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Winners:

Kenny Golladay

The New York Giants made one of the biggest splashes in free agency, as they signed Golladay to a 4 year deal worth $72 million, with $40 million guaranteed. The Giants have desperately needed a number one target ever since Odell Beckham Jr. left town, and this signing achieved just that. Suddenly, Daniel Jones has been equipped with one of the better skill position groups in the NFC. Golladay, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, John Ross, Evan Engram, and of course, a healthy Saquon Barkley should provide a big boost to Big Blue’s offensive output. 

While many look at this signing and are put off by Kenny G’s new quarterback, this is a mistake. Jones’ and Golladay’s skill sets are a match made in heaven. Throughout his young career, Jones has shown nice touch on his deep ball, with the arm strength to throw his receivers open, even on throws outside the opposite hash marks. Jones also showed plenty of flashes as a rookie, putting up 30 or more fantasy points in four games. With Barkley back to keep defenses honest, and his first legitimate number one option in the passing game, I expect Daniel Jones to perform as a high end QB2 to low end QB1 in 2021.


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Standing at 6’4” and weighing in at 214 pounds, it’s no secret why Kenny Golladay has earned the nickname “babytron.” Golladay possesses the frame of a true outside alpha wide receiver, and he’s proven he knows how to use it, as he ranked 7th in 2019 in contested catch rate. In that same season, he ranked 1st in deep targets, and 6th in average depth of target (ADOT). Golladay is not someone who needs 10 or more targets per game in order to give you WR1 fantasy production, as he is a receiver who commands high value targets. Additionally, the kind of route tree that Golladay thrives in is one that is unique to the other passing game weapons on his new team. Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and even Saquon Barkley are competent enough in the short and intermediate passing game to keep defenses from being able to devote all their resources to Golladay. Here’s a taste of things to come:


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2021 Projection: 72 receptions for 1,195 yards and 8 touchdowns (finishing as the WR10 in PPR Formats)

 

Curtis Samuel

Curtis Samuel has had game-breaking talent going all the way back to his days at Ohio State where he played with his new NFL teammate, Terry Mclaurin. The Washington Football team secured one of the NFL’s most versatile playmakers, as they gave Samuel a 3 year, $34,500,000 contract with $23,000,000 in guaranteed money. Washington also added what looks likely to be their starting quarterback heading into the season, Ryan Fitzpatrick. 

It’s no secret that Ryan Fitzpatrick is a fantasy friendly quarterback, as he’s boosted the production of his passing game weapons for the last several years. DeVante Parker thrived when Fitzpatrick was at QB in Miami, and Chris Godwin and Mike Evans both finished as WR1’s when Fitzpatrick started in spurts for the Bucs in the 2019 season. While Fitzpatrick may not be a significantly better real life quarterback than Samuel’s former quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, he is an upgrade in terms of fantasy production. Samuel and the rest of the Washington receivers will reap the rewards.

During Samuel’s Junior season as a Buckeye, he put up 771 receiving yards with 8 receiving touchdowns, while also producing over 800 yards rushing with 7 rushing touchdowns. That’s over 1,500 all purpose yards with 15 total touchdowns. After showing flashes of his true potential at the pro level during his first three years, Samuel finally put it together in the 2020 season, and broke out to the tune of 1,051 all purpose yards and 5 total touchdowns. Keep in mind, he did this while competing for targets with DJ Moore and Robby Anderson. Samuel, Anderson and Moore all finished with over 210 PPR fantasy points, each finishing in the top 25 at the position.

Not only does Samuel have less target competition on his new team, McLaurin and Samuel’s games complement each other extremely well. McLaurin is likely to run a deeper route tree than that of Samuel, as he had a 13.9 yard ADOT in 2019, and 9.8 this year (abnormally low due to poor QB play). McLaurin also ranked #1 in the NFL in contested catch rate last year, showing off his extraordinary body control and exceptionally strong hands. Samuel, on the other hand, had a 7.2 yard average target distance last season, as he worked primarily on underneath routes, screens, and manufactured touches. Although Samuel possesses field stretching speed, this season showed that he is most lethal when given the ball in space, predominantly on shorter/intermediate routes and handoffs, which complements McLaurin’s higher ADOT. On top of all this, Samuel ranked 2nd in the NFL in catch rate last year, showing off his reliable hands and solid ball tracking ability.


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2021 Projection: 83 receptions for 945 yards and 5 touchdowns; 135 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns (finishing as the WR 16)

 

Loser:

Will Fuller

The Miami Dolphins were able to secure the services of one of the top free agent wide receivers on the market at a reasonable price, as they signed Will Fuller to a one year, $10,625,011 contract with $10,000,000 guaranteed. The downside is Fuller is going from playing with Deshaun Watson, who averaged 8.8 yards per attempt last year (good for 1st in the NFL) to Tua Tagovailoa, who averaged 6.3 yards per attempt (30th amongst quarterbacks) as a rookie. This is bad news for Fuller, as it’s no secret that he thrives on the deep ball, ranking 1st in the NFL in yards per target last year. 

While Tagovailoa may take a step forward this year, don’t expect him to become a deep ball gunslinger overnight. All things considered, in fantasy terms, Will Fuller is better for Tagovailoa than Tagovailoa is for Fuller. This poor fantasy fit is compounded by Fuller’s long history of health issues, as well as his one game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. Simply speaking, it’s difficult to be optimistic on Fuller’s potential this coming season. Barring Tua being traded for Deshaun Watson, Fuller is nothing more than a hit or miss WR3 for the 2021 season.

2021 Projection: 60 receptions for 802 yards and 6 touchdowns (finishing as the WR 33)