• Andy Will

Free Agent Summary & 2021 Notable Names To Watch

Twitter: @ScottWill2909



Over the last month or so, we have had a look back over the previous few years to find out what has happened to free agents directly before and after they have moved teams. We broke down positions and looked at them individually in separate articles. This piece will summarise what we have found and then look into 2021 and the players who have signed for a new franchise since the market opened.

2018


Running Backs-


29 of the top 120 running backs (in terms of fantasy ½ PPR scoring) became free agents following the 2017 season. We can see the breakdown below. In the past articles, we placed the players into groupings depending on where they finished the fantasy season. For example, if a player finished between RB 1-12, he would be in the first group, between 13-24 would be the second group, etc., all the way down to RB 120. If a running back finished in a higher group (thus meaning they gained fantasy value) the following season, they were placed in green. Any loss of value would mean red. Staying within the same grouping was black, and if the player did not play the following season for whatever reason (for example, season-ending injury or retirement), they would be in blue.

  • Total free agents within top 120 RB’s- 29

  • Total players who gained value and moved up at least one grouping- 3 (10.3%)

  • Total players who lost value and moved down at least one grouping- 10 (34.5%)

  • Total players who stayed within the same grouping- 3 (10.3%)

  • Total players who did not play the following season- 13 (44.8%)


Wide Receivers-


Using the same format as we can see above from the running backs breakdown, we will do the same for the receivers.

  • Total free agents within top 120 WR’s- 38

  • Total players who gained value and moved up at least one grouping- 5 (13.2%)

  • Total players who lost value and moved down at least one grouping- 21 (55.3%)

  • Total players who stayed within the same grouping- 3 (7.9%)

  • Total players who did not play the following season- 9 (23.7%)


Tight ends-


We decided to do something slightly different with the tight end position. Since the position is shallower than the running backs and wide receivers, we only went into the top 72 players, and this meant six groupings rather than the ten were used,

  • Total free agents within top 72 TE’s- 19

  • Total players who gained value and moved up at least one grouping- 3 (15.8%)

  • Total players who lost value and moved down at least one grouping- (7 36.8%)

  • Total players who stayed within the same grouping- 2 (10.5%)

  • Total players who did not play the following season- 7 (36.8%)


Quarterbacks-


The quarterbacks were put in four groupings for the top 48.

  • Total free agents within top 48 QBs- 11

  • Total players who gained value and moved up at least one grouping- 0 (0.00%)

  • Total players who lost value and moved down at least one grouping- 4 (36.4%)

  • Total players who stayed within the same grouping- 2 (18.2%)

  • Total players who did not play the following season- 5 (45.5%)


2018 Free Agent Summary-


97 players finished with some fantasy relevance and moved to a new team following the 2017 season. Of these ninety-seven players, only 11 (or 11.3%) moved into a higher grouping (three running backs, five wide receivers, and three tight ends). A much higher percentage of players dropped in value following their move. 42 (43.3%) players moved into a lower grouping at their position (ten running backs, twenty-one wide receivers, seven tight ends, and four quarterbacks). 10 (10.3%) players held their value following their move (three running backs, three wide receivers, two tight ends, and two quarterbacks). In comparison, 34 (35.1%) did not play in 2018 due to various reasons, such as injury, suspension, and retirement (thirteen running backs, nine wide receivers, seven tight ends, and five quarterbacks).


Notable Free Agents-

  • Running backs- Carlos Hyde, Jerick McKinnon, Dion Lewis, CJ Anderson, Frank Gore, DeMarco Murray.

  • Wide Receivers- Dez Bryant, Michael Crabtree, Sammy Watkins, Jordy Nelson

  • Tight Ends- Jimmy Graham, Eric Ebron, Benjamin Watson, Julius Thomas

  • Quarterbacks- Kirk Cousins, Case Keenum

2019

Running Backs-

  • Total free agents within top 120 RBs- 34

  • Total players who gained value and moved up at least one grouping- 4 (11.8%)

  • Total players who lost value and moved down at least one grouping- 12 (35.3%)

  • Total players who stayed within the same grouping- 4 (11.8%)

  • Total players who did not play the following season- 14 (41.2%)


Wide Receivers-

  • Total free agents within top 120 WRs- 34

  • Total players who gained value and moved up at least one grouping- 8 (23.5%)

  • Total players who lost value and moved down at least one grouping- 22 (64.7%)

  • Total players who stayed within the same grouping- 1 (2.9%)

  • Total players who did not play the following season- 3 (8.8%)


Tight Ends-

  • Total free agents within top 72 TEs- 16

  • Total players who gained value and moved up at least one grouping- 4 (25%)

  • Total players who lost value and moved down at least one grouping- 7 (43.8%)

  • Total players who stayed within the same grouping- 3 (18.8%)

  • Total players who did not play the following season- 2 (12.5%)


Quarterbacks-

  • Total free agents within top 48 QBs- 8

  • Total players who gained value and moved up at least one grouping- 1 (12.5%)

  • Total players who lost value and moved down at least one grouping- 4 (50%)

  • Total players who stayed within the same grouping- 0 (0.0%)

  • Total players who did not play the following season- 3 (37.5%)


2019 Free Agent Summary-


Players finished with some fantasy relevance and moved to a new team following the 2018 season. Of these ninety-two players, only 17 (or 18.5%) moved into a higher grouping (four running backs, eight wide receivers, four tight ends, one quarterback). A much higher percentage of players dropped in value following their move. 45 (48.9%) players moved into a lower grouping at their position (t