Odell Beckham and Antonio Brown look like two of the biggest dominos of the offense. Both are capable of being elite playmakers, but both are also capable of turning into major off-field distractions. If they’re moved, will their new teams regret it?

Every year, big-name wide receivers switch teams (most often through free agency). And every year a couple of those players are selected early in fantasy drafts. But there are plenty of misses to go along with the hits when these kind of players are transplanted.

There were three big receiver moves last year. Brandin Cooks, Sammy Watkins and Allen Robinson. Cooks had a solid year, but his stats were a little lower than what those who selected him were hoping for. Both Watkins and Robinson finished well short of expectations.

Beckham and Brown, if moved, are a notch better than all three of those receivers. With their talent, you’re looking for top-5 numbers when you select them. If either were to post simply top-20 numbers, that would be a disappointment. But history shows us it’s not a layup when trying to transplant wide receivers into new offenses with new teams.

By my subjective count, there have been 22 “elite” receivers that have switched teams in this century. And by “elite”, I’m using the estimation that said receivers were among the first dozen receivers selected in the vast majority of fantasy drafts that year.

Of that group of 22, I see seven who went out and did what they were supposed to do – and I’ve got those guys in bold. I see eight that definitely fell way short of expectations (tagged with black dots). The other seven didn’t put up eye-popping numbers but weren’t busts either. About equal thirds for all three groups.

With Cooks, he played just well enough that I put him in the top group. With 80 catches, 1,204 yards and 6 TDs, he didn’t knock it out of the park, but he played well enough to merit where he was selected. He was a player who was selected not to be a Beckham-Brown top-5 receiver, after all, but more of just a No. 1 receiver.

With this group of wide receivers, 9 finished with better numbers than they did the previous year with their old team. But 13 finished with lesser numbers.

YearPlayerOld TeamNew Team
2000• Carl PickensCin 57-737-6Ten 10-242-0
2000• Joey GallowaySea 22-335-1Dal 4-62-1
2000Keyshawn JohnsonNYJ 89-1170-8TB 71-874-8
2001• Terry GlennNE 14-204-1GB 56-817-2
2003• Peerless PriceBuf 94-1252-9Atl 64-838-3
2003David BostonAri 32-512-1SD 70-880-7
2004Terrell OwensSF 80-1102-9Phil 77-1200-14
2005Randy MossMin 49-767-13Oak 60-1005-8
2006Terrell OwensPhil 47-763-6Dall 85-1180-13
2007Randy MossOak 42-553-3NE 98-1493-23
2009• T.J. HoushmandzadehCin 92-904-4Sea 79-911-3
2009• Terrell OwensDall 69-1052-10Buf 55-829-6
2010Brandon MarshallDen 101-1120-10Mia 86-1014-3
2012Brandon MarshallMia. 81-1214-6Chi. 118-1508-11
2012Vincent JacksonSD 60-1106-9T.B. 72-1384-8
2013• Danny AmendolaStL 63-666-3NE 54-633-2
2013• Percy HarvinMin 62-677-5Sea 1-17-0
2013Wes WelkerNE 118-1354-6Den 73-778-10
2014DeSean JacksonPhil 82-1332-9Was 56-1169-6
2015Brandon MarshallChi. 61-721-8NYJ 109-1502-14
2017Brandin CooksN.O. 78-1173-8N.E. 65-1082-7
2018Brandin CooksN.E. 65-1082-7LAR 80-1204-6

While I’ve got these numbers out, I will also share the figures for the next group of receivers. Second-tier guys, if you will. These are players who aren’t No. 1, franchise-type receivers, but are good enough that in most fantasy leagues, somebody selected them with the intention of them being an every-week starter. These are guys who many thought would be top-25 wide receivers.

I’ve got 38 wide receivers in this group. By my count, 17 put up numbers that met expectations (those receivers are in bold). I’ve flagging 15 as disappointments (including Robinson and Watkins). The remaining receivers I’ll stick in the middle.

This is a subjective exercise, of course. 2005 Derrick Mason, for example, might more appropriately belong in the middle tier. he scored only 3 TDs. But he at least came through with 86 catches for 1,073 yards. Had you selected Mason that year, it wouldn’t have killed your team to have him in that No. 2 receiving spot.

With the second-tier receivers, 16 finished with numbers better than what they posted the previous year. The other 22 were worse statistically.

YearPlayerOld TeamNew Team
2000Joe HornKC 35-586-6NO 94-1340-8
2001Jerry RiceSF 75-805-7Oak 83-1139-9
2002Keenan McCardellJac 93-1110-6TB 61-670-6
2002• Qadry IsmailBal 74-1059-7Ind 44-462-3
2003Laveranues ColesNYJ 89-1264-5Was 82-1204-6
2004Keyshawn JohnsonTB 45-600-3Dall 70-981-6
2004• Joey GallowayDall 34-672-2TB 33-416-6
2005Plaxico BurressPit 35-698-5NYG 76-1214-7
2005Derrick MasonTen 96-1168-7Bal 86-1073-3
2005Santana MossNYJ 45-838-5Was 84-1483-9
2005Laveranues ColesWas 90-950-1NYJ 73-845-5
2006Javon WalkerGB 4-27-0Den 69-1084-9
2006Keyshawn JohnsonDall 71-839-6Car 70-815-5
2006• Donte StallworthNO 70-945-7Phi 38-725-5
2006• Deion BranchNE 78-998-5Sea 53-725-4
2006• Antwaan Randle ElPit 35-558-3Was 32-351-4
2006• Nate BurlesonMin 30-328-1Sea 18-192-3
2008Bernard BerrianChi 71-951-5Min 48-964-8
2009• Laveranues ColesNYJ 70-850-7Cin 43-514-5
2010Anquan BoldinAriz 84-1024-5Balt 64-837-7
2010Santonio HolmesPitt 79-1248-5NYJ 52-746-6
2011• Sidney RiceMin 17-280-2Sea 32-484-2
2011• Chad OchocincoCin 67-831-4NE 15-276-1
2012Brandon LloydStL 70-966-5N.E. 74-911-5
2013Anquan BoldinBalt 65-921-4SF 85-1179-7
2013Mike WallacePitt 64-836-8Mia 73-930-5
2013Greg JenningsGB 36-366-4Min 68-804-4
2014Emmanuel SandersPitt 67-740-6Den 101-1404-9
2014Eric DeckerDen 87-1288-11NYJ 74-962-5
2015Jeremy MaclinPhil. 85-1318-10K.C. 87-1088-8
2016Marvin JonesCin. 65-816-4Det. 55-930-4
2016• Travis BenjaminClev. 68-966-6S.D. 47-677-4
2017Alshon JefferyChi. 52-821-2Phil. 57-789-9
2017• DeSean JacksonWash. 56-1005-4T.B. 50-668-3
2017• Pierre GarconWash. 79-1041-3S.F. 40-500-0
2017• Terrelle PryorClev. 77-1007-4Wash. 20-240-1
2018• Allen RobinsonJac. 1-17-0Chi. 55-754-4
2018• Sammy WatkinsLAR 39-593-8K.C. 40-519-3

—Ian Allan