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2024 Dynasty Free Agent Preview – QBs/TEs

The offseason is already heating up, but we must discuss the quarterbacks and tight ends in this free-agency class.

Welcome to my three-part series breaking down the 2024 free agency class. We are going to look at every position and see who has dynasty value that you should look to take advantage of before free agency hits or wait until a player signs with a team. We will look at specific trades for players to see if their value will go up or down, which you could steal before free agency starts.

Quarterbacks

Last season, during free agency, we had some important dynasty quarterbacks re-sign or switch teams that made an impact in 2023. While there is no Lamar Jackson or Jalen Hurts type in the free-agent pool, there are still good players we will talk about for 2024. 2023 was the year of the backups, which could have been a one-year wonder, but in Superflex leagues, having that depth or security blanket for your teams is essential. Players like Baker Mayfield and Garnder Minshew had low value in dynasty last March, and even when they signed, there was little hope they would be successful. Mayfield would finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback, while Minshew would finish as a mid-range QB2.

We also had spot starts from guys like Jarrett Stidham, Easton Stick, Nick Mullens, and Taylor Heinicke. All could have been had for berries, and you would have had a starting quarterback at some point some weeks if they were on your team. Some quarterbacks signed that we were just unsure about, but we knew they would be given the chance. Daniel Jones and Jimmy G signed big contracts but failed to be valuable starting dynasty quarterbacks. Yes, Jones was hurt, but he wasn’t all that good before he went down. There were backups who we thought would make an impact but didn’t like Mike White & Jacoby Brissett. We also had Geno Smith and Derek Carr, but they were mediocre fantasy options for most of the season.

2024 Class

Likely Starters

Kirk CousinsBaker Mayfield

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins is heading into free agency, but probably not in the way he wanted to. He is coming off an Achilles injury that forced him to miss half of 2023. The good thing is that Cousins is still viewed as the top quarterback on the board. The Vikings won’t franchise tag him, so he can go wherever he wants. Before Cousins tore his Achilles, he was on pace to break his yardage and touchdowns career highs. It was clear that Cousins had an elite group around him that helped him produce over 20 fantasy points in six of eight games. Cousins also was very accurate this season, being ranked third in true completion percentage and eighth in deep ball completion.

The elephant in the room has to be his recovery from the Achilles tear. Cousins will be 36 years old and may not be the same after this. It’s a typical nine-month recovery, and statistics say that quarterbacks can return, but they usually don’t return to form. The good news is that Cousins never relied on his legs to help his cause in the passing game, but a good offensive line and medical facility will be necessary. Cousins seems okay going back to the Vikings at the right price, but teams like the Falcons, Raiders, Steelers, or Broncos could pay up for Cousins. Cousins will be the top quarterback and may be the only true starting quarterback on the market by free agency. Teams may pay up to get Cousins on the roster.

If we look at the trades for Cousins, his value is somewhere in the middle. He isn’t that highly rated, but you aren’t getting him too cheap unless you don’t buy into Bryce Young’s rebound. A contending team should try to buy into Cousins before he finds a landing spot. If he returns to the Vikings, you’ll likely have to give up a first-round pick. I think a second and a few young players may get the job done for Cousins. You can also wait to sell since he is coming off an Achilles injury and not be his old self.

Cousins Trade Market Pre-Free Agency – BUY/HOLD to Sell

Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield is hitting free agency and is valued much differently than in 2023. With the Bucs, Mayfield would hit career highs in yards, touchdowns, comp %, completions, and attempts. Mayfield would be a suitable quarterback all season, as he finished as a QB1. He looked well in the Bucs offense and had weapons to throw the ball to. Despite career highs, Mayfield was eighth in danger plays and interceptable balls in 2023. Does this mean that Mayfield has turned his career around? I don’t believe we will get the upside of the former first-overall pick.

Mayfield could end up back with the Bucs. He will have Mike Evans but lose Dave Canales, who left for Carolina. We saw what happened with Canales and left a situation with Geno Smith. In 2023, Smith saw a decrease in his rushing attempts and completion percentage in his game. Those were things that Mayfield saw an increase in 2023 from 2022. Mayfield could also leave and go to the Falcons, Raiders, or Broncos, which may not have the same situation as his 2023 season.

Based on trades, Mayfield seems higher in value in dynasty. Folks are still nervous about Mayfield, but some are buying into his 2023 season. I think it’s a great time to trade away Mayfield before he signs with a team. He could land in a situation that isn’t ideal, but he goes due to the contract. He could also be a ‘hold and wait’ to see where he does land, but he is not a great buy right now.

