The 2024 NFL Season is beginning with free agency. While the new league year only officially begins Wednesday, March 13, we have seen a barrage of signings announced. Below is a look at some of the major player movement among quarterbacks and running backs. In part two, I’ll look at wide receivers and tight ends. Let’s see how the Dynasty landscape is changing.

Quarterbacks

Kirk Cousins, Atlanta Falcons

About: Cousins was probably the biggest domino in free agency, especially at the quarterback market. He moved from the Vikings to the Falcons on a four-year deal. He’s recovering from a major knee injury but should still be a QB2 in dynasty with some QB1 upside. This move elevates the Falcons’ weapons, with Drake London and Kyle Pitts poised to move up. We’ve seen what Cousins has done for receivers in Minnesota and Washington in prior seasons.

Baker Mayfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

About: Mayfield signed a one-year deal last off-season. He re-booted his career, posting highs in yards, touchdowns, and completion percentage as he led the Buccaneers to the playoffs. He was rewarded with a new, three-year deal. Still, he’s a low-end QB2 for me. I like the weapons and the potential upside, but Mayfield will be working with a new offensive coordinator. He finished as QB10 last season, so he should be a good weekly play in Superflex but I’m not counting on that strong a finish in 2024.

Russell Wilson, Pittsburgh Steelers

About: Can Wilson rehab his image and his career? His two years in Denver were a disaster. He went 11-19, and his reputation took a hit. Now, he signs a one-year, cap-friendly deal with the Steelers. He’s a low-end QB2 for me, with Kenny Pickett sliding into the QB3 range. I suspect Wilson starts for the Steelers, and he was QB14 last year despite Denver’s struggles. Still, there isn’t much security in his contract or situation.

Gardner Minshew, Las Vegas Raiders

About: Minshew stepped in when Anthony Richardson was injured in 2023 and nearly took the Colts to the playoffs. He parlayed that into a nice two-year deal with the Raiders. He finished as QB21 for the Colts and doesn’t seem like a long-term option. The Raiders could still be players in the draft and still have Aidan O’Connell on the roster. For now, O’Connell’s value slides into the QB3/4 range. Minshew has some low-end QB2 value as I suspect he starts the season for the Raiders.

Sam Darnold, Minnesota Vikings

About: Darnold signed a one-year, $10 million deal. The Vikings needed someone after Cousins left for Atlanta. With the No. 11 pick, they’re still in play to draft a QB, too. Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall are on the roster, but neither should be rostered in Dynasty. Darnold is a QB3 for me in Dynasty, but he could have some upside if he can use this one-year opportunity to prove himself.

Other QB Signings

  • Jacoby Brissett to the Patriots on a one-year deal. He’s not the long-term answer, but he could be an early-season bridge. He’s a QB3 at best.
  • Mac Jones dealt to the Jaguars. Jones is a backup now. You can hold him as a handcuff to Trevor Lawrence, but I think he’s droppable in Dynasty.
  • Jameis Winston to the Browns. Winston is a quality backup at this point. He’s younger than Joe Flacco, so that might help. He doesn’t have any immediate fantasy value, but he probably also kills the value of Dorian-Thompson Robinson. I don’t think he’s worth a roster spot at this point.
  • Marcus Mariota signs a one-year deal with the Commanders. Mariota is a veteran backup. What’s interesting here is what it means for Sam Howell, who, if not traded, might not have any roster value in 2024. The Commanders are likely to take a rookie, with Mariota at QB2. That leaves Howell the odd man out in Washington.
  • Brandon Allen to the 49ers, Drew Lock to the Giants, and Tyrod Taylor to the Jets. All are projected backups who don’t need to be rostered. This is also a bad sign for Zach Wilson, who has already been given permission by the Jets to seek a trade. If he remains, he’s likely QB3 and not worth a roster spot.

Running Backs

Saquon Barkley, Philadelphia Eagles

About: The former second overall pick goes from the Giants to the Eagles. This is a big signing, with Barkley landing a three-year, $37.5 million deal. New Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore used backs well in the running game and passing game when he was with Dallas. Barkley was RB13 in 2023 despite missing four games. The Eagles have a better offense. If healthy, he’s easily a Top 12 play. He’s an RB1 for me in dynasty.

Josh Jacobs, Green Bay Packers

About: Jacobs signed a four-year, $48 million deal with the Packers. The Packers released Aaron Jones, and A.J. Dillon is a free agent. That clears the way for Jacobs to dominate the backfield touches. He showed in 2022 that he could be a three-down workhorse and finished as RB28 in 2023 despite missing five games. He has an RB1 upside in a good, young offense. He’s a high-end RB2 for me in dynasty.

Tony Pollard, Tennessee Titans

About: Pollard was RB14 for the Cowboys, but it was clear he’s not suited to being a three-down workhorse. The Titans still have second year back Tyjae Spears, but also changed coaching staffs and possibly offensive philosophies. I think Pollard and Spears will both have value, but how much? Pollard shifts to a low-end RB2 for me, while Spears is in the RB3 range.

