Though the season is months away and the draft can throw all of this out of whack, what teams do to start the offseason window can tell a lot about how they plan on using (or not using) their fantasy producers. This offseason in particular has been ripe for change as the tightening of the cap down to $182.5 million in 2021 -- an 8% decrease from the $198.2 million -- means that teams have extra pressure to work the margins of their roster. Already we’ve seen a flurry of moves with heavy-fantasy implications with the expectation of even more roster churn as teams hit salary deadlines.
Hint: Jaguars sign wide receiver Marvin Jones to a two-year $12.5 million contract
Story: Wheels up for DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault
As the Jags set the stage for what we all hope to be one of the next greats at the QB position, presumptive number one pick Mac Jones Trevor Lawrence, they make the unsexiest of signings for the ever-reliable Marvin Jones. While this is good news for Marvin Jones, as he is now tethered to our golden boy, it’s even better for the already established WRs DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault. With the largest cap space in the league, the Jaguars had the potential to bring in another alpha, but instead opted for the downfield flanker Marvin Jones. While someone like Juju Smith-Schuster or even Curtis Samuel could’ve really taken a bite out of their roles, Chark and Shenault remain secure in their underneath and intermediate areas and a potential for big jumps if things click with Lawrence.
Hint: Lions ink Jamaal Williams to a four year deal
Story: D’Andre Swift breakout postponed.
After neutering Aaron Jones for years in Green Bay, it would seem Jamaal Williams will continue his role as fantasy party pooper joining D’Andre Swift in the Lions backfield. Swift finished the 2020 season with a healthy average of 17.6 fantasy points in his final five games and seemed primed for an expanded role and breakout season in 2021. However, Williams being a bigger back with receiving acumen, we could see a similar situation to Green Bay where Swift is the Jones that just can’t be freed.
Hint: Patriots dive deep into the pockets signing Tight Ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry and Wide Receivers Nelson Aghohlor and Kendrick Bourne
Story: Cam Newton might actually have an offense
With how atrocious the Patriots offense looked down the final stretch of 2020, it’s easy to forget that Cam Newton was averaging 23.8 fantasy points over an, admittedly small, three week stretch to start the year. After returning from a battle with COVID and various injuries, Cam never looked the same. It could have a little bit to do with the fact that the likes of Devin Asaisi and Dalton Keene were his number 2 and 3 targets, maybe.
The signings of Smith and Henry add some talent to an otherwise unimposing tight end room, while Agholor adds some flash to the WR corps. Cam could easily be washed, but a full offseason to acclimate to a new system with upgraded weapons means that Bill at least is committing to him, and you know what Bill? Me too.