Sammy Watkins was stunningly dealt to Los Angeles, OVER or UNDER final fantasy rank in La La Land 24.5?
Liz – UNDER. I ranked him No. 22 overall, just below Allen Robinson and above Jamison Crowder. Being tied to Jared Goff is obviously a downgrade, but reuniting with Robert Woods adds a level of comfortability. Sammy should work as the team’s Z receiver. He’ll probably see a few extra targets with Lance Dunbar gone for the season. If anything, the move helps Gurley’s stock.
Brad – OVER. Trading in Tyrod Taylor for Jared “Where does the sun rise/set again?” Goff is a fantasy death knell. Though improvements should be made, the Rams passer completed a disgusting 54.6 percent of his attempts last year. Watkins, who garnered 23.1 percent of the targets share in ’16, will be the vertical centerpiece, but his unsightly catch rates and Goff’s inaccuracy spell doom. WR15 in average drafts pre-trade and already a fixture on my “No go” list, he’s even more unattractive. A few names ranked above him on my sheet: Jeremy Maclin, Tyrell Williams and Eric Decker.
Dalton – UNDER. I was pretty bullish on Watkins this year, as he appeared to finally be fully recovered from his foot issue, is one season removed from leading the NFL in yards per target and is just now entering his prime. But this obviously is a major downgrade, as he’ll now have to deal with one of the league’s worst QB situations. Still, even bumping him down 10 spots on my WR board has him finishing as a top-25 fantasy wideout in 2017. Watkins is going to see a ton of targets.
Meanwhile, Jordan Matthews escapes purgatory in Philadelphia and lands in Buffalo. OVER or UNDER 69.5 receptions for the receiver in his new digs?
Liz – UNDER. Watkins averaged nearly 4 catches per game over the past 3 seasons in Buffalo. Even if Matthews manages that kind of production, he’ll fall short of the given line by 5.5 grabs. Zay Jones and Anquan Boldin will see plenty of looks, and LeSean McCoy figures to be heavily targeted via the air, especially given Rick Dennison’s adoration for pass-catching backs.
Brad – OVER. Watkins attracted 23.1 percent of the targets share (6.5 per game) when on the field and working outside last year. Matthews was the primary slot option for Philly a season ago, but I suspect he’ll slide to the wing opposite Zay Jones in Buffalo. Likely with renewed energy, I believe he returns at or near the WR2 level exhibited two seasons ago. Recall in that campaign, Matthews was a red-zone machine posting a 66.7 percent catch rate inside the 20. Boldin and Jones will push for targets, but it’s conceivable he churns out a line around 75-900-7 this season.
Dalton – OVER. It’s not easy switching teams so close to the beginning of the season at the wide receiver position, but Matthews should become the Bills’ WR1 in no time. Sammy Watkins has been dealt, and Matthews has averaged 75.0 catches per season over his first three years in the league. His value gets a pretty significant boost with this move.
Pick your poison. What accessory receiver in Buffalo or Los Angeles would you rather have in light of the giant trade news: Cooper Kupp, Zay Jones, Anquan Boldin, Robert Woods, Nelson Agholor or Torrey Smith?
Brad – AGHOLOR. Jones and Kupp are certainly interesting post-trades and have moved up my cheat sheet, but the former Trojan deserves compliments as well. He’s reportedly made plentiful splashy plays in training camp and appears to be locked into the slot role in Philadelphia, a position where Matthews enticed 23.2 percent of the targets share last year. Yes, his first two years in the league were forgettable, but Agholor is now a legitimate borderline WR3 in 12-team leagues, capable of 60-plus receptions, 750-850 yards with a handful of TDs.
Liz – ANQUAN BOLDIN. He’s everything the team wished Charles Clay (whose knees are shot) could have been. Perhaps not the sexiest play, but a solid floor and consistent producer at a bargain price.
Dalton – NELSON AGHOLOR. The exit of Jordan Matthews frees up plenty of targets for the third-year wideout, who’s impressed throughout training camp. Agholor is a former top-20 pick, and don’t forget about Alshon Jeffery’s past injury problems. Agholor could be in store for a big breakout in 2017.