Fantasy Index

header banner img
Win here.


Free agent receivers

Transplant wide receivers lit it up last year

I’m not sure if a notable wide receiver will switch teams this year. But there probably will be at least a couple, and I’m going to be more careful this year not to underestimate their potential to put up big numbers.

Three of the top 5 wide receivers from last year were guys on new teams – Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams and A.J. Brown. That’s using PPR scoring. I was too low on all of those guys. And two other wide receiver transplants also finished with top-12 numbers: Amari Cooper (pictured) and Christian Kirk.

While there’s something to be said for learning curves – building a rapport with a quarterback and mastering an offense, it’s apparent in today’s game that receivers can step into an offense and be productive from the jump.

Below see a subjective listing of the 40 most anticipated wide receiver transplants since 2010 – guys who were drafted to be starting wide receivers in fantasy leagues. They’re all guys who (I think) were one of the first 25 wide receivers selected in most drafts that year.

The track record on these guys is pretty good. Not awesome, but pretty good. Just over half put up top-25 numbers, and 60 percent at least finished in the top 30. Of the 40, 11 ranked 55th or lower (what you would call a miss).

YearPlayerNoYardsTDPPRRkPrevious Season
2010Brandon Marshall, Mia.8610143205.722Den. 101-1120-10
2010Anquan Boldin, Balt.648377189.625Ariz. 84-1024-5
2010Santonio Holmes, NYJ527466164.339Pitt. 79-1248-5
2011Sidney Rice, Sea.32484295.574Min. 17-280-2
2012Brandon Marshall, Chi.118150811334.62Mia. 81-1214-6
2012Vincent Jackson, T.B.7213848260.412S.D. 60-1106-9
2012Brandon Lloyd, N.E.749115195.1252TM 70-966-5
2013Anquan Boldin, S.F.8511797246.015Balt. 65-921-4
2013Wes Welker, Den.7377810210.821N.E. 118-1354-6
2013Mike Wallace, Mia.739305199.326Pitt. 64-836-8
2013Greg Jennings, Min.688044172.434G.B. 36-366-4
2013Danny Amendola, N.E.546332129.455St.L. 63-666-3
2014Emmanuel Sanders, Den.10114049301.85Pitt. 67-740-6
2014DeSean Jackson, Was.5611696209.623Phil. 82-1332-9
2014Eric Decker, NYJ749625200.226Den. 87-1288-11
2015Brandon Marshall, NYJ109150214343.23Chi. 61-721-8
2015Jeremy Maclin, K.C.8710888245.215Phil. 85-1318-10
2016Marvin Jones, Det.559304172.343Cin. 65-816-4
2016Travis Benjamin, S.D.476774138.458Cle. 68-966-6
2017Brandin Cooks, N.E.6510827221.215N.O. 78-1173-8
2017Alshon Jeffery, Phil.577899195.921Chi. 52-821-2
2017DeSean Jackson, T.B.506683138.645Was. 56-1005-4
2017Pierre Garcon, S.F.40500090.075Was. 79-1041-3
2017Terrelle Pryor, Was.20240150.0107Cle. 77-1007-5
2018Brandin Cooks, LAR8012046243.213N.E. 65-1082-7
2018Allen Robinson, Chi.557544155.340Jac. 1-17-0
2018Sammy Watkins, K.C.405193115.164LAR 39-593-8
2019Odell Beckham, Cle.7410354203.525NYG 77-1052-6
2019Antonio Brown, N.E.456116.1154Pitt. 104-1297-15
2020Stefon Diggs, Buff.12715358328.63Min. 63-1130-6
2020DeAndre Hopkins, Ariz.11514076291.84Hou. 104-1165-7
2021Corey Davis, NYJ344924107.269Ten. 65-984-5
2021Kenny Golladay, NYG37521089.179Det. 20-338-2
2021Julio Jones, Ten.31434180.493Atl. 51-771-3
2022• Tyreek Hill, Mia.11917109347.22K.C. 111-1239-9
2022• Davante Adams, L.V.100151614335.53G.B. 123-1553-11
2022• A.J. Brown, Phil.88149611303.65Ten. 63-869-5
2022• Amari Cooper, Cle.7811609248.010Dall. 68-865-8
2022• Christian Kirk, Jac.8411088243.912Ariz. 77-982-5
2022• Allen Robinson, LAR33339384.985Chi. 38-410-1

I don’t think there’s going to be anybody quite as good as Hill-Adams-Brown moving this year. DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas seem like they’ll land on new teams. And I saw an article a few weeks ago wondering whether the Bengals might look to move Tee Higgins, given that they’ll need to give huge extensions to Joe Burrow and JaMarr Chase.

There doesn’t seem to be any franchise receivers hitting true free agency through conventional means. Robert Woods, DJ Chark, Nelson Agholor, Marvin Jones, Julio Jones, Allen Lazard, Jakobi Meyers, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Jarvis Landry, Olamide Zaccheaus – I don’t see any team breaking the bank for any of those guys. But the cap moved up by $17 million, and teams will be getting out their checkbooks next month.

—Ian Allan

Fantasy Index