While the 2022 NFL Offseason was certainly memorable for the blockbuster trades, one thing that is being overshadowed is some of the signings that will definitely impact the upcoming fantasy football season. Now, many of these signings are not as compelling as these blockbuster trades but a lot of them will have an impact for Fantasy in 2022 - 23.
I think the best thing to do is just go team by team and discuss the signings I found most interesting and their impact on the team. There were also some key re-signings that happened as well that will also be discussed. The final part of this Free Agency Rear View is to look back at some of the notable signings that will impact players for fantasy for the 2022-23 fantasy season.
It goes without saying but these are my personal opinions on these moves, if you disagree that’s fine but please state your disagreements in a respectful manner.
The team certainly made sure to keep a plethora of Back up players and veteran talent in the Quarterback room. The team acquired Matt Barkley through Free Agency and Case Keenum in a trade with Cleveland. Keenum showed he is a competent player as a backup and won’t hurt your team.
However, the pass catchers are what really caught my eye. The team re-signed Jake Kumerow and Isaiah McKenzie, both players who have been in the system for quite a while. But I am really intrigued by the signing of former Jet and Commander Jamison Crowder. The Bills released Cole Beasley and Crowder can easily step into his role. That leaves Kumerow, McKenzie, and Gabirel Davis to fight for that #2 spot opposite of Diggs and after his performance against the Chiefs, I expect Davis to win that job.
The signings of both Running Backs Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert create a power vacuum in Miami’s backfield. Myles Gaskins truthers are going to have a hard time justifying his value after this. Mostert’s one year $3.1 Million deal intrigues me the most because if he stays healthy and has recovered from last year's injury, then the Dolphins got him at a bargain because he will be the best runner in that backfield. The team also re-signing Tight End Mike Gesicki was also a big move for the team as well as it gives Tua a great field stretcher in the middle.
However, with the acquisition of Tyreek Hill, the receiver room is now packed with other players like Waddle, Preston Williams, Trent Sherfield, and Cedrick Wilson. Even with Davante Parker traded to Miami, it still raises the question of fantasy value for the Miami receivers outside of Hill? Does Waddle’s value take a hit? These are questions that will have to be answered by training camp.
New England Patriots
If the team had not acquired DaVante Parker, then there would be nothing to talk about for the team. Free Agency Wrap Up was submitted before the Parker trade so I am not complaining that we talk about him here. Parker makes New England’s receiving room much more interesting. The team tendered Jakobi Meyers and also has Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor, but Parker steps in as the clear #1 for the team. I think that Bourne, who was the leading fantasy receiver, takes the biggest hit. Meyers, I think stays at the same level and could also see a bump with the presence of Parker.
New York Jets
The Jets are desperate to find a big time receiver for Zach Wilson, they almost had a deal for Tyreek Hill before Miami stepped in and they are rumored to be trying to obtain DK Metcalf. However, all they could do is re-sign Braxton Berrios, who worked well with Wilson, and also signed Tight Ends Tyler Conklin and CJ Uzomah, we will see how these players pan out for the team.
The team has made no significant fantasy free agent moves.
The AFC Champions definitely made some big moves by signing key pieces for their offensive line. However fantasy-wise I really like the signing of Tight End Hayden Hurst formally of the Ravens and Falcons. Hurst is a good tight end who has been reliable but never really had a chance to be the #1 in the systems he’s played in. I think this is his best (and possibly final) shot to prove that he can be a big play tight end for fantasy.
Outside of the team trading for Watson and Cooper the teams only other big move for fantasy was tagging Tight End David Njoku. The team obviously values Njoku so can this be the year he moves into true Tight End 1 range?
