Lou Sherman @loudogsports
The NFL opened it up for clubs to designate Franchise and Transition Players on Tuesday, and teams have the next 2 weeks to decide who they will be franchising. On March 16, teams will be allowed to contact Unrestricted free agents and start contract negotiations. On April 23, the NFL will have it’s annual draft. The offseason is heating up for the NFL, and it’s time to think about what moves your team needs to make to help the future of their organizations. What about trades? The Dolphins traded for Josh Rosen last year on draft day, but he ended the season on the bench. It doesn’t always work out, but I’ve been thinking about some trades that I think could benefit teams while having positive fantasy football implications. In no particular order, here’s my list of potential trades that I would like to see happen before next season:
Trades can be complicated. Rumors fly each year. There has been a lot of talk about OJ Howard going to the Patriots, a team that has yet to really fill the shoes of Rob Gronkowski. The Baltimore Ravens have mentioned they are open to trading TE Hayden Hurst. Hurst was drafted as the 25th overall pick in the 2018 draft, so the talent is there. However, Hurst was behind both Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle on the depth chart this year in Baltimore. Hurst has shown an ability to block, and the Patriots had interest in him before the draft a couple of years ago. I don’t think he is the type of guy who can match Gronk’s production, but New England only had 31 receptions across ALL TE in 2019, and I think Hurst would have no problem surpassing that number.
Andy Dalton started his career with 5 seasons over .500. The next 4 seasons were all under. The Bengals are ready to move on, as they want to take Joe Burrow in the draft. This leaves Dalton as an odd man out, and the Bengals rebuilding mode should be open to trades. The Mitch Trubisky experiment isn’t really working out in Chicago, and reports are that the Bears are interested in making a change. Dalton has over 3,000 passing yards in 8 of his 9 seasons, with at least 20 TD in 6 years. Trubisky has barely surpassed 3,000 yards the last two years and only has one season over 20 TD. Dalton had a strong #1 option in Cincy with AJ Green, and I believe he would be able to continue that type of fantasy production with Allen Robinson in Chicago.
Tyler doesn’t want to hear this, but Matthew Stafford may have thrown his last pass in a Lions uniform. It’s unclear how serious Matthew Stafford’s injury is to his long term career outlook. Now might be the time for the Lions to sell highest on their franchise QB. I think Stafford could thrive fantasy-wise in L.A., as the Chargers line up similarly to the Lions of the past. Keenan Allen would be his Golden Tate. Mike Williams would be his Kenny Golladay. Austin Ekeler would be his Theo Riddick (or Joique Bell). It might be time for Matthew Stafford to move on from Detroit.
I’m not sold on John Brown being a true number one wideout on an NFL team. That’s not to say he is not talented, but Brown seems to be a better complementary piece in an offense than being the one to face off against top corners each week. Enter Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery is a big body who would be useful for Josh Allen, who can focus his gun slinging mentality on Brown while having Jeffery as a target near the end zone.
Chiefs need to dump cap space to make way for the next big Mahomes contract. $14 million in cap space to get rid of Watkins. Packers desperately need another wide receiver to go with Davante Adams. Watkins has been one of the most boom or bust players in the league over the last few years, but he is only 26 (!) years old, and Aaron Rodgers is a quarterback that could turn someone’s career around. Packers need to make moves on proven players now before Rodgers starts to truly decline in his career.
T.Y. Hilton is perpetually hurt. The Colts have a ton of cap space, so I expect them to be making moves. Reynolds has shown his talent at times for L.A., but he sits behind Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks and Tyler Higbee in the pecking order for targets. The Colts could use another option for Jacoby Brissett (or Philip Rivers?). Both Brissett and Rivers have a style of passing that could work with Reynolds. This is a bit of a bold call, but I think it could be a good fit.
The Dolphins are in desperate need of a RB, and it looks like they are going to be taking a QB in the first round of this draft. He would be able to be the focal point of the offense while the team works with getting Tua up to speed. The Dolphins have 3 picks in the first round and the Rams have zero, so a draft day trade could get interesting for the outlook of fantasy teams in 2020. Ryan Fitzpatrick cannot lead this team in rushing again, can he?