By: Andrew Metcalfe
Should Fantasy players be afraid of change for their players?
Most Fantasy managers tend to avoid the unknown with their rosters. We all love WRs that are in familiar situations from the previous year because they are easier to project. Sometimes, you can take advantage of a player’s changing circumstances. This is especially true with receivers that get new QBs who are perceived as a downgrade from the previous signal-caller. Here are 3 WRs that will have new QBs in 2021, that I am looking to acquire in Dynasty leagues:
Allen Robinson, Bears
You don’t need me to tell you that Allen Robinson is an elite WR. What I will tell you: it’s a mistake to move him down WR ranks because of the Andy Dalton signing. I was excited like everyone else at the potential of Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson to Chicago, but those are unlikely scenarios at this point. Lost in the disappointment of them losing out on an elite QB, is the fact that Dalton is still an upgrade over what Robinson has played with for most of his career.
Here’s a refresher on some of the QBs Robinson has had to deal with: Blake Bortles, Chad Henne, Nick Foles, Mitch Trubisky. Not one of them are expected to be an NFL starter in 2021. Andy Dalton gets a bad rep, but he is a competent QB, which is more than we can say for the other signal callers on Robinson teams. In 2020, Dalton had a better True Passer rating (excludes throw aways and WR dropped passes), deep ball completion % and Accuracy Rating (according to Player Profiler) than Mitch Trubisky. Dalton also showed that he can support a solid Fantasy WR1 during his time in Cincinnati with AJ Green, although those days of Green dominating seem so far away now!
Acquiring Allen Robinson still won’t be cheap, but I’d bet you can find some Fantasy managers that are panic selling after the Dalton signing. Turning 28 years old this Fall, he’s still in his physical peak and will likely see the best QB play up until this point of his career. Buy the dip in value!
Quintez Cephus, Lions
I’ve discussed Cephus here recently, but I want to bring him up again now that we know Kenny Golladay won’t return to Detroit. I’m confident that Detroit will address the WR position early in the rookie Draft, but as of now, the Lions’ WR depth chart is led by Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman in front of Cephus. Perriman has never seen more than 70 targets in a season and Williams only did it once back in 2016. Even if Detroit ends up with one of the top rookie WRs, there is more than enough opportunity for Cephus to work his way into a consistent starting role.
I understand that no one is excited about the QB transition of Goff from Stafford. Like my argument for Andy Dalton, Goff catches a lot of heat from the community, but he has been a competent QB for fantasy purposes for most of his career. In 2018, LA had three top 15 fantasy WRs. Head Coach Sean McVay gets most of the credit, but Goff was the one on the field, making the throws.
Goff’s favorite target with the Rams was Cooper Kupp, another mid-tier college prospect like Cephus was. I don’t have any confirmation of how the Lions will deploy Cephus, but it would make a lot of sense to turn him into a big slot WR and give him a role similar to Kupp’s. The similarities between the two receivers are interesting:
|Cooper Kupp||Quintez Cephus|
|Weight||204 LBS||202 LBS|
Michael Pittman Jr., Colts
I’ll touch on another WR from the 2020 class, Michael Pittman Jr, son of the former Buccaneers RB. I’m always a fan of players that have family members who were also in the NFL. It’s a major benefit for him to have a parent with NFL experience which gave him a first-hand look of what it takes to be a successful pro.
Free agency was a major win for Pittman, from my viewpoint. With TY Hilton coming back, he avoided competition from the top-tier guys like Godwin and Kenny Golladay whom the Colts were rumored to have interest in. Hilton will have a role, but his days as an alpha WR are behind him.
Going into 2021, new Indy QB Carson Wentz will have Michael Pittman, TY Hilton, and Parris Campbell as his top targets. Campbell mainly plays in the slot and Hilton will be the main deep threat, so that leaves Pittman as the favorite to be the “Alpha” WR that we all look for in Fantasy. Pittman has a similar physical profile to Alshon Jeffrey, except he’s even bigger and more athletic. Jeffrey was always a favorite target for Wentz in Philly (when he was healthy), along with Zach Ertz. Both over 6’3” tall, it’s fair to say that Wentz loves his big receivers. Standing at 6’4”, Pittman has the clear size advantage over Campbell and Hilton which should get him plenty of looks from their new QB.