Surprisingly, going down the list of 2018 free agents hits us with some pretty big names looking for new homes in the offseason.

I mean take a look at it – Brock Osweiler, Kamar Aiken, annual hype train conductor Christine Michael all are on the list of guys without contracts who could be difference makers for contenders next year.

For the sake of full clarity, I hope you understand that I’m being sarcastic with the last sentence. If not, take a look in the mirror and figure out what’s going on with your life. Thank you.

All kidding aside, there are some dudes who could be game changers for their new teams next year who also have a pretty big impact in the fantasy.

If we were to put all of the top guys together for a season-long lineup, I think you could have a strong contender to make a run. Let’s call it a full PPR league with standard scoring set up.

QB: Kirk Cousins

2017 Finish: QB7

2016 Finish: QB5

Possible Landing Spots: Minnesota, Denver, Cleveland

Bill Simmons wrote this about the San Antonio Spurs once, and I think it applies wholeheartedly to Kirk Cousins – he’s like having sex in the missionary position every single day for your entire life. It’s not the most exciting, but you’re never going to complain about it because you’re getting yours.

Kirk Cousins isn’t the sexy name and he’s not going to be that guy that you hang your hat on at fantasy drafts as a league winner, but look at these fun facts:

  • His 27 touchdowns only ranked lower than Wilson, Wentz (could you imagine if he played the full year?), Brady, Stafford, Goff, Rivers, Big Ben.
  • His 64.3% Completion Percentage ranked 6th amongst QBs with over 500 passing attempts.
  • He finished the year with the 7th most passing yards.
  • His 93.9 QBR was 7th.

These are pretty good numbers that could completely change a franchise, and get this – he put up those numbers with Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, and Vernon Davis. Imagine what it could be like with Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, and Kyle Rudolph?

Honorable Mentions: Jimmy Grapes, Drew Brees

RB1: Le’Veon Bell

2017 Finish: RB2

2016 Finish: RB3 (13 games)

Possible Landing Spots: Pittsburgh

Yeah I don’t even think I need to go into Bell’s numbers because, at least for the foreseeable future, he’ll be a top-3 fantasy back. And no matter what he says in the media, I don’t see him leaving Pittsburgh.

RB2: Carlos Hyde

2017 Finish: RB8

2016 Finish: RB18 (13 Games)

Possible Landing Spots: SF, Detroit (I’d give my right…well, foot, for this to happen)

In the year of the running back, Carlos Hyde is a name that people seem to be forgetting about because he put up a sneaky great season this year. He finished the year 10th in attempts, 13th in attempts per game, 6th in total receptions. And he’s only 26, so his prime years are still ahead of him.

Will he stay in San Francisco with Jimmy at the helm, knowing their offense is on the up and up? Or will he take the opportunity to get paid elsewhere to an RB-needy team that could use his playmaking ability?

Come to Detroit and kick it with me. It’s not as bad as people say it is.

Honorable Mentions: Isaiah Crowell, Dion Lewis, Jeremy Hill

WR1: Jarvis Landry

2017 Finish: WR5

2016 Finish: WR14

Possible Landing Spots: Miami, SF, Baltimore

After leading the league in receptions this year, and finishing with the third-most touchdowns and top-20 in total receiving yards, you could say that Jarvis showed up for his contract year. The list for his services is going to be long, and the price tag is going to be high, but he’s still only 25 years old and could become a franchise staple with a long term deal.

Where’s he going to go? Who knows, but wherever it is, it’s probably going to be a dramatically improved QB situation from Jay Cutler, meaning only an upward trajectory for him going into next year.

WR2: Allen Robinson

2017 Finish: N/A

2016 Finish: WR24

Possible Landing Spots: JAX, SF

Allen Robinson is in an interesting predicament because his price tag may have gone down due to his injury, but his ripe age of 24 shows that his best days are ahead of him. It wouldn’t be all that surprising to see him snag a five-year deal from a team looking for an electric WR, and having a pair of Jimmy Grapes and ARob in SF for the next five years would give fans a lot to talk about.

But, at the same time, JAX is fresh off of a playoff appearance and has the best defense in the league, so I could see ARob wanting to stay put. That is, of course, if Bortles can f***ing keep that s**t in bounds.

WR3: Sammy Watkins

2017 Finish: WR41

2016 Finish: WR90 (8 games)

Possible Landing Spots: LAR, NOS, ATL

Oh, Sammy. We seem to love the idea of Sammy Watkins and become delusional to what Sammy Watkins actually is.

I throw him as the WR3 in this mix simply because you could be worse off than having to start him with the RBs and other WRs on the roster right now.

The problem with Sammy is that we know what he can be – a dynamic, playmaking WR who can be the focal point of the offense. He just hasn’t been that quite yet, although a change of scenery could make it happen.

Could you imagine him being the #2 alongside Michael Thomas or Julio? Yeah. That’d be scary good.

Honorable Mentions: Marqise Lee, John Brown, Donte Moncrief

TE: Jimmy Graham

2017 Finish: TE6

2016 Finish: TE4

Possible Landing Spots: Miami, New Orleans

Jimmy just keeps getting the job done while staring father time in the eye and saying “piss off.”

Back-to-back top-6 finishes, yes, but this year he finished with two less receiving yards than Ben Watson, and only five more receiving yards than rookie George Kittle. He’s bound to regress, and when he does, he’s going to regress hard.

Problem is, there just isn’t a better FA tight end on the market, which is why Jimmy makes my squad.

Honorable Mentions: ASJ, Trey Burton

So overall, we’re looking at:

  • QB: Kirk Cousins
  • RB1: Le’veon Bell
  • RB2: Carlos Hyde
  • WR1: Jarvis Landry
  • WR2: Allen Robinson
  • WR3: Sammy Watkins
  • TE: Jimmy Graham

Not too shabby.

Be sure to check out the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast as the guys break down Super Bowl 52 and discuss the future of both the Patriots and Eagles.


Eric Mally is a blogger for the Loaded Box Podcast. Check out his article archive, and be sure to follow the Loaded Box Podcast on Twitter and Facebook!