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NFL Free Agent Fallers for Fantasy Football - Old Faces, New Places

ronald jones fantasy football rankings news NFL DFS lineup picks

There is no way to describe the average NFL front office. Each franchise has its own set of rules, follows different parameters when evaluating players, and builds its roster in a very particular way. Even with a clear mindset, an organization's principles might be tweaked in order to accommodate players into the salary cap, for example, which makes decisions even harder to take and for us to understand in some cases.

No matter what, every offseason we see the same musical chairs game. As the title of this column says, old and known faces always move to new places, whether because they find no love in their last team anymore, or because they're truly coveted by every other team around the league and paid big bucks to go play for other franchises. This doesn't mean those changes are always good or bad, as each move is a case to study on its own with multiple potential ramifications.

For fantasy football purposes, it is easy to try and predict whether those moves fall on the "positive" or "negative" side of things. That is what I'll be writing about next, highlighting a few players that had great seasons in 2021 but after changing teams during the past few months are poised to regress and worsen their fantasy football production in their new surroundings.

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WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, RB Ronald Jones II, KC Chiefs

This can't be considered a full-blown loser, but MVS signed with KC only to find himself in an offense that, yes, won't feature Tyreek Hill anymore, but also will feature fellow free-agency-acquisition JuJu Smith-Schuster, a legit performer in Mecole Hardman, and a fantastic sleeper of a rookie in Skyy Moore. I don't even need to mention that TE Travis Kelce keeps playing American football while the rushing corps include Clyde Edwards-Helaire and recently signed Ronald Jones, too. Playing for the Mahomes Chiefs probably boosts anyone's upside, but we'll see if that's the case for MVS given the super crowded depth chart.

As for RoJo, you can pretty much arrive at your own (worrying) conclusions by reading MVS explainer above. Jones couldn't break through the Bucs rushing offense, so what are the odds he does so in KC with Mahomes as the passer and most-used player, a loaded receiving corps, and a hella-tough competitor in fellow rusher Clyde Edwards-Helaire? I get signing with the Chiefs because there will always be a shot at a ring, but other than that and from a personal/fantasy perspective, RoJo didn't help himself here.

 

TE C.J. Uzomah, Tyler Conklin, New York Jets

Not a lot to say here. These two decided to move places and sign with a still-very-into-rebuilding-mode Jets that have a second-year meh quarterback manning the pocket and (for now) staying put in there. Adding wood to the fire, these two signed early in the offseason with the same team knowing what the other was doing, so it's not that stuff came out of the left field without prior notice, let's say. On top of that, the Jets drafted another tight end. Oh, and have I mentioned the fact that NYJ also got a top-two rookie WR with a first-round pick in Garrett Wilson? It's going to be a long year for the veteran tight ends, I'm afraid.

 

RB Matt Breida, New York Giants

Did Breida just think "what if Saquon Barkley gets injured early and the backfield doors open for me?" here? That's the only reason I can find to explain this signing unless Breida just accepts he's another RB backup with limited upside anyway, so he better spends his days in New York attending basketball games at Madison Square Garden. Of course, there is always the chance Barkley gets hurt--or even traded away for something before NYG losses him for nothing--but that's the least possible of things and something you just can't assume or rely on. Faller for now.

 

WR Zach Pascal, Philadelphia Eagles

Back when Pascal put pen to paper, he didn't have any clue (probably) about Philadelphia's interest in A.J. Brown, or the Eagles just lucking into the way of an upset WR1 looking for a fresh contract. So he signed the contract, moved to Philly, and only a few weeks later found out about Brown arriving in town. Ugh. Pascal is not what you'd call a top-tier receiver, of course, but he'll now be getting reps and opportunities behind Brown, second-year man DeVonta Smith, and the still-promising and maybe salvageable Quez Watkins and Jalen Reagor. Not liking the situation.

 

QB Mitchell Trubisky

With washed Big Ben finally out of Pittsburgh for good, Mitch did the right thing: signing with an absolute quarterback-needy franchise. Only, you know what happened later. Pitt drafted Pitt kid Kenny Pickett and HC Mike Tomlin has been recently quoted saying that he expects the rookie to have a healthy fight with the veteran Trubisky through the summer to decide who mans the pocket come Week 1. Dreams turned nightmares for Trubisky, who might have signed with Pittsburgh only to warm another pine.



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