Mike Fanelli, Joshua Abbe, Brandon Braasch, Mason Thompson, Frank Ammirante | March 13th, 2020
It’s the offseason and that means the NFL world is moving slowly. Actually, who am I kidding? Free agency is almost here and where players sign will have ripple impact throughout the league. Not only for Super Bowl odds next year but also for dynasty fantasy owners. Each signing changes the views for not only that player but the rest of the team he’s leaving and joining, as well as potential landing spots for rookies.
Here at The Scorecrow, we offer another fantasy football roundtable. This time we will give our opinions on where some of the top free agents should sign to have the biggest fantasy impact for dynasty owners. Yes, keep in mind we are all clueless and hate your favorite team with a passion. Without any further ado, let’s get into it.
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For part two of the roundtable click here.
Mike Fanelli: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It appears the Buccaneers are ready to move on from Winston but they shouldn’t. Despite becoming the first quarterback in the “30 for 30” club (no, not that ESPN series), Winston finished the 2019 season as the QB5. With Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, Winston has one of the best wide receiver duos in the league. If the Buccaneers can improve their offensive line this offseason, Winston should take a big step forward in year two of this offense and would turn some heads. Keeping this young trio of quarterback and wide receivers together could turn into fantasy gold for the next several years.
Josh Abbe: Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers aren’t going to reach in free agency for a quarterback, and nor should they. By signing Winston to a prove-it one-year deal with the potential for a long-term signing means they can focus on drafting and signing other areas of need. Though for dynasty where does the risk to such a big reward leave you? It’s a risky proposition, but the Chargers already have the weapons to take the pressure off Winston. They can draft some strong offensive linemen in this draft or even nab one in free agency to help give him some time in the pocket. We know his biggest flaw is accuracy but with a check-down monster in Austin Ekeler, wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, and young tight end Hunter Henry, Winston could flourish in the offense.
Brandon Braasch: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers are right where Winston needs to be. He had a spectacular fantasy season last year, even with his 30 interceptions. He has one of the best wide receiver combos in the NFL with Evans and Godwin. If he can cut down on his interceptions and turn those drives into more productivity in terms of yards and touchdowns, he’s in for a monster next couple seasons. Maybe his Lasik eye surgery will help him read defenses more clearly.
Mason Thompson: Las Vegas Raiders
Jon Gruden is sick of Derek Carr being safe and not throwing the ball downfield. In Las Vegas, unlike Tampa, Winston will have a decent offensive line and a great rushing attack The Raiders have two first-round picks, one surely to be used on a receiver. Gruden will stick by Winston for a few years before re-evaluating.
Frank Ammirante: Las Vegas Raiders
The most likely destination that is beneficial for Winston’s long-term value would be to sign in Vegas. Winston would join an offense that includes two talented tight ends in Darren Waller and Foster Moreau, a franchise back in Josh Jacobs, and a promising young receiver in Hunter Renfrow. Winston would also feel more comfortable in the pocket taking snaps under a much better offensive line. Gruden would love a flashy, risk-taking quarterback like Winston to kick start the Vegas era.
Mike: New England Patriots
This only works if Tom Brady decides he’s leaving. If he leaves, the Patriots can’t go into next season with a rookie or Jarrett Stidham as their starting quarterback. Instead, adding a veteran like Bridgewater would give them exactly what they need, a smart quarterback without an ego. Imagine Bridgewater in an offense all about accuracy and timing. Oh wait, he did that this year with the Saints and if Brady returns to New England, Bridgewater should stay in New Orleans. Yes, this means waiting another year or two till Drew Brees retires but then he would take over one of the most dangerous offensives in the league; it’s worth the wait for his dynasty owners.
Josh: Chicago Bears
I would like to see Bridgewater here simply because Mitchell Trubisky isn’t the answer for the Bears. Bridgewater is a good enough quarterback to get the job done. He is used to having a good lead back, a role David Montgomery can fill. Allen Robinson provides a good target to throw to along with Anthony Miller and with stellar defense to provide a cushion, Bridgewater doesn’t have to do much and can easily put up QB2 numbers in dynasty leagues for either super-flex leagues or on a bye week.
Brandon: Indianapolis Colts
Bridgewater would have great success with the Colts. He will likely never be a top fantasy quarterback. He is, however, very consistent and doesn’t turn the ball over. With the Colts, he would have Marlon Mack in the running game, T.Y. Hilton as his number one receiver, and the Colts have a top pick that could potentially land them the top rookie wide receiver. Bridgewater would have all the weapons he needs with the Colts and would be a great fit for both parties.
Mason: Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are about to endure a complete roster overhaul. Despite reports that Cam Newton will be back, the Panthers would be wise to move on and sign Bridgewater instead. A supporting cast of Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, and Ian Thomas should make him one of the more underrated quarterbacks in fantasy. It all depends on what the Panthers want to do with Newton though.
Frank: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs are reportedly interested in Bridgewater and I think this is a great fit for his fantasy value. Tampa Bay is stacked on offense, with studs like Godwin and Evans. Bridgewater would provide a more stable presence under center since he does not take as many risks as Winston. Bridgewater is also more mobile than Jameis, so that could help mask deficiencies in the team’s offensive line. Bridgewater would be a virtual lock to set career highs across the board in this prolific offense under a quarterback guru like Bruce Arians.
Mike: Tennessee Titans
If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. While I’m personally not a fan of paying running back big money contracts, this is fantasy football and not salary cap mistakes 101. The Titans’ offense is built around Henry and he will continue to get the majority of the snaps if he stays in Tennessee. With Dion Lewis being a cap casualty, the Titans could turn to Henry more in the passing game. His 18 catches last season were a career-high and will only go up again in 2020.
