March 14, 2022

3 NFL Free Agency Fits Destined to Deliver Fantasy Football Success

It's been quite the week in the NFL news cycle, with quarterback sagas settled and big-time trades shaking up several rosters even before free agency gets going.

With free agency now only days away — and the legal-tampering period well underway — further significant changes are on the horizon, which will in turn impact the fantasy football landscape.

After several franchise tags were placed on offensive players, this is a free agency class dominated by defense.

Yet there are still playmakers available who, should they land with the right team, could produce substantial fantasy numbers in 2022. Here we look at three free agency player-team fits that would deliver such success.

Allen Robinson to the Chiefs

Is Allen Robinson on the downswing of his career, or was his lack of production last season simply down to being in another terrible situation in Chicago?

We'll soon get the chance to find out as he finally gets to test the open market, and the Chiefs should be very interested in a player who could serve as a superb third option in the passing game behind Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.

Robinson's addition would give the Chiefs a receiver who, at his best, has been an elite ball-winner on the outside.

He produced back-to-back 1,100-yard seasons in Chicago prior to last season's slump and, while Robinson is unlikely to enjoy a return to such numbers competing for targets with Hill and Kelce, a bump in production would still be expected with a move to Kansas City.

Robinson was targeted 66 times last season across 12 games. The Chiefs' third-most targeted receiver last year was Mecole Hardman with 83. With Byron Pringle headed for unrestricted free agency, there would be an opportunity for Robinson to take on a similar workload in an offense that averaged 6.8 yards per pass play in 2021.

If Robinson is anywhere close to what he was in 2020, such a target share would give him fantasy upside as a WR3, with his potential addition yet another scarcely needed reason to trust Patrick Mahomes as an elite fantasy quarterback.

Christian Kirk to the Raiders

The Raiders have a need for a speed option in their passing game, and it is one Kirk could well fill as he looks set to part with the Arizona Cardinals.

Kirk has an average depth of target of at least 10 yards in three of his four seasons and has averaged at least 12 yards per reception in all but one campaign.

In other words, Kirk brings big-play potential and is coming off the finest year of his career, hauling in 77 of his 103 targets for 982 yards and five touchdowns.

The attention Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow attract could be a huge benefit to a receiver who can take the top off a defense and a match with a quarterback who was second in the NFL in completions of 20 or more yards last season with 67 could be one made in heaven for the Raiders and for fantasy players who invest in Kirk.

Cordarrelle Patterson to the 49ers

Given the 49ers are operating with limited cap space, signing Patterson may not be a realistic move for San Francisco. However, it may be the best landing spot if Patterson is to maintain his form from a 2021 season that saw him find the endzone 11 times.

The Niners would surely like to take some of the running workload off Deebo Samuel after his versatility helped carry them to the NFC Championship Game last season. Patterson's arrival would allow them to do that and utilize Samuel more as a wide receiver.

And, working with one of the NFL's premier play-callers who excels at getting offensive weapons in space, Patterson would be in an excellent position to continue a surge that took nine seasons to arrive.

Patterson was a darling for fantasy owners everywhere in 2021. The best way to make sure that is again the case in 2022 is to put him with Kyle Shanahan.

Photo: Getty Images