NFL Free Agency Fantasy Fallout: The latest on Drew Brees, Stefon Diggs, and the rest of the moves

The beginning of the legal tampering period has brought a flurry of moves with potentially significant Fantasy impacts. The CBS Fantasy team has you covered, including Heath Cummings’ updated projections for nearly every offense impacted and an emergency podcast with Adam Aizer, Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard to break down the blockbuster trade between the Texans and Cardinals that saw David Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins swap uniforms. 

There have been minor moves, as well, including the Falcons trading for Hayden Hurst to replace Austin Hooper, who agreed with the Browns on a free agent contract that made him the highest-paid tight end in the league for the time being. Here are our reactions to each move, big and small. 

Drew Brees returns to Saints

Brees signed a two-year pact, but at this stage of his career, it’s expected to be structured such that if he decides he’s done after 2020, that can happen. Brees’ return keeps Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara squarely in the first round, and likely ensures the Saints offense will continue to run through those two superstars. 

Bills acquire Stefon Diggs

If you’re aware of the stat yards per target, you might know anything over 10 is considered excellent. That means hitting 1,000 yards is quite the task if you’re not a 100-target receiver — Diggs posted 1,130 yards in 2019 while being targeted just 94 times. Though Minnesota relegated Diggs to a deep threat role last year, he caught over 100 balls in 2018, and has a proven ability to do it all. Unfortunately for Fantasy managers, Buffalo isn’t a much better situation than Minnesota — while there should be more opportunity for Diggs to rack up targets at all depths, Josh Allen’s rushing and accuracy issues will keep Diggs’ numbers in check. 

Diggs moving on does immediately bump Adam Thielen’s 2020 projection. Here’s our analysts’ breakdown of the trade:

Texans ink Randall Cobb

After trading DeAndre Hopkins earlier Monday, Houston signed Cobb to a three-year deal with more than $18 million guaranteed. Not exactly a No. 1 at this stage in his career, Cobb joins a Houston pass-catching group that already had reasonable depth with Will Fuller, Kenny Stills and Keke Coutee, but probably needs more of an alpha receiver. You know, someone like DeAndre Hopkins. 

Falcons release Devonta Freeman, acquire Hayden Hurst

The Falcons moved on from their longtime starting running back to free up some cap room, and Dave says the 28-year-old’s days as a start-worthy Fantasy running back are numbered. On Hurst, he notes: “Hurst will enter his third NFL season with his second NFL team at the age of 27 years old. The Falcons figure to plug him into Austin Hooper’s old role as a move tight end, and while he moves a little better than Hooper, there’s not a lot of evidence to suggest he’ll crush it. He has three touchdowns over 43 career receptions despite playing 28 career games. It’ll take the Falcons treating Hurst like they did Hooper (7.5 targets per game in 2019) for there to be even a chance at a 700-yard season.” 

Bears sign Jimmy Graham, are active in quarterback market

The Bears added Jimmy Graham on a two-year deal, but the move seems unlikely to have a major Fantasy impact at this stage of his career, particularly as a flurry of moves have opened up potential 2020 breakouts like Hurst, Ian Thomas, Jonnu Smith and the recently-extended Blake Jarwin. 

Dave also notes: “The Bears are pretty clearly trying to get something done at quarterback. Monday started with them trying to lure Teddy Bridgewater, then that rumor fizzled as discussion around a trade involving Nick Foles or Andy Dalton gained steam. No matter how you slice it, there’s too much smoke around the franchise to believe Mitchell Trubisky will be their starter anytime soon. That’s a terrible look for a club that spent three draft picks to move up one spot to draft Trubisky — passing on Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes in the process. For what it’s worth, Foles (65.8%) had a better completion rate in 2019 than Trubisky (63.2%) and Dalton (59.5%).”

Hopkins to Cardinals, David Johnson to Texans, Drake tagged

After tagging Drake, the Cardinals were able to unload Johnson’s salary by including a second-round pick, while the Texans traded their franchise centerpiece in a move that has reportedly stunned the locker room. 

Dak Prescott tagged, Amari Cooper re-signed

The Cowboys tagged Prescott, and after the ratification of the CBA last weekend, teams can now use only one tag, meaning they were limited in their options with Amari Cooper’s. But late Monday, they reached an agreement on a 5-year, $100 million deal to keep Cooper in Dallas. Heath’s updated Cowboys projections look at what this means for the Cowboys in 2020. 

Browns tender Kareem Hunt, agree with Hooper

Somewhat surprisingly, Cleveland has reached an agreement with Austin Hooper in a move that further bolsters a loaded skill position group. With Hunt also tendered, will there be enough targets to go around?

Derrick Henry tagged

After signing Ryan Tannehill to a multi-year deal Sunday, the Titans used the franchise tag on running back Derrick Henry Monday, ensuring they will try to recapture their 2019 magic in 2020. Heath warns regression is incoming. 

A.J. Green tagged

The Bengals franchise tagged Green, and Jamey says his days as a prominent Fantasy weapon aren’t done yet. 

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