Feeling overwhelmed by the whirlwind of news from Day 1 of NFL free agency? Not sure how all of the news affects your various dynasty teams? Dynasty Happy Hour has you covered. Below is a recap of every single dynasty-related move from the first day of free agency and advice on how you can capitalize on them.
Ryan Tannehill gets four year, $118 million with $62 million guaranteed.
This is the best case scenario for Tannehill. His career was resurrected in this type of offense and, if Henry can get signed long-term, this puts Tannehill as a Top-12 quarterback for me. Tannehill was a Top-5 fantasy quarterback once he took over in Tennessee. His age at 32 should not be a concern. He should be viewed in the same tier of quarterback as Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers with younger weapons than both of them.
Cowboys tag Dak Prescott for $33 million
This was heavily expected from anyone following the Prescott/Cowboys contract negotiations. I expect a long-term deal to be done in the coming weeks and maybe even months, but Prescott will remain in Big D. This offense will see a West Coast Mike McCarthy system blended with a Kellen Moore Air Coryell philosophy. Prescott’s stats took a major leap forward in 2019 with career highs in attempts, yards, and touchdowns, and while we will likely see less deep shots, Dak should remain a Top-8 fantasy quarterback come 2020 with the offensive pieces around him.
Derrick Henry tagged for $12.47 million in 2020
Tags for running backs always give me a bit of hesitation as there are always rumblings of holding out which follow. Henry was an absolute beast in 2019. However, his start right tackle Jack Conklin is now a member of the Cleveland Browns and the Titans will likely look to the draft to replace released pass-catching back Dion Lewis. An in-between of Henry’s 2018 and 2019 seasons might be a good stab at predicting what his 2020 outlook will be: 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns on 259 carries.
Kenyan Drake gets the transition tag from Arizona
At the price tag of $8.5 million for 2020, the Cardinals will feature Kenyan Drake as their main back in Glendale. With David Johnson heading to Houston and star receiver DeAndre Hopkins joining Drake, there isn’t much more that could have happened to improve Drake’s dynasty outlook. A 26-year-old back with less than 500 career carries, Drake is poised to catapult up from his RB25 ADP. Drake has RB1 upside in a Kliff Kingsbury offense that features the aforementioned Hopkins, 2019’s first overall pick in Kyler Murray, Christian Kirk, and Larry Fitzgerald.
David Johnson becomes a Texan
This is a huge win for Johnson. The new leadership in Arizona clearly had no plans for him in their future as they gave him a whopping 94 carries in 2019. Johnson now joins a good offense with no competition for running back touches. There is no true star wideout either so expect Johnson to have an impact in the passing game as well. The Texans gave up a lot in DeAndre Hopkins to secure Johnson, so I expect him to get fed early and often. He is only 28 and has merely two seasons with over 200 touches. For those who hung on to him through a disastrous 2019, congrats on this epic win.
DeAndre Hopkins is heading to Arizona
The Hopkins trade now pours cold water on those who have been copious amounts of Christian Kirk shares (me) as well as the Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler truthers who remain in hiding after their dismal 2019 campaigns. Hopkins’s value would seem to remain fairly steady. His surrounding talent is comparable to Houston’s and, while he has a downgrade at quarterback in Kyler Murray, the pace of play that the Cardinals employ should keep his stat line roughly the same.
Amari Cooper re-signs with Dallas for $100 million over five years
The top target for Dak Prescott returns to Dallas on a massive contract. Cooper played all 16 games despite dealing with a multitude of ailments throughout the season. Turning 26 in June, Cooper is at a prime age for a dynasty wide receiver. With a good supporting cast and top quarterback around him, Cooper should be a top-5 dynasty wideout for the foreseeable future.
Stefon Diggs gets shipped to Buffalo for a handful of picks
Late Monday evening we heard news of Diggs being dealt to Buffalo for 2020 1st, 5th, and 6th round picks as well as a 2021 4th rounder. Diggs should immediately slot in as the top target for Josh Allen. While the Bills like to lean on the run, I expect Diggs to flirt with WR1 numbers consistently in 2020. We saw John Brown be a top-15 receiver in 2019 and Diggs should be up for the task of repeating that feat. Brown’s value will likely take a dip as he turns 30 at the beginning of April and will see a decline in his 22% target share.
Bengals tag A.J. Green
Green missed all of 2019 after multiple setbacks from an ankle injury that occurred in July. This fact, coupled with incoming rookie Joe Burrow likely being the signal-caller in Cincinnati, will probably lead many to predict his fantasy value will be limited in 2020. If he stays healthy (and that’s a big “if”), he would likely offer boom or bust WR2 value. Normally the saying goes, “the great the risk, the great the reward”, however it seems like the risk inversely correlates with Green’s fantasy ceiling in 2020.
