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How to Value Players on New Teams: QB & TE (2024 Fantasy Football)

When NFL players change teams, it often generates a lot of hype and excitement. Fantasy managers spend time trying to decipher what it might mean for the individual as well as both the team they depart and the team they join.

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How to Value Players on New Teams

In this article, we’ll explore how quarterbacks and tight ends have performed over the last three seasons when joining new teams via either free agency or a trade. Going forward in this series, we’ll look at wide receivers and running backs. Let’s dive into how to value players on new teams, starting with quarterbacks and tight ends.

Quarterbacks

Since the start of the 2021 season, there have been a number of noteworthy quarterbacks who have moved teams, including Jimmy Garoppolo, Derek Carr, Deshaun Watson, Matthew Stafford, and Jared Goff.

PPR Rank PPG Rank Completion % Career Average TDs/GP Career Average TD Rate Career Average
2023
Baker Mayfield 9 17 64.40% 61.90% 1.8 1.4 5.20% 4.60%
Derek Carr 18 27 67.90% 64.90% 1.3 1.5 4.00% 4.40%
Jimmy Garoppolo 42 36 65.50% 67.40% 1.2 1.1 4.20% 5.00%
2022
Marcus Mariota 19 18 61.30% 62.70% 1.2 1 5.00% 4.40%
Matt Ryan 26 29 67.00% 65.60% 1.2 1.6 3.00% 4.50%
Carson Wentz 31 25 62.30% 62.70% 1.4 1.6 4.00% 4.60%
Russell Wilson 17 22 60.80% 64.70% 0.9 1.7 2.80% 5.90%
Jacoby Brissett 21 36 64.00% 61.30% 0.8 0.6 3.30% 3.20%
Deshaun Watson 37 27 56.70% 66.50% 1 1.8 3.50% 5.60%
2021
Matthew Stafford 7 19.5 67.30% 63.20% 2.4 1.7 6.70% 4.70%
Carson Wentz 12 15.4 62.60% 62.70% 1.6 1.6 5.30% 4.60%
Teddy Bridgewater 22 14.5 66.90% 66.40% 1.3 0.9 4.20% 3.60%
Jared Goff 25 13.6 67.00% 64.70% 1.3 1.6 3.70% 4.50%

There are a lot of metrics that go into defining success, and we have to also consider the situations quarterbacks find themselves in when changing teams. If we boil it down to the rudimentary numbers of how many passes they completed and how many touchdowns they scored in comparison to their career averages, we get a basic view of things.

Baker Mayfield – After bouncing around with the Rams and Panthers, Mayfield reunited with Dave Canales from their time in L.A. Mayfield had a career year playing with the best weapons he’s ever had. The big question is whether he can sustain this without Canales in Tampa Bay.

Derek Carr – After Carr was unceremoniously kicked out of Las Vegas, he landed in a poor and uncreative offense in New Orleans. Carr’s completion rate hit his highest mark since 2019, but his touchdowns dipped with a miserable first half of the season. From Week 12 forward, Carr averaged 3.0 passing touchdowns per game, which was a massive uptick from the 1.0 per game he averaged in Weeks 1 through 11.

Jimmy Garoppolo – For years we knew Garoppolo was likely a product of the Shanahan system in San Francisco. It didn’t take long for confirmation of this with Garoppolo benched swiftly into his Las Vegas stint.

Marcus Mariota – There was hope that Mariota would turn into a fun quarterback for fantasy under Arthur Smith in Atlanta, but it turned out to be very bland and not a long-term solution for the Falcons.

Matt Ryan – Having played all of his career in Atlanta except for this one in Indianapolis, it was fair to expect things to be tricky for Ryan, who no longer had Julio Jones to lean upon. Ryan was below average in touchdowns but completed plenty of passes in a dink-and-dunk offense that led to him being benched before the end of the season.

Carson Wentz – The only QB on this list twice, Wentz washed out in both Indianapolis and Washington. Wentz’s stats by these metrics weren’t far below his career averages, but the film told a story of an erratic player who NFL coaches found hard to trust.

Russell Wilson – The end looked in sight in Wilson’s last year in Seattle, and his move to Denver brought massive dips in completion rates and touchdowns. Wilson is a quarterback known for liking to do things his own way, and if you’re not delivering, the blame lands firmly on you.

