Fantasy Matchmaker_Best Landing Spots for Free Agents and Rookies

By Kyle Dvorchak
Kyle Dvorchak With Best Ball becoming a year-round product and dynasty leagues firing on all cylinders in the spring, it's becoming increasingly advantageous to be the first to react to NFL moves. One aspect of that is knowing where you want players to land before free agency kicks off and the NFL Draft takes place. Here are the best spots for your favorite players at each position to land.


The best landing spots for a quarterback didn't actually produce great fantasy passers last year but that simply goes to show just how much of an offenses' output is generated by the quarterback himself. The Denver Broncos are the peak of these teams. The weapons in Denver could easily be revealed to be among the best in the league if the team can get their quarterback situation figured out. The Broncos have spent four picks in their first two days of the draft on receiver or tight end in the past three years. Only the Ravens have allocated more draft capital to their weaponry and the average team has spent 1.7 picks in this range on pass-catchers. From a high level, it also looks like those picks are generally trending toward working out. Cortland Sutton topped 1,100 yards in his sophomore season with Denver and Noah Fant finished seventh in receptions and six and yards among tight ends last year. Jerry Jeudy wasn't perfect as a rookie but he did hit 856 yards, third among the six first-round receivers from the 2020 draft. The team even has incredible depth from players taken later in the draft. Albert Okwuegbunam's rookie season was short-lived but he did combine for 100 yards in his first two NFL games and scored in his third. Even Tim Patrick posted three 100-yard games last year. Between the premium players like Fant, Jeudy, and Sutton and the potential trove of talent behind them, Denver has a Ferrari in the garage, they just need to find a driver.

Running back

Every running back looking for a prove-it deal should be trying to land a contract with the Green Bay Packers. A few things need to line up for this to be the best place but it's possible that a premier role on one of the league's best offices is available. The Packers appear fine letting Aaron Jones walk in free agency as the team is currently above the cap and hasn't made it a habit of giving running backs big contracts in recent years. Jamaal Williams is also a free agent and he is more likely to return. Whether it is Williams or another affordable back, whoever the Packers bring in will have immense value.

No team lost more carries from the 2020 season after heading into the offseason this year. There are 335 carries unaccounted for in Green Bay including all of their goal line looks given to running back last year. They also lost 113 running back targets. The only barrier to this limitless feast of fantasy goodness will be the Packers' 2020 second-round selection, A.J. Dillon. Dillon won't just roll over but an incoming free agent should be able to carve out a meaningful job in short order. Despite Jones' incredible efficiency over the years, the team never gave him a massive share of the backfield carries, always opting for a committee approach. On top of that, Dillon is likely to be a non-factor as a receiver out of the backfield. He has caught 21 passes in his previous four years of football. A healthy load of carries plus the entire receiving role is up for grabs in Green Bay and it's likely that the role goes to a player with little name-recognition because of their inability to spend on the position. That could make whatever cheap veteran or late draft pick they plug in an incredible value come draft time.

Wide Receiver and Tight End

Receiver and tight end get lumped in here not because all teams that could best utilize a receiver can do the same for a tight end but because the one team that will use a wideout better than anyone else will do just fine with a tight end as well. That team is the Kansas City Chiefs.

Yes, the Chiefs already have a star receiver and one of the best tight ends in the modern age of football. However, they are also missing a crucial third pass-catcher to not only round out their offense but also to take on a significant fantasy role.

Starting with tight end, there isn't much of a precedent for tight end duos in recent memory but that's because it's not easy to acquire multiple tight ends with the requisite talent to be fantasy options. The Patriots' tandem of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski showed the two tight end ceiling and even more recently, Dallas Goedert finished as the TE10 in 2019 with Zach Ertz clocking in at TE5. This was in an offense far inferior to the Kansas City powerhouse.

Andy Reid's offensive ingenuity is more than capable of supporting a second tight end but picking up a receiver will be the more conventional route. Like Gren Bay, there's a young but limited talent standing in the way of any newcomer. Mecole Hardman played an entire season in 2020 and separated himself from Demarcus Robinson by less than 100 yards. He topped Sammy Watkins by less than 150 yards despite playing in six more games. Hardman played Chiefs offensive snaps at just a 7.4% higher rate than he did their special teams snaps. With Watkins and Robinson both hitting free agency, a part-time receiver, part-time punt returner is the only person holding a Day 2 receiver from breaking out as a rookie.