Fantasy football: Players entering a contract year in 2019

Fantasy football: Players entering a contract year in 2019

Fantasy football strategy

Fantasy football: Players entering a contract year in 2019

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Updated: Wednesday, July 17, at 11:39 a.m. EDT

While simply entering a contract year is not a guarantee of increased fantasy football production, gamers look for any extra on-field motivation to put their fake squads over the top.

The key when evaluating such data is to treat it as another piece of the puzzle and not get too caught up in this extra info. We’ll focus on players with the highest odds of using this incentive to put their best foot forward in an effort on the open market.

All data is based on USA TODAY Sports’ partner Spotrac.com’s free-agent charts.

Notes: Each player is a free agent as of March 2020. Ages reflect how old the player will be upon entering free agency. UFA: Unrestricted free agent; RFA: Restricted free agent; CO: Club option; ERFA: Not included

(Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)

Quarterbacks

Player
Age
Team
Status
Tom Brady
43
NE
UFA
Drew Brees
41
NO
UFA
Eli Manning
39
NYG
UFA
Matt Schaub
39
ATL
CO
Philip Rivers
38
LAC
UFA
Drew Stanton
36
CLE
UFA
Chad Henne
35
KC
UFA
Brian Hoyer
34
NE
UFA
Chase Daniel
33
CHI
UFA
Colt McCoy
33
WAS
UFA
Joe Webb
33
HOU
UFA
Case Keenum
32
WAS
UFA
Ryan Tannehill
32
TEN
UFA
Alex Tanney
32
NYG
CO
Mike Glennon
30
OAK
UFA
Blaine Gabbert
30
TB
UFA
Tom Savage
30
DET
UFA
Taysom Hill
30
NO
RFA
A.J. McCarron
29
HOU
UFA
Geno Smith
29
SEA
UFA
David Fales
29
DET
UFA
Teddy Bridgewater
28
NO
UFA
Trevor Siemian
28
NYJ
UFA
Blake Bortles
28
LAR
UFA
Sean Mannion
28
MIN
UFA
Tyler Bray
28
CHI
UFA
Brett Hundley
27
ARI
UFA
Kevin Hogan
27
DEN
UFA
Jacoby Brissett
27
IND
UFA
Taylor Heinicke
27
CAR
UFA
Cody Kessler
27
PHI
UFA
Dak Prescott
27
DAL
UFA
Jake Rudock
27
MIA
RFA
Brandon Allen
27
LAR
RFA
Cardale Jones
27
LAC
RFA
Jeff Driskel
27
CIN
UFA
Jameis Winston
26
TB
UFA
Marcus Mariota
26
TEN
UFA
Nate Sudfeld
26
PHI
UFA
Paxton Lynch
26
DEN
CO
Nathan Peterman
26
OAK
RFA
Paxton Lynch
26
SEA
RFA
Cooper Rush
26
DAL
RFA
Kyle Sloter
26
MIN
RFA
Davis Webb
25
NYJ
RFA

The names from this group that a stand out, aside from the elite old-timers, would be Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston and Jacoby Brissett. The first two haven’t exactly proven they are franchise quarterbacks through the opening four years of their rookie deals, so 2019 is a make-or-break year for both guys. They each have plenty of tools in place to succeed. Brissett will try to find a situation that gives him a shot at starting, or at least competing for the job. Barring an injury to Andrew Luck in 2019, Brissett will have to rely on his 2017 and earlier footage to make the sales pitch.

It is tough to envision starting opportunities for Ryan Tannehill, Blake Bortles, A.J. McCarron, Mike Glennon and Case Keenum coming into play, but they at least have flashed a time or two and won’t break the bank. Tannehill and Keenum have the highest odds of seeing 2019 game action.

(Vincent Carchietta, USA TODAY Sports)

