Every year I like to keep half an eye on the upcoming free agency at the end of the season. I don’t try to act on it too early, but it allows me to start scheming and thinking about potential changes to certain rosters in advance. I know we’re not even halfway through the 2017 season yet, but it can’t hurt to see just who will be a UFA and thus may be in a different territory going forward. Here are a few “bigger” names to keep an eye on at the WR and TE positions, and don’t forget to check out Part
- Alshon Jeffery
- Terrelle Pryor,
- Sammy Watkins,
- Allen Robinson,
- Jarvis Landry,
- Martavis Bryant
This is quite a deep free agent year at the position, with quite a few top end options who are UFAs. There are obviously others on top of these, but these guys catch my eye.
Alshon bet on himself this past year by signing a 1-year deal with the Eagles. I’m not sure that bet will pay off. Carson Wentz has been very solid so far this season (through 5 weeks), yet Alshon seems to be TD dependent. Through 5 weeks he has 20 receptions, 246 receiving yards, and 2 TDs. If you extrapolate that to a full season of 16 games, Alshon is on pace for 64 receptions, 787 yards, and 6 TDs. Hardly legitimate WR1 numbers considering they have a very good offense in Philly. I envision Philly re-signing Alshon, but they could easily let him go and look to target some of these younger WRs available in free agency. I think Alshon wherever he goes will only be a WR2. His value remains quite high, so it might be worthwhile cashing in on his high ADP.
Terrelle Pryor has gotten off to a very slow start in Washington. His breakout year last year is starting to look like a fluke. He has become very hard to rely upon the first few weeks of the season. Considering he’ll be turning 29 once free agency begins, I find it hard to believe that any team will be willing to shell out big bucks for him. I feel as though we have seen Pryor’s best year in 2016 and his value could end up dipping going forward. I don’t imagine Washington giving Pryor any sort of long-term contract. If Kirk Cousins leaves, in my mind it doesn’t make sense to keep an older WR around. We may see Pryor once again in unfamiliar territory in 2018.
Sammy Watkins and Allen Robinson will be the most coveted WRs in my opinion. Given that they are both still quite young with such elite upside. Watkins’ trade to LA figured to see him feature in Sean McVay’s offense. It’s been a little rocky for him there, with a combination of huge games, and then games where he disappears. I think that LA will do everything in their power to try and keep Sammy around. However, he’s sure to have offers from so many teams around the league that he can choose wherever he wants. He may see interest in going somewhere that will pepper him with targets so that he can produce to the heights that many expected when he came out of Clemson. Allen Robinson is as good as gone in my opinion. He’s been quite public in his distaste for Blake Bortles and I’m sure he’s sick of the losing culture there. Furthermore, they have transitioned to a heavy run game, with a good defense and conservative passing attack. That is not something that excites WRs. I’ve heard plenty of gossip surrounding Chicago and San Francisco as possible destinations. I think whoever signs Robinson will plan to use him heavily as a WR1.
Jarvis Landy has been the figurehead of the Miami passing attack for the last few years. A PPR machine and Tannehill’s favorite target seems to have a disconnect with upper management regarding his value. Contract extensions began in this offseason but both teams seem on different spectrums. Considering there were rumors of the Dolphins looking to trade him in the offseason, and now accusations of domestic violence; it seems unlikely that the two sides meet on a deal. It’s starting to look like Landry could be elsewhere in 2018, while the Dolphins focus their attention to Devante Parker.
Martavis’ situation has been well publicized. I’m not going into the depths of his suspensions. Instead, my focus this year has been to his production. Many expected Martavis to return and immediately become a WR2 again. That has not happened. Instead, the Steelers have given more opportunities to Juju Smith-Schuster. Schuster has out-snapped Martavis and had more receptions. It looks to me that they are envisioning Juju as their WR2 going forward and could be willing to let Martavis move on.
- Jimmy Graham,
- Tyler Eifert,
- Austin Seferian-Jenkins
It’s kind of funny that out of all these names, I think ASJ may have the best future value. Let’s not kid ourselves; Tyler Eifert can never be relied upon in dynasty as he just won’t stay on the field. Eifert has only played in 39 games in the last 5 years out of a possible 69. I think the Bengals will give up on him after becoming frustrated with his health. They’ve given him so many opportunities and although he has all the tools, he will never be a figure of good health. Eifert will certainly get signed somewhere else, but I doubt it will be the Bengals who will invest any more money in him.
Jimmy Graham was once a legend at the position. During his New Orleans days, he was an undisputed stud. In Seattle, he has been okay, but it seems as though his days are catching up to him. Turning 31 soon, the Seattle offense has been severely struggling. This has limited Graham’s production and his mileage is ticking up. Injuries are starting to creep in. I think Seattle could re-sign Graham for a couple more years but I doubt the elite production will be there anymore.
For a while, it was looking like ASJ’s career could be done. Alcohol problems and injuries threatened his elite potential. The Jets took a chance on ASJ and he seems to have turned things around, becoming one of their top targets. I think he will continue to thrive for the rest of the season, and the Jets have cap space to spend next year. Therefore, I can see him staying in New York long term to build a rapport with their new QB. ASJ has reemerged as a TE1 with upside.