• Free Agency RB Winners and Losers

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    Free agency is in full swing and the first wave of players has signed. Who's stock is up, and who's is down? Let's dive into the RB Winners and Losers!

    Every year, free agency shakes up the RB fantasy football landscape for those who hit the market and for some players on the teams that signed free agents. So who are the RB Winners and Losers of free agency so far? Let's talk about the signings!

    Who Are The Top Free Agents Available:

    To check out the other winners and losers:

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    Saquon Barkley, Philadelphia Eagles

    The biggest move of free agency at the RB position happened pretty quickly. Saquon Barkley agreed to terms early on the first day with the Eagles on a three-year, $37.75M deal with $26M fully guaranteed. So with this deal, who are the RB Winners and Losers?

    Implications for Fantasy

    People can squabble about TD opportunities but Miles Sanders put up 11 in 2022 and had similar red zone carries to D'Andre Swift in 2023. Speaking of Swift, the former Eagle saw 229 carries and 49 targets in his 16 games in 2023. Give that opportunity to Barkley, while going from a terrible OL and scoring offense to an elite OL and offense, and he deserves to be a top-five RB, stock way up.

    Josh Jacobs, Green Bay Packers

    The other big splash in free agency is Josh Jacobs leaving the Las Vegas Raiders for the Green Bay Packers. Jacobs and the Packers agreed to a four-year, $48M contract with $12.5M fully guaranteed. Surprisingly, he got just his first year guaranteed, so the Packers hold all the cards after 2024.

    Implications for Fantasy

    Jacobs stock is an interesting thing to discuss. Unlike in Vegas, he will share the load with AJ Dillon. The Packers seem to favor something of a split backfield, and even with Aaron Jones' efficiency compared to Dillon, they continued to share the load. So will Jacobs be his 2022 hyper-efficient self or 2023 inefficient self? Guessing it'll be in the middle and Jacobs is a backend RB1 in 2024.

    Zamir White is a massive winner in the deal here though, as the Raiders only added Alexander Mattison. Mattison is the definition of just a guy, so don't worry about him much. White should be the primary ball handler for the Raiders and a solid RB2 in 2024.

    D'Andre Swift, Chicago Bears

    The first splash in free agency went to the Bears, who agreed to sign D'Andre Swift from the Eagles. Swift agreed to a three-year, $24M contract with a $14M guarantee. So what does this mean for Swift, as well as the returning Bears' RBs? Who are the RB winners and losers?

    Implications for Fantasy

    I'm not sure there's a winner in the Chicago backfield from signing Swift. He should take over as the top RB to start the year but his efficiency was terrible in Philadelphia in 2023. Both Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson have to be valued lower today than before free agency. Soon-to-be Bears' QB Caleb Williams didn't check down much and they've added enough weapons to minimize receptions for RBs.

    Tony Pollard, Tennessee Titans

    Another early move in free agency was the Titans moving quickly to secure Tony Pollard from the Cowboys. Pollard and Tennessee agreed to a solid three-year and $12.75M deal with a guarantee of just under $10.5M. What does this mean for Pollard and his new backfield mate?

    Implications for Fantasy

    Similar to the Bears landing spot, the Titans one doesn't contain a winner... yet. Pollard, another year away from tightrope surgery on his ankle, can hopefully return to his explosive ways. Tyjae Spears, the former third-rounder, appears set to continue as the second back in the committee with handcuff upside.

    Pollard appears set to be a viable RB2, though the terrible Titans OL is absolutely a big concern. Spears, he's set to be an RB3/flex option with handcuff value. So why caveat it with yet? The winner comes when the Cowboys select a day-two RB in the upcoming NFL draft. That player should walk into a starting role from week 1.

    Derrick Henry, Baltimore Ravens

    One of the biggest splashes and most exciting additions came when the Ravens agreed to terms with powerful RB Derrick Henry. Henry and the Ravens agreed to a two-year, $16M contract with a $9M guarantee. So who are the RB winners and losers?

    Implications for Fantasy

    Much like the Eagles signing Barkley, Henry to the Ravens is a coup for fantasy. Assuming Henry can stay healthy, he's now in a much better spot for fantasy with a great team around him. Barring injury, Henry is going to be a monster in Baltimore and is worth a buy for any contender in dynasty. He should be considered a rock-solid RB1 in 2024.

    Aaron Jones, Minnesota Vikings

    When the Packers agreed to sign Jacobs, they quickly moved on from Aaron Jones. He quickly joined the Packers rival Vikings on a one-year, fully guaranteed $7M contract. So what does this mean for him and the Vikings?

    Implications for Fantasy

    Well, it's hard to peg this as anything other than a win for Jones in 2024, assuming he can stay on the field. Jones may finally get enough of the RB share that he can post some solid numbers, though the QB situation is absolutely a concern. This definitely hurts Ty Chandler, who looked solid in limited opportunities, but Jones has to be considered a volume-based RB2 at worst.

