NFL Trade Deadline Moves

Updated: November 2nd 2017

The NFL trade deadline usually produces as much excitement as eating tuna fish out of the can for lunch. Early trade deadline date, hard salary cap, and rules curbing trades for cap space tend to limit the amount and scale of trades which occur.  This year saw the most action on the trade front in years.  I take a look at some of the most fantasy relevant trades that potentially impact your RSO teams.

The NFL trade deadline usually produces as much excitement as eating tuna fish out of the can for lunch. Early trade deadline date, hard salary cap, and rules curbing trades for cap space tend to limit the amount and scale of trades which occur.  This year saw the most action on the trade front in years.  I take a look at some of the most fantasy relevant trades that potentially impact your RSO teams.

Jay Ajayi

Philadelphia receives RB Jay Ajayi

Miami receives 2018 4th Round Draft Pick

Miami head coach Adam Gase clearly was not happy with the offensive performance of the Dolphins this season giving an epic post-game tirade following the 40-0 beat down against Baltimore.  The shakeup starts with Miami moving Ajayi to Philadelphia.  What does Philadelphia get with AJayi?   They obtain a player who forced more missed tackles over the last two seasons than any other running back in the NFL.  It is a low-risk move for a player on a cheap 5th round rookie contract that runs through the 2018 season giving up only a likely late fourth round pick.  The move is somewhat odd in that Ajayi joins a crowded backfield including LeGarrette Blount (who is quietly having a very productive season), Wendell Smallwood, and Corey Clement on a team which has never really featured a running back under head coach Doug Pederson instead relying on a committee approach.

What does this mean for Ajayi?  The third year pro’s situation improves drastically moving from the lowest scoring team in the league with one of the worst offensive lines to one of the highest scoring teams in the NFL with the best record so far.  Philadelphia Ajayi’s role this season seems questionable given the depth in the backfield and lack of traditional “workhorse” role on the Eagles but the upside is tremendous on a high-powered offense if he were to assume a primary role.  His longer-term prospects look good on a solid team led by an ascending quarterback.  This move correspondingly reduces Blount’s value to minimal at best.

Also remember Ajayi’s likely replacements in Miami, Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake.  While neither is a priority in shallow leagues on this low-scoring offense, any potential starting running back has some value in deeper RSO leagues.

Jimmy Garoppolo

San Francisco receives QB Jimmy Garoppolo

New England receives 2018 2nd Round Draft Pick

In another interesting trade, San Francisco presumably gets their quarterback of the future in exchange for an early second round pick.  The move gives San Francisco a lot of flexibility in next year’s draft, including potentially setting up the 49ers to receive a ransom in draft capital in exchange for one of the top picks in the first round.  New England receives one of the most valuable picks in the entire draft on a cost-benefit basis with the high second pick.  One must wonder if New England maximized Garoppolo’s trade value if earlier reports from this offseason were true about teams making first round-plus offers but it is still solid value for a player of no immediate use on an expiring contract.  The Patriots are clearly committed to Brady for the near future with no backup plan for the future.

Garoppolo was originally a second round pick by New England and has performed superbly in his professional appearances so far, albeit in a very limited sample size.  He goes to a team with one of the most highly-thought-of offensive minds in the game, Kyle Shanahan, leading them.  The trade also imparts risk on Garoppolo though.  He almost certainly would have received a large contract this offseason based on very limited work in the NFL.  Garoppolo might receive substantially less from San Francisco or in free agency if his performance in the last portion of the season does not meet expectations.  This is a move that could go very poorly for the 49ers.  San Francisco gave up a premium draft pick on a team going nowhere this year for a player in the final year of his contract.  This move potentially looks very foolish in the offseason if the 49ers a) do not sign Garoppolo or b) are forced to franchise tag him at high costs (see the ongoing Kirk Cousins saga).

Garoppolo holds little value in RSO leagues this season with a difficult schedule to finish the season and likely not assuming starting duties until after San Francisco’s bye in week 12.

Kelvin Benjamin

Buffalo receives WR Kelvin Benjamin

Carolina receives 2018 3rd Round Draft Pick and 2018 7th Round Draft Pick

It has been one strange season for the Buffalo Bills.  In what many considered a rebuilding year, the Bills find themselves at 5-2 just behind the New England Patriots for first place in the AFC East.  The roster makeover at wide receiver continues with the addition of Benjamin after Buffalo traded for WR Jordan Matthews in the preseason and trading away former 1st round WR Sammy Watkins prior to that.

