So far we’ve been covering all of the major free agent signings and trades that have gone down to open the new NFL season. You can find links to all of those at the bottom of this page. Taking a breath from the bigger moves, it’s time to put together some fantasy thoughts on the smaller, more ancillary moves that have gone down. I will continue to add to this as more players sign with new organizations. For more information on these moves and the defensive, offensive line and other NFL transactions going down over the start of the new season, check out our 2020 NFL Free Agency and Trade Analysis section.
Robby Anderson Signs With the Panthers
After having a quiet market over the opening week of free agency, Anderson finally found a home, reaching a two-year agreement with the Panthers. Anderson has given pockets of strong WR1 fantasy output, but just hasn’t been able to string together a full season wire-to-wire for fantasy circles. After a 63-941-7 season in 2017, he’s followed up with 50-752-6 and 52-779-5 seasons while checking in at WR43 and WR56 in points per game the past two years. By joining the Panthers, this continues their signal that they plan to run a much more wide open offense under Matt Rhule and Joe Brady. That means would could see more of a flattened target distribution than expected with all of Anderson, D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel and Ian Thomas as young pass catchers to go along with the best receiving back in the league in Christian McCaffrey. Anderson has played with scattershot quarterback for the entire start of his career, but when he’s been at his best is when he’s been the only piece in his respective passing game. In 36 career games with fewer than 20% of his team targets, Anderson has averaged 7.6 PPR points per game. In the 26 games in which he’s had 20% of his team targets, he’s averaged 14.5 PPR points per game. Sharing targets could be a problem for him. His style of play will be tested being paired with new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater , but depth or target belongs more to the wide receiver than the quarterback. The overall volume Anderson receives will be the most significant factor in his fantasy outcome and this landing spot jeopardizes his target share to a degree. This moves Anderson down a touch, but he remains a volatile WR3/WR4 option. It also dings Samuel and Thomas’ upside as later-round options.
Emmanuel Sanders Signs With the Saints
Returning from an Achilles injury, Sanders caught 66-of-97 targets for 869 yards and five touchdowns for the Broncos and 49ers. The Saints are certainly familiar with Sanders. In a Week 13 matchup in New Orleans, Sanders cooked the Saints for 157 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions while also throwing a 35-yard touchdown. Moving on to the Saints, Drew Brees is head and shoulders the best quarterback Sanders has played with since Peyton Manning. Since losing Manning, he’s caught passes from Trevor Siemian, Case Keenum, Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler, Joe Flacco, and Jimmy Garoppolo. New Orleans has had a void at the WR2 position over the past three seasons, with Michael Thomas catching 119, 97 and 51 more passes than the next highest wide receiver in those years. Last season Thomas commanded a league-high 66.3% of the New Orleans wide receiver targets. While the situation is a good as it could for Sanders, he’s still a 33-year-old wideout that hasn’t been a consistent fantasy scorer. In 41 games over the past three seasons, Sanders has been a top-24 scorer in 12-of-41 games while being the WR46 or lower in 20 of those weeks. Quarterback play and offense are a big upgrade, but Sanders should still be handled as a WR4 option given his age and Thomas being such a target hog.
Blake Jarwin Agrees to An Extension with the Cowboys
Dallas has been slow to commit to expanding his role, but Jarwin got a three-year extension. He has averaged 11.7 yards per catch and 8.7 yards per target over the past two seasons while all other Dallas tight ends have posted 8.9 yards per catch and 6.6 yards per target. Jason Witten’s departure leaves 83 targets vacated in the Dallas offense from 2019 for Jarwin to expand on the 41 looks he received a year ago. Dallas also lost slot receiver Randall Cobb (83 targets) and have yet to fill that void. Jarwin falls into a deep bucket of TE2 options with upside.
Randall Cobb Signs With the Texans
Cobb stayed in Texas, jumping to the AFC after Houston dealt DeAndre Hopkins. Cobb’s 829 receiving yards a year ago were the most he’s had in a season since 2015. The loss of Hopkins frees up 28% of the Houston targets from a year ago, but Cobb is still has a long look up at being a fantasy starter again. Cobb will be 30-years old at the start of the 2020 season without a season higher than WR46 in PPR points per game since 2015.
Breshad Perriman Signs With the Jets
With Robby Anderson leaving to the Panthers, the Jets found a replacement for his role in Perriman. In 2019, Perriman set career highs in targets (69), receptions (36), receiving yards (645), and touchdowns (six). What got Perriman new life was the way he finished the season, catching 25-of-37 targets for 506 yards (20.2 yards per catch) and five touchdowns over his final five games of the season, while Chris Godwin and Mike Evans dealt with end of season injuries. Anderson leaves behind 18.4% of the targets from the Jets, but on only a one-year deal, the team should be expected to pursue a rookie in this draft class, potentially as early at pick No. 11.
