With NFL free agency nearly coming to an end and the draft just around the corner, for fantasy owners, it’s time to assess the value of players that changed teams. Often when a player is on a new team, the thought is that their fantasy value increases. However, that is not always the case. Perhaps on the new team, they are no longer the top option or the weapons around them decreased their value. Here are some players whose fantasy value decreased with a change in scenery.
Case Keenum, QB, Denver Broncos
The quarterback situation for the Denver Broncos has been rough over the past few years. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders have struggled due to poor quarterback play. While Case Keenum is an upgrade over the trio of Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler, he is not the future for the franchise. He had a good year in Minnesota, staving off Teddy Bridgewater and throwing for 3,547 yards and 22 touchdowns. However, in his previous four seasons (two in Houston and two with the now-Los Angeles Rams), he didn’t come close to those numbers. Don’t expect another career year from the 30-year-old Keenum.
Carlos Hyde, RB, Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns aren’t exactly known for being an offense that provides tons of fantasy points. Hyde went from being the lead back in San Francisco to the potential primary ball carrier for the Browns. However, the Browns also have Duke Johnson on the roster and they have been upgrading their passing attack in the offseason. With Tyrod Taylor now at quarterback, the outlook for Hyde isn’t great. Taylor will run the ball himself or pass to a bevy of weapons at his disposal. Johnson will likely handle passing downs, leaving Hyde to handle the rest of the carries while seeing fewer targets. He’s a low RB2.
Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns
It’s difficult to predict how the Browns’ offense will look in 2018. The receiving corps that was headlined by Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman now adds Landry to the mix, as well as the aforementioned Hyde and Taylor in the backfield. So which player will have the most fantasy value? Or are there too many mouths to feed? It’s hard to tell, but Landry has been known as a PPR monster, and that doesn’t quite fit into Taylor’s style. This may change, however, if the Browns draft a quarterback that they envision to be their starter. Landry could do well catching multiple short passes from a rookie quarterback, although he didn’t help Jay Cutler’s cause last year. Landry’s value appears to be decreasing, but time will tell.
Brandin Cooks, WR, Los Angeles Rams
In looking to fill the void left by Sammy Watkins, the Los Angeles Rams traded for Cooks. With a receiving corps already stacked with Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, the amount of work for Cooks is going to be limited. The Rams will still rely on running back Todd Gurley to carry their offense as Jared Goff continues to improve. However, going from Tom Brady and a pass-first offense to Goff is a pretty clear downgrade. Cooks goes from WR2 to a WR3.
Jordy Nelson, WR, Oakland Raiders
After nine seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Nelson finds himself starting over at 32 with the Raiders. He leaves behind Aaron Rodgers, who he had a great rapport with, to catch passes from Derek Carr. Carr struggled last year, but so did Nelson. Amari Cooper is still the No. 1 receiver in Oakland, with Nelson taking over No. 2 duties. It’s hard to trust him, given his 482-yard season in 2017. He struggled with Brett Hundley after Rodgers went down with a broken collar bone, and there is no guarantee he’ll excel with Carr. Nelson is a low WR3 heading into the 2018 season.
— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.
(Case Keenum photo by Gabriel Christus, courtesy of www.denverbroncos.com)