Randall Cobb gets a nice three-year, $27 million dollar contract
Randall Cobb is not DeAndre Hopkins. He will not be able to replace that type of talent nor Hopkins fantasy numbers. Now it’s time to sell. Cobb has only produced one season over 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns mainly due to his lengthy injury history. He will compete for targets with David Johnson, Will Fuller, and Kenny Stills, and I expect the Texans will add a wide receiver in this stacked 2020 class. As older free agent wide receivers are notorious for busting in Year 1: Sell, sell, sell.
Austin Hooper becomes a Brown with a 4 years/$44 million dollar deal
Atlanta had no wiggle room to retain breakout tight end Austin Hooper. In Weeks 1-10, Hooper was the top fantasy tight end until an MCL sprain sidelined him for multiple weeks. While the Browns already have David Njoku, head coach Kevin Stefanski is known for utilizing two tight ends; Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. both playing above 60% of the snaps in Minnesota in 2019. Hooper is now the highest-paid tight end in the league, so expect him to be involved in what should be a reenergized Browns offense come 2020.
Falcons replace Hooper with Hurst
Out with the old and in with the new. Hayden Hurst now joins the Falcons to seemingly step in as a one-to-one replacement for Austin Hooper. Hurst was woefully underutilized in Baltimore due to the breakout of Mark Andrews. The former first round pick will have a huge opportunity to take a step forward in an offense led by Matt Ryan. While I don’t think Hurst gets to Hooper’s production in the first year, this is a really intriguing situation to monitor. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Hurst flirts with TE1 numbers in 2020.
Other Notable Transactions
Kirk Cousins gets a two-year extension
While this news will be buried behind many of the bigger signings, this is notable for those who have Cousins in dynasty leagues. Kubiak is known for his running back success with success stories like Terrell Davis, Arian Foster, and Justin Forsett. However, he also has produced top-10 offenses with the likes of Derek Carr and Joe Flacco. Cousins will simply need more attempts if he hopes to regain his fantasy prowess prior to 2019. I wouldn’t bank on that happening in a Kubiak offense.
Saints put a first-round tender on Taysom Hill
This essentially locks Hill in with New Orleans for the 2020 season. With Teddy Bridgewater likely out the door soon and Brees likely in his last season, Hill will be the favorite to be starting under center for Who Dat Nation in 2021. He is nearly 30 with a grand total of 13 pass attempts. There’s a lot of risk that he fizzles out and, for those reasons, I’m out.
Falcons cut Devonta Freeman
Atlanta was extremely cap-strapped coming into 2020 free agency, After cutting ties with corner Desmond Trufant, Freeman wasn’t far behind. Freeman should catch on quickly with another team, but the best case scenario puts him as the lead rusher in a committee backfield. Possible teams include Miami, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles Chargers, and the Los Angeles Rams (if Gurley is moved).
Chiefs exercise Damien Williams’ 2020 option
A cheap figure for a capable back in Reid’s system. I still expect Chiefs to go hard at a running back in the first two days of the draft. Williams will likely enter 2020 as a solid handcuff on a high-powered offense which makes him a good end of the roster guys to own. As they say for running backs, one injury away…
Browns place 2nd round tender on Kareem Hunt
This just makes sense for all parties. Hunt is a great back to pair with Chubb for the Browns and Hunt needs to get some stability back as he works his way back to fantasy stardom. He should be a target for many fantasy squads as he becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2021. He has the talent to be the lead dog in a backfield and if he can control the off-the-field issues, this will be the case in 2021.
Blake Jarwin gets signed to a three-year, $24.5 million dollar extension
I didn’t move fast enough this offseason. Blake Jarwin has been on my love list for the past year. He took a step forward in the 2019 season and - with the Cowboys moving on from stalwart Jason Witten - has a real opportunity for a top-8 tight end finish in 2020. He won’t be as easy to come by, but he is still one of the cheaper high-upside tight ends you will find.
Seahawks put a second-round tender on Jacob Hollister
Trade for Hollister now and thank me later. Greg Olsen is 35-years-old, under contract for one year, and hasn’t played a full season since 2016. Will Dissly is recovering from an Achilles injury, his second major injury in as many seasons. Hollister looks buried on the depth chart but can easily emerge as a huge value in any number of ways.
Bears nab Jimmy Graham in a two-year, $16 million dollar deal
This deal is bamboozling. After looking washed up during his age 32 and 33 seasons with Green Bay, Graham now travels south across the border to Chicago. Graham now joins a tight end room that includes Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, Demetrius Harris, and five other tight ends. If you can get a day-old PB&J sandwich in return for Graham you take it.