The most notable move the Steelers made was signing Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to a 2 year $14.25 Million deal with a boatload of incentives. Trubisky now competes with Mason Rudolph for the starting job, which I think Trubisky wins. If he is able to be the Steelers starter I see his career going one of two ways: He goes the Ryan Tannehill path and is able to revitalize his career in a big way or he once again shows why he is one of the biggest draft busts in the modern draft era. Even if the Steelers draft a QB (which I think they do) my opinion really doesn’t change here. I have a lot of hope since Trubisky was able to lead the Bears to two playoff appearances despite horrendous team management, so this is a great opportunity for both the Steelers and Trubisky.
The team signed both Running Backs Royce Freeman and Marlon Mack to contracts. This tells me that David Johnson is done with the team. Freeman was able to successfully revitalize his career in Tennessee and Mack is now a full year removed from his achilles tear so I am interested to see how this tandem works in Houston, if the team doesn’t select a rookie to come in and compete for touches.
I know that the re-signing of Tight End Mo Alie-Cox doesn’t seem like a big deal but I think this is more significant than analysts think. He is a 6-5’ mammoth with great speed and reliable hands. While his catch percentage dropped in 2021 with Carson Wentz, his yards per catch was 13.2. Matt Ryan loves his Tight Ends and I am making the early prediction that Mo Alie-Cox will be an undrafted steal in Fantasy Football!
The teams moves this offseason were… interesting? The team signed receivers Zay Jones, Christian Kirk, and Tight End Evan Engram to big deals despite emerging talents like Lavishka Shenault and Dan Arnold on the roster. I understand the necessity to surround your young and emerging Quarterback with as much talent as possible but none of his pass catchers outside of Marvin Jones have done anything of note to warrant such big deals. Zay Jones was able to revive his career in Vegas with Carr but he wasn’t a world beater. Kirk was injured so much in Arizona that we don’t know if he is a true number 1. We all know the story about Evan Engram so it’s not even worth discussing any more.
The trade for Robert Woods was a great move by the team, but the signing of Free Agent Austin Hooper, to me is even better, Tannehill loves a good receiving Tight End and no offense to Swaim but Hooper is faster and has a more proven track record as a solid between the 20’s and Red Zone target for all of his quarterbacks. Hooper is another potential candidate that I think can be the next great Tight End 1 for fantasy football.
Aside from the trade for Russell Wilson, the Broncos have made no significant Fantasy Football relevant moves in Free Agency. Please refer to my first column on NFL Free Agency for my thoughts on the Russell Wilson trade and how it impacts the team.
Kansas City Chiefs
I touched upon this in the last column as well so please check out the first Free Agency Wrap up but the signings of Running Back Ronald Jones, plus Wide receivers Juju Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdez-Scantling were not insignificant moves. They were pretty big moves that tells me that the offense is going to switch to a different style. I honestly believe that Ronald Jones and Juju will be the more fantasy relevant players in this system after Travis Kelce. But I also believe that Fantasy owners need to beware of Patrick Mahomes because this system is going to be new and it’s going to have an early impact on his fantasy production.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders biggest move outside of trading and signing Davante Adams was extending Derek Carr. Yes the team signed Running Backs Ameer Abdullah and Brandon Bolden, plus signed Wide Receiver Demarcus Robinson and Tight End Jacob Hollister, but those are depth moves. Josh Jacobs, Davante Adams, Darren Waller, and Hunter Renfrow will all still be fantasy relevant. I think Renfrow, when Waller is healthy, takes the biggest step back in production, but I think this is Carr’s biggest opportunity to break into QB 1 numbers since his MVP season.
Las Vegas Chargers
The only signing I want to highlight was the team signing Tight End Gerald Everett. He played 15 games in Seattle but with the QB carousel and then Wilson’s late season struggles, I don’t think Everett got a fair shot. The team gave him a 2 year deal and that tells me that they want Everett to be part of the offense. I think this is Everett’s last chance to be a fantasy relevant tight end.
The team tagged Dalton Schultz and then re-signed Michael Gallup and then signed Wide Receiver James Washington. Gallup is a toss up to be ready for week 1, and I have said it many times about players returning from ACL tears, so I think James Washington becomes a very interesting fantasy asset this season. Assuming the Cowboys do not take a Wide Receiver early, Washington could see a lot of playing time.
