We are back with more free agency signings from the past five days that we need to talk about for dynasty and the impact of the signings.
Austin Hooper, TE LVR
The Raiders have found a tight end, as Hooper has signed a one-year deal worth $2.75 million. Hooper has been different since leaving the Falcons in 2019. He has averaged 40 receptions for 408 yards and three touchdowns over his last three seasons; It’s clear that Hooper is just a journeymen tight end that will find opportunity if a tight end position is open. The Raiders could take a young tight end early in drafts, hurting Hooper’s value. If not, he can be a TE2/TE3 for a contending fantasy owner.
D’Ernest Johnson, RB JAX
A signing that I liked late into free agency as Johnson signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Johnson can be remembered in 2021 when he had a stretch filling in for Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. He has three outings where he crushed it for over 95 plus rushing yards. Johnson will likely slide in behind Travis Etienne as his backup in 2023. Johnson is worth holding on to in dynasty leagues as a bench spot. He’d probably see a significant workload if something happened to Etienne. I don’t think he’ll have enough standalone value since the Jaguars didn’t use a number two back as much once James Robinson left.
Mecole Hardman, WR NYJ
The Jets continue to revamp their receiving group as Hardman signed a one-year, $6.5 million deal. The former second-round pick was supposed to be the next Tyreek Hill for the Chiefs, but it never worked out that way. He has some decent production, with 500 yards in three of four seasons. This role on the Jets is likely, at best, the WR3 on the team. It’s hard to trust Hardman, as he has yet to show the ability to be a consistent fantasy option. Good time to sell off as fantasy owners are gushing over the soon-to-be arrival of Aaron Rodgers.
Ronald Jones, RB DAL
After signing a one-year deal worth $1.2 million with the Dallas Cowboys, Jones may have found life again. Jones will look to battle for the backup job behind Tony Pollard. We’ve seen that the Cowboys like to use two running backs in the offense, allowing both to produce. Even as of late, head coach Mike McCarthy wants to run the ball more in 2023. Let’s remember that Pollard is recovering from a fractured leg. Jones has shown he can carry a significant workload, but that was over two years ago. I would say that Jones has RB3 potential if he can win the backup job. If you find yourself in a situation where you can get good value for Jones, I will entertain that option for dynasty. Jones will be 26 years old and on the downward side of his career.
Isaiah McKenzie, WR IND
McKenzie wasn’t a free agent for long, as he signed a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts. McKenzie had a mini breakout season in an increased role with the Buffalo Bills. He started strong in 2022 but faded as the season went on. McKenzie has an opportunity to be the WR3 on the Colts and take over the slot role with Parris Campbell out of town. McKenzie isn’t a great receiver but is serviceable enough in the offense. He is a borderline bench player for fantasy rosters for the time being.
Damien Harris, RB BUF
Finally, the player with the most value left for fantasy is Damien Harris, who signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills. This was surprising since I thought the Bills would look toward the draft to find a complement to James Cook. Harris joins the Bills with a 4.7 YPC career average and a season with 15 touchdowns. Harris will likely see the early work and goal-line work in the offense as his bigger frame fits that style. He is interesting for a contending team because he can be an RB3 with some touchdown upside in 2023, but this future looks cloudy without a long-term contract. Harris should be someone you look to sell off in fantasy.
Make sure you subscribe to the #NerdHerd, where you get exclusive content, dynasty/rookie/devy rankings, buy/sell tool, and a bonus podcast too. Dynasty Nerds also recently launched the #DynastyGM tool, a complete game-changer in the fantasy industry. Click here for a free trial. We truly are your one-stop shop for all your fantasy football needs!