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Breaking down the fantasy impact of this offseason’s wide receiver moves

We go over over the top wide receiver transactions of the 2021 offseason and discuss the fantasy football impact that comes with them.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

After the league year started, all eyes were on one big-time pass-catcher as questions swirled around where he was going to play next season. Though that superstar wasn’t the only wideout on the move this offseason.

We’re going to break down the biggest wide receiver transactions of the offseason so far and examine how they can impact your fantasy team.

Julio Jones, Tennessee Titans (from Atlanta Falcons)

This was probably the biggest move of the NFL offseason, with the future Hall of Famer heading to a new city for the first time in his career. While the move is obviously a massive net positive for the Titans, it’s probably not as thrilling for people who have Jones on their fantasy team. The Titans are a massive run-first team with the best RB in the league in their backfield. They’ll probably throw the ball a bit more this season, they had the third-fewest pass attempts in 2020, but don’t expect an all-out air attack now that Jones is around.

Kenny Golladay, New York Giants (from Detroit Lions)

Golladay steps into the depth chart as the clear WR 1 for the Giants. New York struggled last season with limited weapons on the offense outside of Saquan Barkley. Still, Golladay is a huge step in the right direction for the passing game. However, will he make a fantasy impact with Daniel Jones throwing him the ball? Jones regressed in his sophomore campaign and he hasn’t shown a ton of promise outside of a game or two during his rookie year. It could shape up to be a frustrating time for Golladay unless Jones can take a leap forward.

Marquise Goodwin, Chicago Bears (from San Francisco 49ers)

Goodwin opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns and will be suiting up for a new team starting in 2021. Goodwin has had some injury troubles throughout his time in the NFL, but his speed is world-class and the former Olympian can run past just about anybody that tries to cover him. Chicago’s WR room isn’t the deepest after WR Allen Robinson, so this move will bring some security to the team. As for his fantasy numbers, we still don’t know who his QB is going to be for most of the season. The smart money is on Justin Fields, but a rookie signal-caller doesn’t always mean great things for a wideout.

Emmanuel Sanders, Buffalo Bills (from New Orleans Saints)

Sanders, now 34-years-old, will have a tough time making an impact in his new home. The Bills are one of the most pass-happy teams in the league and they already had an extremely solid group of wideouts. Stefon Diggs is the clear WR1 and Cole Beasley caught virtually anything thrown in his vicinity last season and was a trusted security blanket for QB Josh Allen. Gabriel Davis emerged as a legitimate threat toward the end of the season, so Sanders walks into the room as WR 4. Beasley is a very similar player to him, so if he opts out due to not taking the COVID vaccine, then Sanders could slot right in that spot. But that’s a big if with so much time until week one.

Sammy Watkins, Baltimore Ravens (from Kansas City Chiefs)

This seems to be a great move all around. Watkins was getting lost in the shuffle with all the top-end talent in Kansas City, and Baltimore needed to get Lamar Jackson some help desperately. Now, Watkins can pair up with Hollywood Brown and give Jackson options to throw the ball to, instead of just scrambling around until he found a running lane or until Brown got open. This will surely help not only Watkins’ fantasy numbers but Jackson’s too.

DeSean Jackson, LA Rams (from Philidelphia Eagles)

Jackson is heading into a great situation from a football perspective in LA. He now has a QB who has proven he can put up absurd numbers even with pass-catchers that leave a lot to be desired. Jackson is getting up there in age, but that doesn’t seem to slow him down. Though he’s injury-prone, only playing just eight games over his last two seasons. So you get a high-risk, potentially high-reward player here on your fantasy squad, but he’s not worth anything more than a throw-away pick at the end of your draft at this point.

Corey Davis, New York Jets (from Tennessee Titans)

Davis moved on to New York in free agency and will probably be the best pass-catching option on a team that’s revamping the entire roster. Last season in Tenn he was in one of the NFL’s least pass-happy offenses and still finished with a career season and he wasn’t even the team’s number one option. So now as a true WR 1, he should be getting a lot more targets at least. It will be interesting to see how rookie QB Zach Wilson adjusts to the NFL, because that’s going to end up being the big factor in how much Davis can contribute this season.