Running backs

Player
Age
Team
Status
Frank Gore
37
BUF
UFA
Adrian Peterson
35
WAS
CO
LeSean McCoy
32
BUF
UFA
Taiwan Jones
32
HOU
UFA
Doug Martin
31
OAK
UFA
Bilal Powell
31
NYJ
UFA
Kenjon Barner
31
ATL
UFA
Andre Ellington
31
TB
UFA
Anthony Sherman
31
KC
UFA
Benny Cunningham
30
JAC
UFA
Cameron Artis-Payne
30
CAR
UFA
Zach Line
30
NO
UFA
Lamar Miller
29
HOU
UFA
Theo Riddick
29
DET
UFA
Chris Thompson
29
WAS
UFA
C.J. Anderson
29
DET
UFA
Alfred Blue
29
JAC
UFA
Javorius Allen
29
NO
UFA
Marcus Murphy
29
BUF
UFA
Kyle Juszczyk
29
SF
CO
Orson Charles
29
CLE
UFA
Ryan Hewitt
29
TEN
UFA
Giovani Bernard
28
CIN
UFA
Carlos Hyde
28
KC
UFA
Spencer Ware
28
IND
UFA
Senorise Perry
28
BUF
UFA
Rod Smith
28
NYG
UFA
David Fluellen
28
TEN
UFA
Devontae Booker
28
DEN
UFA
Zach Zenner
28
DET
UFA
Keith Smith
28
OAK
UFA
De’Angelo Henderson
27
NYJ
RFA
C.J. Ham
27
MIN
RFA
Melvin Gordon
27
LAC
UFA
Isaiah Crowell
27
OAK
UFA
Ty Montgomery
27
NYJ
UFA
Thomas Rawls
27
JAC
UFA
Ameer Abdullah
27
MIN
UFA
J.D. McKissic
27
SEA
UFA
DeAndre Washington
27
OAK
UFA
Elijhaa Penny
27
NYG
RFA
Andy Janovich
27
DEN
UFA
Derek Watt
27
LAC
UFA
Troymaine Pope
26
LAC
RFA
Taquan Mizzell
26
CHI
RFA
Darius Jackson
26
DAL
RFA
Peyton Barber
26
TB
UFA
Derrick Henry
26
TEN
UFA
Kenyan Drake
26
MIA
UFA
C.J. Prosise
26
SEA
UFA
Tyler Ervin
26
BAL
UFA
Kenneth Dixon
26
BAL
UFA
Jonathan Williams
26
IND
UFA
Dwayne Washington
26
NO
UFA
Wendell Smallwood
26
PHI
UFA
Byron Marshall
26
WAS
UFA
Patrick Ricard
26
BAL
RFA
Kareem Hunt
25
CLE
RFA
Matt Dayes
25
NO
RFA
Trey Edmunds
25
PIT
RFA
Corey Clement
25
PHI
RFA
Austin Ekeler
25
LAC
RFA
Matt Breida
25
SF
RFA
Jordan Howard
25
PHI
UFA
Brian Hill
24
ATL
RFA
Justin Davis
24
LAR
RFA

A handful of guys are playing for a chance to start or become a substantial piece in a committee approach in 2020 while still being young enough to earn a decent contract. Giovani Bernard, Carlos Hyde and Peyton Barber stand out in this category. We’ve seen just enough from this trio to give them the benefit of the doubt. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out for Derrick Henry, Kenyan Drake, Jordan Howard and Kareem Hunt. Each guy has a chance to make important contributions to their 2019 rosters and could earn long-term deals as a result. All of them are also definitely in play to move on to a new city in 2020, too. True wild cards, really.

The writing seems to be on the wall for Theo Riddick, Lamar Miller, LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson, among others to be playing in new cities in 2020. Riddick and fellow pass-catching back Chris Thompson could carve out one-dimensional roles well into their 30s, however.
One could even make the same argument for Shady as a third-down back playing elsewhere.

(Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports)

Wide receivers

Player
Age
Team
Status
Larry Fitzgerald
37
ARI
UFA
Danny Amendola
34
DET
UFA
Matthew Slater
34
NE
UFA
Emmanuel Sanders
33
DEN
UFA
A.J. Green
32
CIN
UFA
Demaryius Thomas
32
NE
UFA
Dwayne Harris
32
OAK
UFA
Torrey Smith
31
CAR
UFA
Dontrelle Inman
31
NE
UFA
Chris Hogan
31
CAR
UFA
Deonte Thompson
31
NYJ
UFA
Terrelle Pryor
31
JAC
UFA
Brian Quick
31
WAS
UFA
Charles Johnson
31
PHI
UFA
Aldrick Robinson
31
CAR
UFA
Jarius Wright
30
CAR
CO
Randall Cobb
30
DAL
UFA
Jaron Brown
30
SEA
UFA
Jermaine Kearse
30
DET
UFA
Michael Floyd
30
BAL
UFA
Rishard Matthews
30
NO
UFA
Brice Butler
30
MIA
UFA
Rashad Ross
30
CAR
UFA
Vince Mayle
29
LAC
RFA
Johnny Holton
29
PIT
RFA
Josh Gordon
29
NE
UFA
Seth Roberts
29
BAL
UFA
Tavon Austin
29
DAL
UFA
Russell Shepard
29
NYG
UFA
Ryan Grant
29
OAK
UFA
Bennie Fowler
29
NYG
UFA
DeAndrew White
28
CAR
RFA
Allen Hurns
28
DAL
UFA
Jordan Matthews
28
SF
UFA
Kevin White
28
ARI
UFA
Cody Latimer
28
NYG
UFA
J.J. Nelson
28
OAK
UFA
Justin Hardy
28
ATL
UFA
Geremy Davis
28
LAC
UFA
Jordan Taylor
28
MIN
UFA
Darius Jennings
28
TEN
UFA
DeVante Parker
27
MIA
CO
Marvin Hall
27
CHI
RFA
Braxton Miller
27
PHI
RFA
Keelan Cole
27
JAC
RFA
Cameron Meredith
27
NO
UFA
Willie Snead
27
BAL
UFA
Robby Anderson
27
NYJ
UFA
Phillip Dorsett
27
NE
UFA
Josh Doctson
27
WAS
UFA
Nelson Agholor
27
PHI
UFA
Michael Thomas
27
NO
UFA
Maurice Harris
27
NE
UFA
Tommylee Lewis
27
DET
UFA
Chris Moore
27
BAL
UFA
Damiere Byrd
27
ARI
UFA
Tre McBride
27
JAC
UFA
Trevor Davis
27
GB
UFA
Jakeem Grant
27
MIA
UFA
Charone Peake
27
NYJ
UFA
Jojo Natson
26
LAR
RFA
Marcus Johnson
26
IND
RFA
D.J. Foster
26
ARI
RFA
Ricardo Louis
26
MIA
RFA
Jehu Chesson
26
WAS
RFA
Andy Jones
26
DET
RFA
Tim Patrick
26
DEN
RFA
Austin Carr
26
NO
RFA
Devin Funchess
26
IND
UFA
Amari Cooper
26
DAL
UFA
Breshad Perriman
26
TB
UFA
Chester Rogers
26
IND
UFA
Geronimo Allison
26
GB
UFA
Tyler Boyd
26
CIN
UFA
Jaelen Strong
26
CLE
UFA
Corey Coleman
26
NYG
UFA
Tyreek Hill
26
KC
UFA
Cody Core
26
CIN
UFA
Mike Thomas
26
LAR
UFA
David Moore
25
SEA
RFA
Victor Bolden
25
BUF
RFA
Isaiah McKenzie
25
BUF
RFA
Kendrick Bourne
25
SF
RFA
Bobo Wilson
25
TB
RFA
Dan Arnold
25
NO
RFA
Laquon Treadwell
25
MIN
UFA
Rashard Higgins
25
CLE
UFA
Pharoh Cooper
25
ARI
UFA
Demarcus Robinson
25
KC
UFA
Tajae Sharpe
25
TEN
UFA