Jimmy Graham Signs With the Bears
Chicago tight ends combined for a laughable 46 catches for 416 yards and two touchdowns last season, so it’s no surprise that they wanted to upgrade the position. How much they upgraded is still a big question, if at all. 33-year-old Graham posted his fewest receptions per game (2.4) of his career and his fewest receiving yards per game (27.9) since his rookie season in 2010, In his two seasons with Green Bay, Graham ranked 17th and 32nd at the tight end position in PPR points per game, the latter coming in a season where the Packers were starving for another pass catcher to step up outside of Davante Adams.
Jordan Howard Signs With the Dolphins
Miami was linked to Melvin Gordon early in the open of free agency, but instead went a smaller route in adding a two-down banger in Howard. The 25-year-old power back tallied 525 rushing yards in 10 games with the Eagles last season, and scored seven touchdowns in his opening nine games of the season prior to a shoulder injury. Miami should be expected to add another running back this offseason via the draft or even another signing, but Howard is a legitimate threat to soaking up short-yardage scoring opportunities.
Marcus Mariota Signs With the Raiders
Mariota will still only be 27-years old this upcoming season, but ironically will likely need to go the route that Ryan Tannehill went to supplant him a year ago to get his career rejuvenated. Derek Carr had been rumored to be on the hot seat all offseason.
Nick Foles Trades to the Bears
The Bears were supposedly in the mix on Teddy Bridgewater, but instead resorted to dealing for Foles to push Mitchell Trubisky. Foles is on his fifth team in six seasons and hasn’t thrown 200 passes in an NFL season since 2015 with the Rams. In 2019, Foles ranked only ahead of Devlin Hodges and David Blough in passing points created per pass attempt in 2019 among passers who started four or more games. With connections to Chicago quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, Foles keeps his SuperFlex value alive heading into the summer with a potential battle with Trubisky.
Eric Ebron Signs With the Steelers
Ebron signing with the Steelers takes down his value as well as taking down the hope that Vance McDonald could finally turn into a fantasy asset. After a 66-750-13 line in 2018, Ebron came back to reality with a 31-375-3 line in 11 games played with the Colts a year ago. Ebron has shared tight end duties with another option and had success, but his 2018 campaign is a major outlier on his resume. He has finished higher than TE12 in points per game in just one of his first six seasons. McDonald will enter 2002 at age 30 with one season over 400 yards receiving and 15 career touchdowns in seven years. Both tight ends fall down to lower-end TE2 options, with Ebron having more upside.
Devin Funchess Signs With the Packers
Funchess played just one game in 2019 with the Colts, suffering a broken clavicle that forced him out for the the remainder of the season. Still turning just 26-years-old this May, Funchess is young enough to keep the lights on for, but has only been fantasy relevant when his team had no other choice but to force the ball to him. He’s yet to average more than 3.9 receptions per game in any of his first five seasons in the league while his yards per reception have declined in each of his past two full seasons. The Packers have been looking for an option behind Davante Adams after nobody stepped up in 2019, but Funchess will have to compete with Allen Lazard and potentially a rookie draft pick for that spot on the depth chart.
Nelson Agholor Signs With the Raiders
The Raiders brought in Agholor on a one-year deal to join a receiving corps than ranked 30th in the NFL in targets per game (13.3) collectively in 2019. After catching 62 and 64 passes over the 2017-2018 seasons, Agholor managed a 39-363-3 line over 10 games a year ago with the Eagles. Agholor is an odd fit for the Raiders since he’s primarily played heavily in the slot the past three seasons, running 68.6% of his routes from the slot over those years. Early in his career when he forced to play outside (79.5% outside route rate over his first two seasons), Agholor struggled mightily. With Hunter Renfrow already locked into that slot position and the Raiders still projected to take a top-wideout in this draft, Agholor appears to be short-term depth on the surface.
Tyler Eifert Signs With the Jaguars
After seven years with the Bengals, the soon to be 30-year-old tight end moves on to Jacksonville. Eifert appeared in a full 16 games in 2019 for the first time in his career, but was still handled with kid’s gloves, averaging just 44% of the team snaps per game on his way to a 43-436-3 line on the season. He averaged a career-low 10.1 yards per reception and 6.9 yards per target. The landing spot in Jacksonville is wide open, however, with Eifert only having to contend with second-year tight end Josh Oliver. Jacksonville tight ends combined for 52-454-3 on 77 targets in 2019.