💥 2 Intriguing Trades Kick-Start FA

We're off to the races...

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Be sure to tell everyone at the party that Free Agency *technically* doesn’t start until Wednesday…

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by BetMGM:

  • Jeudy is a Brown, Mac is a Jag

  • Free Agency and trade rumors across the league

  • WRs under the microscope: Drake London

  • It’s 3/11. Take it away, Peter Overzet…

Free Agency gets underway this week (officially Wednesday, but you know the drill), and if this past weekend is any indication, we are in for some fireworks.

Late last night Russell Wilson did his best to upstage “Oppenheimer” by indicating that he plans to sign with the Steelers. Wilson will sign a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum ($1.2 million) and immediately provide a needed lift for the entire Pittsburgh offense.

To stay updated on all of the breaking news throughout the week, bookmark our Free Agent Tracker:

Here’s a quick rundown of everything else that transpired over the past few days, including two intriguing trades:

🤝 The Broncos send Jerry Jeudy to the Browns

The rumors we shared last week turned out to be completely true. On Saturday, the Broncos shipped maligned WR Jerry Jeudy to the Browns in exchange for a 2024 fifth- and sixth-round pick.

It’s a logical move for both teams.

The Browns continue to execute their strategy of buying low on depressed assets in the WR market (Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore) and give Deshaun Watson even fewer excuses for another flop. This likely hurts Moore’s fantasy value the most of anyone involved in the deal.

As for the Broncos, they are clearly blowing things up. This positions both Marvin Mims and Tim Patrick as 2024 late-round gems, and solidifies Courtland Sutton as the alpha for now (he could still get shipped off, though).

👋 The Patriots move on from Mac Jones

So, you think the Patriots might take a QB at No. 3 overall in the draft, or what?

Sure looks like that after they shipped him to the Jaguars for a slice from Pizzeria Regina:

Jones gets a fresh start (in his hometown, no less), but won’t see any actual starts for as long as Trevor Lawrence remains healthy.

💸 Baker gets paid, Lockett restructures his contract

  • Despite whispers that he might be a cut candidate, the Seahawks and Tyler Lockett agreed on a two-year, $30 million restructured contract. The move gives Seattle some added salary cap flexibility heading into FA and also dampens Jaxon Smith-Njigba’s 2024 breakout prospects.

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Watercooler

🚨 Real-time updates, all week long. Our 2024 Free Agency tracker is live.

💰 ICYMI: Two QBs are off the market. Baker Mayfield and Russell Wilson find their homes.

👂️ Could a Steelers WR get traded? The team is listening to offers.

👕 What jersey will Josh Jacobs be wearing next season? Only one true contender.

🔮 Xavier Worthy knows who he wants to draft him. Great fit, indeed.

🤑 The Patriots extend their TE. Nice work if you can get it.

🌶️ Where will Saquon Barkley end up? On a division rival would be spicy.

💼 First Kelce, now Cox. The Eagles keep losing key veterans.

🤝 The Bears get a new safety. It was time to spend some money.

WRs lose/gain

Which veteran WRs could see the biggest shifts in value in 2024? Today, Chris Allen profiles one WR poised for a big year…

As we careen towards the 2024 NFL Draft, every NFL team's front office will force us to reevaluate their squads from a fantasy perspective. From trades to free-agent signings, the markets will instantly react. And we should, too.

So to help set expectations, I’ll look at some veteran WRs who aren’t on the move but may see a value shift depending on what unfolds over the next couple of months.

WRS lose/gain

🚀 Drake London, Falcons

It’s a brave new world in Atlanta. Recently hired Falcons head coach Raheem Morris brought over Zac Robinson, who’s spent his entire coaching career on Sean McVay’s staff, to be his offensive coordinator.

While this move doesn’t necessarily signal that Atlanta is going to suddenly rival the Chiefs or Bills in pass rate, it’s hard to imagine them staying as run-heavy as they've been under Arthur Smith in recent years. Here's how the Falcons and Rams have looked in terms of dropback over expectation rate (DBOE) the last two seasons:

  • Falcons: -23.0% in 2022 and -7.0% in 2023

  • Rams: 2.0% in 2022 and -1.0% in 2023

Add in the possibility of a QB upgrade, perhaps Kirk Cousins (who's somewhat familiar with the new Atlanta coaching staff), and baby, you've got a stew going.

Now consider Drake London’s fantasy value in 2024 if everything were to break right for him this offseason. London ended his rookie campaign with a 3.06 yards per route run (YPRR)—which led all WRs with a minimum 15.0% target share—over the final four games of the season after Desmond Ridder assumed command of the offense.

Admittedly, London then took a step back last year. However, his 30.0% targets per route run (TPRR) still ranked among the top-20 WRs even though the Falcons added pass-catching competition. And as of right now, London’s path to volume looks clearer in 2024. 

Falcons

There are 179 vacated targets up for grabs in Atlanta between the WRs and TEs. Typically, I’d discount the notion of vacated targets given the changing variables from season to season.

However, when projecting more total pass attempts from Atlanta next season with less competition, I’m on board.

As long as the Falcons don't add another impact WR in free agency or an early-round rookie, London should continue to be a priority target in 2024.

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