Today’s Fantasy Football: Shuffling Las Vegas Celebrates First 24 Hours of Free Agency

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Aaron Rodgers is taking his sweet time making a decision about his future, and is effectively holding the Jets and Packers hostage while they wait for the his decision. He even recited enter a list of the Packers’ favorite players – and, apparently, Odell Beckham – to get the Jets.

Reports indicate that Rodgers will likely go to the Jets, but until they hear from him directly, both sides are in a holding pattern. And, in many ways, so is the rest of the NFL.

But not the Raiders. They added Jimmy Garoppolo and Jakobi Meyers to the offense in the first two days of free agency, a sign that they don’t plan to take a step back after releasing Derek Carr, though they will that is without Darren Waller. .

That’s the big headline from the first 24-plus hours of free agency’s legal blackout period, and while Rodgers’ situation appears to hold up other contracts, it certainly isn’t the only news we got In today’s newsletter, we break down everything you need to know from the first day of free agency, starting with what the Raiders expected on the new look:

Raiders send Jimmy Garoppolo, Jakobi Meyers

December 4, 2022; Santa Clara, California, United States; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Levi’s Stadium.

Sergio Estrada / USA TODAY Sports

So far it feels like the Raiders have made a bunch of high profile late moves so far. Derek Carr is a limited passer, and so is Garoppolo. Meyers is a strong wide receiver with a knack for getting open, but he’s not the matchup nightmare Waller can be for opposing defenses. You add it all up, and this feels like the same offense it was a year or less ago, which is fine for Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs; Adams finished as the No. 3 WR last season while Jacobs was the RB3.

Jacobs’ value remains constant with this move, and I expect him to be used more or less the same way he was last season. He dominated RB snaps and touches for the Raiders as a small back, and as long as he can keep up that kind of usage, he’s going to be a high-end Fantasy option, and I would think that almost everyone agrees.

I think there may be more questions about Adams, but I don’t think there should be. He is the most proven target earner in the NFL, and his value has remained largely constant despite going from Aaron Rodgers to, eventually, Jarrett Stidham. He’ll likely see fewer deep targets from Garoppolo than he did from Carr — Carr was fourth in the NFL in average passing yards last season at 9.1, while Garoppolo was 25th at 6.9 — but he should also improve on his 55.6%. catch rate from last season as well.

Adams will be 31 by the end of the season, but he has basically shown no signs of decline so far, and I really don’t predict any. He steps on the field and earns a 30% target share every time out, and I don’t think swapping Carr for Garoppolo and Waller for Meyers is going to change that. Adams is a top five WR for 2023, while Meyers is in the WR3 debate for PPR leagues; Hunter Renfrow is a PPR flex at best, but he will have times when he is useful in this offense.

For more on the Garoppolo signing and what came of it, Heath Cummings has you covered here.

Giants add TE Darren Waller

The Giants needed to add some talent after re-signing Daniel Jones, and Waller is a very talented pass catcher. The question is whether he’s still a difference maker heading into his age-31 season, coming off two injury-plagued campaigns, but for the price of a third-round pick, it’s hard to complain either.

At best, there weren’t many tight ends who challenged defenses more than Waller, who posted back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons in 2019 and 2020. He wasn’t well George Kittle or Travis Kelce with the ball in his hands, but Waller had the skills to make plays down the field and after the catch, and if he can get back to that level, he will be a resource for the this crime.

The good thing is that we can be very confident that he is going to get the chance. It looks like the Giants aren’t done adding to the receiving corps, but right now, he’s the best pass catcher on this offense. Waller might just open the season as Jones’ No. 1 option, and that’s a pretty good place for any tight end to be, even if you don’t believe in Jones — and you don’t me

Before this trade, I had Waller as my No. 9 tight end for 2023, but I think this really pushes him back into the top five discussion. We’ll see who else the Giants add, but right now, I think Waller slots in between TJ Hockenson and Dallas Goedert as my TE5. For more ideas, check out Dan Schneier’s write-up on the Waller trade. And you can listen to the FFT team’s thoughts on the trade here.

This one is a legitimate surprise, as Thomas was seemingly on his way out to New Orleans after restructuring his contract back in January. However, he is returning to New Orleans on a one-year, $10 million deal, with incentives that could push it as high as $15 million. Derek Carr is not a superstar, but he may be the best quarterback the Saints have had since Drew Brees.

However, Thomas is not returning to the same team where he once led the league in performances. He will compete for targets with second-year receiver Chris Olave, who looked like a superstar while Thomas was again sidelined for most of the 2022 season. Thomas had three touchdowns and 171 yards in three games last season, and he could still be a useful Fantasy option, although he’s not guaranteed to be the No. 1 guy. He might complement Olave well, and the situation with Carr might be good, so he’s back on Fantasy radars as a sleeper for 2023. I wouldn’t pay much for him after he’s only 10 games played over the past three seasons, but I can’t say I won’t draft him this season.

Over five seasons, Penny has played in just 42 of 82 games, so he was almost certainly always going to some sort of committee. As committees go, of course, this isn’t a bad one. He missed most of the 2022 season after breaking his tibia, but again played very well to open the season for the Seahawks, rushing for 346 yards and two touchdowns on 57 carries. carries in four and a half games. He will have a chance to fill the role of Miles Sanders, who had 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns as a rusher last season. Penny has a lot of injury risk, but he’s going to come cheap enough to make it worth the gamble, in my opinion. I would probably be willing to draft him as an RB3, especially if we get reports indicating that he will get a chance to be a lead back.

It has been rumors linking the Dolphins to Dalvin Cook, although doing that work under the cap was always a challenge. I would think that re-signing their top two cornerbacks from last season would likely make a big move at the position, and I would say that there is probably not much to get excited about. here. As Jake Ciely of The Athletic reported, Mostert and Wilson have both played eight of the team’s last nine games, splitting snaps 47.4% (Wilson) to 43.4% (Mostert). They put up very similar numbers on a very similar practice, and I believe we will see a similar split next season. Both will simply be bench depth options with occasional upside each week if one or the other deals with an injury or emerges as a clear primary option.

In all likelihood, none of these deals seem to matter much. Heinicke gives the Falcons a viable backup behind Desmond Ridder, but you have to think they’re going to give Ridder the first crack at winning the job. And, although Smith, at first glance, would represent some problems for Kyle Pitts, I’m not sure that’s true. Smith played 72% of his snaps in 2020 lined up as a tight end in Arthur Smith’s offense, while Pitts was just 38% last season. The Falcons are going to play with plenty of two-TE sets, and I have to think Pitts will be a priority in passing situations at least. I don’t think this affects him much – the Falcons need to throw more at him to reach his potential, and not much else matters.

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