As expected, we had a triumphant trade deadline in the NFL. The names that we were seeing at the end of the night yesterday aren’t necessarily the big names that ended up being moved. The Colts ended up staying put with their offensive weapons that were being brought up. The Dolphins didn’t move Jarvis Landry as expected. Calvin Johnson will stay retired, at least for the remainder of 2017. Now, Martavis Bryant will be back in the game plan for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kelvin Benjamin has had a decent WR2 season in Carolina, which is about what we expected. Devin Funchess has emerged as the same style of player which has caused a predicament as the Panthers have decided to get away from the “twin towers” approach to their receiving corps. The Panthers continue to want to get Christian McCaffery the ball through the air. Curtis Samuel has recently seen some targets and Carolina views him as an explosive playmaker who can pay dividends in the future. Russell Shepard has caught a ball or two in recent games as well.
Greg Olsen is just two games away from returning to action and he has always been Cam’s most coveted target alongside Benjamin. Going forward, I expect Curtis Samuel to be brought along incrementally into fantasy relevance and Russell Shepard might even be radar-worthy in deeper leagues. If Greg Olsen is hanging around on your waiver wire, use a lot of FAAB this week or put him at the top of your waiver priority if that is how your league does things. Devin Funchess is now a must start this week against Atlanta. Cam Newton isn’t the same Cam from a couple of years ago, but Olsen and Funchess should flourish anyways for the rest of the season.
The Buffalo Bills are dead last in receiver receptions and receiving yards from their wide receivers so this move makes a lot of sense for them. Simply put, before trading Sammy Watkins in the preseason, the Bills didn’t think that they had a chance to compete in 2017 and now they are sitting at 5-2 and management figures that no time is like the present. The Bills acquire Kelvin Benjamin and still keep the 2nd round pick that they got from Los Angeles for Watkins. This should be viewed as a win. I don’t think that Kelvin Benjamin’s fantasy value changes drastically in either direction, but I think this helps Tyrod Taylor’s value. Tyrod has recently hit a groove and this does nothing but emphasize the potential for a second half explosion.
The Miami Dolphins have a bad offensive line. Besides generally being a boom or bust running back, the offensive line play is a big reason that Jay Ajayi was struggling badly this year to accumulate yardage despite his heavy work load. Kenyon Drake is the running back that I would like to own from the Miami Dolphins following Jay Ajayi’s departure. Assuming that waiver wire options are running thin in your league, I think Drake deserves high priority. If Alex Collins is on your waiver wire, I’d rather have Alex Collins, but at the same time I would rather have Kenyon Drake more than any running back in Seattle’s backfield.
The Eagles have announced that Legarrette Blount is still the starting running back in Philadelphia for the time being. I highly doubt that lasts long and Ajayi should still be in your line up this week, although I doubt you have a choice as an owner. I made a joke on twitter today (my jokes are usually bad, I am a dad, after all) that Jay Ajayi can now be bad for the Eagles as well. In reality, that is simply not the case. Philadelphia is a much better situation for him even after the injury to Jason Peters. This offensive line is much better and the passing game is useful to in opening things up for Ajayi to do some damage. I also think the Eagles look forward to using Ajayi in the passing game in a way that he wasn’t in Miami this season. While I don’t think Ajayi will end up living to his draft day value, owners who held on might be able to breathe a sigh of relief sooner rather than later.