The trade deadline came and went Tuesday afternoon at 4 PM ET, and it ended up being the most active deadline in recent memory, perhaps of all time. Teams used to be weirdly frugal with draft picks, even late-round ones that are highly unlikely to ever turn into quality NFL talent. But GMs are coming around in recent years and starting to flip those mid-to-late picks for proven NFL talent.
Mr. Hayden Winks recapped the deadline in full detail with his NFL Trade Deadline Fallout piece yesterday afternoon, so we’ll keep this brief here for the most part. I’ll simply rehash some things and offer a couple of my thoughts after Winks dove in head-first initially.
Here are the deals that went down. Demaryius Thomas was traded from the Broncos to the Texans in exchange for a fourth-round pick while both teams also swapped seventh-rounders. Golden Tate was then shipped from the Lions to the Eagles for a third-round selection. The Packers dealt Ty Montgomery, who fans turned on following his costly fumble last week, to the Ravens for a measly 2020 seventh-round selection. The Rams added to their pass rush by nabbing Dante Fowler from the Jaguars for a third-rounder next year and a fifth-rounder in 2020. And last but not least, Green Bay also sent former first-round S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix packing to Washington D.C. for a fourth-rounder.
My three biggest winners of the day were Thomas moving on from Case Keenum to Deshaun Watson, Courtland Sutton saying goodbye to Thomas and inheriting a larger role for the second half and moving forward for years to come, and then Kenny Golladay in Detroit.
Thomas is closing in on his 31st birthday (in December) and is nowhere close to the same player he was in his days with Peyton Manning, whether that is because of advanced age or just the Manning Factor, or some combination of both. But he’s clearly regressed the past couple years. However, he’s going to such a concentrated offense where there is really only one, maybe two guys, doing all the heavy lifting. DeAndre Hopkins is obviously going to remain the alpha dog in Houston. But the Texans legitimately have nothing concrete behind him. After Will Fuller tore his ACL last week, it was Vyncint Smith — we forgive you if you’ve never heard of him — soaking up snaps alongside Watson. Keke Coutee has battled hamstring issues three separate times since being drafted and cannot be counted on week to week. Initially pegged a winner in the Fuller aftermath, Coutee reverts back to borderline roster-worthy in 12-team redraft leagues. Thomas could flirt with 7-10 targets per game and is unlikely to face any sort of double-coverage with Hopkins drawing safety help over the top.
In Denver, Sutton was already seeing a healthy workload at a 69% snap share on the year, but he figures to become even more of an every-down player. He’s led the team in air yards the past couple weeks and has routinely made big plays downfield, whether it’s with a catch or by drawing a penalty. Sutton should take on a good chunk of the seven targets per week that just left town with Thomas. GM John Elway admitted after the trade that Sutton is deserving of a bigger role. Keenum is not a good quarterback by any means, but the volume is there for Sutton to return WR2 numbers.
Finally, Golladay in Detroit is dripping with upside with Tate now off the books. He’s flashed dominance at times in his brief career and is a legitimate stud athlete with great size. Golladay has been quiet in recent weeks, but the arrow is screaming upward the rest of the way if he can — which seems likely he will — turn his six targets per game into 9-10. It’s just him and Marvin Jones now really. T.J. Jones and Theo Riddick are complementary pieces at best. The only issue is Detroit operates at the slowest pace in the league and have become a more run-oriented team in recent weeks, throwing the ball at just the 22nd-highest clip over the last three weeks. Still, there should be more than enough to go around for Golladay and Jones to be weekly WR2 plays.
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Ben Roethlisberger has been diagnosed with a broken finger on his non-throwing hand. It’s obviously not ideal, especially if Big Ben is ever directly under center having snaps slammed into his hands, but luckily that isn’t very often. He’s not expected to miss any time. It’ll be more of a nuisance than anything else. Roethlisberger gets the Ravens on the road in Week 9. That’s a bigger concern.
In other quarterback injury news, the 49ers may have to scrape the bottom of the barrel against the Raiders on Thursday night. C.J. Beathard has a right wrist issue and hasn’t practiced this week. It’s affecting his grip on the ball, according to coach Kyle Shanahan, and the short week is a problem. If Beathard is unable to play, second-year UDFA Nick Mullens would figure to draw the start over Tom Savage, who was just signed a couple weeks back. The Niners would be a complete avoid in fantasy.
A.J. Green injured his toe on the final play of last week’s narrow win over the Bucs. He was in a walking boot on Tuesday. The good news is the Bengals are on their bye week, and Green is expected to be “fine” by Week 10. By all accounts, the boot is a precautionary measure.
Quarterback & Running Back Quick Slants
Raheem Mostert (ankle) and Matt Breida (ankle) were both limited at Tuesday’s practice. … Word is the Jaguars “poked around” quarterbacks before Tuesday’s trade deadline. But Blake Bortles keeps the job for now. … Free agent QB Matt Barkley visited the Bills. Josh Allen (elbow) and Derek Anderson (concussion) are hurt, so Nathan Peterman is starting again this week against Chicago. … Giants backup QB and rookie Kyle Lauletta was arrested Tuesday morning after almost striking an officer with his vehicle and refusing to stop.
Wide Receiver & Tight End Quick Slants
The Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett reports UDFA rookie Brandon Powell has been pegged as the “heir apparent” to Golden Tate as the Lions’ slot wideout. Powell went to Florida and led Detroit in catches and receiving yards in the preseason. He’s worth a stash in deeper Dynasty formats. … The Bills agreed to terms with Terrelle Pryor. He is already the team’s best wideout.
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