FA Expectancy – Jimmy Graham

Updated: July 4th 2018

Our Free Agent (FA) Expectancy series is back! Throughout the offseason, I will be preparing a collection of articles that will focus on free agents and trade candidates. The articles will discuss the player in question, and what the move does to their value, as well as what their landing spot means for their new and old teams.

Jimmy Graham – TE – Green Bay Packers

When Jimmy Graham signed with the Packers in March there was plenty of excitement for owners that held his services. He was moving to an offense that features one of the best quarterbacks ever, Aaron Rodgers, and with the departure of Jordy Nelson, ARod would be looking for a new favorite red zone target. Davante Adams has emerged as a talented receiver but after Randall Cobb, who hasn’t done much since his breakout 2014 campaign, there are not many names that would warrant consideration for consistent targets. This must be a perfect match for Jimmy Graham to reclaim his TE1 title; or is it?

Since 2009 the Green Bay tight end has had a significantly reduced role in terms of target share and usage. The last two years Green Bay TEs have shrunk down to 15.8% and 10% of total targets and 8.2% and 6.2% for the team’s TE1 individual target share. The ceiling at this point may be similar to Richard Rodgers’ 2015 season where despite tight ends only being targets 18%, Rodgers managed to hold a 14.8% individual target share with 85 targets. This would have been good for a low-end TE1 target share in fantasy last season.

Many would be quick to point out that Graham is a far superior talent to Richard Rodgers and should, therefore, be able to outproduce his greatest statistics. Well, if we look back to the earlier career of Aaron Rodgers when he had the talented Jermichael Finley at tight end the stats are surprisingly not much different. In 2011 and 2012 Finley had 92 targets and 87 targets for a team target share of 16.7% and 15.6% respectively. This was also before every NFL team was running more 11 personnel (3WR, 1TE, 1RB) than any other type of formation so if a blocking TE is needed for running plays don’t expect to see Graham on the field. If Green Bay is creative with their schemes, they should find ways to use Graham as the third receiver and instead have Mercedes Lewis, who was also acquired, be the more traditional TE in 11 personnel formation. We will see though.

All in all, it is still likely that Graham will be a strong play at the weak tight end slot in fantasy. It should not be expected, however, that he would return anywhere close to his wide receiver level of production that he had with Drew Brees in New Orleans like some seem to think. If he is available in your auction this year look for a two year deal between $7-10MM annually. This way if he is productive in Green Bay you have him at about the highest TE Franchise Tag anyways without having to use your tag this season. If he has an expiring contract this year I would only be looking to resign him if either his contract is another one year deal or his annual value is low enough that if he doesn’t work out/retires in 2019 and beyond his cap space would not be a huge detriment. Without know his statistics through the first four weeks of this season I would suggest in the range of either $8MM/1year or $18MM/3year as a respectable contract for resigning Graham this season.

Seattle Seahawks Identity Problem

Fans of football have often reflected on the Seahawks trading for Jimmy Graham in 2015 as a knee-jerk reaction to the famed interception that cost them a second consecutive the season prior. The logic behind it sort of makes sense. If they had a big receiver that could they could trust in the end zone to “climb the ladder” for a jump ball instead of trying to throw inside to a smaller receiver they would have been champions twice over. They decided to trade away a key offensive line piece, center Max Unger, to try and solve this issue but in return ended up losing their team identity of being aggressive with their run game and defense. They haven’t looked the same since that Super Bowl 49 loss.

With Graham now gone and most of their defensive superstars either gone or aging it will be interesting to see how the Seahawks view their best strategy to win moving forward. They brought in Brandon Marshall to see if he still has some game left in him but at 34 and coming off multiple lower body surgeries it’s not even a guarantee that he makes the roster let alone has any fantasy value. The team drafted rookie running back Rashaad Penny in the first round which was a surprising move to many. This may indicate that the team wants to return to a game-controlling, run-first offense. Without much improvement on the offensive line, however, this may be difficult to accomplish so expectations for Penny should be kept at an RB3-4 max until we see how he will be utilized in both the passing game and carries per game. Ultimately, it comes down to how effective Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin can be and those three players (Wilson, Baldwin, and Penny) are the only players to expect game-to-game consistency in fantasy this season. Tyler Lockett does have upside but he hasn’t looked as explosive since his leg injury in 2016. He will have great games but be a ghost for more than one would feel comfortable as their third or fourth option at receiver.


