From an offensive fantasy player standpoint, the 2019 free agent season has been pretty lackluster thus far. While on the defensive side of the line, IDP prospects rate as the stars of the early free agency rush. Most people so far have focused on the Bell signing, as well as the Brown and Beckham trades. Obviously, the Jets, Raiders and Browns are trending up in fans’ expectations following these big-time moves.
Yet in the background there have been some bold free agency moves that increase the value of many players who previously have been lower tier roster-fillers. Every year we see players emerge after a change in teams and become more valuable than they have been. Here are five players that I believe have a great opportunity to improve their fantasy stock significantly in 2019. All they have to do is walk through the door of opportunity and embrace success.
- QB Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars
- 30 years old-entering 8th season
- Signed 4-year, $88M contract with $45.125M guaranteed
- Career highlights: 61.6% completion rate, 68/33 TD/INT ratio
After a stint with the Eagles as a very successful backup, he assumes the reigns of the starting QB in Jacksonville. After a great year in 2017, the Jaguars had a forgettable 2018 season. Now Foles gets a chance to really show what he can do. Early in his career he had one stat really standout that makes me think he will be a big success. In 2013 he had a 27/2 TD/INT Ratio. If he can come close to recapturing that talent level, he could improve from his current status as a mid-level QB2.
- WR Golden Tate, New York Giants
- 31 years old-entering 10th season
- Signed 4-year, $37M contract with $23M guaranteed
- Career highlights: 611-7,214-38 with 11.8 yards/reception
After years of success, Golden Tate hit a roadblock in his career last season. In Detroit, with young Kenny Golladay and the veteran Marvin Jones stepping up, he was extra baggage salary cap wise. After moving to the Eagles, he never really blended in. Now on the Giants, with Beckham gone and Sterling Shepard far from being capable of being a WR1, I see Golden Tate rebounding to a ranking of about #15-18, making him a solid WR2 fantasy wise in 2019.
- WR Tyrell Williams, Oakland Raiders
- 27 years old-entering 5th season
- Signed 4-year, $44M contract with $22M guaranteed
- Career highlights: 155-2,530-17 with 16.3 yards/reception
So far in his career with the Chargers, Williams has always been the guy with high potential, filling in admirably when the talented WRs above him on the depth chart were hurt, which was often. He also played well as a WR3-4 when they were healthy. Now he has moved on to Oakland where he will line up as the #2 WR opposite one of the very best WRs in the league, Antonio Brown. After miring in the depths of the WR rankings in prior year, look for Williams to move up and perform as a solid fantasy WR3, with the possibility of performing at a WR2 level.
- WR John Brown, Buffalo Bills
- 29 years old-entering 6th season
- Signed 3-year, $27M contract with $10.1M guaranteed
- Career highlights: 215-3,230-22 with 15.0 yards/reception
John Brown’s career has been a splash of sensational play, tempered with massive disappointment. One of the fastest men in the NFL, he spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons fighting sickle cell anemia and other physical maladies. The Cardinals gave up on him after that and he went to the weak passing Ravens for the 2018 season. Despite playing in a run-run-run offense, he put up a 42-715-5 stat line last year, with a lofty 17.0 yards/reception. As of now, he and Zay Jones are penciled in as the starting WRs in an improving Buffalo offense. He has an opportunity to be a solid fantasy WR3 after falling down deeply in the rankings in recent seasons.
- WR Adam Humphries, Tennessee Titans
- 26 years old-entering 5th season
- Signed 4-year, $36M contract with $12M guaranteed
- Career highlights: 219-2,329-9 with 10.6 yards/reception
With the Buccaneers, Adam Humphries took a back seat to Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson. Last year he really showed progress and moved up, producing a 76-816-5 stat line along with his usual 10.7 yards/reception. As a go to, chain-moving possession receiver he will be a great complementary addition to Corey Davis and the rest of the young Titans’ receiving corp. For the upcoming 2019 season, I see Humphries having solid fantasy WR3 potential.
For the most part, I anticipate that many experts ranking these players, as well as ADP numbers, will under value these players. With some analysis though we see that they all have a strong, solid opportunity to improve over their previous values this season. Jot down their names and keep an eye on them as we gather information and knowledge before our 2019 drafts.
Good luck in your 2019 championship battles. All of us here at Big Guy Fantasy Sports are intent on helping you become the champions you want to be. With our poignant articles and being the home base for the Consistency Theory, a sound, mathematically-based alternative to ADP, we will be with you every step of the way throughout the entire 2019 season. This will be my 35th year playing and my 19th season writing about our passion for fantasy football.
Just in case you were wondering how I did in 2018 and want to know if I know what I am talking about, how about this? Five of my six teams made it to their league playoffs. With a cumulative 53-29 record (65% wins), I won fantasy championships in two formidable experts’ leagues, FanEx and FFWebmasters, as well as in my own Couch Tomatoes Invitational Auction league. Yes, that is three fantasy championships in six tough leagues, with two of those three teams having dominating 12-1 regular season records.
In the Fantasy Index Magazine annual experts’ scoring projection contest, I ranked #6 out of 20. In the similar public Fantasy Index Open, out of 583 entries, I was #2 in projecting QB, RB, WR, TE, PK and DST Top 20 scoring. These entries were submitted before the first preseason games. I just barely missed winning my second title in this contest (won in 2014). I lost by a heartbreaking 43 points at a scoring level of about 310,000 points. In 2018, using a combination of the Consistency Theory and my own knowledge of our game, I had my best year ever.
Good luck! Have fun!