With the opening of NFL training camps less than a month away, there are still a few intriguing free agents floating around. Players such as Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray, and even Adrian Peterson are out there to be had. But even with that, for all intents and purposes the book on the 2018 free agency class has been written. Today, we turn our eyes down the road, with a quick-hit look at the players who are heading into their walk year and could be next offseason’s hot free agency names.
Some big names and their potential landing spots will alter the landscape of fantasy football once again. Here’s a look at some of the more interesting players and whether they will hit the market or possibly remain with their current teams.
This will be a one-and-done season in Cleveland for the veteran Taylor. With 2018 No. 1 overall draft selection Baker Mayfield as the quarterback of the future for the Browns, Taylor will use this season to show case his skills for a QB-needy team in 2019. Over the last three seasons Taylor has accounted for 65 total touchdowns with just 21 turnovers and has regularly posted QB2 fantasy numbers. There will be a market for that type of production and a spot on fantasy rosters as at least a bye-week/depth selection.
With Carson Wentz on track to be ready for the start of the season, Foles returns to a backup role. The Cinderella run he put together in 2017 was a great story but doesn’t necessarily help his fantasy value despite how well he played. The Eagles will not franchise a backup quarterback heading into 2019 unless Wentz were to get hurt again. While Foles thrived in the Doug Pederson offense last season that he first learned as a backup in Kansas City, he has finished as a top-25 fantasy QB just once in his six years in the league.
The Steelers have franchised-tagged Bell for the second consecutive season. Unless a deal gets done, it’s likely he remains away from the team until just prior to the start of the season. It’s unlikely that Pittsburgh would place the franchise tag on Bell for a third time as the price tag would likely be in the $20 million range. Coming off a season in which he had more than 400 touches it will be interesting to see if Pittsburgh repeats that level of usage for Bell in 2018. If they do, that could be a sign they intend to move on from Bell and address the position via the draft or free agency, or with 2017 draft pick James Conner. As the consummate dual threat out of the backfield Bell would remain a top-three fantasy selection in 2019 regardless of the team he signs with.
It would be a major surprise if Johnson is not a member of the Cardinals in 2019. According to Pro Football Talk, the organization has already spoken of looking forward “rewarding” Johnson and that’s he a “core player” that they want to have for the “long term.” Even if the two parties cannot reach an agreement the Cardinals are likely to place the franchise tag on Johnson with no current replacement option in house.
Source: Pro Football Focus