Welcome to the 2019 NFL season. First up, the 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 relevant fantasy players winners in this year’s free agency and trading period.
Baker Mayfield, Quarterback + Odell Beckham Jr, Wide Receiver – Cleveland Browns
When the Browns traded for Beckham, Mayfield‘s stock blasted through the roof. But settle down now, he may be a QB1 going into this year’s fantasy drafts but be cautious not to draft him too early.
Last year he had 3,725 yards passing and 27 touchdowns in 14 games. This is only his second year in the league and we don’t know his chemistry yet with Beckham. However, with a new target and last year’s team WR1 Jarvis Landry, Tight End David Njoku, and Running Back Nick Chubb, Mayfield should not have a problem finding an open man.
As far as Beckham is concerned, he should still remain a top five wide receiver in drafts. Last year saw Beckham claim 77 catches, 1052 yards, and 5 touchdowns in just 12 games and this year sees him get a major upgrade at QB along with the rest of the receivers taking pressure off of him.
Devin Funchess, Wide Receiver – Indianapolis Colts
Funchess is coming over from the Carolina Panthers on a one year “extreme prove it deal”. He could slide into the WR2 role for the Colts and should be a huge upgrade for him as he fits better as the number two instead of the number one as he was in Carolina.
Last year he put up 44 catches, 549 yards, and 4 touchdowns and this year he will see a quarterback upgrade with Andrew Luck (4693 yards and 39 touchdowns in 2018) throwing to him instead of Cam Newton (3395 yards and 24 touchdowns).
Funchess will also see less double teams because of fellow receiver T.Y. Hilton taking the main attention away from defensive secondaries. His stats should get a slight bump up from previous years providing the quality of pass is better and he is able to improve on his 56% pass catching stat from the last two years.
Evan Ingram, Tight End + Sterling Shepard, Wide Receiver – New York Giants
Now that Odell Beckham Jr is out of New York, these two guys’ numbers will go up as they are the only two good remaining pass catchers if you exclude using Running Back, Saquon Barkley.
In 2018, Engram had 45 catches, 577 yards, and 3 touchdowns while Shepard had 66 catches 872 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Those can only go up, surely.
Both have shown they have enough chemistry with veteran QB Eli Manning to be fantasy relevant. If the NYG offense moves the chains in the passing game, it’ll be through these guys.
Cole Beasley, Wide Receiver + John Brown, Wide Receiver – Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen now has two solid targets to throw to, something that was missing last year in Buffalo. Allen easily should be on this winners list because of these two adds, but I’ll save that for a different article.
Former Dallas Cowboys chain mover Cole Beasley plays the over the middle, dink and dunk routes for the first downs. He’ll occasionally catch a deep one, and with Allen’s cannon for an arm, he could see a few of those opportunities this year.
Beasley is that poor mans Julian Edelman, both PPR machines. 2018 for Beasley saw 65 catches, 672 yards, and 3 touchdowns.
John Brown’s one year experiment with the Baltimore Ravens was a bust. After quarterback Joe Flacco sat the bench for rookie Lamar Jackson, Brown never really produced after the switch and only accumulated 42 catches, 715 yards, and 5 touchdowns. He will stretch the field in Buffalo and could end up their WR1 this year.
Mark Ingram, Running Back – Baltimore Ravens
His time in the high flying offense of the New Orleans Saints is over. He had 645 yards and 6 touchdowns in 2018. Now he becomes the new RB1 in Baltimore.
Sure there’s Gus Edwards, Buck Allen, and the other 45 running backs they have, but I am confident Ingram will be the starter come week 1. He moves away from splitting time with Alvin Kamara to having more of the lead back role.
Sure Edwards will eat into his plays a little but don’t expect Edwards to be Ingram’s Kamara.
Marlon Mack, Running Back – Indianapolis Colts
Jacksonville Jaguars Wide Receiving Corps
Alvin Kamara, Running Back – New Orleans Saints
by Tyler Belawske – @TylerBelawske