As an NFL team, you can never have enough weapons. Teams will bring in receivers yearly that they believe will help them win games. Receivers such as DeSean Jackson, Terrelle Pryor, and Alshon Jeffery who was highlighted in last week’s key offseason moves article.
For Fantasy purposes, it can be hard to identify the receivers who will make an impact with their new teams. Finding the right situations for each receiver largely depends on where the player ends up.
This week’s article is all about the wide receivers. I looked at receivers in new homes and which of them will have an impact for the 2017 Fantasy Football season.
2017 Key Offseason Wide Receiver Moves
The Washington Redskins add Terrelle Pryor
Terrelle Pryor broke out for the abysmal Cleveland Browns last year after transitioning from quarterback to wide receiver. Pryor posted an impressive stat line of 79 catches, 1,007 yards, and four touchdowns.
The quarterbacks who were throwing the ball to Pryor? Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown, and Cody Kessler. Pryor now comes to the Redskins who employ one of the better quarterbacks in the league in Kirk Cousins.
Add in the fact that the Redskins let two of their top receivers in DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon walk in free agency. Pryor comes in and immediately becomes the number one receiver in a very productive offense. Buy into Pryor.
Eric Decker joins the Tennessee Titans
Like Brandon Marshall, who I spoke on last week, Eric Decker was released by the New York Jets and was forced to find a new team. Decker missed most of the 2016 season because of injuries. However, Decker is just 30 years old and I believe he still has a lot left in the tank.
Before last season, Decker played in at least 14 games in every season of his career. Decker also comes into a very productive offense which is led by quarterbacks Marcus Mariota. Decker comes in with a chance to compete for the number one receiver spot with rookie Corey Davis.
This seems like a situation where both sides benefit. Decker gets another opportunity in the NFL. The Titans add another quality receiver for Mariota and another piece to help their offense improve in 2017.
The reason I like Decker so much is fairly simple. The potential is there for him to be a number one receiver in a very good offense, and even if Decker isn’t the number one he should still see plenty of targets. With targets comes catches, and I expect Decker to capitalize on his opportunity in 2017.
Kamar Aiken signs with the Indianapolis Colts
This is a move that flew under the radar and it really shouldn’t have. In 2015 Kamar Aiken was just 56 yards shy of 1,000. That was the year that Baltimore was hobbled with injuries after Joe Flacco and Steve Smith went down so Aiken was given an opportunity. He grabbed it.
Fast forward to 2016 where Aiken was pushed down on the depth chart with the additions of Mike Wallace and rookie Breshad Perriman staying healthy. Along with Steve Smith, there wasn’t an opportunity and Aiken ended up with only 267 receiving yards.
The Colts current receiver situation includes T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, and Phillip Dorsett. While Hilton and Moncrief are locks to start, I think Aiken can win the starting slot receiver position. Aiken has played the slot before and he is a big body at 6’2” 216 pounds, significantly bigger than Dorsett who comes in at 5’10” 185 pounds. Aiken can go across the middle to make catches and take the punishment that comes with it.
The one advantage that Dorsett has on Aiken is his speed. However, this speed would be better suited on the outside where he can fill in for fellow speedster T.Y. Hilton. Should Aiken win the starting job in the slot, I think he will be targeted often by Andrew Luck.
Aiken should be a late-round flier in your draft but he has the potential to be a plug and play guy should one of your starters go down.
DeSean Jackson signs with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
A match made in heaven? The Buccaneers were desperately looking for a receiver to help take the pressure off Mike Evans and they added the right piece.
Everyone knows DeSean Jackson has the speed to burn and bringing that to Tampa Bay could mean brilliant things for this offense. Teams must focus on Mike Evans, so Jackson could fly under the radar a tad.
Pairing Jackson and Evans together just makes sense. If defenses focus on Evans too much, Jackson can beat you with his speed and skill set of being a deep threat receiver. If defenses focus on Jackson too much, Evans will take the game over like we’ve seen in the past. He’s that good of a receiver and now he has another receiver to complement him.
I haven’t even mentioned quarterback Jameis Winston who has the arm strength to get the ball to Jackson deep down the field. This offense has the potential to be highly explosive with the addition of Jackson and I’m buying into it 100%.
Did you notice anything interesting about this list? Each receiver mentioned is anchored by a starting quarterback who can get the ball to each WR. Kirk Cousins, Marcus Mariota, Andrew Luck, and Jameis Winston are all great quarterbacks and the offenses go how they go. With successful quarterbacks comes successful receivers. I tend to draft receivers who have good quarterbacks throwing to them and these key offseason moves reflect that thought.
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