New York Giants
The team signing Tyrod Taylor was no shock considering they want an experienced Veteran to push Daniel Jones. All other moves are not very fantasy relevant. The signing of Running Back Matt Breida could be interesting if Saquon Barkley is injured once again.
The signing of Zach Pascal and re-signing of Greg Ward and Boston Scott are not very significant fantasy moves.
I spoke about the team acquiring Carson Wentz in a trade. The only other moves the team made that may be a blip for fantasy was the re-signing of Running Back JD McKissic and Wide Receiver Cam Sims. McKissic more over and seeing if that does cut into Antonio Gibsons production.
The team signed Quarterback Trevor Siemian as a back up and signed Wide Receivers Byron Pringle and Equanimious St. Brown to the team plus Tight End Ryan Griffin. I think these moves can be good for the team, the Bears don’t have a 1st round pick. The team does have 2 second round picks and I want to see how they’re used before giving a solid take on the Bears fantasy relevance.
The team signed Wide Receiver DJ Chark to a $10 Million fully guaranteed deal. This can be a very good signing or a complete bust. Chark has had only one fantasy relevant season and he has never really had a steady and reliable Quarterback. Jared Goff doesn’t inspire much confidence but we’ll see if the team takes a Quarterback and how he will mesh in the offense.
Green Bay Packers
The team extended Aaron Rodgers and tendered Allen Lazard, re-signed Tight End Robert Tonyan, and signed Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins. We all know the story with Watkins, he looks great until he is injured, but Lazard and Tonyan will most likely be overhyped due to their prior success in the offense, I am also starting to become more convinced that the Packers may double dip at the position in the 1st round to restock the receiver room.
The team made no significant fantasy move outside of extending Kirk Cousins.
This team is barren, the team traded Matt Ryan, signed Damien Williams, Tight End Anthony Firkser, also signed Wide Receivers Damiere Byrd and Auden Tate. I believe that the Falcons will attempt to pull a Houston Texans and sign a lot of depth pieces now so that when they start to rebuild they will have significant draft capital to do so. I do not see any player outside of Kyle Pitts being anywhere near fantasy relevant this season.
The team extended DJ Moore but the other moves the team has made are mostly depth moves and should not be seen as Fantasy Relevant.
New Orlean Saints
The team re-signed Quarterback Jameis Winston and signed fellow QB Andy Dalton. I expect this to be a training camp battle. The team re-signing Tre’Quan Smith is not as relevant as he has had plenty of opportunity to thrive but has always fallen short of expectation.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers have had an interesting offseason so far with Brady retiring and then un-retiring. Then the team re-signed Running Backs Giovani Bernard and Leonard Fournette, Wide Receivers Chris Godwin and Breshad Perriman, and then signed receiver Russell Gage. We have yet to hear if Gronkowski will re-sign with the team. Any team led by Tom Brady should have plenty of fantasy relevant players.
The team has signed James Conner to a three year deal that will make him the lead Running Back on the team, the team also re-signed Tight End Zach Ertz. The re-signings of AJ Green and Maxx Williams are depth moves and not very fantasy relevant.
Los Angeles Rams
Aside from extending Stafford, the team signed Wide Receiver Allen Robinson which will be a very significant move as he should easily step into the Robert Woods role and should be fantasy relevant. The team is also expected to re-sign Odell Beckham Jr but that is not confirmed as of yet as he is still recovering from his ACL surgery.
San Francisco 49ers
The team has re-signed many of it’s own players. None of which are fantasy relevant.
The team acquired Drew Lock in the Russell Wilson trade along with Tight End Noah Fant. The team also re-signed Geno Smith which will place him in a training camp battle with Lock. The team also re-signed Rashaad Penny but the team is rebuilding so I do not see the team being fantasy relevant this season.