After going through the early fantasy winners from the early part of free agency, it’s time to go over the early fantasy losers of 2019 NFL offseason.
[Editor’s Note: For Fantasy Consigliere members, analytics are being updated throughout the offseason, with most big changes not coming until after next month’s draft.]
Eli Manning, Giants
It’s hard to find a quarterback that’s a “loser” from the moves made since the start of the new league year a week ago, but it’s probably Eli Manning if anyone. With a No. 1 receiver like JuJu Smith-Schuster still in the mix, Ben Roethlisberger should be fine in Pittsburgh after losing Antonio Brown; but Manning hasn’t been a great fantasy quarterback in recent years even with Odell Beckham Jr., so it’s hard to envision things changing without the superstar receiver. The good news is the offensive line is further improved with the addition of guard Kevin Zeitler, but a QB1 finish for Eli doesn’t seem likely in 2019.
Jerick McKinnon, 49ers
From a fantasy perspective, the running back situation in San Francisco looks like a mess. All three of Jerick McKinnon, Matt Breida, and new free-agent addition Tevin Coleman have all played at a high level as starters, and you can throw Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. in there too. However, before the addition of Coleman, there was talk that McKinnon would be the clear lead back in the offense, which has probably changed in what can currently only be described as a full-blown running-back-by-committee at this point. Hopefully there’s clarity on the situation in the next few months.
Gus Edwards, Ravens
Gus Edwards was in a good spot after his excellent rookie season in which he averaged 5.2 yards per carry as a strong inside-running compliment when Lamar Jackson took over at quarterback for Baltimore, but Mark Ingram was brought in from New Orleans and will likely be the Ravens starter in 2019. The good news is this is going to be an offense that runs the ball a ton, so Edwards could still get enough work to make a fantasy impact, but it’ll be tough to be a back-end RB1 as the second option in the backfield.
Derrius Guice, Redskins
Adrian Peterson re-signed with the Redskins on a two-year deal, so the team is clearly happy with the way the future Hall of Famer played in 2018, and “All Day” himself probably wouldn’t have signed for the next two seasons if he thought his role might be relatively small. I would think Derrius Guice will be Washington’s starting running back if healthy, but who knows? Peterson has accomplished a lot in the NFL, and he’s a freak that’s shown he still has plenty left in the tank into his mid-30s.
Odell Beckham Jr., Browns
Odell Beckham Jr. is such an ultra-talented player that he might put up the same numbers he did with the Giants. But Baker Mayfield spreads the ball around, and he might not target OBJ as frequently and as aggressively as Eli Manning did the last five seasons, which could lead to a little less upside than we’re used to. There’s a chance Cleveland’s offense is so good—perhaps much better than New York’s offense the last handful of years—that it leads to no drop-off from Beckham, though.
Corey Davis, Titans
Through two seasons, former fifth overall pick Corey Davis has been relatively disappointing, but he emerged as a trusted third-down target for Marcus Mariota last season, finishing tied for eighth in the NFL with 20 third-down receptions that were caught for first downs. However, with the acquisition of former Buccaneers receiver Adam Humphries, Mariota might now have a new favorite target in critical situations. Overall, Davis must start winning big on the outside on first and second down, as his quarterback might not looks his way as often when looking to keep drives alive in 2019.
Robert Foster, Bills
As an undrafted rookie last season, Robert Foster was awesome, averaging 20.0 yards per reception on 27 receptions (for 541 yards). The signings of John Brown and Cole Beasley might end up helping Foster get less attention from opposing defenses, but he’s one high draft pick away from potentially being on the outside looking in for a starting job in Buffalo. There is still certainly upside for Foster, so dynasty owners should probably just hold tight and hope the Bills don’t add any more players at the position high in the draft.