The league that never sleeps.
Amidst the Super Bowl commotion, the media bad mouthing children and the return of the most extreme football game since NFL Blitz. We know at least, two teams, that were keeping their noses to the grindstone.
Kansas City and Washington pulled off the first, of what’s sure to be a cornucopia of deals. Kansas City was able to add inside or outside cornerback, Kendall Fuller. The Chiefs bolstered a dreadful secondary in 2017 and Fuller will be able to step right in and make a major impact. Couple that with a third-round pick in the upcoming draft and I like what Kansas City was able to do. Albeit, to acquire these parts, the Chiefs sent starting quarterback and one the biggest fantasy surprises in 2017, Alex Smith, to Washington. The Redskins, then extended Smith’s contract for four more years, indicating the Redskins believe in Smith and are ready to make him the play-caller for the future, plus at a cheaper rate then Kirk Cousins.
Alex Smith is the first QB to lead the NFL in touchdown-to-interception ratio (26 TD, 5 Int, a 5.2 ratio) in one season and then change teams the following season, per Elias.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 31, 2018
This move is sure to start a quarterback carousel in the NFL. In addition to the carousel that looms in the distance, this move also impacts the fantasy world in a major way. As always, when a quarterback change occurs there is a laundry list of players that are affected. When two teams are involved in a trade with a quarterback, both team’s offenses are stirred up. So let’s recap what this trade does for the fantasy world by taking a quick look at the top three players from each team.
QB – Alex Smith: It still feels wrong to type Smith’s sname under the Redskins, but it’s true. We’ll wait until March 14th to put ink to paper, but the deal is essentially wrapped up. Smith joins a young offense with stars at the tight end and running back position, if they can stay healthy enough to see the field. Smith brings a newly fine-tuned deep ball which will be able to open the field up more so for the tight end and running back throws on third down. He also will bolster the receptions of the short routes. However, if there isn’t a strong running game, Smith seems to dump and run too much. The Redskins will have to address their offensive line if they want to run.
I’m actively trading Chris Thompson in dynasty leagues. People will look at check-down Smith as an upgrade for Thompson but my thoughts are Washington is in play for an early Draft Day RB
— UDFA (@PyroLytics) January 31, 2018
RB – Chris Thompson: Thompson was a top tier PPR running back in the first half of the season. As luck would have it, as soon as I traded for him, Thompson found his way to the IR list. If Thompson makes it out on the field for opening kickoff, we can expect a RB2 ranking with Smith dumping off so often. Thompson has shown his ability to catch and run with the best of them, and with more volume on the horizon, I’ll be targeting him as of now.
TE – Jordan Reed: I fully expect Reed to be a later-mid round selection after his troubles staying healthy, yet again, and inability to score in most of the games he did play in. This just one year removed when he was going before Kelce and Gronkowski in some leagues. I even tweeted out after this trade ‘Reed will be a stud in preseason!” alluding to the fact that he’ll get injured before week 1. However, if this kid stays healthy, then it’ll be a possible 250 point fantasy year. We saw what Smith got out of Kelce and it’s idiotic to think that Reed can’t match and improve on those stats if he’s on the field for 16 games.
Kansas City Chiefs
QB – Patrick Mahomes II: With Smith out it looks like 2017 first round draft pick will be handed the keys to a very talented Chiefs team. Mahomes got one start last year, in week 17, and turned an average game. He wasn’t able to find the end zone, although he did find the opposing team’s hands once. However, finishing with 284 yards and a 62.9 completion percentage, showed the skills and traits are there. He has a professional arm, below a a professional head. Next season will be a learning year for the sophomore, but with his ability to run and throw deep, I like him a lot as a deeper sleeper in 2018.
Real life; Mahomes adds a serious deep threat for KC with Tyreek Hill and that is scary.
— Jake Hamilton (@JakeeHamilton) January 31, 2018
WR – Tyreek Hill: The speedster had another solid season in 2017. His burner speed and ability to catch the ball is a rare find. Yet, Hill has mastered doing both at the same time. Now we give him a deeper arm and a cocky confidence at quarterback, instead of a good deep arm with a dump off mentality, Hill should be able to flourish. Mahomes is the guy for Hill and Hill is the guy for Mahomes.
TE – Travis Kelce: This will probably be the biggest drop in production for fantasy owners. Kelce and Smith had a connection like few others. Mahomes, will push to get it to Kelce and Reid will draw up plays to specifically target Kelce. But, most of the time Kelce caught the ball was on the second or third check from Smith. Mahomes may be just arrogant enough to not want to check down and will stretch the ball down the field to his receivers. If that’s the case, Kelce will fall dramatically from the best PPR tight end to the 5-10 range.
All in all, there is major changes coming to both organizations and this will snowball effect the other players on the team. But, it will be a fun offseason and this is just a teaser.