Curtis Samuel, Washington Football Team (from Carolina Panthers)

Samuel landing in Washington was probably one of the better outcomes for him in free agency. He’s never had a consistent quarterback that can utilize his skill set of deep downfield passes, but now he’s got one in Ryan Fitzpatrick. Samuel is definitely a WR 2 in all leagues, especially since he plays in the worst division in the NFL, he could rack up a ton of points in the six games against NFC East opponents.

Will Fuller, Miami Dolphins (from Houston Texans)

Throughout the course of his career, Fuller has been a feast or famine type of player. He can go weeks at a time without making a blip on the radar and then go on a tear for two or three weeks in a row. Now he’s headed to Miami to be the star pass-catcher for QB Tua Tagovailoa and a feature in the offense until first rounder Jaylen Waddle gets his feet underneath him. Fuller steps in and automatically becomes the best WR Tua has had the chance to throw to in the NFL, so it should make him more comfortable tossing the ball to his wideout.

Marvin Jones, Jacksonville Jaguars (from Detroit Lions)

Jones steps into a rebuilding situation In Jacksonville, but they’re building it up fast, it seems. Urban Meyer has targeted guys on offense he believes will complement new QB1 Trevor Lawerence. Jones is one of those guys and will bring a veteran presence to the extremely young WR room. Fantasy-wise, a lot will have to do with how fast Lawrence adjusts to the NFL game, but of all the WRs with rookie QBs, Jones is in the best situation.

Nelson Agholor, New England Patriots (from Las Vegas Raiders)

The veteran had one of his best seasons in the NFL last season with Vegas. He steps into the Patriots organization as the clear number one wide receiver after Julian Edleman retired this offseason. Though they weren’t an offense that liked to sling the ball around last season, opting more for a run-first approach. QB Cam Newton looks like he has the inside track to start again, so it’s unclear just how much they’ll throw the ball around. Either way, it’s probably safe to assume he won’t see as many targets or as much production as he did in 2020.

Breshad Perriman, Detroit Lions (from New York Jets)

Perriman has had an extraordinarily disappointing NFL career. The former first-round draft pick out of Central Florida has struggled to produce on a consistent basis, which is why he’s on his sixth team since being drafted in 2015. Still, he’s shown potential from time to time, but the Lions pairing with new QB Jared Goff doesn’t seem like a match made in heaven. Goff has been known to struggle to get the ball downfield and Perriman is built as a speed receiver, blowing past DBs and catching deep balls. This pairing could go down poorly in Detroit.

John Brown, Las Vegas Raiders (from Buffalo Bills)

Brown was a bit of a surprise cut in Buffalo, but they had a bounty of riches at the WR position. He could potentially walk in as the WR 1 in Vegas this season with Agholor heading off to New England. Still, he won't be the top pass catcher with TE Darren Waller clearly earning the title of Derek Carr’s favorite receiving option. He’d be a solid pick up later on in the season if the young receivers around him aren’t able to develop the way the team expected them to.

AJ Green, Arizona Cardinals (from Cincinnati Bengals)

With the addition of Green, Arizona might have one of the best WR corps in the NFL. Though for a fantasy perspective, this probably doesn’t bode well for people who regularly have Green in the lineup. He’ll not only be splitting targets with DeAndre Hopkins, but he’ll also be competing with rookie speedster Rondale Moore, who is a player Kliff Kingsbury will love to have in his fast-paced offense.

Josh Reynolds, Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams)

As we’ve mentioned a few times already in this article, the Titans do not like to pass the ball all that much. They’re going to rely on Derrick Henry heavily to get the ball into the endzone. He’s also going to be low on the totem pole in terms of targets, as he’ll be dealing with a future hall of famer in Julio Jones lining up at the same time as him and with AJ Brown hanging around too.

Tyrell Williams, Detroit Lions (from Las Vegas Raiders)

Williams didn’t play at all last season after an injury, but had the most productive time of his career with the LA Chargers before moving on to Vegas. His former head coach with the Bolts, Anthony Lynn, is the OC in Detroit now. That reconnection could be what Williams needs to get his career back on track. He’ll be doing it with Jarred Goff under center, which won’t be ideal given how inconsistent he has proven to be in his career so far.