Mayfield Trade Market Pre-Free Agency – SELL/HOLD

Potential Bridge Starters

Ryan TannehillJacoby Brissett
Garnder MinshewJoe Flacco

Ryan Tannehill’s 2023 season was not very well, and his injury didn’t help. Tannehill also didn’t have a great receiving group around him either. You get slightly past his prime DeAndre Hopkins and many backup pass-catchers. Tannehill’s downfall in Tennessee happened when the team traded away AJ Brown two years ago. The Titans seem eager to give Will Levis the keys to the offense. At this point, Tannehill is likely only a bridge quarterback for a young quarterback coming into the league. There is a slight chance that Tannehill could fill in for 2024 for the Vikings, Falcons, Patriots, or Raiders if they want to stay competitive. This could be an opportunity to acquire Ryan Tannehill on your team in Superflex leagues, especially if he is going for third-round picks. Tannehill’s cheap service would be a good buy if you are contending.

Tannehill Trade Market Pre-Free Agency – BUY/HOLD

Jacoby Brissett has been a high-end backup for years now. In 2022, Brissett had nine games over 17 fantasy points with the Browns. In two half games in 2023, Brissett put up 225 passing yards and three passing touchdowns. Brissett could also act as a bridge quarterback for a team, but he will likely be a high-end backup for an incumbent starter, as he did in 2023. Brissett could easily get a backup job with the Browns, Giants, or Commanders. Brissett is currently an easy trade option right now due to his price. A fourth-round pick or throw-in piece before the free agency is the right move, in case he starts early in the year.

Brissett Trade Market Pre-Free Agency – BUY/HOLD

Joe Flacco had an unbelievable run with the Browns in the back half of the 2023 season. Flacco was QB2 from weeks 13 to 17 and helped folks with fantasy championships. Flacco is 39 years old, so I don’t know how many teams will want him to be their bridge quarterback to start the season. Flacco was considered done by many fantasy owners due to his poor play over the last five years. He has 32 passing touchdowns in that span. Flacco may find a landing spot, but he may also be one of those quarterbacks who wait until the team can evaluate their position. If Flacco is going for the trades he is going for, I’m selling him. You could wait to see if a team views him as a starting quarterback, but that seems unlikely. If I can get a 2025 3rd round pick, that’s a no-brainer.

Flacco Trade Market Pre-Free Agency – SELL/HOLD

Gardner Minshew was a solid pickup last offseason if you thought the Colts would play him to start the season. While it didn’t turn out that way, Minshew got a chance to fill in for starter Anthony Richardson from week six due to an injury. Minshew wasn’t all that great for fantasy, as he had only three games over 20 fantasy points. Most of his games averaged between 11 and 14 fantasy points. Minshew could be back with the Colts, but he will be a backup quarterback that teams will want on their rosters. He is good enough to fill in if the starter goes down.

I don’t think Minshew has that upside we thought after his season and a half with the Jaguars. Minshew is a solid depth piece at quarterback, but you may be able to use Minshew to get value somewhere. Jerry Jeudy hasn’t planned out, but he may need a change of scenery. David Njoku is a top-10 tight end that a team may need, and using Minshew to help with the trade is solid. I’m selling Minshew for value somewhere else or just holding and having that depth piece.

Minshew Trade Market Pre-Free Agency – SELL/HOLD

Back up QBs

Tyrod TaylorSam DarnoldJamies Winston
Joshua DobbsMason RudolphDrew Lock
Marcus MariotaMitch TrubiskyEaston Stick

This grouping of free-agent quarterbacks will not likely get a chance to start again unless an injury occurs. You have your mobile quarterbacks like Taylor, Dobbs, and Mariota. They could spark an offense for a few games with their mobility on the field. The rest of the quarterbacks all have a big arm or can manage a few games. They can likely be bought cheaply in trades for those who play in Superflex leagues. Selling value on 2023 performances like Dobbs, Rudolph, and Stick can help get a trade done. Everyone should likely have a backup job in 2024. It would be better to wait to see where they land before moving.

Tight Ends

The TE free agency class last season did not have many players to contribute to the 2023 season. The two top tight ends were Evan Engram and Dalton Schultz. The Jaguars tagged Engram, while Schultz signed a one-year deal with the Texans. Both players succeeded in the prior seasons and continued showing off their talent in 2023. We also had players looking to prove their talent in Mike Gesicki, Irv Smith, and Hayden Hurst, who flopped at the position to prove they were just average players. Juwan Johnson resigned, but he dealt with injuries, so I’d give him a pass. It would not be a pretty sight if you invested in this free agency class last season.