This is not a good move fantasy-wise for the hulking receiver this season.  Benjamin goes from a team with the 10th most passing attempts to the one with least attempts in the entire NFL.  Even the most targeted wide receiver in Buffalo has little fantasy value on a run-first offense.  What value there is in the passing game is centered on the running backs and tight ends where running back LeSean McCoy leads the team in targets and receptions almost doubling the next leading receiver, tight end Charles Clay, who has been out of action for weeks.  Jordan Matthews’ limited fantasy value is gone in all but the deepest of leagues with the arrival of Benjamin.  Charles Clay gets bumped down.  Tyrod Taylor is likely the only fantasy relevant player helped with this trade.

Duane Brown

Seattle receives OT Duane Brown and 2018 5th Round Draft Pick

Houston receives 2018 3rd Round Draft Pick and 2019 2nd Round Draft Pick*

Seattle bolsters their offensive line with left tackle Duane Brown after seeing him first-hand this past weekend.  Brown is a massive upgrade at left tackle for the Seahawks, replacing PFF’s worst graded tackle on one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL.   The move tremendously helps Russell Wilson and also potentially upgrades the Seattle run game.  Quality, blind-side tackles rarely become available because there are so few in the league.  The steep price could be well worth the cost to Seattle if they address Brown’s contract issues.

Brown’s contract demands, for which he sat out the first six weeks in the season and were never addressed by the Texans, and his resentment toward Houston’s owner eventually led to the trade.  The Texans received fair value for a player who clearly was not excited about staying in Houston.  The loss of a premium left tackle will be felt, especially by a developing young quarterback, but is somewhat mitigated Deshaun Watson’s mobility out of the pocket.

*Note this trade originally included CB Jeremy Lane who reportedly failed a physical.

A.J. McCarron

In a trade that failed to go through, the Cincinnati Bengals agreed to trade A.J. McCarron to the Cleveland Browns.  Unfortunately the Browns, as only the Browns could do, failed in reporting the trade to the NFL office by the trade deadline.  McCarron is left as a backup in Cincinnati and Cleveland continues to make even the most basic NFL mechanisms look difficult.


Bio:  Bernard Faller has degrees in engineering and economics.  He currently lives in Las Vegas and enjoys athletics, poker, and fantasy football in his free time.  Send your questions and comments (both good and bad) on Twitter @BernardFaller1.

Week 5 Street FA Report

Updated: October 5th 2017

Each week we will recommend a group of players that are owned in less than 50% of RSO league that should be rostered. Depending on roster and league sizes not all of these players may be available. For that, we will offer 1 player that is owned in <10% of leagues as our Sleeper add.

BYES: New Orleans, Atlanta, Denver, Washington

Add of the Week

Aaron Jones, RB – GB (Owned 28%)

Week 4: 13 Car/49 yards, 1 TD

You never hope for an injury to another person but once Ty Montgomery went out with a chest injury Thursday night I was excited to finally see what Jamaal Williams would do. Unfortunately, he also was injured after 4 carries leaving the Aarons, Jones and Ripkowski, as the only two options for Green Bay right now. Ripkowski is more of a fullback which means that Jones could be in for a heavy usage while the other two RBs are out. There are conflicting reports about how serious Montgomery’s injury is; some says he’s day-to-day while others suggest it could be 2-4 weeks. What is for sure is that with the amount of touches that Montgomery has received over the first 3 games suggests that Aaron Jones may have more than his fair number of chances moving forward.

Suggested Bid: $2,000,000 – $5,000,000

RB Adds

Elijah McGuire, RB – NYJ (Owned 30%)

Week 4: 10 Car/93 yards, 1 TD, 2 Rec/38 yards

I must be crazy for suggesting a Jets player 3 out of the first 4 weeks but they just keep exceeding expectations for me. McGuire, a 6th round rookie, had one of the two Jet runs that went for over 60 yards on their way to an overtime win last week. While Bilal Powell more than doubled his touches (25:12) it’ll be interesting to see what coaches want to do moving forward. The Jets are a team in rebuild and may want to see what they have at each position going into next offseason. They may not be able to run the ball as effectively as they did against the Jags each week but McGuire does have the speed and pass-catching ability to be used as a receiving back in this offense when needed.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,500,000

 

Alex Collins, RB – BAL (Owned 47%)

Week 4: 9 Car/82 yards

Baltimore’s offense has looked like molasses the past two weeks which makes it hard for fantasy owners to trust using any player on a weekly basis. Javorius Allen is still the back to own in PPR leagues since he is featured heavily in Joe Flacco’s passing game however, Alex Collins has shown that he is now likely the between tackles/goal line back. He had more carries than both Allen and Terrance West combined (9:6) last week. If he can stop fumbling the ball once a game Collins should have at least some use for the coming bye weeks.