Josh: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
With the one offense needing a running back the most, Buccaneers need to sign Henry. They have one of the best wide receiver groups in the league and if they sign a quarterback to compete, that’ll let last year’s number one yardage running back produce close to those same numbers again this season. Arians love to utilize the run game.
Brandon: Tennessee Titans
There’s no reason Henry Needs to leave the Titans. They have a top ten offensive line in the league. Their offense is set up to only feed Henry the football. He has back to back season of over 1,000 rushing yards and double-digit rushing touchdowns. He’s the man in Tennessee and that’s not going to change anytime soon.
Mason: Tennessee Titans
Henry led the Titans to the AFC Championship game along with Ryan Tannehill. The Titans would be wise to keep both around. Tennessee was one game away from going to the Super Bowl last year and should fork out the cash for Henry. He won’t have as good of an offensive line in most other places, thus making Tennessee the perfect fantasy spot for him.
Frank: Tennessee Titans
The best fit for Henry would be to return to the Titans, where he has already had tremendous success as the team’s bell-cow back. Mike Vrabel and the coaching staff have done a nice job catering the offense to Henry’s strengths, so this would be the best move for all parties involved. The Titans have a young stud receiver in A.J. Brown who has the look of a future bonafide number one. This is an offense on the rise, so it would be in Henry’s best interest to remain in Tennessee.
Mike: Arizona Cardinals
After trading for Drake midseason, his fantasy value dramatically changed. If the Cardinals move on from David Johnson (which they should, even if it means giving up a draft pick), Drake would be in a backfield, mostly by himself, in an offense that is perfect for him. The Cardinals are all about speed and Drake has plenty to offer. Furthermore, Drake still has plenty of gas left in the tank. He has just 600 career touches and could easily make it through a new four-year deal. If DJ is traded, Drake has top 15 upside in Arizona.
Josh: Arizona Cardinals
This one is simple and short. Drake stays in Arizona; he became the running back most saw being wasted in Miami and he flourished under new Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. Having an electric quarterback in Kyler Murray and a strong wide receiver unit led by Larry Fitzgerald, he has top 10 RB potential. He’s sneaky must grab now.
Brandon: Arizona Cardinals
Drake found his home in Arizona this year. When he was with the Dolphins, he had only 174 rushing yards and zero touchdowns in six games. He gets traded to Arizona and rushed for 643 yards and eight touchdowns in only eight games. Drake’s speed fits the Cardinals with their spread it out offense. They are only going to get better with a developing Murray. Drake should be a focal point at the running back position for years to come.
Mason: Houston Texans
I thought between keeping Drake in Arizona and sending him to Houston. The Texans were obliterated in the second half of the AFC Divisional game against the Chiefs. They watched as elite speed beat them consistently. Drake is better than both Carlos Hyde and Lamar Miller and will be beneficial to Deshaun Watson as he loves to throw to his running backs.
Frank: Arizona Cardinals
Drake tore it up upon arriving in Arizona, putting up 814 yards from scrimmage along with eight touchdowns. The Cardinals offense is on the rise, led by Murray, Christian Kirk, and Kingsbury. The team figures to add some talent to their offense through the draft, so the supporting cast should be improved for 2020 and beyond. Drake found his footing in Arizona, so I think that this would be the best spot for his dynasty value.
Mike: Houston Texans
The writing was on the wall after he held out to start the 2019 season. The Chargers are moving on from him and that’s good for his fantasy value. Had he returned to the Chargers, he would have to split the workload with Ekeler. Both Miller and Hyde are free agents, and neither should be back. While Duke Johnson is still around, he had just 127 touches in 2019 and has never had more than 165 in a season. Gordon may struggle to average over four yards per carry but when he is the feature back and seeing 22 plus touches a game, including several in the passing game, he has the volume to finish as a top 15 running back for the next few seasons.
Josh: Houston Texans
This is my homer spot because being a Texan’s fan, I do think Gordon could provide a huge boost to his numbers here. Though if Bill O’Brien doesn’t have any draft picks left, he won’t have a stable enough offensive line to run behind. If they make the necessary moves, Gordon can feed off the offensive scheme of the run game the Texans execute. Watson provides a ton of worry for defenses that in the RPO standpoint of things, they must stay on their toes. Mix in the passing game, that also helps prevent teams from loading the box giving Gordon the time and space to get upfield.
Brandon: Miami Dolphins
Gordon’s days as a top fantasy running back are probably in the past. Almost every one of his potential destinations would put him in a two-back backfield. Except for the Miami Dolphins, who would be in my opinion his best landing spot. This would be the one backfield where he would be featured the most. He might struggle in year one but once they get Tua Tagovailoa and the offense up to speed, he is in for some good seasons in future.
Mason: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Chargers aren’t going to bring Gordon. The Buccaneers are devoid of a starting-caliber running back as Ronald Jones II just isn’t cutting it. Tampa Bay needs to retool the offensive line but whoever is in at quarterback next year will have Gordon to lean on in both the running and passing game.
Frank: New England Patriots
The Patriots will likely need to help replace the loss of Brady by investing in the skill positions, so Gordon would be a great fit here. Sony Michel has been a disappointment and the team needs more of a playmaker in the backfield. Gordon would be running behind a superior offensive line in New England. He would also have the opportunity to carry the load for an offense that will remain competitive, even without the greatest quarterback of all-time under center.
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