Geoff Lambert examine a couple of players to acquire before the NFL free agency period begins.
This piece is part of our article program that features expert quality content exclusively from FantasyPros. For more information from Geoff, go to GoingFor2.com.
The free NFL agency is just around the corner and now is the right time to watch some players who might take advantage of a change in the scenario – or a passing teammate – so they can finally get a chance to shine. The free-agency period this season doesn’t seem quite as profitable as it has in recent years, and some fantasy owners may take the waiting approach before swapping one of their high-profile free agents. The following four players are guys who may have a depressed value but who have the potential to put good fantasy numbers in the right situation. You won’t have to pay much for these kids if anything, but the risk may be worth the reward.
Complete a fake draft in minutes with our free Draft Simulator >>
Eric Ebron (TE – IND)
After a career season from Hebron in 2018, when he collected 66 receptions out of 110 targets and 13 touchdowns, he followed him with an injured disaster of a 2019 season that saw him capture only 31 passes for 375 yards three scores. Entering the offseason, dynasty owners may have almost given up on the ultra-athletic tight-end and, in a terribly tight market, the low purchase on Ebron could pay off handsomely.
Hebron will get a new team, and if that team makes him number one in reception, we could see him put on another monstrous year. What would Hebron look like in a Patriots shirt next year? Or maybe go to the Redskins to replace Jordan Reed and play the role of “Greg Olsen” in Ron Rivera’s plan? Or, he could go to Seattle and consolidate a position that has been invaluable to the Seahawks in recent years, mainly because they have had some serious injuries in the position.
Dante Pettis (WR – SF)
I know. Pettis was a greater disappointment in 2019 after a solid beginner campaign the previous year. However, as I look at this list of San Francisco, the defending NFC Champs may have no choice but to give Pettis another chance. Emmanuel Sanders is a free agent, and will likely ask for more money than the 49ers are willing to pay, and Marquise Goodwin has fallen out of favor and is almost gone.
This leaves the feeling of rookie Deebo Samuel, the career of J.A.G (only one boy) Kendrick Bourne, the ace of special teams Richie James Jr. and the receiver Joken Hurd (after an end-of-season injury) on the roster with Pettis. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has not proven to trust James Jr. in a broad catcher role, and who knows if Hurd can make his way into a starting role after losing his entire rookie season – which leaves Pettis like, in the worst of cases, the de facto No. 3 receiver.
There is a possibility that the 49ers will decide to make another large receiver, and in fact, I expect them to do it, but Pettis can probably be had for peanuts right now. There is no risk of getting it and hoping it will regain the magic of its beginner season.
Chad Beebe (WR – MIN) or Olabisi Johnson (WR – MIN)
The Vikings’ salary limit is in bad shape, as more than $ 12 million will be estimated from the limit in 2020 (for Spotrac.com). They probably won’t be able to switch between big receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs in 2020, but there is a good chance that Thielen will become a cap before the 2021 season.
Thielen will count $ 13.4 million for the limit in 2021, and that number will rise to $ 14.4 million in 2022. However, if the Vikings cut it in 2021, it only counts $ 5.4 million in dead limit. Thielen will be more than 30 years old before the start of the 2020 season and is about to come out of a 2019 season plagued with injuries – there is a scenario where Thielen never returns to her Pro-Bowl form in past years.
This would open the doors to both of these young receivers, Beebe and Johnson, to enter an important role for the 2021 season and potentially sooner if Thielen could not remain healthy again this year. Yes, you will play the long game if you have acquired one of these two now, and there is no guarantee that they will have the opportunity in a year, but, like Pettis, they are both cheap and potentially free dirty agents in your league. It can’t hurt to add one and hope that they become the next … Adam Thielen.
Dominate with our award-winning fantasy football draft software >>
subscribe: Apple podcast | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | TuneIn | RSS