In the most exciting NFL trade deadline in recent memory, we saw two blockbuster deals go down with major dynasty implications. Rumors surfaced across the league over the past couple of weeks about teams looking for help at wide receiver, and they proved to be true. Let’s take a closer look at the two trades, pick the winners and losers in both deals, and examine the ripples they’ve caused in the dynasty landscape.
The Houston Texans traded away their 2019 fourth and seventh-round picks to the Denver Broncos in exchange for Demaryius Thomas and Denver’s 2019 seventh-round pick.
After losing speedster Will Fuller for the season due to a torn ACL, the Texans chose to bolster their wide receiver corps by acquiring Thomas from the Broncos. Thomas still undoubtedly has some gas left in the tank, but at 31 years old, his glory days are behind him. Although he will not fit perfectly into Fuller’s role, Thomas will provide another sure-handed target for young up-and-coming quarterback Deshaun Watson. The Texans’ offense will likely remain explosive, so Watson should see a slight rise in his weekly floor.
With Denver this season, Thomas was producing an average of 11.75 fantasy points per game. Don’t expect his production to drastically increase with DeAndre Hopkins still commanding the majority of the targets in Houston’s passing offense. Rookie slot receiver Keke Coutee could now be an interesting buy-low target as he looks to rebound from a series of minor injuries suffered over the first half of the season. Through four career games, Coutee has averaged just over seven targets, five receptions, and 49 yards per game.
Houston has been a bit weak at tight end this season, but Jordan Thomas surged onto the scene this past Thursday with a two-touchdown performance against Miami. Fellow tight ends Ryan Griffin and Jordan Akins have been injured and less-than impressive, so Thomas has a chance to eventually win the starting tight end spot. Demaryius Thomas should open up the middle of the field for Jordan Thomas if Watson continues to target the tight end position more often. After the trade, it’s worth inquiring whether either Coutee and Jordan Thomas can be bought for a 2019 third-round rookie pick.
On the flip side of the deal, the Broncos now have a chance to unleash Courtland Sutton, the highly-touted SMU product. Standing at 6’3 220 lbs, Sutton looks the part and could be the next big-bodied elite NFL receiver. Halfway through his rookie campaign, he has amassed 324 yards and two touchdowns on 17 receptions. With Demaryius Thomas officially out of the picture, Sutton will take over the starting role outside immediately and should produce low-end WR3 numbers for the rest of the season. The buying window on Sutton is likely closed, but it can’t hurt to throw out an offer for him.
Expect Emmanuel Sanders to continue producing strong numbers for the rest of the year, but keep an eye on rookie DaeSean Hamilton, who will have an excellent chance to win the slot role as soon as 2019. Hamilton possesses a similar skill set to that of Nelson Agholor, and his role and fantasy production in the slot could rise dramatically next year and beyond.
Stock Up: Deshaun Watson, Courtland Sutton
Stock Down: Demaryius Thomas (slightly)
Buy: Keke Coutee, DaeSean Hamilton, Jordan Thomas
Sell: Emmanuel Sanders (if rebuilding, and only for a large return)
The Philadelphia Eagles traded away their 2019 third-round pick to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Golden Tate.
Howie Roseman and his Eagles have reportedly been shopping for wide receiver help for a while now. Even with a healthy Alshon Jeffery, the depth behind him was slim at best. With the newly acquired Tate, the Eagles offense could reach new highs. Carson Wentz should have no trouble finding an open receiver with Jeffery and Tate leading the charge, and Zach Ertz, Nelson Agholor, and the running backs all add value to the passing game.
Although it may be perceived that Jeffery and Ertz will lose targets to Tate, don’t be so quick to assume that their production will dip. Tate is the third option at best, and garnering more than seven targets per game seems unlikely. He will likely be more of a complimentary piece of the offense, so don’t overpay and expect him to produce as he did in Detroit. This transaction is more impactful for the Eagles than for dynasty teams considering the fact that Tate will be a free agent after this season.
Agholor had been handling the duties as Philadelphia’s number two receiver but will now defer to Tate and likely serve as just the fourth option in the passing game. His value takes another hit as he essentially becomes irrelevant in fantasy assuming no injuries occur to the starting receivers. Fellow wide receiver Jordan Matthews’s upside has been capped for a while now, and with Tate’s arrival, all hope is officially gone on Matthews. Rookie tight end Dallas Goedert could also see his usage drop for the rest of this season, but he has shown well and could be a bigger factor in 2019.
The Lions are officially turning to Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones as the top two targets for Matthew Stafford. Golladay has emerged as the next big thing in dynasty after he matched last year’s receiving totals in four fewer games. He and Jones will take on the majority of the 10 targets per game that Tate leaves behind and are safe investments with high upside for both the rest of this season and beyond.
Tate’s absence will be filled by a mix of players. Running back Theo Riddick could receive a bump in targets in the passing game, tight end Michael Roberts could see more targets in the red zone, and TJ Jones will likely get the most snaps in the slot now. Expect Kerryon Johnson to see an even bigger workload running the football as well, but the biggest beneficiaries of Tate’s departure remain Golladay and Marvin Jones.
Stock Up: Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Michael Roberts
Stock Down: Nelson Agholor, Dallas Goedert
Buy: Theo Riddick
Sell: Golden Tate, Jordan Matthews, TJ Jones (if you can)