Fantasy Football: Where should you root for Kirk Cousins to land in free agency?
Kirk Cousins has been a top-10 Fantasy quarterback for each of the last three years. Where would he have the best chance to extend the streak to four in a row?
That doesn't leave a shortage of suitors. Not by any stretch.
Cousins claims he wants to win, a believable statement considering he has made just over $46 million through six seasons. And even though he's got enough dough to live the rest of his life comfortably, he will still be able to command top dollar on the open market ... assuming the Redskins don't tag him and try to get something in trade for him first.
For Cousins to remain relevant in Fantasy Football, he'll have to find a destination where he'd have potential to top 4,000 passing yards and accumulate at least 29 total touchdowns. He's hit those marks in his past three seasons, finishing in the top 10 each time.
Where should Fantasy owners root for Cousins to land? We've got a list, and it's ranked.
Fantasy value if he signs here: top 20 -- The Cardinals don't have the receivers teams the Broncos, Browns and Vikings have, nor do they have the big boys to protect Cousins. Combine that with a first-year head coach and a playcaller who has struggled to create big numbers for his players and it makes Cousins cringe-worthy.
Real-life likelihood of him signing here: five percent -- The Cards don't have the salary cap space readily available and probably won't come off as an attractive, ready-to-win-now franchise.
Fantasy value if he signs here: top 20 -- The Bills' top receivers are Kelvin Benjamin, Zay Jones and Jordan Matthews. None of them look like 1,000-yard producers even if Cousins was throwing to them. The offensive line has some holes, and the coaching staff isn't exactly perfect at handling their quarterbacks.
Real-life likelihood of him signing here: five percent -- If Cousins is serious about winning, he can't consider Buffalo, even if the Bills were a playoff team this past season. They might be able to afford him, especially once they get Tyrod Taylor's salary off the books, but it's otherwise not a franchise conducive to winning.
Fantasy value if he signs here: top 15 -- Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee are free agents, and Allen Hurns could be a cap casualty. If the Jags keep two of them with Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole, they'll have one of the most underrated receiving corps in football. Their offensive line is headed in the right direction, the coaching structure is good and the defense is playoff caliber.
Real-life likelihood of him signing here: five percent -- It's unlikely. Basically, if Blake Bortles is on the roster when the new season starts in mid-March, or if the wrist surgery he had in January isn't fully healed, his $19 million salary for 2018 is guaranteed. The Jaguars can't carry the contracts of both Bortles and Cousins, and would need Bortles to make a very rapid recovery to cut him before the deadline in order to sign Cousins.
Fantasy value if he signs here: top 15 -- The Dolphins would need to find a way to keep Jarvis Landry and upgrade parts of the offensive line before getting a contract done with Cousins. That's a tall order. But if those conditions were met, Cousins would probably post some nice numbers with Adam Gase calling plays. If those conditions weren't met, then Cousins wouldn't be nearly quite as attractive.
Real-life likelihood of him signing here: 10 percent -- If the Dolphins are dead set on moving on from Ryan Tannehill and his torn ACL (they'd save $15 million in cap space), signing Cousins would be the perfect solution. But they'd be caught with a tight salary cap, and potentially struggle to find players to put around him. The Dolphins love making splashes with free agents, but this one wouldn't necessarily result in success in the standings or the stat box.
Fantasy value if he signs here: top 12 -- There would be optimism for Cousins to hit the numbers we've seen him get, but it would be contingent on the Browns sticking with Josh Gordon, making sure Joe Thomas doesn't retire, not upgrading their run game and still struggling on defense. That combination would make Fantasy owners salivate.
Real-life likelihood of him signing here: 10 percent -- They have tons of cap space to burn, but the Browns seem bent on finding a bridge quarterback to use in 2018 before handing over the starting job to a prospect they draft in April. Cousins is too expensive to be that bridge. Plus, Cousins said he wanted to play for a winner.
Fantasy value if he signs here: top 15 -- Look, if Josh McCown could produce good numbers with the crew the Jets gave him last season, then Cousins should be able to at least match it. Robby Anderson is the headliner in New York's passing game. His speed keeps things open underneath for other receivers, whoever they may be (expect the Jets to spend in free agency). Plus the defense figures to be a liability, opening the door for the Jets to play from behind a bunch.
Real-life likelihood of him signing here: 10 percent -- I know playing for the Jets doesn't sound like playing for a winner, but they've got they money to burn and the spotlight for Cousins to relish playing in. They could go from a frumpy roster to a really potent offense in a heartbeat, something they could easily sell Cousins on.
Fantasy value if he signs here: top 12 -- The main reason for Case Keenum's success was the incredible targets he had. Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph were good for 20 touchdowns and over 2,600 passing yards. That was with Keenum. Cousins should improve on those numbers and benefit from the Vikings' expected reinforcement of the offensive line and the return of rusher Dalvin Cook.
Real-life likelihood of him signing here: 25 percent -- Minnesota owes nothing to Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater. In theory they could tell Keenum and Bradford to take a hike, give Bridgewater a backup deal and then back up the Brinks truck for Cousins. They have the cap space to do it and the supporting cast to show Cousins they're ready to compete for a championship.
Fantasy value if he signs here: top 15 -- The Broncos have Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to help make any quarterback look good along with an offensive line that has some room to improve after starting strong last year.
Real-life likelihood of him signing here: 30 percent -- Cousins wants to play for a winner, right? The Broncos have won three Super Bowls and have their championship-winning franchise hero as their de facto general manager. That should appeal to Cousins, as would their offense.
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