Wide Receivers That Switched Teams

  • The NFL is slowly mirroring the NBA as player movement is now rampant and it’s honestly hard to keep up with all the offseason moving and shaking.  Even the trade deadline has real and fantasy implications as Christian McCaffrey was traded midseason two years ago.  The point of this is that when marquee players switch teams, it’s not always a linear move up-or-down and the offensive scheme has as much to do with it as the change in quality of QB.  Two seasons ago we saw Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams and AJ Brown all seek out greener pastures and only Adams was left out in the cold.  This off season we’ve seen plenty of big names switch jerseys and it’s worth investigating who is going to be better off and who is worth ignoring for fantasy.

    Calvin Ridley, Tennessee Titans

    Ridley is and was the ultimate boom-or-bust WR and while everyone was screaming boom after his Week 1 blowup, he ended up having five games where he scored over 15 fantasy points and seven games where he scored five points or less.  The Jaguars were a mess last season, but Ridley still received 22.6% of the targets, but he only caught 76 out of 136 targets which isn’t great when compared to Adam Thielen who caught 103 of 137.  Sure, the average yards-per-reception was 13.4 to Thielen’s 9.8, but Brandon Aiyuk still caught 75 of 105 targets with 17.9 yards-per-reception.

    The point is that while Trevor Lawrence wasn’t great last season, he’s still likely going to be better than Will Levis this season and Ridley didn’t have great separation a year ago along with the targeting issues.  He’s probably going to cede targets to DeAndre Hopkins and will need to score TDs in order to warrant even being granted WR2 status for fantasy.  Ridley still has potential and the Titans might be dangerous with new coach Brian Callahan in town, but he’s too inconsistent to trust and the downgrade in QB makes him a stayaway.

    Marquise Brown, Kansas City Chiefs

    Beware the shiny new toy on the team with the shiniest toy in the world.  On paper, especially with Rashee Rice getting suspended it looks like Hollywood might have finally found his blockbuster situation.  After having some success with Lamar Jackson in Baltimore and looking solid in Arizona, it’s just a matter of the stars aligning for Brown to finally fulfill his potential.

    Travis Kelce is going to stay in first or second gear until the playoffs and that means Mahomes is going to need someone to throw to.  He had the lowest average yards-per-attempt (7.0) for his career last season, but he still has the best cannon in the league and expect him and Brown to connect on some bombs as Brown slides into the X receiver slot.  Brown is on a prove-it one-year rental and he’s going to have all the motivation to have the best season of his career. It’s impossible to stress how consequential the upgrade in QB play will help Brown and while the Chiefs like to throw as much as any team in the league, they still don’t have many reliable pass-catching options outside of Kelce.  This seems like a match made in heaven and all Brown needs to do is stay healthy and he has a great chance to be a WR1 over the first half of the season.  If Mahomes and Brown can’t have box office success, we will at least finally know that Hollywood is the problem.

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