Kearse, Quick, and Holmes re-sign to the fantasy fringes
Jermaine Kearse, Brian Quick, and Andre Holmes all re-signed with their respective teams and remain, to varying degrees, on the fringes of fantasy viability. Kearse heads back to Seattle on a three-year contract, while Quick and Holmes signed one-year deals with the Rams and Raiders, respectively.
Kearse’s three-year, $13.5 million contract includes $6.3 million guaranteed and indicates he will remain a regular in the Seahawks’ wide receiver rotation. He played 72.7 percent of Seattle’s snaps in 2015, catching 49 balls on 66 targets for 685 yards and five touchdowns – good for the WR48 in standard scoring leagues. However, after Marshawn Lynch went down and the Seahawks opened up their offense, Kearse was the WR28 from Week 11 on. Jimmy Graham’s absence, beginning in Week 12, also played a role.
Kearse benefited from Russell Wilson’s otherworldly passing efficiency down the stretch. His wide receiver rating of 126.1 ranked fourth of 85 qualifying wideouts, and he was one of only four receivers in the top 10 for catchable target percentage (80.3) who also had a double-digit average depth of target (12.1 aDOT). Kearse’s receiving grade from Week 12 through his last game in the Divisional Round ranked 26th out of 108 wideouts.
Still, Kearse heads back to a team that, at its core, is a run-based defensive outfit. He will be, at best, their second wideout behind Doug Baldwin, and last year saw then-rookie Tyler Lockett’s snap percentages pull to a virtual tie after Seattle’s Week 9 bye. Projections for Graham’s Week 1 readiness are aggressive, but his eventual return needs to be factored in. Kearse is a barely passable WR5 in season-long leagues, although figuring out which weeks to start him will be a headache. For that reason, he makes for a better late-round flier in MFL10 best ball drafts.
Quick’s decision to return to Jeff Fisher’s Rams, and an offense that will likely be led by Case Keenum, is puzzling. His one-year contract, which guarantees only $1.5 million, includes “not likely to be earned” incentives that can push it to $3.75 million. A severe shoulder injury ended his 2014 season in Week 8, and he barely got back on the field until after the Rams’ Week 6 bye last season. Quick never reached 60 percent of snaps in any game, and he saw more than three targets on only four occasions while playing behind Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt.
Long on athletic tools and short on career production, recent hope for the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Quick in fantasy circles has mainly revolved a four-game stretch of 2014 in which his 12.5 points-per-game average ranked ninth among 112 wideouts. He hasn’t sniffed the 7.5 target-per-game rate he enjoyed during that span, before or since. Signing a one-year “prove it” deal with a low-volume pass offense is a poor choice to rehab his image, and Quick will likely be in the same position next offseason. He remains a fantasy long-shot, rosterable only in the deepest of redraft leagues. He remains a frustrating “hold” in dynasty formats featuring mid-sided or deeper rosters.
Like Quick, Andre Holmes signed relatively cheaply given the current seller’s market for wideouts. His one-year deal includes $1 million guaranteed, but the real cost is one of opportunity. He returns to a crowded receiver depth chart in Oakland that includes Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and Seth Roberts all ahead of him. If his 2016 season goes anything like his 2015 season did, his options next offseason will be even more limited.
After seeing 91 targets and gaining 693 yards in 2014, those totals fell to 29 and 201, respectively. His overall grade on a per-snap basis ranked 111th out of 119 qualifying wideouts, and Holmes’ 26.3 percent drop rate was third-highest of the 126 receivers who saw at least 25 targets (Quick’s 28.6 ranked first). Unfortunately, the once-promising Holmes is undraftable in all formats, and he can even be dropped in dynasty leagues with deep benches. If Oakland’s receiver depth chart changes, Holmes will still be available on waivers to be scooped back up.
Pat Thorman is a Lead Writer for PFF Fantasy. You can follow him on Twitter at @Pat_Thorman