Make sure to continue to read more Free Agency Expectancy articles throughout the offseason to be prepared for your summer Auctions. Have a player that you want me to evaluate? Leave me a message on Twitter @NickAndrews_RSO.

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

FA Expectancy – Kirk Cousins

Updated: June 8th 2018

Our Free Agent (FA) Expectancy series is back! Throughout the offseason, I will be preparing a collection of articles that will focus on free agents and trade candidates. The articles will discuss the player in question, and what the move does to their value, as well as what their landing spot means for their new and old teams.

Kirk Cousins – QB – Minnesota Vikings

It is still shocking almost three months later that Washington refused to try and win back Kirk Cousins and instead traded for an older and some would call inferior quarterback in Alex Smith. This allowed Cousins to sign freely with the Minnesota Vikings after being courted by several other quarterback-needy teams. The 2017 Vikings were a team that despite the impressive play of Case Keenum, people were suggesting they were a QB away from being a Super Bowl favorite. Because of this, the Vikings were willing to pull out all the stops to acquire Cousins’ services. His fully guaranteed 3-year contract is an important feature for RSO owners to consider in their auctions and suggests that he will be one of the top targets in Superflex leagues. So is Kirk Cousins being overvalued or does his resume warrant the rise that he has experienced this offseason?

Since becoming the full-time starter for Washington in 2015, Kirk Cousins has finished as QB8, QB5, and QB6 while averaging 290 standard QB-scoring fantasy points. He also averaged 567 pass attempts over the past three seasons. Meanwhile, Minnesota has averaged 523 pass attempts over the same time and has had QB finishes of QB23, QB23, and QB14 respectively. This should not be a surprise since drafting Adrian Peterson in 2008 the Vikings have been one of the most run-oriented teams. To be fair their QB room has been lacking in talent save for a quick drive-by of Brett Favre in his 40’s. Either way, they were second in the league last season with over 500 rushing attempts which makes it likely that bringing in Cousins should be a sign of the Vikings looking to improve their passing abilities rather than change their offense to a pass-heavy scheme.

Cousins is not Sam Bradford or Case Keenum. His gunslinger mentality means that he is unlikely to be having 70 percent completion seasons. However, for most leagues, all we care about in fantasy is touchdowns and yards. With Cousins’ aggressiveness, along with the receiving talent around him, there is a greater likelihood of big plays in Minnesota looking ahead to 2018.

Effecting the Offense

The Vikings offense uses only a handful of receiving options in the passing game which makes knowing who to target in fantasy much easier. Between Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph, and Jerick McKinnon these four receivers earned over 73 percent of the targets and 88 percent of touchdowns in 2017. Expecting things to stay the status quo these four receivers (swapping Dalvin Cook for McKinnon) should yield a similar collective target share in 2018. It will also be likely that Thielen will remain the target leader as Cousins’ previous slot receiver, Jamison Crowder, was his highest targeted option in Washington last season. Therefore, while Diggs receives a lot of the credit for being the name brand choice of Viking WRs if you can acquire Thielen for a reasonable fee he may once again still be an undervalued WR in fantasy.

The other Viking that should be a must acquire is Dalvin Cook. As previously mentioned Jerick McKinnon had almost 70 targets last season but split carries with Latavius Murray after Cook was injured. Cook averaged 4 targets per game while also averaging 18.5 carries which shows that the coaching staff was ready to roll with him right away as their main backfield option. With McKinnon gone the Vikings do not have a consistent receiving back outside of Cook which should only increase his role in the passing game moving forward. Cook’s recovery throughout the offseason will be one to monitor but if he is healthy he has the potential to be a top 5 running back in PPR this season.

Changes in the Capital

It is crazy to realize that Washington is only two years removed from having multiple 1,000-yard receivers (Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson) and a quarterback who almost threw for 5,000 yards. Now, none of these three players are on the team. I guess that’s the ever-changing landscape of the NFL. As previously mentioned Washington did not do any favors in trying to retain Kirk Cousins’ services and as a final one-finger salute they traded for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith before Cousins was even officially off the roster. I have nothing against Alex Smith and think that he has been one of the more underrated quarterbacks since being considered a bust after his early years in San Francisco. However, Washington is acquiring a 34-year-old quarterback who is coming off his one elite statistical season and had a tremendous group of players to support him. In D.C. Smith doesn’t have the same level of talent around him as he did in KC. Jordan Reed is probably his best option and he is closer to being forced into retirement with each snap he plays due to his extensive list of injuries.  All in all, Smith will have his work cut out for him to make people believe that he was the reason for his own stats last season.