Jacoby Brissett – As a veteran of several offenses, Brissett thrived in Cleveland’s scheme, outplaying his career averages across the board. He likely would have taken the Browns to the playoffs if they hadn’t reinstated Deshaun Watson at QB.

Deshaun Watson – The Browns could have been a far more successful team if it wasn’t for the misguided signing of Watson. He has been frankly awful for most of his Cleveland career and, in his first season, set averages far below his career norms. Much of this was put down to the extended absence from the field, but 2023 did little to restore faith.

Matthew Stafford – After years dwindling in Detroit, Stafford had a career year with the Rams, leading them to a Super Bowl win. He posted a completion rate four spots above his average and scored 0.4 more touchdowns per game while doing so.

Teddy Bridgewater – When Bridgewater landed in Denver in 2021, he became the 10th different QB to start for them since Peyton Manning retired in 2015. Understandably, things weren’t great in Denver at this time, but Bridgewater played to a reasonable standard right around his career average in completion rate and above average in touchdowns.

Jared Goff – When Goff landed in Detroit, it was viewed as a salary dump by the Rams, giving up Goff and picks to acquire Stafford. Ultimately, over the next few years, it’s likely the Lions have the more secure QB situation. Goff struggled to score touchdowns in his first year as a young Lions offense found its feet, but he completed 67% of his passes, which was up from a career average of 64.7%.

Quarterback Conclusions

There’s a wide range of outcomes for quarterbacks changing teams, and there is a lot of pieces to this puzzle. The quarterbacks who have succeeded are those who went to schemes that suited them with the pieces they needed to succeed.

Goff went to a team with a very good offensive line and a dome. Both factors have shown to consistently improve his play. Stafford went to a team with excellent pass catchers and an offensive head coach who knew how to get the best out of him. Meanwhile, Wilson went to a team with question marks over their head coach, offensive line, and wide receivers. Garoppolo left behind an excellent situation for one that looked shaky.

When we look at the 2024 quarterbacks who have changed teams, it seems fair to apply skepticism to Justin Fields and Wilson in Pittsburgh, who find themselves in less-than-ideal circumstances. We can, however, be hopeful for Kirk Cousins if his injury recovery is successful. The weapons and scheme around him in Atlanta should be very good.

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Tight Ends

At the tight-end position, we see plenty of turnover year to year with different teams and coaches prioritizing different things for their individual schemes.

PPR Rank PPR PPG REC Yards/GP REC Yards/AVG Yards/Route Yards/Route AVG Scrim TDs per game TD Avg
2021
Hunter Henry 11 9.4 32.3 37.4 1.36 1.49 0.52 0.36
Jared Cook 19 8 32.3 37.3 1.14 1.61 0.25 0.23
Gerald Everett 20 8.2 32.7 26.5 1.37 1.35 0.26 0.18
Jonnu Smith 33 4.5 19.6 22.6 1.93 1.46 0.06 0.19
Kyle Rudolph 42 3.6 16 28.9 1.22 1.23 0.06 0.3
2022
Evan Engram 5 10.6 46.2 46 1.5 1.42 0.23 0.25
Gerald Everett 13 8.6 36.5 26.5 1.3 1.35 3 0.23
Hayden Hurst 20 8.3 33.3 24.1 1.1 1.13 0.15 0.18
Tyler Conklin 14 8 33.6 21.4 1.2 1.18 0.17 0.07
Cj Uzomah 41 4.3 17.8 17.7 1 1.01 0.13 0.15
OJ Howard 57 2.8 11.2 26.1 1.2 1.57 0.15 0.23
2023
Dalton Schultz 10 10.1 42.4 30.6 1.4 1.32 0.33 0.24
Adam Trautman 38 3.6 11.4 14.1 0.5 0.96 0.17 0.11
Jonnu Smith 18 7 34.6 22.6 1.6 1.46 0.11 0.19
Irv Smith 57 2.8 9.6 19.9 0.5 0.98 0.08 0.2
Darren Waller 23 9.4 46.1 48 1.5 1.92 0.08 0.23
Robert Tonyan 73 1.4 7 18.2 0.7 1.28 0 0.2

Hunter Henry – After leaving the Chargers for New England in 2021, Henry saw his receiving yards per game drop from 34.8 to 32.3. His touchdowns per game, however, spiked to a massive nine in his first year, quelling concerns both he and Jonnu Smith couldn’t coexist in the New England offense. Henry simply made the role his own.

