Receiver trades change NFL fantasy landscape
It was an active NFL trading season this year with several meaningful moves.
The trades will impact the players themselves (and their new teammates) while some trades also markedly change the value of remaining players who will have expanded opportunities.
Amari Cooper (Dallas) will make his Cowboys debut on Monday Night and it would seem likely he will instantly plug in as the team’s No. 1 wide receiver (not only has Dallas needed someone to fill that role since releasing Dez Bryant but it invested a first-round pick to acquire Cooper).
Adding Cooper to the offense boosts the value of Dak Prescott (Dallas), and it could rise all tides in Dallas, helping Ezekiel Elliott to also be more effective. Elliott could deliver fantasy titles down the stretch as the Cowboys have three straight home games from Weeks 12-14, then play at Indianapolis in Week 15, before returning home to face leaky Tampa Bay in Week 16.
Deshaun Watson (Houston) receives amuch needed new wideout in Demaryius Thomas after losing Will Fuller (ACL) for the season last week. Thomas only has a few days to learn the Texans playbook, though he’s an intriguing play this week nonetheless as he suddenly will square off against his former team.
Thomas’ departure from the Broncos opens up opportunities for Courtland Sutton (Denver) who has been impressive in his rookie season.
Sutton ranks third in the NFL among receivers with at least 15 receptions on the season at 19.1 yards per catch.
The last big trade saw the Eagles acquire Golden Tate (Philadelphia). The Eagles are on their bye so we’ll need to wait a week, but the addition really adds additional firepower for Carson Wentz, who has thrown multiple touchdowns in five straight games.
For the Lions, Kenny Golladay will move into an every-week starter role with big upside. As a deep sleeper, the trade also opens things up for rookie Brandon Powell, who led the team in receptions during the pre-season.
OTHER PLAY ’EM
●Cam Newton (Carolina) showed last week against a tough Baltimore defense that he is near match-up proof while this week he gets a Tampa defense allowing 318.4 yards passing per game (second-most) and a league-high 2.9 passing touchdowns per game.
●Tom Brady (New England) should be safe for his usual strong performance at home -- in four away games this year Brady averages 242 passing yards and 1.5 touchdowns versus 308 and 2.5 touchdowns on average in four home games this year.
●Running back coach Freddie Kitchens has been promoted to offensive coordinator so perhaps that will translate to more opportunity for Nick Chubb (Cleveland) and amore effective Browns offense in general, plus this week he goes against Kansas City who allows 1.2 rushing touchdowns per game (fourth-most).
●It’s a good week to find a Plan B for Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh), who has averaged just 229 yards passing in his past four at Baltimore, with just two passing touchdowns, while Baltimore ranks second against the pass this season.
●LeSean McCoy (Buffalo) will still be featured but on a very poor offense and he’ll go against a Bears’ defense that still has not allowed a rushing touchdown on the season.
●Until he produces more consistently, Corey Davis (Tennessee) is hard to trust, but especially this week against a Dallas defense allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.
Alan Satterlee is in his sixth year of writing about fantasy football for The Charlotte Observer. Find him on Twitter at @Speedkills_DFW.