Derrick Henry - RB - Tennessee Titans
Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry ranked third in the NFL - among players who recorded at least 175 carries - with 4.09 yards gained after defenders closed within one yard of him in 2017, according to Next Gen Stats. Henry decisively cleared 3.7 yards gained after close in five games, but he fell under that mark in all the others.
Huddle Up: Henry's inconsistency in making defenders miss from short range - or powering through those tackle attempts - is actually a bit troubling for a 247-pound back with impressive straight-line athleticism. The Titans figure to benefit from a chance at offensive coordinator as a whole - Matt LaFleur was hired to replace Terry Robiskie - and DeMarco Murray is a candidate for release this offseason, both of which could enable Henry to reach the ceiling he has displayed at times during his first two NFL seasons.
Dion Lewis - RB - New England Patriots
New England Patriots RB Dion Lewis ranked second in the NFL - among players who recorded at least 175 carries - with 4.44 yards gained after defenders closed within one yard of him in 2017, according to Next Gen Stats.
Huddle Up: The impending free agent took on a heavy workload down the stretch once Mike Gillislee landed in the doghouse and Rex Burkhead got hurt, proving himself as a very capable every-down back. The Patriots surprisingly chose to back off of Lewis and give more work to James White down the stretch, but the former isn't going to lack for suitors on the open market if he makes it there. Almost regardless of where he lands, he should be a solid RB2 for fantasy purposes.
Kareem Hunt - RB - Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt led the NFL - among players who recorded at least 175 carries - with 4.63 yards gained after defenders closed within one yard of him in 2017, according to Next Gen Stats.
Huddle Up: This should come as no surprise to any of his owners, as Hunt routinely used exceptional balance and power to keep his feet after he got past the first level of defenders. Spencer Ware's return in 2018 could make a repeat of his league-leading rushing campaign unlikely, but Hunt has all the makings of being the next great Andy Reid running back.
C.J. Anderson - RB - Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson could be pursued by the Miami Dolphins again if he were to be released by the Broncos. Dolphins head coach Adam Gase and new running backs coach Eric Studesville both coached Anderson in Denver and Miami gave Anderson an offer just two years ago before it was matched by the Broncos.
Huddle Up: It's a potentially sensible move, but Anderson needs to be released first. Kenyan Drake would still have the most potential in Miami's backfield, but Anderson would certainly hurt his fantasy ceiling. This is all conjecture at this point, but stay tuned as free agency approaches.
Alex Smith - QB - Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins impending free-agent QB Kirk Cousins could theoretically be franchise tagged by the Redskins, but if that were to occur then Cousins would not entertain a long-term deal with his new team and he would make a whopping $34 million under the tag. If Cousins did not immediately sign the tag, he could not be traded anyway. Furthermore, the Redskins would not be able to do much else in free agency and also just traded for Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith.
Huddle Up: Tagging Cousins makes no sense from Washington's perspective, especially considering the recent acquisition of Smith. Cousins will be playing in a new city in 2018 and the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, New York Jets and Cleveland Browns are the most realistic suitors. Cousins will be a QB1 option wherever he plays, although Minnesota is his best-case scenario on paper.
Darren Fells - TE - Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions TE Eric Ebron will not be released as he enters the 2018 season under his fifth-year option. Ebron will be guaranteed $8.25 million when the new league year begins. The inconsistent tight end's presence will limit playing time for fellow TEs Darren Fells and Michael Roberts.
Huddle Up: Ebron came on late in the 2017 season and narrowly missed finishing as a TE1. If he can maintain good health and have a better start to the season then there is a chance Ebron can achieve TE1 status. Don't bet on it, though.
LeGarrette Blount - RB - Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles impending free-agent RB LeGarrette Blount wants to return to the Eagles, he told NFL Network during an interview.
Huddle Up: Blount will be playing in an age-32 season in 2018. He mustered only two rushing TDs in 2017's regular season but found paydirt in each of the three playoff games for Philly. The Eagles have a lot of talented bodies and may opt for a cheaper, more versatile rotation. Assuming Blount returns, he's merely fantasy roster depth in the waning rounds of a draft.
Allen Robinson - WR - Jacksonville Jaguars
Updating an ongoing story, Jacksonville Jaguars impending free-agent WR Allen Robinson (knee) is expected to receive the franchise tag, if no long-term deal can be reached.
Huddle Up: Robinson is too talented for the blossoming Jaguars to let walk. Provided his knee isn't a problem, consider him as a WR2 in most formats.
Kirk Cousins - QB - Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins impending free-agent QB Kirk Cousins will have heavy pursuit from the New York Jets, who are prepared to pay 'whatever it takes' to land him, according to sources.
Huddle Up: Cousins will be an upper-level QB1 wherever he lands, but the Jets might be one of the worst landing places for him in fantasy next season.
Kirk Cousins - QB - Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins impending free-agent Kirk Cousins is favored to sign with the Denver Broncos, in the opinion of SI.com's Peter King.
Huddle Up: Cousins has been on the fringe of an elite fantasy quarterback the last couple of years without a lot around him. If he went to Denver to throw to established receivers, he could firmly entrench himself in the top-five at the position.