Jonnu Smith – Meanwhile, Smith struggled to return good fantasy value with only 19.6 yards per game. He did post very strong yards-per-route numbers at 1.93, giving people reason to think he could do more. That shone through in 2023 when he landed with the Falcons and put up 34.6 despite Kyle Pitts also being on the roster. With Smith now landing in Miami, he’s worth a speculative roster spot.

Jared Cook – Cook played his last season in the NFL with his sixth different franchise, posting above-average rates in receiving yards, yards per route, and coming very close to his touchdown average per game. He only played 55.9% of snaps but finished as a top-20 tight end, making him an option for deeper leagues.

Gerald Everett – Another tight end who has bounced around is Everett, as he has played for three teams since 2020. Everett exceeded his career average in both receiving yards and touchdowns in both of his first seasons with Seattle and the Chargers. HE might struggle to do that this year with Keenan Allen, DJ Moore, Rome Odunze, and Cole Kmet for competition.

Evan Engram – Everybody knew the situation in New York with the Giants was poor for Engram, but it wasn’t easy to project him to breakout after four average seasons. Engram’s stats fell very close to his career averages, but he vaulted himself up to TE6 for two consecutive years in Jacksonville thanks to more consistency and better quarterback play.

Hayden Hurst – Since leaving Baltimore, Hurst has bounced around. There has been hope for him at times, in part because of his first-round draft capital, but Hurst has failed to impress at every stop and rarely puts up fantasy-relevant numbers, even when paired with a quarterback like Joe Burrow.

Tyler Conklin – After four years in Minnesota, Conklin joined the Jets and immediately delivered better numbers than his career averages. Whether Conklin can break out further under Aaron Rodgers remains to be seen. He has only seven career touchdowns in 98 games.

C.J. Uzomah – Despite doing nothing for most of his seven-year career in Cincinnati, there was hope Uzomah could be fantasy-relevant in New York coming off a career-high 493 yards and five touchdowns. It wasn’t to be, as he finished with below-average results in all categories.

Dalton Schultz – In Dallas, Schultz looked good but struggled to separate with Michael Gallup, Amari Cooper, and CeeDee Lamb vying for targets. When he arrived in Houston, it felt like Schultz could really shine. He outplayed all of his averages apart from yards per route run, which dipped slightly to 1.32 from 1.4.  We can live with that, as he averaged 42.4 yards per game. Schultz might struggle with Stefon Diggs, Nico Collins, and Tank Dell for competition, but, in best ball, he’ll make for a great TE2.

Adam Trautman – Sean Payton traded for Adam Trautman due to his familiarity in his system. Trautman has rarely been fantasy relevant and did little outside of scoring a couple of touchdowns. Even with little competition in 2024, he’s not worth rostering.

Irv Smith – Smith has been a bad tight end throughout his career. He lacks enough athleticism to stand out, struggling to stay on the field or make catches. He has never earned targets at a reliable rate either. Anyone who rostered Smith in 2023 found out quickly that a leopard doesn’t change their spots.

Darren Waller – After a successful run with the Raiders, Waller was traded to the Giants for a top-100 pick. The Giants desperately needed a reliable pass-catcher for Daniel Jones. Unfortunately, Waller struggled through injuries and never replicated his Raiders form. Waller still earned targets at an elite rate, in part due to the lack of competition in New York, but one single touchdown on 74 targets tells the story.

Tight Ends Conclusion

Tight end is the most scheme-reliant position in fantasy football, as Kyle Pitts’s career has shown thus far. When trying to decipher if a tight end can hit or not, we have to consider the scheme their team runs, the other tight ends in the room, and what the player has done historically.

Jonnu Smith looks primed for a good year in Miami, but Gerald Everett likely has too much competition in Chicago. Mike Gesicki might offer spike weeks in Cincinnati, but the Bengals scheme has rarely featured tight ends consistently.

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