🤔 Draft and Free Agency News From Indy

GM and coach speak at levels hitherto undreamt of

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Player news. Coaching news. Prospect news. Keep your head on a swivel, folks.

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Underdog:

  • Coaches and GMs drop some fantasy nuggets at the Combine

  • At least 3 teams are in on acquiring Justin Fields 

  • Free Agent WRs: Who’s on the market and what they offer

  • It's 2/28. Take it away, Chris Allen…

All eyes are on Indianapolis this week.

Every athletic test result, formal interview, or casual interaction with a prospect will be scrutinized by NFL and sports media personnel alike. A nickname like the ‘Underwear Olympics’ cheapens the gravity of what this week holds for any would-be NFL star. But such a moniker highlights one of my favorite parts of the Combine: the mental gymnastics event.

With all the coaches, GMs, agents, veterans, and journalists in town, February in Indy becomes a convenient spot for news on how teams may approach free agency or the draft. We already saw Cincinnati designate Tee Higgins as their candidate for the franchise tag on Monday, and more reports on other franchises not tagging their top RBs came yesterday. The buzz will only get louder as the week goes on, and a few nuggets stood out from the early-week pressers.

😤 Ravens to Re-Establish the Run

Baltimore’s running game (literally) took some hits as the season unfolded. Despite fielding a top-3 rushing attack in EPA per attempt and success rate, their stable doesn’t look as promising as it did at the start of 2023.

  • J.K. Dobbins - Tore his Achilles in Week 1 and is now a UFA after suffering his second major injury in four years

  • Keaton Mitchell - Showcased explosive skills in Week 9 and tore his ACL in Week 15; only earned two starts and was part of a committee

  • Gus Edwards - 29-year-old short-yardage specialist; also now a UFA

  • Justice Hill - Third-down and two-minute option; signed through 2024

So, it’s no surprise that when asked, GM Eric DeCosta put everyone on notice they’re looking to add to their ground game.

Two key takeaways: 1. the team wants to try and bring back Edwards and Dobbins (the early-down guys), and 2. they’re not as interested in the incoming RB draft class.

Tennessee toyed with the idea of moving Derrick Henry to the Ravens prior to last year’s trade deadline. And Baltimore was quick to acquire veteran talent in Dalvin Cook ahead of their playoff run. Now, with the offseason to contemplate their next moves, drafters may need to keep an eye on the AFC North champs and who they pay to tote the rock this season.

🤔 Giants Still Jones’in for a Good QB

After the Tommy Cutlets experience and watching Tyrod Taylor beat two of their divisional rivals, Giants GM Joe Schoen thinks their original starter can be the guy.

A neck injury knocked Daniel Jones out of three games early in the season, and an ACL tear wiped him out in Week 9. Jones was dead last in EPA per play and 27th in passing success rate prior to his first injury. Simply put, his replacements were an improvement. But maybe with Saquon Barkley back (on the tag or otherwise), HC Brian Daboll can get the best out of the duo.

👀 Other Notable Tidbits

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📈 The offseason is the time to stock our dynasty rosters with potential breakout candidates. Sam outlines four to target in trades. 

🐻 Three franchises reportedly interested in trading for Chicago’s QB1. Fields in the AFC West? It could happen.

🔒 Chiefs ready to lock up their top CB for 2024. Unless another team decides to make an offer.

👋 Atlanta bids farewell to their TE1. No, not Kyle Pitts. The other guy.

👀 Russell Wilson speaks about his contract with Denver. What a mess.

💩 The boss asks the Titans GM about Tyjae Spears. He’s made of the right sh—stuff.

🎉 The Vikings add former QB to their staff. Ya love to see it.

👍 Browns GM proposes new rule regarding trades. He has our support.

😁 Kirk Cousins gets some work done at the dentist. Even JJettas had to weigh in on the job.


With the NFL offseason quickly approaching, it is time to dive into available free agents. Using a data-driven approach, Dwain analyzes the top free agents from a fantasy football lens.

 🌟 Michael Pittman Jr.

Pittman could be the next young WR after Tee Higgins to receive the franchise tag, but as of this writing, the 27-year-old WR is set to hit the open market.

Pittman had a career year in 2023, delivering his best marks in target share, TPRR, air yards share and YPRR. His target share, TPRR and air yards share were WR1-worthy, while his YPRR was at WR2 levels. 

Pittman Usage

The knock on Pittman is his inability to stretch the field vertically. Only 9% of his targets came 20-plus yards downfield in 2023, well below the WR1 average of 18%. That could be hindering his air yards and YPRR slightly, and while it might keep him from ever earning a high-end WR1 finish, historical comps tell us we shouldn’t overthink it.

Based on data back to 2011, his comps averaged 17.2 points with a WR11 finish. Most of his closest comp were possession WRs.

  • Keenan Allen

  • Larry Fitzgerald

  • Michael Thomas

  • Robert Woods

While none of these WRs were known for their deep prowess, three of the four enjoyed one or more mid-range to high-end WR1 finishes during their careers.

Fantasy outlook: Pittman profiles as a mid-range to high-end WR2 in Indianapolis, assuming the Colts don’t add an early-round WR. In a pass-first offense hungry for a chain-mover, Pittman would offer mid-range WR1 upside.


👑 Mike Evans

Who would have thought Baker Mayfield would be better for Evans’ fantasy production than Tom Brady?

Well, that is precisely what happened with Mayfield opting to lock onto his big target rather than getting the ball to tertiary options as much as Brady.

Evans bounced back to pre-Brady levels, posting borderline WR1-worthy marks in the target earning department and YPRR while reaching the WR1 summit in air yards share.

Evans Usage

Evans will be 31 when the 2024 campaign begins, but since 2011, age-31 WRs who reached at least 400 routes have performed at levels just under the age 27 to 28 apex. While many aging WRs migrate inside to play from the slot on shorter routes, Evans is still getting things done on the outside, pushing the vertical boundary.

Fantasy outlook: Evans still profiles as a mid-range to high-end WR2 despite his age. If he stays in Tampa Bay with Mayfield, he will once again carry WR1 upside. If Evans changes teams, he needs a team willing to use him as more than a go-route specialist. With defenses focused more than ever on taking away big plays, Evans could see fewer targets from QBs less willing than Mayfield to push the ball downfield.

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