants are unlikely to franchise tag Barkley, meaning Barkley should seek a multi-year deal elsewhere. Jacobs, Henry and Ekeler have expressed openness to returning to their teams, but with Las Vegas and Tennessee having backup running backs primed to take on a bigger role – Zamir White and Tyjae Spears – both Jacobs and Henry should move on to new teams. Ekeler’s situation is a bit murky with a new run-heavy coaching regime and no true heir-apparent in the backfield. Still, if Ekeler is seeking a multi-year deal, he’ll hit the market as well.

Free Agency will look like musical chairs at the running back position, and as the big names vacate positions, keep your eye on the lower-tier backs signing cheap contracts.

Lower-Tier Receivers Surprise & Gain Value

The Bengals tagged Tee Higgins, and it’s unlikely that the Colts will let Michael Pittman Jr. walk. Tampa Bay just cut Shaq Barrett for cap savings – a sign they are clearing space for Mike Evans. If all three receivers remain with their teams, we could see a repeat of Jacksonville’s 2022 signing of Christian Kirk – big moves for less-proven receivers.

This year’s Draft class is strong at receiver, but don’t be surprised if multiple lower-tier receivers stumble into high-upside situations, including Marquise Brown, Calvin Ridley, Gabe Davis and even Darnell Mooney or Curtis Samuel.

It’s easy to overlook the second-tier receivers because it’s full of receivers that fantasy managers – myself included – hoped would achieve true WR1 status but always had something holding them back. Whether injury issues, suspensions or role issues, their upside never matched the output. Their failures have depressed their value. The highest-ranked player currently in FantasyPros’ 2024 ECR is Ridley at WR31. There’s value to be had with new locations and situation upgrades.

Quarterback Free Agency Is Boring; Teams Fill Needs Through Trades & the Draft

I’d love to make flashy quarterback predictions, but I anticipate Kirk Cousins remaining in Minnesota and Baker Mayfield returning to Tampa Bay. The big moves will come with Justin Fields, Russell Wilson and teams trading up for potential first-round draft picks to draft a quarterback.

In addition to Cousins and Mayfield, Ryan Tannehill, Gardner Minshew, Joe Flacco and a variety of backup signal-callers are on the market. Teams looking to take a risk will focus in on Fields. Win-now teams or bridge teams will look at Wilson. Rebuilding teams will focus on the draft.

Focus on rumors during the Combine. The top-three prospects won’t throw or participate in drills, leaving focus on players like J.J. McCarthy, Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr. and Spencer Rattler. If those quarterbacks fail to impress, teams will feel more inclined to retain their free-agent quarterbacks, and movement will be limited to Fields and Wilson.

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