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2023 NFL Free Agency Winners And Losers

Javonte Williams - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

While there are still a few big-name players on the open market, free agency is mostly over. Unlike the past few years, there weren’t many surprising moves this offseason.

However, over 250 players signed new deals over the past few weeks. Some players earned more than the public expected, while others saw their market dry up.

More importantly, how did free agency impact the landscape of fantasy football? Below are six players who saw their fantasy value increase or decrease from free agency.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Free Agency Winners

Derek Carr (QB – NO)

Last year Carr was the QB17, averaging 14.6 fantasy points per game. However, the Las Vegas Raiders decided to move on from their former franchise quarterback this offseason. Carr was the first free agent domino to fall. While he won’t have Davante Adams anymore, the veteran quarterback is in a friendly fantasy situation in New Orleans.

Chris Olave had a promising rookie season and is a star in the making. Meanwhile, the Saints kept Michael Thomas on the roster. The former fantasy superstar is still a productive wide receiver when healthy. Furthermore, Juwan Johnson is an emerging tight end. More importantly, the team has a solid offensive line and a talented running game. Carr won’t be a top-10 fantasy quarterback in 2023, but he has the supporting cast needed to be a QB2 for fantasy players.

Jamaal Williams (RB – NO)

After totaling only 13 rushing touchdowns over the first five years of his career, Williams had 17 in 2022. The 17 rushing scores were a career-high and led the NFL. Furthermore, Williams broke the franchise record held by Barry Sanders in rushing touchdowns last year. While the veteran running back wanted to return to Detroit, the Lions signed David Montgomery instead, forcing him to explore options on the open market.

However, the veteran running back found a home in New Orleans. Alvin Kamara is likely facing a lengthy suspension from an off-the-field incident in February 2022. With the star running back potentially missing several games next year, Williams will have a lead role with the Saints. Last year, Taysom Hill led the team with seven rushing touchdowns. While he won’t have 17 rushing scores again in 2023, Williams could have low-end RB1 value next year if Kamara misses significant time.

Elijah Moore (WR – CLE)

Many fantasy players had high hopes for Moore entering last year. The former Ole Miss star was the WR48 as a rookie, averaging 10.6 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. Furthermore, he was the WR2 over his final six games of the 2021 season, averaging 16.1 fantasy points per contest. However, his 2022 season was a fantasy nightmare. Moore averaged only 4.4 fantasy points per game last year, scoring nine or fewer fantasy points in all but one contest.

Despite requesting a trade last year, the New York Jets held onto the young receiver. More importantly, the team added Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman in free agency, shrinking Moore’s role on the team. Thankfully, the Jets traded the former Ole Miss star to the Browns for a swap of Day 2 draft picks. Moore will now slide into the No. 2 wide receiver role in Cleveland. While he might not become a star, the young receiver will have fantasy value in 2023.


Free Agency Losers

Javonte Williams (RB – DEN)

After suffering a severe knee injury last year, Williams’ 2023 season is in question. The former UNC star might miss part or all of the upcoming season because of the knee injury. However, his fantasy value has taken another hit after the Broncos signed Samaje Perine and Tony Jones Jr. in free agency. New head coach Sean Payton has a history of using multiple running backs during his time in New Orleans. He will bring that mindset with him to Denver.

Fantasy players believed Williams was on his way to a featured role. The second-year running back averaged 5.4 yards per rushing attempt over the first two weeks last season. Furthermore, he had 12 receptions on 16 targets. However, the Broncos will reportedly add a running back during the 2023 NFL Draft. Williams is on my do not draft list for next year, thanks to the injury and backfield additions.

Jakobi Meyers (WR – LV)

The free agent wide receiver class was an underwhelming group. However, the top option was Meyers. He signed a three-year deal worth $33 million with the Raiders. While Las Vegas traded away Darren Waller, the veteran tight end’s departure doesn’t help Meyers’ fantasy value much. Waller had missed over 40% of the games the past two years, including eight contests last year. Meanwhile, Meyers has been the No. 1 wide receiver in New England for the past two years.

Despite his No. 1 role, the veteran wide receiver averaged only 9.4 half-point PPR fantasy points per game the past two seasons. Meanwhile, Meyers wasn’t the team’s only offseason addition. The Raiders also signed Phillip Dorsett, Cam Sims, Austin Hooper, and O.J. Howard. More importantly, Meyers had a 22% target share last year with the New England Patriots. He won’t see that same target share in Las Vegas with Davante Adams and his 2022 32.6% target share on the team.

Mike Gesicki (TE – NE)

Last year Gesicki had limited fantasy value with the Miami Dolphins. He ended the year as the TE22, averaging 4.8 half-point PPR fantasy points per game. However, the veteran had only 52 targets last year, the lowest total of his career since his rookie season. Furthermore, the 52 targets were 59 fewer than his total in 2021. After spending a year with a limited role, fantasy players were excited to see the veteran tight end hit the open market.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t an aggressive market for the former Penn State star. Instead of agreeing to a multiple-year deal, Gesicki signed a one-year deal with the Patriots. Not only did the veteran tight end not sign a multi-year contract, but he landed in an awful spot for his fantasy value. New England has Hunter Henry on the roster. Furthermore, they signed JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency to replace Meyers. Sadly, fantasy players must wait until 2024 to see Gesicki reach his ceiling.

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