The team did acquire rookie running back Derrius Guice in the second round who projects to be an early down runner which along with sophomore runner Samaje Perine will give Smith a strong running game behind him. Chris Thompson, who is returning from his own season-ending injury will also help to alleviate pressure by being a safety blanket satellite back. It is unlikely that Smith will have over 4,000 yards again this season but because of his play style, there should be few turnovers to negatively affect the offense. So while good for winning games it doesn’t translate to much fantasy value. Most of Washington’s passing options should be valued as at best bye week fillers until we see if one player can become a focal point of the offense.


Make sure to continue to read more Free Agency Expectancy articles throughout the offseason to be prepared for your summer Auctions. Have a player that you want me to evaluate? Leave me a message on Twitter @NickAndrews_RSO.

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

FA Expectancy – Jerick McKinnon

Updated: April 4th 2018

Our Free Agent (FA) Expectancy series is back! Throughout the offseason, I will be preparing a collection of articles that will focus on free agents and trade candidates. The articles will discuss the player in question, and what the move does to their value, as well as what their landing spot means for their new and old teams.

Jerick McKinnon – RB – San Francisco 49ers

Holy catfish Batman! We all knew that Jerick McKinnon was likely going to earn a bigger payday than his entire rookie deal ($2.73MM) but to become the 4th highest earning RB, $7.5MM annually and 2nd highest in 2018 ($10.5MM) is as big a shocker. It is as much an eye-opener as Kirk Cousins’ fully guaranteed contract. Clearly, Kyle Shanahan has a plan for him to be used frequently in his offense which has McKinnon truthers screaming in triumphant victory. Just two years ago, however, we had a similar situation with Giovani Bernard in which he was given a larger than average contract only to continue the same role he previously had as a pass catching/change of pace RB. Are we potentially being hoodwinked by the 49ers into giving a huge long-term deal to McKinnon? Let’s delve deeper into what McKinnon’s role will likely be based on Shanahan’s recent backfield usage.

McKinnon the Legend

McKinnon has been trying to hone his skills as a full time running back the last 4 seasons in Minnesota after splitting time as a quarterback and tailback at Georgia Southern. His metrics are off the charts which is why those who believe in him think he would exceed expectations given a backfield to call his own. On PlayerProfiler his best comparable is the best RB of the 21st Century, LaDainian Tomlinson which only elevates those expectations. So far, however, he has been fairly average playing behind another Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson and then last year getting his chance to split time with Latavius Murray only after Dalvin Cook was lost for the season. Now, this may be more of a coach’s lack of usage rather than a lack of talent however, it is something to note. It seems that Kyle Shanahan believes that he can be a starting back, even being quoted as saying that he has “3-down potential”. He better be for that price tag.

Dual-Threat Backfields

So what can we expect from McKinnon or any other RB in Kyle Shanahan’s offense in year 2? Shanahan-led offenses recently have evolved from the traditional, downhill running style of Steve Slaton and Alfred Morris to a full utilization of RBs that possess dual-threat ability in both the running and passing game. The most notable is Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman who received 108 and 105 targets between the two for his two seasons in Atlanta. In his first year with the 49ers, Carlos Hyde received 88 targets himself which suggests that Shanahan will feature his backfield as the big part of his offense if the talent is available. As I showed last year in my article on Kyle Shanahan he will also feature his running game regardless of game script. If the 49ers don’t make a huge leap forward this season their rushing stats from last season will act a pretty safe floor for the team again in 2018. As a team, the 49ers should have their backfield statistics in the area of 310 carries, 100 targets, 1,300 – 1,500 yards on the ground, and 500 – 600 yards through the air. This will likely bode well for McKinnon if he can truly be the primary back in San Francisco.

