With the Super Bowl in the rearview, let’s look forward to the future and next season. Our analysts each reveal their dream landing spot for one free agent in the 2021 class.
Where will Ryan Fitzpatrick land?
Andy Behrens: Look, we've all heard the informed speculation that either Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill will get the first shot to quarterback the Saints in the post-Brees era, and I have no reason to think it's not true. But that's also kinda boring. We've seen it and, well ... it's fine.
But c'mon, New Orleans is a party city, so let's get this walking party of a man at the controls of that team's offense. I need Ryan Fitzpatrick leading the Saints, please. Need it.
Fitz went 4-3 as a starter for Miami last year (plus he came on in relief to win another game) and he posted the second-highest passer-rating of his career. At 37, he actually played some of his best football: 68.5 cmp%, 7.8 Y/A, 76.9 QBR. Fitz is at that perfect stage when a player has mastered the art of his position to the best of his ability, but hasn't yet hit a physical decline. He's never been as fun as he is right now. There's simply no way Winston is a better option for a team that should still be thinking about a deep playoff run.
Dalton Del Don: RYAN FITZPATRICK would be a welcome addition in San Francisco, both as a 49ers fan and for fantasy managers. In a Kyle Shanahan system with George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, Fitzpatrick would suddenly become quite interesting. He’s a journey QB who was benched for an inferior rookie last year, but don’t forget Fitzpatrick got a whopping 9.6 YPA back in 2018, and last season the buttoned-down quarterback ranked No. 7 in CPAE and No. 2 in Aggressive%. Jimmy Garoppolo looks like the favorite to return as the 49ers’ starter, but he’s failed to finish 27 of 51 games since signing his contract extension with San Francisco (and remember, he got hurt during Tom Brady’s four-game suspension), so this looks like a terrific QB2 situation even before mentioning the last-place schedule and division that should feature a ton of high-scoring games in good weather. Fitzpatrick would be a top-12 fantasy QB should he get the chance to start in SF, and his presence would be a nice safety net for those investing in the rest of the 49ers’ offense as well.
Scott Pianowski: Most of all, I hope Carson Wentz leaves Philly because I need a year of Jalen Hurts. It's a golden-age for mobile quarterbacks, and perhaps the Eagles will snag a much-needed playmaker (sorry, Jalen Regaor, you're not the guy) for this offense. I'm ready to draft Hurts proactively all spring. And since RYAN FITZPATRICK is the topic of the day, here's my hope: Denver. The Broncos have skill talent everywhere, but no one to steer the ship. Fitzpatrick is the spry captain for that gig.
Ravens get a wide receiver boost?
Liz Loza: From a fantasy perspective, KENNY GOLLADAY is most safely situated in Detroit. Jared Goff is good enough and both Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola are likely to leave. That would free up plenty of looks for the alpha receiver. But I don't want his big-play talent to languish in Motor City. So since we're wish-casting, I'd love to see Golladay go to the Ravens. The passing volume in Baltimore is far from robust, but that team could crush with a contested-catch artist like Babytron manning the outside (my apologies to any and all remaining Boykin stans). Perhaps this is more of an IRL NFL take, but I'll opt for quality over quantity when the talent is elite.
Matt Harmon: Realistically, I don’t think CHRIS GODWIN gets out of Tampa Bay. But we’re dreaming here. You’ll initially think this is a troll attempt to intentionally rile up the fantasy world but stick with me: Godwin would be a perfect fit with the Baltimore Ravens. Before you decry this as a huge downgrade and begin the chants of “[Lamar] can’t throw,” remember how the horde treated Stefon Diggs going to the Buffalo Bills last year. Instead of it playing out like the disaster many forecasted, dropping an elite receiver like him into the Bills offense completely changed the trajectory of the quarterback and entire unit. Godwin is that caliber of player. Not to mention, he’s just a rugged receiver who can block his tail off and work the sacred middle areas of the field for Jackson. Allow yourself to imagine the scenario where Godwin’s addition boosts the efficiency of Jackson, Mark Andrews, Marquise Brown and all players associated with Baltimore. Maybe this is just a pure football fit. Oh well. It’s my dream.