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  • Writer's pictureGladys Louise Tyler

3 Best Free Agent For Fantasy, 1 Imposter and a Negroni Toast to All


Cleveland Browns Jameis Winston in his #5 uniform
Jameis Winston may just be the free agent signing that wins you a fantasy championship.

There was a lot of movement during the free agency period, especially for the running backs. At least three will bring you fantasy football glory; one is an imposter, and it is time again to raise your glass to the possibilities.

So, let’s get to it and find out who will bring us fantasy joy and who will bring us fantasy sadness. The drink we will raise our glass to is none other than a classic, the Negroni.


Classic Negroni not for the timid...like fantasy football!

CHEERS: Toast with a Negroni

The Negroni is all about classic goodness and balance. The Negroni (as fantasy football) is not for the timid, and it is not for everyone. But if you are one of the ones who enjoy a nice classic cocktail to go with your fantasy dreams, the Negroni is for you.

What You Need

1-ounce gin

1 ounce Campari

1-ounce sweet vermouth

Orange peel for the garnish

What You Will Do

Add the gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir until it is chilled.

Now strain the mixture into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.

Garnish with your orange peel and enjoy!

Three Best Free Agent Moves for Fantasy Football

3. Curtis Samuel, Wide Receiver, Buffalo Bills

Samuel signed a three-year $30 million deal with the Bills, with $15 million guaranteed.

Samuel has been in the league since 2017 and has never finished higher than WR25. However, his best season was in 2020 when now Bills offensive coordinator Joe Brady was his offensive coordinator in Carolina.

In that 2020 season, Samuel saw 97 targets and 41 carries with a 10.6% snap share out of the backfield.

Now Samuel is in Buffalo without Gabe Davis and Stefon Diggs. The departures (for the time being) give Samuel WR2 upside, especially when you consider Damien Harris retired and Samuel is a legitimate dual threat.

Per Pro Football Focus, Samuel lined up in the slot in 70.7% of his routes in his last two seasons and had 45 designed rushing attempts.

Buffalo still has Khalil Shakir, Dalton Kincaid, and newly acquired Mack Hollins, but none have the explosiveness of Samuel. As Next Gen Stats reports:

 

Samuel averaged 9.08 mph within the first second of his routes in 2023, the third quickest in the NFL. The Bills wide receivers averaged 7.95 mph, good for 29th.

So, there is the explosiveness, the dual-threat capability, and the familiarity with Brady’s offense. Curtis will be good for the Bills and good for your fantasy team.

2. Jameis Winston, Quarterback, Cleveland Browns

I know Deshaun Watson is the starting quarterback in Cleveland, but hear me out. Since returning from his suspension, Watson has played a total of 12 games in two seasons (six games each season). He hadn’t played like a $230 million man when he was on the field.

Winston signed a one-year contract for $8.7 million (including incentives). The first-round pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2015 NFL Draft has been in New Orleans as a backup for the past four seasons. In that time, Winston threw 20 passing touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 21 games. For his career, Winston has thrown 141 touchdowns and 99 interceptions.

We know this: Winston is not afraid to throw the ball downfield. The Browns have Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore, and Jerry Jeudy as their wide receiver trio. Two of the three have been in the top 15 in deep targets. Last season, Cooper was sixth in deep targets and averaged 17.4 yards per reception. Jeudy was 26th in deep targets with Russell Wilson and Sean Payton, but in 2022, he was 12th in deep targets and averaged 14.5 yards per reception.

Statistically speaking, it is more likely than not that Winston will see valuable playing time. And that is good for fantasy. It isn’t necessarily that great for Cleveland, but it is great for fantasy.

1. Derrick Henry, Running Back, Baltimore Ravens

I feel that this speaks for itself. Henry just landed on a team that was in the top three in rushing attempts per game (31.5), rushing yards per game (156.4), and tied for third in rushing touchdowns per game (1.5).

They also allowed their second leading rusher (behind leading rusher quarterback Lamar Jackson), Gus Edwards, to take his talents West. Edwards finished with 810 rushing yards, 11 behind Jackson. The next closest was Keaton Mitchell, with 396, who suffered an ACL tear in December.

Henry finished last season as RB8. He averaged 4.2 yards per carry with 1167 rushing yards on 280 attempts. Henry found the end zone 12 times. And this was on a team that was 21st in rushing attempts and playing with three different quarterbacks.

When you search for perfection, this pairing is the definition. This is good for the Ravens and excellent for fantasy football.

 

The Imposter

Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver, Tennessee Titans

Ridley signed a four-year $92 million contract with $50 million guaranteed.  

The Titans are not only without Henry, but they will also be without Mike Vrabel (do not underestimate this coaching change) and will start with Will Levis under center.

Levis came in Week 8 last year, arms a blazing. He threw for four touchdowns, didn’t throw an interception, only took two sacks, and had 238 passing yards. It went downhill from there. For his nine games, Levis finished the season with 1,808 passing yards, eight touchdowns (four of which were in the Atlanta game, Week 8), and four interceptions.

Now, Levis will have to learn a new system. New head coach Brian Callahan will supposedly run a pass-first offense. He has the tools on paper with DeAndre Hopkins, Treylon Burks, and Ridley holding down the wide receiver positions, Chigoziem Okonkwo at tight end, and newly acquired running back Tony Pollard.

But here’s the thing: last season, Ridley was on an offense that was seventh in passing attempts per game (36.5) and sixth in passing completions per game (24.2). The Titans were dead last in both categories, averaging 29.1 passing attempts per game and 17.9 completions.

Callahan’s offense will not be last but how much of an improvement can you expect in one year?

Ridley finished the season as WR18. He commanded a 22.6% target share and a 39.78% red zone target share. He was eighth in deep targets (28) and third in red zone targets (25). Now, he shares the field with Hopkins, who commanded a 39.1% target share in the red zone, was second in deep targets (35), and was 12th in red zone targets (18). Something has got to give unless you think Levis can keep both afloat. Hopkins finished as WR22 last season, and he was the only reliable receiver on the field in Tennessee.

Ridley’s current ADP is 64.3. He is going off the board as WR37. That feels right. But if you are looking for a threat in this wide receiver room, don’t sleep on Kyle Philips or reach for Ridley.

Who is the one player who moved in free agency and is a must-have on your fantasy team?

 

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