D’Andre Swift, Chicago Bears

About: Swift managed an RB20 season for the Eagles in 2023. He looked good at times and remained healthier than he’d been with Detroit. Now, he’s an interesting signing for a Bears team, with Khalil Herbert entering the final year of his rookie contract and Roschon Johnson entering his second season. Swift is the more talented of the three backs, and the Bears have shifted to possibly a more run-heavy scheme with new Offensive Coordinator Shane Waldron. Still, I suspect all three backs will be involved. I like Swift the best but as an RB3. I have Herbert and Johnson in the RB4/5 range. Herbert might also not have much long-term value, given a likely diminished role in 2024 and heading into a contract year.

Derrick Henry, Baltimore Ravens

About: Henry is a classic pounding runner. It made sense that his skills would translate well to a good rush offense. Henry finished as RB8 in 2023. He still has the chops to wear down defenses and is a great Red Zone threat. The Ravens are an ideal landing spot. I like him to have RB2 value, with RB1 potential in the offense in the next few years. He’s not a great dynasty investment, but he could be the kind of veteran that pushes a team to a championship in 2024.

Joe Mixon, Houston Texans

About: The Texans made a play for Barkley, which is an indication they sought to improve their run game behind C.J. Stroud. Mixon has been adept as a runner and pass-catcher during his time with the Bengals. His efficiency ebbed over the past few seasons, making him expendable. For the Texans, he’s likely an upgrade. He finished as RB6 in 2023. I don’t know that he will finish that high in 2024, but he has an RB2 value. It also solidifies Daemon Pierce, once a rookie darling, too little more than an end-of-roster handcuff.

Aaron Jones, Minnesota Vikings

About: With Josh Jacobs in Green Bay, Jones became expendable. He was released by the Packers and agreed to a one-year, $7 million deal with the rival Vikings. Minnesota needs more in the run game and released Alexander Mattison. Ty Chandler is in the mix, but Jones profiles to be their top option. We saw what he’s capable of during a great playoff run where he had 100-plus yards against the Cowboys and 49ers. It’s a one-year deal, which doesn’t give Jones much security. For Dynasty purposes, he’s more of an RB3, given future questions. But for 2024, he could return RB2 value. That’s especially true with the Vikings’ offense enduring changes at the quarterback position.

Austin Ekeler, Washington Commanders

About: After two straight seasons as the No. 1 back in fantasy, Ekeler struggled in 2023. He finished as RB26 despite little competition in Los Angeles. Now, he joins a Commanders team that’s getting a makeover on offense. Anthony Lynn was brought in to handle the run game, with Kliff Kingsbury running the offense. That’s good potential. But Ekeler will be splitting with Brian Robinson, Jr., who finished as RB21 last season. I suspect both will eat into each other’s workload, with Robinson playing more running snaps and Ekeler getting more passing work. Neither is more than an RB3 for me. Given that Ekeler’s contract has an easy out after year one, his long-term future is even more tenuous.

Devin Singletary, New York Giants

About: Singletary had a strong audition year with the Texans after moving on from the Buffalo Bills. He finished as RB32, looking strong after taking over the Texans’ starting job. Now, he moves to a Giants team in need of a reboot. Barkley is in Philadelphia, and there isn’t much on the existing roster. I doubt Singletary will be the only answer, but he has a history with Brian Daboll. I suspect the Giants will draft a back, but Singletary got some security with a three-year deal. He’s an RB3 for me.

Zack Moss, Cincinnati Bengals

About: The Bengals moved on from Mixon, dealing him to the Texans. First, they signed Moss to a two-year, cap-friendly deal. He joins Chase Brown in the Bengals’ backfield. Moss got a chance to start and re-start his career with Jonathan Taylor out in Indianapolis last year. He finished as RB31. He can run and catch passes. I expect a split with Brown, but Moss could well get the bigger snap share. He’s a low-end RB3 for me, with Brown as more of a high-end RB4 for now.

Antonio Gibson, New England Patriots

About: Gibson had some ups and downs with the Commanders. Last year, as Robinson served as the lead back most of the time, Gibson finished as RB39. He is a good receiver and a decent change-of-pace option in the backfield. He joins a re-building Patriots’ offense. The Patriots still have Rhamondre Stevenson, who is likely a lead back. But Gibson could eat into his workload, which was one of the things that allowed Stevenson to reach a fantasy peak in 2022. Stevenson is in the RB2 range for me, while Gibson remains an RB4.

Gus Edwards, Los Angeles Chargers

About: With Ekeler and Joshua Kelley free agents, the Chargers needed help in the backfield. Edwards finished as RB25 last season, leading the backfield for the Ravens. He’s a solid runner to join Jim Harbaugh’s squad and has experience with Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman. The Chargers also have Isaiah Spiller on the roster and are still a candidate to draft a running back in April. For now, Edwards has low-end RB3 value, but I’m not convinced yet he’s the head of what will be a committee in Los Angeles.

Nyheim Hines, Cleveland Browns

About: This is a one-year deal. The Browns have Nick Chubb, Jerome Ford, and Pierre Strong on the roster. Hines was more of a Special Teams player in Buffalo before getting injured last season. I suspect he’ll boost Special Teams in Cleveland, too, especially on a one-year deal. He’s not worth a roster spot at this point in Dynasty.

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