Devin Funchess Fantasy
Heading into NFL free agency, the Indianapolis Colts had the most cap space of any team in the league. With over $100 million in available funds. Many football fans were dreaming of someone like Le’Veon Bell signing with the team, yet, the Colts remained very quiet throughout the early stages of free agency. Their first free agent signing was former Carolina Panthers wide receiver, Devin Funchess. The contract is a one-year (prove it) deal worth $10 million, which includes $7 million guaranteed and has up to $13 million with the incentives. This may seem like a lot for someone who has yet to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a season and has been known as a somewhat inefficient receiver during his time in Carolina.
Fantasy Impact 2019
- Age – Turns 25 in May 2019
- Experience – Entering his 5th season in 2019
Funchess had his best season in 2017 where he was Cam Newton’s number one option with the lack of other weapons and Greg Olsen playing in just seven games. On a year where he was essentially the number one option, he caught 63 of his 111 targets and totaled 840 yards and eight touchdowns. The touchdowns helped keep his fantasy numbers up. On the other hand, health has been a positive for Funchess as he’s missed just three games in his first four seasons in the NFL.
Prior to the signing of Funchess, the Indianapolis Colts was one of the landing spots that I was most excited about for a wide receiver. Hilton has established himself as a veteran WR1 and has an excellent relationship with Andrew Luck. In 2018 we saw Luck bounce back in a major way, and this offense looks to be back on track as a high-powered one and very fantasy-friendly. Heading into 2019, Hilton will be viewed as a low-end WR1 for fantasy purposes, and the upside that comes with him on a weekly basis cannot be ignored. Eric Ebron emerged as a major breakout candidate and was a huge favorite for Luck in the red zone as well as between the 20’s. The first major takeaway that I see from the Funchess signing, is the knock to Ebron.
Ebron finished the season with an impressive 13 TDs with 750 receiving yards on 66 receptions. Ebron had an excellent rapport with Luck. . Funchess plugs into the Colts offense as a 6-4 red zone target, who is known for being able to go up and get the ball. I expect Funchess to be a nice addition for that offense, but it definitely should limit the upside of Ebron and his touchdown production.
It’s always nice to be the number two receiving option on a high-powered offense. With Hilton demanding a great deal of attention on the outside, Funchess will be left to man the WR2 role. Since Donte Moncrief left and went to the Jaguars, there has been a lack of a second option outside of Hilton. Ebron basically was the next man up in 2018, and should be a factor again in 2019. Jack Doyle is also somewhat forgotten as Ebron took over the tight end position and made a huge impact on the fantasy football world in 2018.
When you’re looking from a long-term perspective, there isn’t a great deal to be excited about when someone like Funchess signs a one-year deal. It is essentially a ‘prove it’ deal and we will see how he does and whether or not the Colts keep him around past 2019. Funchess isn’t an overly talented wide receiver, and was underwhelming as a prospect coming out of Michigan. I compared him to Moncrief recently, simply for that fact that they are both somewhat underwhelming talents as the second option in Indianapolis. The word ‘meh’ is one that instantly comes to mind when I think of either of these guys.
On the other hand, this a nice opportunity to buy a cheap part of a pass-heavy offense. Funchess will have interesting upside due to the touchdowns that I believe will be available for him to haul in. Luck is back and if there’s any way you can get a piece of that offense, Funchess is a cheap way of getting a part of it. If he cleans up his drops and inefficiency, he could get re-signed and see a nice jump in value. Not too many dynasty football owners are overly excited about this signing, but if you’re looking for someone with a cheaper price and interesting upside, Funchess isn’t a bad one to buy right now thanks to the lack of hype he’s gotten after landing with the Colts.
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