The NFL’s “legal tampering period” (AKA the real start to free agency, but with a delayed signing) started on Monday, and through the first couple of days, some clear patterns emerged. It’s been long enough for us to do a quick round-up of the fantasy football winners and losers from the first 48 hours or so of NFL free agency. The big-ticket items are the quarterbacks, so that’s where we start. Here are some winners and losers from the beginning of free agency.
Mitchell “Mitrubisky” Trubisky, Chicago
Not counting QBs who switched teams, Trubisky is far-and-away the biggest quarterback winner so far. His winning started way back when the Bears jettisoned walking outdated NFL coach stereotype John Fox. Now he’s set up with former Chiefs OC Matt Nagy, who spent last season turning Captain Checkdown into a Golden Armed God. Now Trubisky also gets the top free agent WR (Allen Robinson) and the top pass-catching tight end available (Trey Burton). Add this to Kevin White’s mangled corpse, Adam Shaheen, Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard. Suddenly, Trubisky looks like a breakout value in the QB12 range. Careful, like Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston last season, a sudden burst of talent around him could have him going inside the top-eight QBs. That is a hard, hard pass.
Pat Mahomes, Kansas City
Alex Smith is out in KC, and the sophomore signal caller is in. His preseason and garbage time tape had the fantasy football world fall in love with Mahomes’ arm talent. It’s… impressive, to say the least. The Alex Smith trade made him a starter, but the Sammy Watkins signing, on top of Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt, made him the captain of an extremely speedy, talented ship. His arm talent is off-the-charts, but the KC offense could sputter without the beautiful mind of Alex Smith making things work pre-snap. He’s a riser, though I wouldn’t trust my fantasy football team with him yet.
Russell Wilson, Seattle
If Trubisky gained the most in free agency, it’s almost certain that Russell Wilson lost the most. After being able to call upon Doug Baldwin, Paul Richardson, and Jimmy Graham in the passing game last season, his only reliable receiver left is Doug Baldwin. Add to that the complete dumpster fire at offensive line (that is no longer headed by Tom Cable) and a backfield bereft of healthy options and you have a big recipe for… whatever the opposite of extreme success is. Abject failure? Let’s go with that. RWBS has been a staple of the Seahawks offense, but it’s not something I would confidently rely on in the future unless the Seahawks get something to help him out in fantasy football.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis
Much like Russell Wilson lost everything so far, Andrew Luck lost his favorite red zone weapon (Donte Moncrief) and hasn’t gotten… anything worthwhile on offense. Frank Gore is also gone, though that’s not a huge loss. The Colts have done basically nothing so far. Indianapolis and Carlos Hyde flirted with a contract, but Hyde ultimately went to Cleveland. Godawful Colts front offices continue to mismanage a career that could have been Hall of Fame-worthy.