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Fantasy football is an ever-evolving landscape. And the start of free agency is where a lot changes very quickly. This year was just the same. From unretirements, franchise quarterback trades, and big-spending sprees, a lot has changed from the 2021 season. Today, I will be talking about players who have gained value from the start of the free agency cycle. Whether you’re in a dynasty league or just looking for players that could be sleepers for this next season, this list could help you!

 

The Broncos Offense

 

Javonte Williams, Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, KJ Hamler, Albert Okwuegbunam, and now… Russell Wilson. This is a major upgrade for the Broncos offense from the duo of Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater. Jerry Jeudy went from a disappointment to a high-potential receiver. I don’t think Sutton should be rated as high as Jeudy, but his outlook is better now. Javonte has Melvin Gordon leaving the backfield, so he will get a full workload(which he excelled in the few games that Gordon was out last year). Finally, Albert Okwuegbynam is a low-key tight end that now has some upside with Noah Fant being sent to Seattle in the trade.

The Buccaneers Offense

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Well, we all knew it would happen eventually… right? Tom Brady is back with the Buccaneers for 2022. This is great for Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and the gang. Russell Gage also signed with Tampa Bay, a sneaky good signing keeping him away from a division rival, Atlanta. I would expect that Rob Gronkowski returns with his best friend, but that is unsure. One that I wanted to point out specifically that is a big winner currently is Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Both Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette are free agents and have not yet been re-signed. While I figured when Brady came back, that meant Fournette would too, no move has been made yet. While Tampa will likely bring in another running back, Vaughn could see a lot more work this next season and is someone you should hold onto in dynasty or try to buy cheap for.

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A Pair Of Tight Ends

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 As players are coming and going from teams, there are a pair of tight ends that came out big winners. The first of whom is Dalton Schultz. Schultz, who got franchise tagged, is now a top option in the pass-happy Cowboys offense. Dallas also recently cut fellow tight end Blake Jarwin, traded Amari Cooper, and lost Cedrick Wilson to free agency. This leaves Ceedee Lamb, Michael Gallup fresh off a torn ACL, and Schultz. Look for him to continue being a TE1 for 2022 and being a solid option.

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Kyle Pitts… well, he may break tight end records this year. With Calvin Ridley being suspended for the year, and Russell Gage headed to the Buccaneers, Pitts is about the only receiving option currently on the Flacons. Their current wide receivers are Olamide Zaccheaus, Frank Darby, and Austin Trammell, looking at their depth chart. AKA, probably guys you didn’t know existed. Pitts will be another year into his development, and he has to have some positive touchdown regression. Pitts had over 100 targets last year and had one touchdown, one. I don’t expect that to be the same next year. Also, with the possibility of Deshaun Watson being traded to Atlanta, this would help him explode even more. He may be the TE1 this next season, and I would not be shocked.

 

Quarterbacks Getting Surrounded

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Trevor Lawrence was hyped to be the next big guy at quarterback. And his rookie season disappointed from those expectations. With the regime change in Jacksonville, their spending habits stayed the same. They made Christian Kirk a top 5 paid wide receiver. They also added a couple of other starters in Evan Engram and Zay Jones. They will also get Travis Etienne back from injury this year as well. Last but not least, they signed Brandon Scherff, which a better offensive line is always a great way to help a young developing quarterback.

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I want to say, I LOVE what the Dolphins are doing for Tua Tagovailoa. They kicked off the legal tampering period by signing running back Chase Edmonds. This is an excellent signing for Tua because he is more of a receiving back, which is sometimes a quarterback’s best friend. Edmonds played very well for Arizona and will be the best running back Tua has played within his young NFL career. They also signed Cedrick Wilson, who was the WR4 in Dallas, but if he were on any other team in the NFL, he would be at least WR3, potentially WR2. They also tagged Geiski, so they will have a whole arsenal of weapons for this upcoming season.

 

A D/ST??

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While I’m not a big D/ST guy(I typically draft them in the last round or don’t draft one and stream from week to week), even I have to admit that this D/ST is on the way up. As the big trades were going down in the NFL, one was for a defensive star in Kahlil Mack. The Chargers D/ST gained another edge rusher to fit with Joey Bosa. But they were not done there either. They went out in free agency and signed JC Jackson to pair in the secondary with Derwin James and Asante Samuel Jr. They realize the importance of going for it with a quarterback on their rookie contract. While the offenses in the AFC West are potent, this is a solid defense to retaliate.

 

Honorable Mentions: Zach Ertz, James Connor, Mitch Trubisky, Michael Carter

 

As I have said, the fantasy landscape is constantly changing. By the time the season starts, there will be other winners, but some of the current winners won’t be as high of winners. Guys like Vaughn are big winners now, but I could see their value dropping when the season starts due to the Buccaneers drafting another running back or re-signing Fournette.

 

If you have fantasy questions, let me know by leaving a comment or talking with me on Twitter(@LukeVerkamp).

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LukeVerkamp

Co-Owner and Chief Web Officer of The Blue Stable. Also have my own company, Verkamp Designs. Follow me on Twitter: @LukeVerkamp

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