by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
It was a surprising series of moves, with the Buffalo Bills in the middle of the action as there were a pair of blockbuster trades on Friday. From a fantasy perspective we care about the skill players on the move:
- Sammy Watkins traded from the Bills to the Rams
- Jordan Mathews traded from the Eagles to the Bills
In regards to these two players, the outlook doesn’t change all that much:
Watkins moves from a run oriented offense in Buffalo to an offense that should center around Todd Gurley. He is the clear top option in the passing game, though there are concerns about his health and the ability of his quarterback to get him the football (the QB concerns are arguably greater with the Rams). Maybe his presence will help Jared Goff mature and develop, though time will tell.
Mathews, who proved to be miscast as the top wide receiver in Philadelphia, will look to avoid a similar label now. It had become clear that the Eagles were prepared to move on, it was a matter of finding the right deal.
In that regard he’s a “winner”, as he gets a fresh outlook, but at the same time it’s hard to expect him to suddenly emerging as an elite wide out. He’s best left as a slot receiver who can make plays, so who does that mean will step up? It’s not going to be Anquan Boldin, whose signing looms even larger now, but perhap rookie Zay Jones instead.
We talked about Jones recently (click here for the article), and at that time we posted the following quote from Mike Maycock:
“I thought along with Haason Reddick, he handled the process better than anybody in college football. He’s got hands and toughness. … People thought he couldn’t run because most of his offense was underneath. I’ll tell you right now, he ran away from people at the Senior Bowl. He went from a third- or fourth-round selection to a high second-round because he trusted the process.”
Listed at 6’2” and 200 lbs, Jones has the potential to step in and start immediately on the outside. It’s still going to be a run first offense, but there area good number of targets from last season that are there for the taking (Watkins, Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin). An intriguing option before the deal, he has that much more upside now as he could easily see in the 90-100 target range.
Look for his ADP to start rising, but as long as you are still obtaining him as a WR4 type option don’t be afraid to pull the trigger.
Make sure to check out our early 2017 Rankings: