Aaron Rodgers, if you’re reading this, please hurry up and make a decision…
In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter presented by Athletic Brewing:
Waller, Rodgers and the key “legal tampering” news from Tuesday
The New York … Packers?
What Now: Live, laugh and love the chaos that is NFL free agency
Free Agency Catch Up: Rashaad Penny, Jakobi Meyers and more
It’s 3/15. Take it away, Dwain…
⌛A-aron watch lives on
Of course, not every player is capable of simply alerting the masses of their intentions in a reasonable manner.
Enter: Aaron Rodgers, who is reportedly going to the Jets, but also nothing has happened, but also there are “mounting indications” that he will join gang green at some point in the near future. So much for that quick decision!
Good news: An announcement could feasibly be made at 1:00pm ET today (3/15) on The Pat McAfee Show.
Getting traded from the Packers to the Jets isn’t that wild; Rodgers has made it all too clear over the last 12 months that he’s considering many options regarding his future, including retirement. However, the process got gloriously hilarious when ESPN reporter Dianna Russini revealed Rodgers provided the Jets a “wish list” of free agents including:
Free agent Randall Cobb: Rodgers convinced the Packers to trade for Cobb last off-season. They are indeed bros.
Free agent Allen Lazard: While Rodgers didn’t make a habit of targeting Lazard when it mattered most, he apparently is quite fond of the newly-signed Jets WR.
Free agent Marcedes Lewis: Has been by Rodgers’ side since 2018. Yes, Lewis has only caught 57 passes in five years with the Packers. Also yes, Rodgers apparently loves him anyway.
Free agent Odell Beckham Jr.: Because why not.
None of these moves are terrible in a vacuum, but all-around awesome person and fantasy football innovator Scott Fish said it best:
“The argument the Packers didn’t get enough weapons around Rodgers falls a little flat when the weapons he prefers are the ones they had.”
Everything seems to be pointing to Rodgers heading east at some point, but until then, expect the New York Packers Jets to keep on doing everything in their power to make their franchise an alluring destination for the 39-year-old veteran.
🏆 The Giants got Danny Dimes an elite pass-catcher:
And his name is Darren Waller.
All it took to gain the services of the 30-year-old TE was a 2023 third-round pick … which just so happened to be exactly what the Giants acquired from the Chiefs in exchange for Kadarius Toney back in October.
While Waller might be a bit long in the tooth, his NFL career really never got going until 2019 due to off-the-field issues, and the TE position historically does a better job producing elderly high-end fantasy assets than any position other than QB.
The real allure of this deal comes down to the pristine landing spot.
Top-five in both available air yards and targets, New York has little proven talent returning at the position. They also might not have their projected top-two WRs in Sterling Shepard (ACL) and Wan'dale Robinson (ACL) functioning at 100% by the time Week 1 rolls around.
Daniel Jones hasn't put up the biggest counting numbers through the air over the years; just realize he hasn’t exactly been surrounded by great weapons (theoretical No. 1 WR Kenny Golladay was literally comped to a mannequin last August).
Waller has a chance to lead the position, and team in targets should the Giants refrain from making any extra meaningful additions to their pass-catching group. The only TEs that you need to take ahead of him in fantasy land at the moment are Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews.
Pretty, pretty, pretty good.
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Welcome, degenerates. We don’t unplug just because the NFL does. You’re reading this newsletter because you’re here for the long haul. “What now, Cooter?” Each week I’ll break down ways to survive the off-season.
😝 Survival Tip #3: Live, Laugh, Love the Chaos
This week, NFL players have been moving around the league less predictably than a wacky waving inflatable tube man in front of a car dealership. Some fans are disgruntled, while others are getting their hopes up just a little too high.
But if you’re going to survive the off-season and free agency, you need to embrace the madness and unpredictability that comes with it. Here are some tips to get you through the week:
🔮 Live with unwarranted predictions:
Any time news of a player seeking a trade breaks, it’s going to get spicy in the comment section.
Everyone and their momma thinks that their home team deserves to give Austin Ekeler a chance to bring them to victory. Does cap-space matter? Does their current roster matter?
No, not right now.
It’s a free-for-all in the Twitter streets. Don’t get your feathers ruffled. We all just want to live in a world where an elite RB can score 18 times on the ground and through the air for us rather than against us.
🙃 Laugh through the pain:
There will be trades that baffle you.
It can be frustrating to watch players sign onto teams that won’t use them to their full potential. Does it feel great to see Jonnu Smith on his way to Atlanta when the Falcon’s already have a perfectly good TE at home? No.
