Free Agency Wide Receiver (WR) Winners and Losers (2024)

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The first wave of free agency has broken! With some of the biggest names re-upping with their teams, the class is underwhelming as a whole. Still, some interesting Dynasty WR moves did occur during this first part of the offseason!

Free Agency makes waves all throughout the NFL, but especially at the premier positions. Wide Receivers are one of those positions where a room can get flipped quickly and big money shelled out. With Michael Pittman Jr. and Mike Evans signing extensions, while Tee Higgins was tagged, there was less big-time movement than some hoped, but there were still quite a few exciting changes to the wide receiver rankings! Going alphabetically by new team, let’s dive into the most impactful WR signings and see what their fantasy football rankings outlook may be!

Who Are The Top Free Agents Available:

To check out the other winners and losers:

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Darnell Mooney, Atlanta Falcons

Mooney signed a healthy contract with the Falcons (3 years, $39 million) and steps into their WR2 role. His stock does not change much, as a talented deep threat who will be hit or miss most weeks, but he does help his teammates a lot. Being able to stretch the field vertically will open up areas for Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and even Bijan Robinson underneath and in the intermediate range. He also gives Kirk Cousins more upside with the vertical TD threat. Wheels up for this Atlanta offense!

Curtis Samuel, Buffalo Bills

Samuel signed a 3-year, $24 million deal with the Bills. He is far from a one-to-one replacement for Gabriel Davis (more on him later!) but is a good player. It is a weird fit, as a similar role/alignment fit to Khalil Shakir and even Stefon Diggs (all best out of the slot). Samuel will be utilized in a fun way but probably takes snaps/targets away from at least Shakir. Shakir and Samuel will be at best 3rd in the pecking order. Both are rosterable but will be difficult to rely on early in the season until roles are defined.

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Diontae Johnson, Carolina Panthers

Not a free-agency move, but notable nonetheless! Johnson was moved to Carolina, where he will be the top target for Bryce Young. Johnson should see a massive volume from the slot, as the only early-separation player on the roster. Stock up for Young, who has a legitimate WR (go draft another one please!) while Adam Thielen loses his massive volume from 2023. This doesn’t help or hurt Jonathan Mingo, the draft and training camp will determine his stock for the future.

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Keenan Allen, Chicago Bears

Another trade! Keenan Allen was dealt to the Chicago Bears this offseason. This is huge for DJ Moore, taking pressure and attention off of him. It is also a big plus for starter Tyson Bagent (we know it will be Caleb Williams), with a second top-tier receiver. Allen’s slot presence does hurt Cole Kmet slightly while lowering DJ Moore’s volume. Overall, it is a plus for Moore, who should see less attention and bigger plays, while giving the offense as a whole a much higher baseline.

Donovan Peoples-Jones, Detroit Lions

DPJ returns to the Lions and may step into Josh Reynolds's (unsigned) role. This role has been solid, as Reynolds slashed 78/1087/8 over two seasons in Detroit. DPJ has been a dynasty darling due to absurd athletic measurables and may have a chance as a WR2 or 3.

Gabriel Davis, Jacksonville Jaguars

Another healthy deal for a frustrating wide receiver! Davis signed a deal similar to Mooney’s with Atlanta (Davis has slightly more guaranteed). He steps into a… weird WR room with a notable departure (more on Ridley later!) Davis is not a WR1 but is the top outside option for Jacksonville as of now. Replacing Ridley with Davis opens more targets for Christian Kirk and Evan Engram.

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Hollywood Brown, Kansas City Chiefs

Brown signed a 1-year “prove it” deal with the Chiefs. He most likely is their WR2 behind Rashee Rice (and Travis Kelce) and adds a vertical element to the roster. He is a significant upgrade as the 3rd target (per Pro-Football-Reference, non-Rice WRs dropped 20 of 217 targets). He helps Patrick Mahomes massively while also taking pressure (but also some targets) off of Rashee Rice. Volume for Rice and Kelce may drop, but efficiency will rise, so net-neutral/positive overall!

K.J. Osborn, New England Patriots

Osborn joins a room of WR2s and 3s in New England on a 1-year deal. He has the potential to take over the WR1 role with Jacoby Brissett/an early rookie pick, though still would not be a fantasy WR1 in that case. His arrival does not affect stocks of Kendrick Bourne or Pop Douglas much as of now. He does add some stability, but we need to wait until post-draft to see how the room shapes up.

Mike Williams, New York Jets

After being a cap-casualty for the Chargers, Williams signs with the Jets on a 1-year deal. He is a massive plus for Garrett Wilson, taking pressure off of him as the WR1. Having a second viable WR also is a big plus for QB Aaron Rodgers. As long as Rodgers and the revamped but old OL hold up, things look good in New York (*insert cheers from my Ride or Dynasty – check that show out! – JJ Wenner)!

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Van Jefferson, Pittsburgh Steelers

This is an inclusion largely due to my personal love of the player. Jefferson is currently the WR2 on the roster, stepping into the Diontae Johnson (see above!) role as the stud route-runner. However, it would be a shock if he ended up as the WR2 post-draft. I believe in the player still and would buy low, personally.

However, he most likely ends up as the WR3 on a team with two sub-par passing QBs in a run-heavy offense.

Calvin Ridley, Tennessee Titans

Saving the belle of the ball for last… Calvin Ridley is a Titan! Signing a massive deal to become the top WR (at least a share, with DeAndre Hopkins) for the Titans. This is a big help to second-year QB Will Levis, who now has stability in the receiving corps. Ridley may not be a WR1 going forward, but should be a legitimate WR2. He hurts DeAndre Hopkins’ volume (a nice 69 targets in 8 full games with Levis) and all but kills the Treylon Burks breakout hopes.

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Thank you for diving into the newest signings at the WR position with me! You can find my other work on the IDP Guys Author Page, and feel free to reach out to me directly to discuss other rookie profiles @JoeLow63 on X, where you can also find and follow @IDPGuys.

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