Fantasy Relevance of NFL Trades

Trading in fantasy football is one of several ways owners can attempt to change the landscape of their team. Attempting to balance out a roster or taking a chance on a high risk/ high reward player that may change your fortunes. But what I am interested in today is how the NFL trades before the trading deadline effects certain fantasy relevant players. Some of these moves helped out the fantasy outlook of some players, while others were all but destroyed.

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Golden Tate WR:

Golden Tate was traded by the Detroit Lions to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for the Eagles 2019 third round pick. Golden Tate is a high volume player that has been consistently involved with the Lions offensive attack since he came over from SeattleĀ  before the 2014 season. While Golden Tate’s standard scoring numbers are only average, his PPR numbers are stronger because of his high target share and amount of catches he gets on a weekly basis. Golden Tate goes to a Philadelphia team that has more weapons and therefore more competition for catches. Tate goes to a city with a hot quarterback and a team that knows recent success so he should find more room to make big plays. With that being said, the target share rate is a risky endeavor at the moment and it will be imperative to Tate’s fantasy outlook to see how many times Carson Wentz looks his way. OverallĀ  I believe that his situation is a wash.

Demaryius Thomas WR:

Thomas was Traded from the Denver Broncos to the Houston Texans. Thomas was a former first round pick back in 2010 and a former pro-bowler. Between 2012-2015 Thomas was considered one of the best at his position. Recent struggles at the QB position in Denver, along with the emergence of Emmanuel Sanders as the go-to receiver, have led Thomas to fall from statistical graces and have made him a borderline waiver-wire/ bench guy. With the trade to Houston Thomas still has to deal with another receiver being the main target but there is room for optimism. Thomas leaves a situation with a team that is trending downward and likes to run the football. In Texas, Thomas has a QB in Deshaun Watson who likes to sling it around for a lot of yards and touchdowns. The Texans recently lost their number 2 wide out and Thomas now fills that void. I believe that in a much better offense and a much better QB that Thomas will see a significant boost in his value and fantasy production.

Fantasy Football

The PPR Dilemma

Fantasy Football has become a massive industry. With many people starting or joining new leagues each year the trend for certain rules begin to change. One of the major splits in leagues are whether or not players receive points for catching the ball. Points Per Reception (PPR) rewards a point for each catch that a player has regardless of the yards gained. Typical yardage scoring is 10 rushing or receiving yards garners 1 point. Fantasy football tries to replicate the value a player has in real life with a point system based on stats. With PPR scoring in place that would suggest that a player catching the ball for a -2 yard loss was as valuable as a player running the ball for 8 yards. The distance for a first down is 10 yards, so with PPR scoring, it would suggest that a catch for no yards is as valuable as a player gaining a first down.

No points for receptions has always been considered “Standard” scoring. But with the official NFL site directing their articles to PPR scoring, it points to the trend that leagues are beginning to move towards PPR as the new standard. While there are several reasons why this may be, I believe that it furthers the link between fantasy football and reality football.

But the fantasy football fever isn’t restricted to the NFL’s website. ESPN and Yahoo are also getting in on the action. These two sites have been PPR cesspool for years, leading true NFL fans away from the sport of football and more into number play.

A good example of PPR not being indicative of real life value is Cowboys WR Cole Beasley and Browns WR Jarvis Landry. Both Players average a low amount of yards and touchdowns are rare. In standard scoring these players reflect their lack of production with low scoring totals that keep them on the bench or on the waiver wire. But because they catch a lot of short dump of passes in PPR they are valuable commodities that overshadow the players that make big plays and make a huge difference for their real teams.

If merely being involved in an attempt should yield points then why not give RB’s points based on how many carries they have? That would obviously skew the numbers heavily in RB’s favors since they touch it 15-20 times per game. But this is exactly the issue. Points should be based off impact, not just involvement.