Do I wish Jakobi Meyers was in a better offensive situation? Absolutely.
Is Josh Jacobs sad that Darren Waller is now a New York Giant? Big yes.
But save your disappointment for game time when the pain actually comes to fruition. For now, let bygones be bygones and let the trades fall where they may.
🤪 Love the Chaos
This tip can actually be applied year-round. I’ve always been #TeamChaos and love a good shake-up.
You can’t avoid it. Aaron Rodgers is always going to troll us until the bitter end. You can always count on teams to surprise us with last-minute trades during the NFL draft. Players will continue to clap back at bogus reports.
Enjoy the chaos for what it is and live, laugh, love.
🤑 Jakobi Meyers to the Raiders. His first day will be a walk of shame for the ages.
⏱️ Please make it stop: Packers CB Rasul Douglas allegedly stole Aaron Rodgers’ phone. His tweet didn’t make much sense.
🏠 Dalvin Cook on the move? An AFC contender might just be interested.
💔 Why can’t everybody just love everybody: The Chargers responded to Austin Ekeler’s trade request.
📣 Catching you up on Free Agency. One step at a time.
👋 So long, sweet prince. It was a GREAT RUN.
🥬 Random drug test incoming? An All-Pro Eagles WR randomly had some vegetable takes to get off his chest.
🖥️ Lamar Jackson decided to tweet. And he might have revealed his current contract offer.
😢 The biggest loser of the Aaron Rodgers saga is undoubtedly Zach Wilson. Poor guy.
Day 2 of NFL free agency saw a few more names come off the board, but we’re still waiting on some of the biggest. Day 1 was focused primarily on defensive players and offensive linemen, while some of the skill positions got into the act on Tuesday. Matt LaMarca looks at four developments following the second day of free agency.
🤝 Reunited and it Feels so Good
This offseason has apparently been about comfort for Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels. It started by signing former Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and continued with the acquisition of Jakobi Meyers on Tuesday.
Meyers was considered the top receiver available in a very weak class after logging 67 catches, 804 yards, and six touchdowns in 2022-23.
Outside of the touchdowns, those numbers represent slight decreases compared to his production last season, albeit in three fewer games. Meyers ultimately graded out as the No. 27 receiver per Pro Football Focus, and he should be very familiar with McDaniel’s system.
He’ll pair up with Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow to give the Raiders one of the best receiver trios in football. Garoppolo has a lot to prove in Las Vegas, and plenty of people believe he’s just a product of the 49ers’ success, but he’ll have plenty to work with.
Add in Josh Jacobs on the ground, and this unit should be poised to improve upon their disappointing campaign last season.
Additionally, Allen Lazard has reportedly agreed to a four-year deal with the Jets, presumably since Aaron Rodgers asked them to do it:
Aaron Rodgers has provided the NY Jets with a wish-list of free agents he would like them to target and acquire, per sources.
It includes Randall Cobb, Allen Lazard, Marcedes Lewis and….Odell Beckham Jr.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN)
Mar 14, 2023
It seems more and more likely that Rodgers and Lazard will team up in green once again this season, but they’ll be doing it in New York instead of Green Bay. With the Packers reportedly ready to move on and the Jets jumping at his every command, it seems like a foregone conclusion that he’ll be headed to New York.
😎 In For a Penny
The Eagles have had a rough start to the offseason, losing a few valuable members of their defense. However, they did manage to bring back cornerback James Bradberry. That has to be considered a win.
The team also made an under-the-radar signing that could pay dividends in the backfield: Rashaad Penny.
Penny was a surprise first-round pick back in 2018, and he spent five injury-plagued seasons with the Seahawks. With the team ready to hand the reigns to Kenneth Walker on a full-time basis, Penny became expendable.
That said, Penny is absolutely dynamic when on the field. He led the league with 6.3 yards per attempt in 2021-22 and followed that up with 6.1 yards per attempt last season.
Only three running backs have averaged more yards per carry than Penny in NFL history.
The Eagles already have an abundance of running backs, and Penny will have to compete with Miles Sanders(?), Kenneth Gainwell, and Boston Scott for touches. Jalen Hurts will also siphon off plenty of carries, particularly around the goal line.
That limits Penny’s appeal for fantasy purposes, but he has the potential to be incredibly productive in this offense. The Eagles were the best running team in the league in terms of Football Outsiders DVOA last year, and Penny brings a different skill set to the table than the other Eagles’ running backs.
Aaron Rodgers is now an RPG character. "I shall only join you if you prove your worthiness by embarking on a dozen side quests to fetch my favorite magical items."
— Mike Tanier (@MikeTanier)
Mar 14, 2023