For a solid RB2 with potential RB1 upside McKinnon should be a player that most will target in their auctions during the summer. A two year, $35-40MM is probably where his value will be in most leagues. I would hesitate to offer more than two years because, like all other RBs, a lot can change in a backfield in 3+ years and until we see some production his going rate will be a major risk to a team’s cap situation. Remember that you can always resign him for more seasons if he becomes a top RB if your league has implemented the resign feature. As for trade value, if you are picking at the end of the 1st round McKinnon’s value should be comparable to the 1.08-1.12 selection. That is where I would start the conversation at but likely his owner will be more demanding.

Home Cook-in’

The Vikings were in a position that McKinnon was worth more as a compensatory pick rather than paying him with Dalvin Cook hopefully returning healthy next season. It will be important to watch the remaining days of free agency and the end of the draft to gauge how Cook’s rehab is going. Currently, only Cook and Latavius Murray are relevant runners on the depth chart with Mack Brown and Bishop Sankey left to compete for a roster spot in training camp. If the Vikings don’t invest more than a day 3 pick into an RB it should show confidence in Cook being back to full health for the season and likely being their bell-cow back.

The Vikings offense as a whole should be stronger with Kirk Cousins replacing Case Keenum. I don’t want to go into too much detail about the Vikings passing game as I will save that for a future article but I will speak to what his presence means for the running game. The Vikings had 100 targets available to RBs last season, 68 of which have been vacated by McKinnon. Having a great QB always helps the running game and with Cousins being a stronger armed passer when compared to Keenum this would suggest that defenses will be more spread out and playing further away from the line of scrimmage. This leaves fewer men in the box and more space underneath for check down and release routes. Being tied to Cousins for the remainder of his rookie contract and having one of the best offensive lines to operate behind suggests that Dalvin Cook should be a floor RB2 most weeks for the next 3 years. If he is healthy upon return Cook may be the RB that becomes the most consistent producer from the 2017 class when we reflect back at the end of their rookie contracts.


Make sure to continue to read more Free Agency Expectancy articles throughout the offseason to be prepared for your summer Auctions. Have a player that you want me to evaluate? Leave me a message on Twitter @RSO_NickAndrews.

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

FA Expectancy – Allen Robinson

Updated: March 18th 2018

Our Free Agent (FA) Expectancy series is back! Throughout the offseason, I will be preparing a collection of articles that will focus on free agents and trade candidates. The articles will discuss the player in question, and what the move does to their value, as well as what their landing spot means for their new and old teams.

Probably the biggest news, fantasy-wise, was Allen Robinson not being tagged by Jaguars and then being signed by the Bears to a 3yr/$42MM contract. The community is excited about Robinson’s move but there are real questions about what realistic expectations should be for 2018. Out for all but one game in 2017 with an ACL tear, there is an expectation that Robinson will be back for week 1 next season. Still, every receiver needs practice time to acclimate with a new quarterback to develop routes and timing and we don’t know yet when Robinson will be available to start practicing at full speed. Moving to a new team with a new offensive scheme will require time to learn the playbook and hot routes as well. Even if he is back week 1 the expectations for ACL recoveries is that it takes two seasons before a player is fully healed and feeling comfortable with his running abilities. So are the expectations too high for Robinson in 2018? Let’s investigate further into the Bears to decide.

Declawed Bears

The Bears’ passing gaming last year in one word was “bad”. They ranked 32nd in attempts, 30th in completions, 32nd in yards, T-31st in touchdowns, and 32nd in 1st downs. Some of this was because the receiving group was decimated with injuries leaving Kendall Wright as the team’s leading receiver at 59-614-1. Mostly though, the team was just lacking talent at the position which left little weapons for Mitch Trubisky to develop with. Because of this, Allen Robinson will instantly become the focal point in this offense and could rival DeAndre Hopkins in terms of team’s target shares. The Bears also added Taylor Gabriel for a deep threat option, along with Super Bowl champion Trey Burton at tight end. They also hope that Cameron Meredith will be back healthy from his own gruesome knee injury to compliment Robinson as the slot receiver, though there is no timetable yet for his return.

