Analyzing Friday’s Big Free Agent Moves From a Fantasy Perspective

Friday didn’t quite have the volume of signing as Thursday but the deals that were made involved some big time players. Let’s take a look at the impact of these deals:

New England Saints Trade Brandin Cooks, WR, 4th Round Pick and Pick 118 to New England Patriots For 32nd Pick, 3rd Round Pick and Pick 103

Let’s start with the most shocking move of the day. The Saints said goodbye to Brandin Cooks for what amounts to the 32nd pick in this years draft. From a football stand point I have no idea what the Saints were thinking. Cooks is worth much more than a 32nd pick. Once again the Patriots get richer without having to hurt their roster. There is a reason they are in the Super Bowl every other year (besides having Tom Brady, of course).

Let’s take a look at the fantasy implications of this trade:

We’ll start with the obvious, Brandin Cooks. Going from Brees to Brady is not much of a change, both are all-time greats. However he will now be on an offense that has lots of mouths to feed. Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Hogan and even Dion Lewis and James White out of the backfield will all be competing for targets with Cooks. It seems most likely Cooks will be used as a deep threat in the Hogan role. I expect a slight dip in production just due to lower volume. Still he is a solid WR2 for fantasy purposes and obviously brings big upside.

As for the Patriots receivers I think Hogan takes the biggest hit. Hogan was really the only deep threat for this offense and was the only receiver with an aDOT over 11.5. Cooks will likely be used as a deep threat quite often which is not good for Hogan. Mitchell will also take a slight hit as well but I wouldn’t downgrade him too much from where he currently sits in drafts (WR50). Gronk and Edelman shouldn’t really see too much of a change in usage.

Hopefully you listened yesterday when I touted Tedd Ginn as a potential big winner should Cooks be traded. Ginn is now the clear number two behind Michael Thomas in a Drew Brees led offense. His ADP is climbing but he’s still going off as WR84 at the time of this writing. Start grabbing him while you can. Thomas was already in my top 10 rankings and this will only help though just slightly. Willie Snead will remain a WR3 as this really doesn’t change his value in my opinion.

Washington Redskins Sign Terelle Pryor, WR

In a bit of a surprise, the Redskins were able to sign Pryor to a one year deal for 6 million dollars. After losing Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson to free agency this was a needed move. Pryor saw a 25% target share with Cleveland last year and that will surely drop with a Redskins team that has a lot of weapons. Still, Cousins presents a huge upgrade over any Cleveland quarterback. Pryor is currently WR30 in MFL10s and that seems a little low to me.

Kirk Cousins will get a big boost from this and cements himself as a QB1 for 2017. This will hurt Josh Doctson slightly as he was poised to be the teams top outside threat. Jamison Crowder should not be too affected as his role out of the slot will remain largely unchanged.

Green Bay Packers Sign Martellus Bennett, TE

Apparently Jared Cook is betting on himself because reports are the Packers offered him more money than they offered Bennett and he turned it down. This likely turned out better for the Packers as Bennett is a better tight end. He instantly vaults into TE1 territory and could make a case for top 5. His current ADP is TE13 so start grabbing him now if you can.

Chicago Bears Sign Dion Sims, TE

This was my least favorite signing of the day. Zach Miller was my favorite sneaky TE1 for 2017 but this likely hurts his value slightly. Miller was flying under the radar as TE27 despite averaging as many fantasy points as Gronk, Walker and Eifert in 2016. He’s still a high end TE2 for me and a steal at his current ADP.

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