Free agency has more of an impact on fantasy football than the NFL Draft. With most of the higher-end free agents off the board we can start projecting the fantasy outlook for next year.
Here are a few notable winners and losers heading into next season.
Tony Pollard – Dallas Cowboys
This is less about Pollard and more about Ezekiel Elliot. The rumor mill is circulating that Elliot’s time in Dallas is over. If that is the case then Pollard becomes an instant RB1. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry with nine touchdowns last season. Zeke bested him there with 12 scores. If we slide half of those over to Pollard than he would’ve had the second most in the league last year.
The Cowboys still have a solid offensive line and passing game to balance things out. Pollard has been waiting in the shadow of Elliot’s lure the past few years. With he and his exposed belly on his way out, Pollard can now be the go-to rusher for Dallas.
Jimmy Garoppolo – Las Vegas Raiders
No one is likely drafting Jimmy G as one of the first several quarterbacks in their league. But he could turn out to be a sneaky QB2 in his new home. He has Davante Adams now. One of the best receivers in football. He also has slot machine Hunter Renfrow and newly acquired Jakobi Meyers as well. Not to mention he still has a good runner behind him in Josh Jacobs.
The weapons are there for Garoppolo. Can head coach Josh McDaniels find enough magic in his quarterback to propel his stat line is going to be the main question.
David Montgomery – Detroit Lions
He was brought in to replace Jamaal Williams. Can he mirror his season totals? 1,066 yards and 17 touchdowns is what Williams did a year ago. There is absolutely no shot Montgomery finds the end zone that many times. But even if he gets 12-14 touchdowns that’s still better than the five he had last season.
Montgomery will play behind a better offensive line and in a more productive system than he did in Chicago. He’s no longer behind a quarterback running for his life. Instead, he’s behind one that wants to hand him the ball.
Darren Waller – New York Giants
It’s not the upgrade in quarterback that has everyone so excited about Waller’s outlook. It’s the fact that who the hell else is Daniel Jones going to throw to. Waller is clearly the best pass catcher Jones has. And after last season’s resurgence from the Giants QB1, optimism is high.
I will warn you all now, I am skeptical of drafting Waller as a TE1 due to his age. He will be 31 at the start of next season and has been hurt the last two seasons. I’m not saying Waller can’t have a nice rebound season, I just wouldn’t bet on it. Draft with extreme caution.
Juju Smith-Schuster – New England Patriots
What a change of course for Juju. Goes from one of the best passing offenses in the league to one that was doing laterals while tied on the final play. Matt Patricia might be gone but the stank is still there. I’m not touching any person that has to do with the Patriots passing game next year.
I’ve seen Smith-Schuster on some writers ‘winners’ list due to him being the No. 1 option now. I could not disagree more. He’s going from Patrick Mahomes throwing him the ball to Mac Jones. End of discussion.
Jamaal Williams – New Orleans Saints
We do need to put a disclaimer here. There is a chance that Alvin Kamara will miss significant time due to his ongoing legal troubles. If Kamara is suspended for more than a quarter of the season, Williams might not be in this category.
But the fact he is now on a worse team with a superstar in front of him is an immediate downgrade. Williams will be good for an evolving Saints franchise but he won’t come close to what he did last year in Detroit.
Dalton Schultz – Houston Texans
After moving to the other pro football team in Texas, Schultz fantasy stock plummeted. Davis Mills or some rookie quarterback it doesn’t matter. They aren’t as good as Dak Prescott will be next year. Schultz missed a couple games last year but still finished with five touchdowns. That’s after hauling in eight the year prior.
Schultz is a solid player. But he’s not one of the elites that can be a big enough impact on his own to off-set a poor team around him. I would likely avoid drafting him at all and view him as a TE3 at best.
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