There’s been plenty of movement over the first few days of 2023 NFL free agency, but there are still big names available—particularly at the skill position players. Looking at things from a fantasy football perspective, these are some of the best fits for remaining free agents like Odell Beckham Jr. and Damien Harris.
RB Damien Harris: Bills
Damien Harris has killed the Bills throughout his career. While he didn’t get much going in the Week 18 finale last season, Harris ran for lines of 16/102/1, 10/111/1, and 18/103/3 in his first three appearances in the AFC East showdown. So, Sean McDermott and Buffalo has seen first-hand when the hard-nosed runner can do to a defense—including finding the end zone (Harris had 15 rushing touchdowns in 2021). The Bills might ultimately be targeting someone in the draft, via trade, or bring back Devin Singletary, but Harris profiles as an excellent complement to second-year runner James Cook.
RB Ezekiel Elliott: Chargers
The fit for former All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliott is very difficult to pinpoint. But, with Austin Ekeler requesting a trade from the Chargers, might Los Angeles be a strong landing spot if Ekeler is dealt? Despite battling injury, Elliott has scored 12 touchdowns in each of the past two seasons and can help finish off drives like Ekeler has for the Chargers. Also, the team’s new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore was with Zeke in Dallas, so it’s a fit there and Moore knows what Elliott can bring to the table including in pass protection. This would take Ekeler being moved, but keep an eye on the Chargers for Zeke.
WR Odell Beckham Jr.: Cowboys
There’s been a lengthy dance between Odell Beckham Jr. and the Cowboys, and the two sides continue to feel like a good marriage. While head coach Mike McCarthy calling the plays for Dallas could lead to fewer passes this season, there should still be plenty to go around in a potent passing attack led by Dak Prescott. With CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup already in the mix, OBJ might be able to feast on single coverage while playing for the most valuable franchise in sports.
WR D.J. Chark: Vikings
The incumbent Lions remain a solid fit for D.J. Chark, but the big receiver might find more opportunities by remaining in the division and signing with a Vikings team that could use a big outside presence like him. With Adam Thielen released, Chark can step into the No. 2 receiver role behind All-Pro Justin Jefferson. Like Thielen, who caught 24 touchdowns from 2020-2021, Chark would have obvious double-digit touchdown upside if he’s featured and can build a similar rapport with veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins.
WR Adam Thielen: Panthers
Adam Thielen himself clearly feels he can play at a high level, and the Panthers would allow him to showcase his ability more than any other team. After giving up a lot to move up to No. 1 in the draft, Carolina will have to get creative in building their receiving group around the rookie quarterback. Thielen is a steady, reliable target that can—and might have to be—the centerpiece of the passing attack. Thielen has already visited Carolina, and the first and most interested team (as we saw with Derek Carr and the Saints) is often the eventual landing spot.
WR Mecole Hardman: Colts
The thought is that the Colts will draft a wide receiver to plug in between Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce, but perhaps Indy is interested in bringing in Mecole Hardman to stretch the field both vertically and horizontally to help open things up for everyone else. New Colts head coach Shane Steichen showed his creativity with the Eagles the past two seasons, and he’d find a way to get Hardman involved at least on the jet sweeps and pop pass type of plays to get the ball into the speedster’s hands.
WR Nelson Agholor: Saints
The Saints have officially brought back Michael Thomas on a revised contract, and Thomas and Chris Olave are locked in as New Orleans’ top two receivers for 2023. But they’ve lost Deonte Harty in free agency and declined to tender Marquez Callaway as a restricted free agent. Maybe Carr will push for Nelson Agholor to be a high-upside WR3 option after the duo had success in Vegas, connecting on eight touchdowns and 18.7 yards per reception in 2020.
TE Dalton Schultz: Raiders
The trade of Darren Waller currently leaves a hole at tight end for the Raiders. They could re-sign free agent Foster Moreau, but if Josh McDaniels and company feel like Dalton Schultz is the best fit for new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo they might be willing to spend more to bring in the former Cowboy. Schultz is also a very good run blocker that would fit right into an offense that has reigning rushing champion Josh Jacobs in the backfield.