2023 Fantasy Football Free Agency Fallout, Day 2

Jakobi Meyers New England Patriots Absurdity Check

Two days into free agency, and the Raiders once again make up two spots on the most impactful fantasy football moves. Day two of free agency saw some more fantasy football-relevant players switch teams (or stay put), but the big names like Odell Beckham, Miles Sanders, and Devin Singletary all stayed put. Still, there were some quality players who changed teams this week. Let’s break down some of the more fantasy-relevant moves from day two of free agency.

Jakobi Meyers from New England to Las Vegas

Jakobi Meyers moved from the Josh McDaniels-inspired Patriots office to the Josh McDaniels-led Las Vegas Raiders offense on Tuesday, getting a three-year, $33 million contract (with $21 million guaranteed). Meyers slots in across from Davante Adams in two wide-receiver sets and relegates Hunter Renfrow to fourth banana in an offense that is likely to run two wide receivers at a league-average rate, and that will keep Renfrow off the field. This absolutely crushes his value down to a fantasy WR5, given that his targets are likely to dry up in what will prove to be a run-heavy offense. Darren Waller leaving helps Renfrow (more on that later), but I am not a fan of Renfrow with Meyers doing the same thing while being on the field more. That having been said, I’m not particularly enthusiastic about Jakobi Meyers either. I expect him to replicate his 2022 season, with 5 catches for 57 yards per game, in the short area pass-catching role. He has WR25 written all over him, in my opinion.

Darren Waller from Las Vegas to N.Y. Giants

With Jakobi Meyers in town, the Raiders traded their second-best pass catcher for the #100 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He already took a value hit down to the last tight end before The Blob, given the unreliability we’ve seen in his last couple of seasons. Even when he played, he was barely above The Blob, averaging 4 catches for 53 yards per game. This does a lot to open up targets for the remaining targets in Las Vegas, but it crushes a lot about the New York Giants receiving weapons. None of their receiving weapons are particularly inspiring entering 2023, with an injured Sterling Shepard, an injured Wan’Dale Robinson, and Isaiah Hodgins leading the way otherwise. The Giants are like to add a guy in the draft, but for now, Waller and Saquon Barkley should lead the Giants in targets… which would be a big change from 2022, as the Giants threw the ball to the tight end less than anyone else last season. I don’t really want any Giants pass catchers in the draft other than Waller unless Wan’Dale recovers. As for Waller, I could see myself taking him in the same range where I took Mike Gesicki in the past (round seven or eight). He has a top-three upside, but he’s also missed fourteen games in the last two seasons.

Rashaad Penny from Seattle to Philadelphia

Rashaad Penny’s contract lives up to his name, as he got about $1.5 million from the Eagles to lead their backfield (or not, we will see what happens in the draft). There’s no doubting Penny’s talent, as in his last eleven games, he averaged 101.4 yards per game on 15.4 touches per contest. Unfortunately, his prior eleven games saw him averaging 28.6 yards per game on 5.7 touches per game… from 2019 to 2021. Such is the yin and yang of Rashaad Penny: he has unlimited upside, and his downside is playing fewer than 50% of snaps in just one game in the first 32 games of his career… across four seasons. Still, it’s Penny’s enticing upside that has everyone wanting to take him likely sooner than they should in fantasy drafts, and given that his main competition right now is Boston Scott, it’s that tantalization that will have people throwing away a pick on Penny. At this point, we know what he is, and unless you’re taking him outside the top-35 running backs, then you are going to struggle to find him returning the value.

David Montgomery from Chicago to Detroit

David Montgomery switching NFC North teams was probably the most fantasy-impactful move on day two of free agency, and not for a good reason. The Lions took two RB1/RB2 borderline players and turned them both into soup. While Detroit’s RB corps is likely to emerge as a beautiful butterfly this season, they’re still in their “turning into goop inside the chrysalis” stage of metamorphosis. As of right now, we have no idea how this backfield is going to shake out, but we know that it will result in a lot of fantasy football points. Both are dynamic pass-catchers and proficient runners (though Montgomery’s stats were suppressed by a terrible Chicago offensive line). This drops them both into the RB20 range for me, at least as of right now. I also have a lot of interest in both, as one of them will emerge with a massive amount of fantasy points (after all, Jamaal Williams had 17 touchdowns last year).

Unfortunately, this likely means that Jamaal Williams is gone. On a personal, and not-at-all analytical level: that sucks.

Allen Lazard from Green Bay to N.Y. Jets

To be completely honest with you, this is just a precursor to Aaron Rodgers coming to the Jets. Once he gets there, we will talk about him, and the weapons he demands to be around him. We will worry about what the Jets’ receiving corps will look like when we know who their quarterback will be.

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About Jeff Krisko

You can follow me on twitter, @jeffkrisko for the same lukewarm takes you read here.

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