Welcome to the 2019 NFL season. First up, trades and free agency time. What did your favorite team do to improve itself? Will this have any impact on your fantasy team? Here are 5 fantasy-relevant players I would consider losers in this year’s free agency and trading period.
Eli Manning, Quarterback, New York Giants
If he had any fantasy value left from last year, it’s all gone now. His numbers last year; 4,299 yards and 21 touchdowns. After the Giants traded away star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., they are left with a top-five tight end, Evan Engram, and two top-30 wide receivers: (newly acquired) Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard in the passing game.
I’m not touching Manning at all this year, not even as a bye week filler. If you play in Superflex leagues, maybe keep him as your third quarterback. But for all other leagues, do not draft.
Early Stat Projection: 3,600 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Le’veon Bell, Running Back, New York Jets
This was purely a money-grab signing. He’s not going to win a championship there, and his stats are going to fall off with their iffy offense line (PFF ranked the Jets’ o-line 26th after last season). Second-year quarterback Sam Darnold isn’t showing many signs of hope for that passing game, based on his 2,864 and 17 touchdowns last year – although some improvements may be coming his way with the addition of Jamison Crowder as a possession guy.
Don’t be surprised when Bell’s numbers aren’t close to what they were with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017; 1,291 yards and 9 touchdowns.
He sat out last year, so yes, he’ll have fresh legs for when he carries the ball all season, but no one knows yet how a whole season off may have affected his conditioning. His current ADP of 1.05 per fantasy football calculator may be a little rich for my blood with so many questions yet to be answered. It’s a big gamble.
Early Stat Projection: 1,000 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns.
Antonio Brown, Wide Receiver, Oakland Raiders
Well, Brown got his request and was traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Oakland Raiders. Now, don’t be surprised to see his career and stats take a nose dive. Quarterback Derek Carr is no Ben Roethlisberger and running backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington don’t compare to Le’Veon Bell or James Conner for that matter.
Brown had 104 catches, 1,297 yards, and 15 touchdowns last year. I”m confident he will not be repeating those sorts of numbers this year. With an average QB and a terrible running game, Brown will likely see fewer targets.
On the other hand, their offensive line is pretty good, so that should give Carr some time to throw, but with mediocre wide receivers Tyrell Williams, J.J Nelson, and Marcell Ateman surrounding Brown, you can guarantee that he will see double coverage all year.
Brown is still an elite WR, but his stats at the end of the year will be more in the top-10 range than the usually guaranteed top-3. If he makes it to the mid 2nd round, sure, take the risk, but anything before that and you might be left disappointed.
Stat projection: 93 catches, 1,100 yards, 8 touchdowns.
Tevin Coleman, Running Back, San Francisco 49ers
Despite linking up with his former Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco, he’s heading into a backfield which is already pretty crowded. Their current depth chart at running back consists of Jerrick McKinnon, Matt Breida, Jeff Wilson, and Raheem Mostert.
We thought Coleman might have wanted to leave the Atlanta Falcons because their backfield was crowded, that doesn’t seem to have been the case.
Last year, he put up 800 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground, something that I do not expect him to repeat this year.
McKinnon will be back from his torn ACL, and Breida showed enough last year with 813 yards and 3 touchdowns to stay in the running game picture. Coleman will most likely play the same role he did in Atlanta; the third down pass catching back.
Don’t get your hopes up for a big season, I certainly won’t be drafting him in the first 7 rounds but his current ADP of 5.12 dictates it’ll be unlikely that he’ll drop that far.
Early Stat Projection: 650 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Adam Humphries, Wide Receiver, Tennessee Titans
If only he’d stayed in Tampa Bay to be their WR2 it could have been a different story, but instead, he left for Tennessee to be their WR2, behind Corey Davis. But wait, he’s still a WR2, so what’s the difference?
Humphrey had 76 catches, 816 yards, and 5 touchdowns last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If he stayed there, his quarterback Jameis Winston (who is better than Marcus Mariota in my opinion) makes all the difference if you want to be the best at a position that involves catching passes.
He would have seen more targets in Tampa than he will get in Tennessee simply because of the quality of quarterback play. For a player who shone so bright last year, it’s going to be a shame to see him fall back to being no factor in fantasy football.
Early Stat Prediction: 50 catches, 500 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
by Tyler Belawske- @TylerBelawske