2023 NFL free agency – Fantasy football impact of signings and trades

2023 NFL free agency – Fantasy football impact of signings and trades

The fantasy football offseason is underway with the start of NFL free agency. This column is designed to be a one-stop shop for a quick study of the most influential player movements — trades and free-agent signings, including those who re-sign with their teams.

ESPN Fantasy writers Tristan H. Cockcroft, Eric Karabell, Liz Loza and Eric Moody offer their insights on what each move means for a player’s fantasy value in 2023. In early in free agency, the most notable recent deals will appear above. of the column.

DJ Moore traded to the Bears
Effect of fantasy: Positive

Moore took over as Justin Fields‘ top receiving target. That’s a good thing in relative terms, considering the revolving door of mediocre passers he worked with in Carolina. Fields’ passing game may still be developing, but he raises Moore’s statistical ceiling, even if the two have a bigger difference than the average QB-WR duo. Moore becomes a midrange WR2, while Fields’ QB1 case grows stronger.

That said, Moore’s arrival has eaten up a bigger piece of the Bears’ target-share pie, rendering Chase Claypool and Darnell Mooney more matchup-oriented depth options, while tight ends Cole Kmet should benefit but be more at risk of the occasional quiet game. We’ll see how this Bears offense fares under Fields, but I still like Claypool’s upside against a weaker defense more than Mooney. — Cockroach

Darren Waller traded to the Giants
Effect of fantasy: Positive

This very good tight end moves into an offense that desperately needs playmakers. Waller could return to 90-plus receptions and 1,000-plus receiving yards, though with Daniel Jones at QB. That’s how good Waller and the rest of the Giants — none of whom hit 60 catches or 750 receiving yards last season — were outstanding. Waller just needs to stay healthy, which should be the bigger concern. Still, he could be a top-five TE — even in this offense. — Karabell

Derek Carr signs to the Saints
Fantasy effect: Neutral

Carr has been a perfect fit in the Saints’ offense and is just one season removed from throwing for 4,804 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2021. While he has a chance to replicate that performance in 2023, even that strong season ranked him 14th among fantasy QBs. In fact, Carr has never finished in the top 10 at the position in fantasy points.

Chris Olave is easily the player who benefits the most from Carr’s arrival. Olave had 1,042 receiving yards and four touchdowns as a rookie, including Andy Dalton and James Winston under the middle. Carr will look to exploit Olave’s ability to attack defenses vertically. Last season, Carr led the league in touchdowns on downfield passes of 30 yards or more. — Moody

Jakobi Meyers signs to the Raiders
Fantasy Effect: Neutral

After signing a three-year deal with $21M guaranteed, Meyers is heading west and will be reunited with former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. In New England, the NC State product has maintained a target share above 22 percent, clearing at least 80 looks in three consecutive seasons. With Darren Waller headed to the Giants, Meyers could retain much of that volume. Additionally, he sees an increase in outside opportunities. Notably, Meyers’ slot snaps increased nearly 3 percent after McDaniels’ departure. Meyers enters 2023 as a high-floor PPR option with little TD upside in the WR3 range. — Loza

Jimmy Garoppolo signs to the Raiders
Fantasy effect: Neutral

After six years in San Francisco, Garoppolo will reunite with Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas. Despite averaging 7.9 YPA, the veteran signal-caller scored just 15.0 fantasy points per game (QB19 in qualifiers) in 2022. He’s less likely to be as efficient in Vegas, but given the surrounding talent of team his production figures remain static. In a lateral move, the Raiders’ skill position players — Davante Adams chief among them — should not be downgraded due to QB change. Due to a late-season foot injury, Jimmy G remains a middling QB2 for superflex purposes. — Loza