There have been some early takes suggesting that Mitch Trubisky and the Bears will take a similar leap in 2018 as Jared Goff and the Rams did from 2016 to 2017. I think there will be an improvement to the Bears’ passing game in 2018 if only because it was the worst in 2017 but to go from bottom 5 to top 5 in one season would be a historic turnaround. Saying that if, and it’s a big “if” at this point in the offseason if Allen Robinson is healthy and Mitch Trubisky takes the usual leap for QBs from year 1 to year 2 he should return to his level of past years’ production soon. If you think Robinson’s value is too high right now you may have the opportunity to buy at a slight discount if he doesn’t meet his return to WR1 status in 2018. Like I said it usually takes two years for a full recovery from his type of injury and will also take time to become acclimated with Mitch Trubisky and new Head Coach Matt Nagy’s playbook. Even having a moderate stat line of 70-900-8 would be a good sign of him returning to full health by year two where he should return to being a 1,000-yard receiver. This would have put him just outside the WR1 territory last season and anything above that production would be gravy.

Jaguars in Flux

It is tough to understand what the Jags plans are looking into the future. After making the AFC Championship last season, mostly because of their defense, the team let their best young receiver in Robinson leave via free agency rather than at minimum tagging him to see what he could bring to their offense. They were able to have success without him so maybe they felt that his contract amount would be better used elsewhere to retain and bring in other key positions. However, the contracts that they were able to negotiate for Donte Moncrief, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and Niles Paul are all short-term deals (1-2 years) and the deal they gave Blake Bortles could be forgone by 2019. This would suggest that they don’t have enough confidence in Blake Bortles long term and would rather wait and see which version of himself will surface next season before committing more money to the pieces around him. The Jags could find themselves in a similar scenario next season as the Vikings were before signing Kirk Cousins where they have an elite defense but can’t prop up their offense to reach the final game once the playoffs come around. Expect Leonard Fournette to have his fill at RB but at this point, the rest of the offense is a buyer’s beware market.


Make sure to continue to read more Free Agency Expectancy articles throughout the offseason to be prepared for your summer Auctions. Have a player that you want me to evaluate? Leave me a message on Twitter @RSO_NickAndrews.

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

FA Expectancy: Veteran RBs

Updated: July 16th 2017

Throughout the offseason, I will be preparing a collection of articles that will focus on free agents and trade candidates. The articles will discuss the player in question, and what the move does to their value, as well as what their landing spot means for their new and old teams. I decided that we should talk about these three veteran running backs in the same article as I see them fitting similarly with their new teams.

Marshawn Lynch – RB, Oakland Raiders

Marshawn Lynch signed a two-year deal with his hometown Oakland Raiders and I mentioned in my last article what I think he can bring to the team. To save you the full read I think unless you are: a) contending b) desperate at running back AND; c) can acquire him for very cheap I don’t think he’s worth having an investment in before we see something from him on the field.

Adrian Peterson – RB, New Orleans Saints

Adrian Peterson also signed a two-year deal to play with the New Orleans Saints. Mark Ingram owners immediately cursed Sean Payton’s name when the news broke. To go along with that they drafted Alvin Kamara in the third round and now people are scrambling to see what they can get for him. The Peterson signing was an interesting one as the Saints are a “spread’em out, aerial assault” offense that would have been better suited for a shifty pass catching back more like the next RB I am going to talk about. Peterson has always been a downhill runner that benefits more from a lead blocker. This could be a situation where they just don’t utilize him properly, he becomes frustrated with his role and New Orleans becomes just a one year footnote in his otherwise outstanding career (à la Emmitt Smith with the Cardinals).

Jamaal Charles – RB, Denver Broncos

Jamaal Charles signed a one-year deal with the rival Broncos to further question what the resigning of CJ Anderson was for last season. Anderson hasn’t been healthy since he broke out 3 years ago so this makes sense as a cost-saving insurance plan but why not get younger at the position through a draft that featured plenty of running back depth. Unless they think that they are still competing with New England, Pittsburgh and Oakland as favorites to win the AFC and Charles can cover up the obvious limitation of their current quarterback situation it’s a real head-scratcher.

The amount that Charles signed for shows that there wasn’t a market for aging backs that have been banged up this season. Of the three of these backs, I think Charles has the lowest floor. He fits well with what the Broncos usually have tried to do with a zone running scheme but he might not have anything left from his two knee injuries that limited him to a handful of snaps last season. I honestly would have liked to have seen him retire to cement his name atop that yard per carry career record that he deserved during his KC tenure.

So what does this mean for their new teams?

