Maybe, for a certain sort of rules-bound player who likes to complain about "Mother May I?". My Classic D&D group feel they have plenty of agency, despite the lack of rules, because they can have their PCs attempt to do anything that a real person could do, plus some classes get special powers a real person couldn't do on top. Obviously they can pick up & carry around paralysed characters, limited only by their STR, no roll needed - and of course that's equally true in 5e, 4e, 3e/PF et al.
Ideally you proactively address issues before
your players perceive and complain about them. That doesn't mean that everyone has to address issues in the same way. If you've established a precedent at your table that "common sense" trumps the PHB (e.g. you allow auto-hits against sleeping/paralyzed creatures as long as the attacker is not in melee or under fire at the time; shields don't boost your AC when you get shot in the back; small falling creatures take less damage than large falling creatures; etc.) then players are empowered in a different way; they can do what makes sense to them in real-life terms and if the DM rules in a way they didn't expect, they can have a conversation with the DM about "really?" As long as those conversations don't happen too often--as long as the DM has about the same sense of what is possible and appropriate in real life as the players do--the players will feel empowered and will experience agency.
I prefer to address things in a more explicit way, such as the Rule of Yes which specifies that the first time a player tries something crazy and unusual, it just works the way you envisioned it, no rules arguing required. (There may still be an attack roll, skill contest, or damage roll involved.) If you ever try that same stunt again, then
the DM will come up with actual rules for it and integrate it into the system; but the very first time you try to manacle the Yeti in combat, you get to use your normal attack roll (or Athletics check, or whatever you were thinking).
My players appreciate the Rule of Yes, and it encourages them to try new things and be creative. Could I perhaps get the same effect by just saying "yes" a lot over time and letting them pick up on it? Maybe so. But that also turns it into a bit of a metagame, "Is [DM] going to let me get away with [X]?" whereas I'd like the focus to be strictly on the game itself. I see value in being up-front about [most of] the rules by which we are playing the game. By instituting the Rule of Yes I avoid becoming a bottleneck on their window into the game world--whatever they can imagine in their heads is at least potentially possible in the game world, at least this time. [If they want it to become a permanent part of the gameworld we then have a conversation offline about it, e.g. "what would happen if an Earth Elemental fell on you? how much damage would that do?"]
Obviously your group is having fun in your own style, too. More power to you.