Names of note among the wideouts includes Dontrelle Inman, a recent signing of the New England Patriots. He could be one to watch in deeper circles. Randall Cobb has an outside shot at landing a decent contract with a strong 2019, and the same also can be said for Willie Snead, Nelson Agholor, Robby Anderson and Phillip Dorsett. All of these receivers have a potentially lucrative, multiyear contract at stake.

As one can tell, big names adorn the list. A.J. Green, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Thomas, Tyreek Hill and Amari Cooper have earned the right in different ways to play for teams of their choosing.


(Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports)

Tight ends

Player
Age
Team
Status
Benjamin Watson
39
NE
UFA
Jason Witten
38
DAL
UFA
Vernon Davis
36
WAS
UFA
Marcedes Lewis
36
GB
UFA
Darren Fells
34
HOU
UFA
Logan Paulsen
33
ATL
UFA
Garrett Celek
32
SF
UFA
Charles Clay
31
ARI
UFA
Bradley Sowell
31
CHI
UFA
Jack Doyle
30
IND
UFA
Luke Willson
30
OAK
UFA
Vance McDonald
30
PIT
CO
Tyler Eifert
29
CIN
UFA
Blake Bell
29
KC
UFA
Gabe Holmes
29
IND
UFA
Logan Thomas
29
DET
UFA
Nick O’Leary
28
MIA
UFA
Eric Tomlinson
28
NYJ
UFA
Scott Simonson
28
NYG
UFA
Daniel Brown
28
NYJ
UFA
Neal Sterling
28
KC
UFA
Clive Walford
28
MIA
UFA
Will Tye
28
PHI
UFA
MyCole Pruitt
28
TEN
UFA
Erik Swoope
28
OAK
RFA
Eric Ebron
27
IND
UFA
Xavier Grimble
27
PIT
UFA
Nick Vannett
27
SEA
UFA
Tyler Higbee
27
LAR
UFA
Seth Devalve
27
CLE
UFA
Ben Koyack
27
JAC
UFA
Darren Waller
27
OAK
UFA
David Morgan
27
MIN
UFA
Stephen Anderson
27
NE
RFA
Ross Travis
27
IND
RFA
Temarrick Hemingway
27
CAR
RFA
Antony Auclair
27
TB
RFA
Sean Culkin
27
LAC
RFA
Maxx Williams
26
ARI
UFA
Dillon Gordon
26
CAR
RFA
Rico Gathers
26
DAL
RFA
Blake Jarwin
26
DAL
RFA
Jacob Hollister
26
SEA
RFA
Cethan Carter
26
CIN
RFA
Hunter Henry
25
LAC
UFA
Austin Hooper
25
ATL
UFA
Ricky Seals-Jones
25
ARI
RFA
Darrell Daniels
25
ARI
RFA
Joshua Perkins
25
PHI
RFA

A lot of 30-somethings at the position entering free agency … given how the position works, it’s really only about those with a chance to put themselves into a better situation: Jack Doyle, Tyler Eifert, Erik Swoope, Tyler Higbee and Nick Vannett jump out.

Eifert arguably has the most to prove. He certainly could be re-signed in 2020, but another injury-marred season will make him nearly radioactive in the offseason. No players have more at stake in terms of securing a mega contract than Eric Ebron, Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper.

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