Oakland RaidersIn short, probably not a whole lot. I don’t see the Raiders becoming a ground and pound team but rather using Lynch similar to how the Patriots had deployed LeGarrette Blount recently with a steady diet of touches inside the 20s and to salt game away late. Therefore, it could have a negative impact on the available red zone targets that Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and other receivers earn. It can, however, help keep safeties in the box and away from the deep routes for David Carr to throw passes to. This, of course, is all predicated on Lynch being “Beast-Mode” and not a guy who is over 30 years old and took a year off of playing professional football because of back and other injury concerns.

Saints LogoPeterson probably fills the same role as Lynch and will be very touchdown dependent in 2017. Again, the Saints receivers probably get a downgrade in red zone targets but an uptick in favorable coverage situations. With the amount that Drew Brees works it around, I don’t see it being as big of a knock as it would be to the Raiders pass catchers.

I have no idea what this means for Mark Ingram though. When they signed Peterson I thought that he might slide into a more pass catching role but with the drafting of Kamara, I don’t see how he fits at all. Both he and Jeremy Hill are two veteran runners that I can see playing in a different uniform before the season starts. He could be a smart hold/buy really low in fantasy right now in case they move him before training camp to a team that he could once again be the primary back. He still has valuable talent left but Sean Payton just has what seems like a personal vendetta against utilizing him.

broncosCharles is likely the least impactful to the players around him by signing with Denver. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are still going to produce WR2 numbers whether it’s Charles, Anderson or whoever else is lining up in the backfield. This should still be Anderson job to loose unless Charles returns to 2013 form. Either way, it’s a risky move to invest in anyone from this backfield right now.

So what does this do for their values?

In standard leagues, I think if they are cheap to acquire (both in cap space and in traded assets) then Lynch and Peterson could have some value with their touchdown upside. In PPR leagues I just don’t see either one being more reliable than anything else that you could acquire at auction for much cheaper. If any of these guys are undervalued it’s likely Charles who you might be able to get at the minimum in your auction depending on your league’s perception of him. In all cases, I would just avoid making a move for any of these backs before seeing whether they have something left in the tank. If they show some value and you need a second or third runner for the playoffs you will likely still be able to acquire them for late seconds and even third round picks.

Does this mean anything for their previous team?

All three players were a non-factor for their teams in 2016 which is why they were let go in the offseason. Seattle added Eddy Lacy to complement C.J. Prosise and Thomas Rawls, the Vikings signed Latavius Murray and drafted Dalvin Cook, and the Chiefs drafted Kareem Hunt to go along with Spencer Ware. Of these three vacated situations I would guess that Hunt has the best chance to separate himself and become prominently featured.

It is definitely a murky time to be acquiring running backs. My strategy for RSO auctions this season will be to acquire the cheapest asset from several backfields on one-year contracts and hope that one or two can take the reins by midseason. That way if they hit I have a low-cost starter to leverage spending elsewhere if I need to make a playoff push. Alternatively, I can move them to contenders for middle round picks if my team is floundering during the heavy bye weeks in midseason. Either way, I do not want to be investing too much future capital in high-risk veterans this year and will wait till 2018 to see if any rookies are able to cement a role in their offense.

Make sure to continue to read more Free Agency Expectancy articles throughout the offseason to be prepared for your summer Auctions. Have a player that you want me to evaluate? Look for my polls to cast your vote or send me a message on Twitter @naandrews19.

More Analysis by Nick Andrews

FA Expectancy: Alshon Jeffery

Updated: July 16th 2017

Throughout the offseason, I will be preparing a collection of articles that will focus on free agents and trade candidates. The articles will discuss the player in question, and what the move does to their value, as well as what their landing spot means for their new and old teams.

Alshon Jeffery – WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Nobody was really surprised when Alshon Jeffery signed with the Philadelphia Eagles after he was linked to signing with either them or the Tennessee Titans before free agency opened. What was a surprise was the length of the contract, a single year at $9.5 million. I expected there to be some built-in insulation against Jeffery’s past injuries concerns but he still deserved at least some long term commitment. This contract suggests that either there was not as big a market for receivers as many would have thought or the offers were too low for Jeffery’s comfort and he settled for a “prove it” deal to try and cash in next offseason.

Fantasy players seem perplexed also in how to value Jeffery fairly. Nobody is questioning his talent but they are concerned with the consistency issues that separate the first tier of receivers from all others.

