Free agency has been busy, so let’s roundup some of the most important moves for fantasy players looking ahead to 2018.
Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears
After reaching top-five fantasy status in 2015, Robinson’s patience was tested in 2016. Facing increased defensive pressure and attempting to reel in balls that were well outside of his catch radius, the Penn State product’s efficiency plummeted. ARob wouldn’t get the chance to bounce back in 2017, as he tore his ACL Week 1 vs. the Texans.
It seems, however, that 2018 will provide some relief for the Pro Bowl wideout. Chicago agreed to terms with the former Jaguar, gifting second-year QB Mitchell Trubisky with a sure-handed possession receiver and reliable outside weapon. Only 24-years-old, Robinson’s career is poised for a resurgence. With Matt Nagy replacing John Fox, the Bears figure to become a higher-flying offense, as evidenced by the 34 pass attempts per game that Alex Smith averaged while Nagy was calling the plays in Kansas City. That’s good news for Robinson who’s in line for the lion’s share of looks. Right now, he’s a high-end WR2 for fantasy purposes.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings
After months of speculation, it appears as though Cousins is returning to the Midwest. A top-10 fantasy producer for three consecutive seasons and a top-five asset in back-to-back years, the former Spartan will be atop fantasy draft boards again this go-around. Last year, with his two best receivers gone and his stud tight end battling a plethora of injuries, Cousins boasted a true completion percentage of almost 70, passed for over 4,000 yards, and scored 31 touchdowns. In Minnesota, he’ll get a dome, four top-tier talents, and a top-six ranked pass-protecting unit. Yeah, he’s going to like that… and so should you.
Released from the hypnotic clutches of Jeff Fischer’s mustache, Case Keenum broke out in 2017. Buoyed by a stellar supporting cast, the former backup averaged a YPA of 7.4 and managed the eighth best deep ball percentage (40.7%) in the league. Playing for his fourth team in as many years, Keenum is expected to be the Broncos starter this fall.
While he’s unlikely to produce better than top-15 fantasy stats, he should provide stability to the team’s receiving corps, namely Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Their mutual efficiency has waned since the twilight years of Peyton Manning’s time at Mile High. Still, they’re both Pro Bowl talents with plenty of upside. In fact, the duo has produced over 1,000 yards in three of their last four campaigns. Additionally, Thomas hasn’t missed a game since 2011. They may be entering their 30’s and the Broncos’ line needs shoring up, but a late-season surge is well within reason for these former fantasy studs. Assuming health isn’t a factor, a return to the top-18 appears imminent.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Green Bay Packers
No, you’re not experiencing déjà vu. Green Bay is, once again, brining aboard an older, but still dynamic tight end. While his downfield ability has waned, Graham continues to thrive in the red area of the field, scoring double-digit TDs in three of his last five seasons. Last year he converted 18 end zone targets into 10 scores, closing out the year as fantasy’s fourth most productive player at the position. With Jordy Nelson released and Randall Cobb declining, Graham and Davante Adams figure to absorb the majority of high-value targets thrown by Aaron Rodgers. FIRE EMOJI.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Cleveland Browns
Sleeper Alert! Traded from Buffalo to Cleveland in exchange for a third-round pick, Taylor figures to work as a bridge for the Browns, who are expected draft a rookie signal-caller next month. Head coach Hue Jackson has been adamant about starting a vet under center come September.
Coming off of a frustrating season with the Bills, Tyrod has a shot at redemption in Believeland. In fact, I think he could be this year’s Alex Smith. The two QBs are similar in terms of style and with a young gun nipping at his heels, Taylor may finally let loose. After all, he’ll have plenty of talented weapons at his disposal, especially given the addition of Jarvis Landry. Throw in his rushing ability and TyGod has QB1 appeal in 2018. He’ll be a prime under-the-radar target for fantasy enthusiasts who appreciate waiting on the position.
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