Fantasy Football NFL Free Agency Preview: Best landing spots for Allen Robinson, Sammy Watkins
No franchise tag? No problem! Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins figure to be on the move this spring, and Fantasy owners should root for them to land with one of these receiver-needy squads.
- Jamey Eisenberg's | |
There's a pretty good chance these two recognizable, star-crossed Fantasy Football names will be on the move.
Robinson spent most of 2017 on Injured Reserve after tearing his ACL in September. He's on track to be ready for training camp, even going so far as to post videos of himself jogging and jumping on Twitter within the last month.
Before the injury, Robinson averaged 66.2 yards per game and 14.1 yards per catch. But anyone who's paid attention knows that his breakout 2014 season (87.5 yards per game, 17.5 yards per catch) impacted his career numbers heavily. To wit, his 2016 averages dwindled to pedestrian totals of 55.2 yards per game and 12.1 yards per catch. He also caught 30 deep passes in 2015, 13 in 2016. That obviously impacted his totals.
So take these polarizing numbers, throw in a major knee surgery and you get a 6-foot-2 big-bodied receiver with a bunch of question marks. Can he re-emerge as a No. 1 receiver? Does he have a shot at landing 150 targets as he did in '15 and '16? Will he find a bunch of red-zone and end-zone targets?
The questions don't stop for Watkins, the former No. 4 overall pick who was sent from Buffalo to L.A. last August and didn't fully adjust to life with the Rams. While he stayed healthy for 15 games and scored eight times (second-best of his career), he averaged just 39.5 yards per game. Why so low? Because he averaged 2.6 receptions per game! The same questions we listed for Robinson -- about his No. 1 receiver potential and his targets -- apply to Watkins. The difference between these two is that Watkins is known more for his speed.
Where can these guys wind up that will help their Fantasy stock?
Watkins' best destinations
San Francisco: The Niners already have Marquise Goodwin to go get Jimmy Garoppolo's deep lobs, but why not add the speedy Watkins to the mix? Here he'd have a shot at getting the kind of targets a No. 1 receiver would get.
Carolina: Cam Newton was the league MVP the last time he had a blazing fast receiver. Throw Watkins into the mix with Norv Turner's downfield tendencies and the Panthers offense could become very dangerous. Watkins could pile up 100 targets pretty easily.
Arizona: Larry Fitzgerald had over 160 targets last year. Second-most among Cardinals receivers? Jaron Brown with 69. Watkins can revamp his role into a primary outside receiver for the Cardinals, stretching defenses and playing more efficiently than John Brown. Would the Cardinals pay a lot for that role? And who's the quarterback in Arizona?
Indianapolis: The Colts have cash to spend and major need at receiver. Watkins is a bigger version of T.Y. Hilton and would create a combination that would disrupt defenses and turn Indy's offense into a dangerous deep unit. Great for Andrew Luck, but Hilton and Watkins would probably see their targets each settle into the 100 to 120 range.
Robinson's best destinations
Washington: We can certainly thing of more appealing landing spots than being Alex Smith's No. 1 receiver but Robinson would pull in more targets here -- upwards of 130 -- than anywhere else. It's not unreasonable to buy into Robinson as a 1,000-yard, seven-score candidate, especially once Washington loses Jordan Reed to an injury.
Indianapolis: Robinson would certainly be an upgrade over Donte Moncrief as the steady outside receiver to help move chains. He'd be in a lot of single-coverage situations too since Hilton would attract safety help. He could probably snare around 110 targets from Luck and come through with seven scores or so.
Baltimore, Chicago: Frankly, the Bears and Ravens need as many quality receivers as they can get. At least Chicago still has Cameron Meredith and whatever Kevin White can give -- the Ravens are down to Jeremy Maclin (if he's not cut first) and Breshad Perriman. Robinson would offer both teams a good outside receiving option. He'd surely warrant over 120 targets in either location, something a wideout hasn't done in Chicago since 2014 or in Baltimore since 2015.
N.Y. Jets: Gang Green got by last year with Robbie Anderson and Jermaine Kearse each getting over 100 targets. They can upgrade. Anderson isn't going anywhere, but Robinson would give the passing game some punch while either pushing Kearse into the slot full time ... or into free agency. There's easily 100 target potential here.
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