    Joe Mixon, Houston Texans

    What a whirlwind free agency start for Joe Mixon. First, the Cincinnati Bengals signed a replacement (more on that soon). Then he was going to be cut, but he was ultimately traded to the Texans. He then signed a new three-year, $19.75M with a $13M guarantee.

    Implications for Fantasy

    How does Mixon go from one fantastic situation to another? He seemed primed to be a big loser but think he's got to be a winner to go to a better OL situation. Would it be a surprise to see the Texans draft someone else to share the load? No. The only concern is if that player can be more explosive than Mixon, who isn't that player anymore, but a volume-dependent RB.

    Zack Moss, Cincinnati Bengals

    When the Bengals agreed to sign Zack Moss, it seemed like such a strange move, and then came the Mixon news. Moss and the Bengals agreed on a two-year, $8M deal with a $3M guarantee. Seems like a pretty savvy move for the Bengals to get cheaper at RB and allocate resources elsewhere, but what does it mean for RB winners and losers for fantasy?

    Implications for Fantasy

    For Moss dynasty managers, this has got to be considered a coup of a landing spot. Moss spent the last couple of years being the Jonathan Taylor handcuff and has posted similar efficiency to Taylor behind the Colts' OL. He can smash in this spot. Chase Brown is also a winner, as Moss can't be considered as tough of a RB to surpass as Mixon would've been.

    Devin Singletary, New York Giants

    Letting Saquon Barkley walk just makes sense for where the Giants are at as a team. Signing a solid stopgap for this year is also a wise move while waiting for the 2025 RB class (it's loaded at RB, FYI). Devin Singletary and the Giants agreed on a three-year, $16.5M deal with a $9.5M guarantee.

    Implications for Fantasy

    Well, this one is a good news, bad news situation. Singletary is a winner by default to land a starting role. The Giants are unlikely to use a high pick at RB as well, so he's probably got safe volume in 2024. The issue is Barkley was unable to be more than RB12 in 2023 behind the OL with the pieces there, so where does that leave Singletary? Probably a low-ceiling backend RB2 you hope can score more than 6 times.

    Austin Ekeler, Washington Commanders

    What a fall for former Chargers RB Austin Ekeler, going from RB1 overall in 2022 to RB28 in 2023. He signed a two-year, $8.43M deal with $4.21M guaranteed. I'm not sure why his contract came in so close to Moss's compared to the other RBs highlighted above. What does this mean for Ekeler and new teammate Brian Robinson, and who are the RB winners and losers?

    Implications for Fantasy

    I think this is bad for fantasy, but still has some upside. If Robinson is a goal line and grinder RB while Ekeler is the third down and pass-catching RB, does either help you much? With a rookie QB, can the Commanders score enough? Robinson is probably the preferred guy, OC Kliff Kingsbury loves to run near the end zone. Both are probably outside the top 20 RBs to start 2024 though.

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    Other RB Winners and Losers

    We've touched on all the big RB deals, but the biggest winners at RB usually come from the guys who didn't see added competition or just depth additions. Some of these players even saw bumps along the OL that'll be beneficial in 2024. So who are some of the other RB winners and losers?

    Let's start at the top where Breece Hall saw two new OTs to help boost their run and pass game. Hard to be much worse at QB, and he gets full offseason healthy. Kyren Williams is another winner, as some (not me) thought they'd add competition. Williams also has a couple of good OGs now and with no new WRs he's likely to keep being a pass-catching weapon.

    Next up would be Rachaad White, as Tampa Bay hasn't added significant competition yet. He was a high-end option as a runner and receiver and seems set to reprise that value. James Conner also failed to see added competition. He's set, for now, to be a bell cow again. However, he's one who likely gets decent competition via the NFL draft.

    James Cook continues to be the primary option with the Bills. They continue to hunt for a big back option though, and that option may come in the draft too. Nick Chubb has to be considered a winner too, as the Browns have failed to add much to their RB room with just D'Onta Foreman. Same with Chuba Hubbard, who's likely to continue as the Panthers lead RB in 2024.

    Finally, Gus Edwards is an intriguing guy after landing with the Chargers. He will probably see draft competition but will be the starter and goal-line back this year likely. The Patriots are intriguing too, as they added Antonio Gibson to Rhamondre Stevenson. Stevenson should bounce back to an RB2 as the lead back in a more efficient running offense, while Gibson is a decent RB3 flier with handcuff upside.

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    Thank you for reading my Free Agency RB Winners and Losers article! Please follow me for more content via X @JFryeDP and @IDP_Plus. Check out my IDP Plus author page and the IDP Plus website.

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