Free agent signings and a few high-impact trades have changed the landscape for several NFL teams. What kind of impact will those moves have in fantasy football? Josh Larky and Ryan Reynolds, with insights from Jordan Vanek, continue their free-agent series by exploring fantasy-relevant wide receivers.
All contract figures are from Ari Meirov’s Free Agent Tracker, and all data comes from our flagship tool, The Edge.
Other Fantasy Impact Stories: QB | TE | RB
Fantasy Free Agent WR Impact
Bears Acquired Moore via Trade
- Ben Wolby did a data-driven deep dive into DJ Moore and his fantasy prospects as a member of the Chicago Bears.
- Moore finished last season with 888 yards receiving, but he finished with at least 1,100 yards in each of the previous three years.
- The Bears only threw on 51 percent of their offensive snaps last year, making volume a potential concern for Moore’s fantasy prospects.
Cowboys Acquired Cooks via Trade
- Brandin Cooks can play on the perimeter or in the slot while bringing difference-making speed to the table for QB Dak Prescott.
- Cooks has recorded at least 1,000 yards receiving in six of his last eight seasons.
- He has posted at least 1,000 yards receiving for four different teams.
- He’ll turn 30 this September, but this move to the Dallas Cowboys raises his floor and ceiling in fantasy.
- The trade also increased Prescott’s value in fantasy.
Moore Traded to the Browns
- After a promising rookie campaign where he flashed dynamic play making ability, Elijah Moore only had 446 yards receiving in 16 games last year.
- Moore asked to be traded from the New York Jets early last year, so a fresh start may be a positive for him.
- Deshaun Watson struggled last season after his prolonged absence from NFL football, but Watson is capable of leading an elite passing attack.
- Moore could emerge as the Cleveland Browns WR2 behind Amari Cooper.
- Assuming the Jets acquire Aaron Rodgers, if Moore was going to be traded, the Browns are a good landing spot where he has a lot of upside.
Signed with Raiders for 3-years, $33M
- Jakobi Meyers had a 21.9 percent target share, a 29.4 percent air yards share, with a 10.1 average depth of target (aDOT) as a member of the New England Patriots last season.
- The Las Vegas Raiders were an underwhelming landing spot for Meyer’s fantasy prospects, as he’ll compete for targets with Davante Adams and slot reps with Hunter Renfrow.
- Barring an injury to Adams, expect a reduction in volume for Meyers on his new team.
Signed with Patriots for 3-years, $25.5M
- Juju Smith-Schuster had 78 catches for 933 yards receiving on one of the league’s most pass-centric offenses, with the great Patrick Mahomes at quarterback last season.
- He also competed for slot reps with Travis Kelce.
- Signing with the Patriots to effectively replace is sneakily a solid landing spot for Smith-Schuster.
- Fantasy owners should be realistic about Smith-Schuster’s ceiling, but he has WR3 potential with a solid floor in PPR formats.
Signed with Panthers for 3-years, $25M
- Adam Thielen will turn 33 in August.
- After posting at least 900 yards receiving in four of five seasons (he missed six games in the year he fell short), Thielen has barely topped 700 yards receiving in each of the last two years.
- He has at least six receiving touchdowns in each of the last five years.
- Fantasy owners can expect Thielen to take on a leading role in what will likely be a below-average Carolina Panthers passing offense, putting him in WR4 territory in fantasy.
Signed with Jets for 4-years, $44M
- Allen Lazard’s most productive season came last year when he posted 60 receptions for 788 yards receiving and six touchdowns.
- Lazard will see significantly more target competition with the Jets than in Green Bay last season.
- It’s hard to see Lazard posting significantly better numbers in New York than he did last year.
- If the Jets don’t land Rodgers, Lazard’s floor in fantasy becomes concerning.
Signed with Bills for 2-years, $9.5M
- Only Cooper Kupp, Deebo Samuel, Antonio Brown, and Davante Adams had more yards per route run than Deonte Harty (2.74).
- He missed the 2022 season because of injuries.
- He’s speedy and elusive, and there’s spike week potential for him, as he’s paired with Josh Allen on a Buffalo Bills team with weak WR depth.
- He’s a great best-ball target in the later rounds, and his ADP is likely to rise over the next few weeks.
Signed with Texans for 2-years, $15.25M
- Robert Woods was underwhelming as a member of the Tennessee Titans last season, catching 53 passes for 527 yards receiving and two scores.
- Woods is two years removed from the most productive stretch of his career, recording at least 900 yards receiving in three consecutive seasons as a wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams.
- If you’re looking for a bull case on Woods, you’d build that stance around the lack of significant target competition in the Houston Texans‘ bottom-five wide receiver room.
- The Texans could draft a wide receiver with the 12th overall pick, creating more target competition for Woods.
Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell and Sterling Shepard
All sign with the Giants
- Darius Slayton re-signed with the New York Giants for two years, $12 million.
- Parris Campbell signed for one year, $4.7 million.
- Sterling Shepard signed for one year, $1.3 million.
- The Campbell and Shepard signings signal a concern amongst the New York Giants’ top decision-makers about Wan’Dale Robinson’s potential availability coming off a torn ACL, which he suffered in late November.
- Given the additions of Campbell and tight end Darren Waller, along with the return of Isaiah Hodgins, expect Slayton to be used more as a field stretcher this season.
- Fantasy owners should treat Slayton and Campbell as back-of-the-draft dart throws in best ball.
Signed with Dolphins for 1-year, $3.5M
- The Miami Dolphins offense runs through the dynamic duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, but Braxton Berrios could be an interesting PPR dart throw in deep leagues.
Best Available: Odell Beckham Jr., DJ Chark, Jarvis Landry