Into the Woods: The Impact of the Danny Woodhead and Robert Woods Signings

Ken Kelly

We end a very busy first day of free agency with a look at two under-the-radar signings that merit a closer look from dynasty owners.  The Ravens signed former Chargers and Patriots running back Danny Woodhead to a three-year contract and the Rams agreed to terms with former Bills receiver Robert Woods on a five-year, $39 million deal.  Each signing raised eyebrows for different reasons but each of them does have an impact in dynasty leagues.

Let’s take a look at each situation.

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When Woodhead signed with Baltimore, most thought it was an odd fit. However, we learned later today that the NFL suspended promising, young Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon four games for violating the league’s policy on PEDs. This news makes the Woodhead signing a little more palatable. While he won’t be an every down player, Woodhead should form a committee with Terrance West for the first quarter of the season.  The Dixon suspension could also sway the Ravens into looking a little deeper into a very promising running back class in this year’s NFL Draft.  Dixon was set for a breakout campaign, but this news is troubling.  Regardless, the presence of Woodhead (if he’s healthy) is going to tap the potential of any early down running back in Baltimore because he’s such an adept pass catcher.  Remember, he was one of the most productive fantasy players not too long ago.  In fact, Woodhead caught 80 passes as a safety valve for Philip Rivers just two years ago and helped tons of dynasty owners secure a championship.  If he’s healthy, he’s a great target for a contender as a player who always finds a way to catch passes and score in PPR leagues.

Baltimore’s running back corps is one of the most interesting in the league at the moment.  Woodhead adds a different dynamic for sure but there are now questions about Dixon and the future of the position in Baltimore. It’s also clear the Ravens aren’t exactly sold on Buck Allen or Lorenzo Taliaferro.   The Ravens are going to be a team to watch on draft day as players like Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook and others start coming into play.  When you look at the ADP of all the Ravens running backs in our ADP comparison tool, it’s clear Dixon is the hottest commodity.  However, it’s going to be interesting to track this and see just what this chart looks like in the coming months as the suspension and NFL Draft results are considered.

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Robert Woods’ contract with the Rams was one of the biggest surprises of day one. After all, that’s big money for a player who has never posted a season that featured 700 receiving yards or more than five touchdowns, even as he spent the better part of the past four seasons as a starting receiver.  He’ll take the roster spot of Kenny Britt but this isn’t exactly an inspiring signing for Jared Goff and the Rams. This signing also isn’t good news for the likes of Mike Thomas or Pharoh Cooper, who were in line to move up the depth chart when Britt signed with Cleveland. The Rams need to really hope this pans out because they’ve now shelled out $45 million in guaranteed money to Woods and Tavon Austin.  By comparison, the Eagles added Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery for a combined $14.5 million in guaranteed money.

Woods is currently the WR81 in our rankings and that number is likely going to move up a bit. However, he’s really not a player to target as his inconsistency has shown him to be an unreliable player to own in dynasty leagues – having the rebuilding Rams and a growing Jared Goff throwing to you isn’t exactly a recipe to end that trend.


ken kelly