Seasons Games Played Rec/GM Yds/GM TDs/GM FP/Game
2013-2014 100% 5.4 79.8 0.5 16.6
2015-2016 66% 5.0 77.5 0.3 14.5

Over the last two seasons, Jeffery has played in 21 of a potential 32 games but played for a full two seasons in 2013 and 2014. So he is capable of being available. Even last year his four games missed were because of a failed PED test rather than an injury. But his per game production has dipped ever so slightly. Some may attribute this to games that he played in but was not fully healthy, or the lack of QB play that he has been paired with in Chicago. Either way, he’s in Fresh Prince Country now and he needs to step up if he is going to get paid in 2018.

So what does this mean for Eagles players?

The Eagles brought in not only Jeffery but Torrey Smith to go along with Jordan Matthews, Dorial Green-Beckham, and Nelson Agholor. There are rumors also that the Eagles could take a receiver early in the draft, with John Ross being the common name given.

Carson Wentz definitely will not have the “lack of talent” excuse that many were affording him during his rookie campaign. He threw for over 600 attempts last season (5th in the NFL) which many are not expecting him to repeat. Coach Doug Pederson would like to have a more balanced offense if he can either find a better back in the draft or get more out of Ryan Mathews. Still with this boost to the talent around him his efficiency (62.4% completion rate) and touchdowns (16) should increase. He will be a solid bye week and matchup-based starter in 1QB leagues and a great second option in 2QB (especially on his rookie deal).

The receiving core will be greater than the sum of its parts, with inconsistency being a fantasy nightmare some weeks. Likely Jeffery is used as the primary receiver both on the outside and in the end zone which should hopefully boost his touchdown totals. Those who have or bought into Jordan Matthews should finally see him move to the slot where he should have always been playing. The lack of talent around him the past two seasons forced him to have to be the primary outside receiver. Target volume and yards after the catch will be his key to success. These two should have between 100 and 130 targets along with Zach Ertz who surprisingly had 106 targets last season. He will be a nice low-end TE1 option in most leagues.

Outside of Matthews and Jeffery, it will be hard for another receiver to carve out a consistent fantasy role on a weekly basis. If you are looking for a cheap option that could get an increased role should Jeffery get injured Green-Beckham would fill his role as the big X receiver. Please, just drop Nelson Agholor already. He’s a spot on your roster and dollars in your pocket that could be spent elsewhere.

Boo! Nelson Agholor

So what is Jeffery’s value?

Before his signing with the Eagles, I moved Jeffery for the 1.07 in the upcoming draft. While that was lower than what I thought I could get from him I was glad to get out from his remaining 2 year/$60M deal. That owner subsequently flipped Jeffery and the 2.06 for Isaiah Crowell, Jeremy Maclin, and a 2018 2nd. Based on these moves and conversation about acquiring costs in other leagues Jeffery seems to be a hold for now. The community is split on whether Jeffery still belongs in that WR1 conversation and his future is still technically unknown as he could be on the move again next season. It is unlikely that owners would be willing to part with more than a late 1st for him. If you want to risk it he could pay dividends to a contender that needs another good receiver.

So what does it mean for Bears Players?

We haven’t talked much about the Bears yet but mostly because the options are limited. Cameron Meredith is a hot take that many fantasy enthusiasts have been propping up as a great 2017 sleeper receiver. Even Markus Wheaton has seen a modest uptick in his ADP by coming over. The Bears could also take another high receiver in the draft but they will likely want to see what they can get out of Kevin White for one more season before hitting the reset button on the position again.  The problem is that none of these players command double coverage which could also hurt Jordan Howard’s value with negative game script and stacked boxes. It will mostly come down to what Mike Glennon can and can’t do in the offense. His ball velocity is one of the weakest in the league and he was a typical game manager during his starts early in his career. One of these receivers will be at least a decent option for deep starter leagues and heavy bye weeks but guessing who that is in April is difficult. Don’t get caught up in a bidding war trying to acquire either Meredith or Wheaton’s services before we learn more in training camp.

Make sure to continue to read more Free Agency Expectancy articles throughout the offseason to be prepared for your summer Auctions. Have a player that you want me to evaluate? Send me a message on Twitter @naandrews19.

More Analysis by Nick Andrews