With the majority of fantasy football prospects either signed or on the outside looking in, our first post-free agency quarterback stock report looks at how trades and 2020 NFL free agency have impacted dynasty quarterback rankings.
The quarterback carousel was at an all-time high this offseason as we saw Tampa Bay, Indianapolis, Carolina, Las Vegas, Chicago, Cleveland, and Washington add quarterbacks via trade or free agency. Three of these franchises will enter 2020 with new starting quarterbacks, while the Raiders, Bears, Browns, and Redskins added veterans to push or groom their incumbent starters.
Tom Brady leaving New England for the sunny beaches of Tampa, Florida, is the most talked-about quarterback switch this offseason. Still, Houston’s decision to trade DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals directly impacted the fantasy stock of two premier National Football League quarterbacks.
Our post-free agency quarterback stock report looks at Hopkins’ impact on both Kyler Murray and Deshaun Watson’s fantasy football rankings moving forward, plus a glimpse at other dynasty prospects directly impacted by 2020 NFL free agency.
Quarterbacks that saw their dynasty fantasy football stock increase post-free agency include:
After Hopkins’ shocking trade from Houston to Arizona, the phrase “one man’s loss is another man’s gain” has never been more relevant. While Hopkins’ loss is sure to haunt Houston for years to come, no one is more ecstatic about the switch than Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray.
The dual-threat 2018 Heisman Trophy winner had over 4,200 yards and 24 total touchdowns during his rookie campaign en route to a QB1 finish. Murray finished as the eighth highest-scoring fantasy football quarterback in 2019, and that’s sure to rise with one of the best wide receivers now in town.
Murray’s tendency to hold on to the ball and take unnecessary sacks was a detriment to Arizona’s offense in 2019. While those sacks might be due to wide receivers not getting open, quarterbacks have to know when to throw it away rather than put your team in negative game-scripts.
Having an elite wide receiver like Hopkins might help alleviate some of those concerns as Murray should be more comfortable letting it fly. Hopkins is the type of wide receiver that doesn’t have to be open to make a play. For further info on Hopkins, take a look at PFN’s Tommy Garrett’s article on the fantasy impact of free agency for the Arizona Cardinals
With Murray now having a reliable option like Hopkins as his number one wide receiver, the sky is truly the limit for the second-year pro. You’re seeing that in early 2020 drafts with Murray overtaking Deshaun Watson as QB3 in the majority of SuperFlex drafts.
After spending two seasons in New Orleans as Drew Brees’ understudy, new Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is finally a starter in the NFL again. With Bridgewater leaving a backup job for a likely starting gig in Carolina, the quarterback’s fantasy football dynasty ranking has skyrocketed over the past week.
While it’s worth questioning how relevant Bridgewater will be in 1QB leagues, the former Minnesota Vikings’ starter is especially prevalent in SuperFlex and 2QB formats. With Bridgewater available on waiver wires or at the bottom of most startup rankings, he’s set up as one of the best quarterback values in our post-free agency fantasy football dynasty rankings.
Buffalo Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen didn’t magically become a more accurate passer overnight, but there’s no doubt the addition of Stefon Diggs improves the quarterback’s stock moving forward. Already an underrated fantasy football asset due to his rushing ability, Allen now gets a true number one wide receiver to overthrow. Okay, that was harsh.
Allen finished the 2019 season with over 3,500 total yards, nine rushing touchdowns, and a 20-9 TD/INT Ratio with John Brown and Cole Beasley as his top receivers. Now Allen gets to work with arguably the best route-runner in the NFL. While it’s doubtful that Diggs will remain happy in Buffalo, there’s at least one quarterback extremely thankful for the addition.
Quarterbacks that saw their dynasty fantasy football stock decrease post-free agency include:
Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson faces an uphill battle in 2020 after the Texans traded three-time All-Pro wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, to the Cardinals. Watson’s three-year NFL career has been marred by poor offensive line play, a lack of running game, and a boneheaded head coach turned general manager draining the franchise of any assets.
Despite all of this ineptitude surrounding him, Watson has catapulted himself to the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks. With Hopkins leaving town, Watson faces his biggest test yet with often-injured Will Fuller, Kenny Stills, and Randall Cobb, as his top wide receivers. Good luck, #4.
Philip Rivers is the starting quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts. Let that sink in for a moment. Who would’ve predicted that? Certainly not Rivers or the Colts fans he trash-talked throughout his Chargers’ career. But crazy things happen in sports and now former starter Jacoby Brissett is on the outside-looking-in.
Even when starting in Indianapolis, Brissett was a middling quarterback prospect in fantasy football dynasty rankings. Rivers’ signing in Indianapolis was just the final dagger in Brissett’s dynasty stock as he’s not even worth rostering in the deepest of fantasy football leagues.
Cam Newton/Jameis Winston
As former starting quarterbacks currently without a home, I grouped Cam Newton and Jameis Winston. Along with being former number one overall picks in their respective NFL drafts, both quarterbacks are previous Heisman Trophy winners without a team at the moment.
After failing to find a trade partner for the 30-year-old often injured Newton, the Panthers released the former face of the franchise. Tampa Bay replaced the turnover-prone Winston with 42-year-old, six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. While Brady is on the downside of his career, the future first-ballot Hall of Famer is a worthy investment for a Buccaneers team in desperate need of structure and relevancy.
With the Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, and Los Angeles Chargers likely to fill their QB1 need in the 2020 NFL Draft, Newton and Winston might have to settle for backup jobs for the time being. Pictures of current Chargers starter Tyrod Taylor and Newton working out together have emerged recently, leading to instant speculation of Newton’s impending signing in Los Angeles.
Unless Newton and Winston land a starting gig, they’re destined to be the biggest fallers in fantasy football dynasty rankings. Both quarterbacks’ post-free agency dynasty stock has taken a hit so they might be better served to go the Ryan Tannehill route.
Jordan Woodson is a writer for PFN covering dynasty fantasy football. Follow him on Twitter @Jordan_Woodson.