Suggested Bid: $500,000 – $1,500,000

WR Adds

Adam Humphries, WR – TB (Owned 3%)

Week 4: 6 Rec/70 yards

Let me start by saying that I would only be adding Humphries in a league where I am hurting at WR for week 5 and may need a Hail Mary option. The Bucs face the Patriots (on a short week) who have been one of the worst pass defenses in NFL history through 4 games. Bill Belichick usually takes away your number option which means double coverage for Mike Evans. But there is nothing to suggest that one-on-one coverage everywhere else will slow down a team’s passing attack this year. In what could be another Thursday Night shootout Humphries could have a similar stat line to last week. A touchdown would just be icing.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

TE Adds

Tyler Kroft, TE – CIN (Owned 3%)

Week 4: 6 Rec/68 yards, 2 TD

Cincinnati loves to feature its tight ends no matter who is available. With Tyler Eifert out for a second straight week, Kroft took advantage of a poor Browns defense scoring two touchdowns. Though he will never outrank A.J. Green in targets Kroft is likely only competing with LaFell for second in target shares with Eifert out. Similar to what I said last week about Jordan Reed’s injury concerns leading to Vernon Davis’ week-to-week value the longer Eifert is out the more weeks that Kroft should be at least a TE2 option.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

Sleeper Add

ANYONE WITH FUTURE VALUE

I know this might sound like a cop-out but with RSOs new resign feature coming available this week if you have room at the end of your bench and don’t already have a resign candidate in mind (or the values are out of your price range) then why not take a shot with a player that might have value in 2018 and beyond. Several young QBs that could find themselves in starting roles next year are likely available including Jimmy Garoppolo, A.J. McCarron, and Jacoby Brissett. As well, there may be injured players that could be bargain bin finds to scoop up before they become healthy prior to next year’s auctions. A prime candidate for this would be Quincy Enunwa (yes another Jet) who is available in 22% of leagues. Remember that it will take a week for the system to process a free agent’s resign value so you won’t be able to see what their value is until week 6. But if you’re already thinking of using this strategy then you’re thinking long term anyway.

Suggested Bid: $500,000

2017 Top 25s: QBs and RBs

Updated: July 16th 2017

Since RSO has rolled over to 2017, now’s the perfect time to revisit your rosters and start planning for the next season!

Do you have any players on your team that warrant a franchise tag?  Is it time to shop a player who’s 2016 didn’t meet your expectations and now burdens you with a high salary contract?  My “way too early” PPR rankings, known as my 2017 Top 25s, are here to help with those decisions!

In part 1 of my 2017 Top 25s, I’ll explore the quarterback and running back positions:

 

Top 25 QBs for 2017

Aaron Rodgers is in a tier of his own, making him an elite asset in Superflex and 2QB leagues. Tony Romo and Jimmy Garoppolo are two of the most intriguing names on this list. Over the next few months, we should find out where they’ll play in 2017. If either lands in Denver or Houston, expect their values to rise even higher up this list.

Top 25 RBs for 2017

Le’Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, and David Johnson form the elite trio of RBs that should command the highest AAV (average annual value) of any players in free agency auctions. Rookies Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette could be RB1s in the right situation. Coming off major injuries, veteran RBs Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson just missed the top 25. If they appear healthy as the season approaches and have promised roles, both could be underrated RB2s that will be undervalued in many free agency auctions.

My recommendation

Take an hour this weekend and send out personal emails to all of your fellow owners. Get the trade conversations started because they likely won’t come knocking down your door to acquire one of these players you’re looking to vanquish from your roster. Explain what you’re looking to accomplish, who interests you on their team, and provide an idea of how a potential deal could be reached. If you’re in an active league, you’ll be surprised at the quality of responses you receive.

I followed this recommendation last year, revamped one of my teams almost from scratch, and ended up winning the league.  Have a few minutes?  Read my article on Pressing the Reset Button to find out more about how this strategy can work for you.


Bio: An avid fan of all things NFL, Dave has been playing fantasy football since 1999.  Though Dave participates in all types of fantasy football including redraft and daily, he prefers keeper and dynasty leagues as talent evaluation and scouting are integral components of each.  Follow him on Twitter @DaveSanders_RSO