Potential Starters

Hunter HenryDalton Schultz
Gerald EverettNoah Fant

Hunter Henry

Hunter Henry is hitting free agency after three decent seasons with the Patriots. Henry didn’t make his case in 2023 with the worst yardage total of his career. He did manage to get six touchdowns and has seven of eight seasons with four plus touchdowns. Henry would go through some hot and cold streaks in fantasy last season. He would have a few great fantasy games but take the next four games being useless. Henry will be turning 30 next season, and there are still a few more years that Henry could perform at a high level. There could be a few teams that would want Henry if the Patriots can’t find a way to re-sign their starting tight end. Henry’s value is low right now in dynasty. For contending teams, if you can get Henry before he signs for a fourth-round pick, it could be worth its value.

Henry Trade Market Pre-Free Agency – HOLD/BUY

Dalton Schultz

Dalton Schultz was not a hot commodity heading into free agency last year, especially after signing with the Texans. Schultz would show he wasn’t a fluke with the Cowboys and could be a good tight end. He would finish as TE12, but between weeks four to 12, Schultz was a top-five tight end fantasy. It was helpful that his other pass catchers would miss games, allowing Schultz to produce. Following week one, Schultz and the top four receivers would never play in one game again. While he didn’t live up to his 2021 breakout season, Schultz could rebound after a down 2022 year.

Schultz showed he can be a valuable tight end for a team and fantasy. Dalton Schultz is being valued as a top-12 tight end in dynasty based on some trades being made. Schultz’s landing spot is a mystery right now. He could be back with the Texans or join the Bengals, Jets, or Chargers. Schultz could be used to help get an elite tight end right now that has long-term value. Schultz would need a long-term deal to trust in dynasty. If he lands with a team with too many mouths to feed, it could hurt his value. He could be a solid sell pre-free agency or just hold on to see what happens to him.

Schultz Trade Market Pre-Free Agency – SELL/HOLD

Gerald Everett

Gerald Everett had a few decent seasons, with the Chargers having 966 yards and seven touchdowns. Everett is turning 30 in 2024, so he is getting up in age. He has one season over 500 yards and has never had over four receiving touchdowns. Everett can still be a decent starter for an NFL team but lacks the upside to be great. It seems unlikely that the Chargers will re-sign him. He could be a cheap signing for teams like the Dolphins or Patriots or even back with the Rams. Everett’s value seems very low in dynasty right now.

As you can see with the trades, you could acquire Everett as a throw-in piece. Everett is still a decent tight end that can be solid for fantasy. If he lands with the Rams, that would be his prime spot. He is a better buy or hold than sell.

Everett Trade Market Pre-Free Agency – BUY/HOLD

Noah Fant

Noah Fant is finishing his rookie contract, which was a long time ago. Fant started in Denver, where he averaged 600 receiving yards and three touchdowns a season. He was part of the trade with Russell Wilson, who sent him to Seattle. That hurt his career since they had a stack-receiving duo at the time. Seattle loved to rotate tight ends with Noah Fant, Will Dissily, and Colby Parkinson for the last two years. Fant would average 450 yards and two touchdowns per season in Seattle.

Fant is still young enough to rebound to jump-start his career again. With all of them being free agents, Seattle has no tight ends, so Fant could be back. Fant is a mid-price tight end who could find himself in a better situation where he is used as a weapon than just a role player. Fant could be in a better situation than the last two years. If Fant only goes for third-round picks in fantasy, then it’s an easy scoop. If Fant lands in Miami, his value will jump, so buy into his situation now. Even if he lands back with Seattle, it’s still a decent spot and worth trading for him now.

Fant Trade Market Pre-Free Agency – BUY/HOLD

Back up Options

Mike GesickiAustin Hooper
Robert TonyanIrv Smith
Tanner Hudson

The rest of the tight end free agents are not much better right now. Mike Gesicki has great receiving ability but doesn’t offer much as a blocker. I don’t see a situation where he can return to 80+ targets again. Gesicki will always be a 40-50 target tight end unless he lands in the right situation. Austin Hooper is five years away from his breakout seasons with the Falcons. He is a veteran presence for a team. Robert Tonyan is just a backup tight end who offers a big body in the red zone. Irv Smith will never live up to the athlete upside he offered coming out of college. Tanner Hudson had a few decent games in 2023 after doing nothing up to this point in his career. He will be a 30-year-old tight end heading into free agency. I’d like to wait until they sign with a team. I think Gesicki could still have some value in trades worth buying into.

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