Patriots Sign Jonnu Smith & Nelson Agholor: 2021 Betting & Fantasy Football Outlook

Patriots Sign Jonnu Smith & Nelson Agholor: The New England Patriots signed free-agent tight end Jonnu Smith and wide receiver Nelson Agholor. Smith’s deal is worth $50 million over four years with $31.25 million fully guaranteed, while Agholor signed a two-year, $26 million deal.



Patriots Sign Jonnu Smith & Nelson Agholor

The Patriots upgraded their pass-catching corps by signing Jonnu Smith and Nelson Agholor. This is a team that had quite possibly the worst skills group in football, so an infusion of talent was absolutely essential. Smith and Agholor join wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (and maybe Julian Edelman, if his knee injury isn’t career-ending or he signs elsewhere) and running back Damien Harris in what should be an improved New England offense.

Smith is an athletic tight end who can make big plays after the catch and wreak havoc in the red zone. He’s coming off a solid season where he caught 41-of-65 targets for 448 yards and eight touchdowns for a run-heavy Titans offense. He’ll be entering his age-26 season as the top option in this passing game.

Agholor revived his career with the Las Vegas Raiders last season, posting 48 receptions for 896 yards and eight touchdowns on 82 targets. He gives the Pats a much-needed deep threat on the perimeter. Agholor also has experience working in the slot.

Smith provides this offense with a legitimate red-zone threat. The Pats can now use Cam as the goal-line back or have him focus on firing play-action passes to Smith in the end-zone. Agholor will help take the top off the defense.

The Pats also signed wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, who is a solid possession receiver and strong run-blocker. They brought back offensive tackle Trent Brown as well. We should see significant improvement on offense in 2021.


Patriots 2021 NFL Betting Outlook

Patriots to win AFC East (+450)

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New England Patriots To Win 2021 AFC East Division

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Patriots to win Super Bowl 56 (+3000)

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With their skill-player additions, the Patriots should be a much-improved team in 2021. Cam Newton will have a full offseason to get more comfortable in this offense. He’ll also have a much more talented group of pass-catchers with these signings. Let’s remember that Cam was significantly affected by COVID-19 in the 2020 season.

On defense, the Pats signed edge-rusher Matthew Judon, nose-tackle Davon Godchaux, and defensive-back Jalen Mills. They’ll also get back linebacker Dont’a Hightower and defensive-back Patrick Chung from the COVID reserve list. The Pats defense looks poised to return to form as one of the better units in the NFL.

The Patriots are absolutely worth a look as AFC East division winners in 2021. The team has already improved in each facet of the game on Day 1 of free agency. They have the pieces in place to challenge the Bills for a division title. I would also recommend putting a small bet on the Pats to win the Super Bowl. Don’t underestimate Bill Belichick with a chip on his shoulder.

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Jonnu Smith & Nelson Agholor 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook

Smith finished as TE12 in PPR points per game this past season. His volume was limited as the third option in a run-heavy offense, but this won’t be the case in New England. Smith has a legitimate chance to lead this team in targets. I expect him to set a new career-high in receptions and yards in 2021. If Cam can bounce back like I expect him to, Smith has top-five upside due to his high touchdown equity.

Agholor finished as the WR45 in PPR points per game in 2020 and he’ll now join an offense that figures to remain run-heavy. At the same time, we saw how Jakobi Meyers was peppered with targets at times (22.69% target share), so the upside is there for Agholor. I think that Agholor will establish himself as the top option on the perimeter, so we could see him approach his 2020 totals.

Cam Newton gets a bump in value with these additions, as he’ll now have a much-improved arsenal at his disposal. He finished as QB17 in fantasy points per game last season despite only throwing eight touchdown passes. This shows how his rushing upside really keeps him on the fantasy radar. Buy Cam as a late-round quarterback in your drafts.

I would recommend trying to buy all three of these players in dynasty leagues. Smith would come at the greatest cost, but his touchdown upside makes him worth the risk. I’d have no issue dealing a hyped young tight end like Irv Smith Jr. for him. Agholor and Cam would come cheap as discounted veterans.


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