The NFL’s Trade Deadline came and went on Tuesday and we saw a flurry of moves. You might be wondering what these trades will do to your dynasty teams. Have no fear, I’m here to give you my thoughts on whose stock rose and whose stock dipped following Tuesday’s trades. Since I’ve already discussed Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers (Stock Up) and James Robinson to the Jets (Stock Up) before, I won’t revisit those. Below are trades from late last week through Tuesday, focusing only on fantasy-relevant players at running back, wide receiver, and tight end.
Zack Moss, RB, Indianapolis Colts
About: Anything would be an improvement for Moss, whose stock in Buffalo seemed to be dead. He was routinely a healthy scratch the past two seasons while Devin Singletary and rookie James Cook got touches and production. In Indianapolis, the former Third Round pick is behind Jonathan Taylor. He’s also competing for touches with Deon Jackson, whose performance while Taylor and Nyheim Hines were injured likely led to the trade. Still, Frank Reich has been known to use multiple backs and this fresh start for Moss can’t do anything but give him a chance to increase his value.
Jeff Wilson Jr., RB, Miami Dolphins
About: Wilson looked good in leading the 49ers’ backfield with Elijah Mitchell on IR. Then the 49ers traded for McCaffrey. McCaffrey is a workhorse, three-down back. The team is also about to welcome back Mitchell, meaning touches and opportunities for Wilson would be slim. Now, he goes to Miami. The Dolphins dealt Chase Edmonds on Tuesday (more on that below), leaving an opening. Raheem Mostert has done well, but we’ve seen him struggle to stay healthy in season’s past. And when they were with the 49ers, it was Wilson who helped pick up the slack. Wilson knows Mike McDaniel and his system, and this should be a great fit to let him contribute once again, at least for this season.
Chase Claypool, WR, Chicago Bears
About: Claypool is a big play receiver who was in a crowd with the Steelers. He seemed to have lost his spot in the pecking order to rookie George Pickens, while the team still has star receiver Diontae Johnson and star tight end Pat Freiermuth. That’s a lot of mouths to feed. In Chicago, he won’t have the problem. The Bears have Darnell Mooney, who has looked good, and potential in tight end Cole Kmet, but Claypool likely becomes the best receiver in Chicago the minute he arrives. In his three seasons, Claypool has 152 receptions for 2,044 yards and 12 touchdowns. He gives Justin Fields a big weapon and adds to a play-maker starved offense in Chicago. Sure, he’ll be battling a low-volume pass offense, but Claypool has a chance to be a star in Chicago in a way he wouldn’t be in Pittsburgh.
Nyheim Hines, RB, Buffalo Bills
About: The move makes sense for the Bills. Hines is a talented runner and receiver, giving a team that wants to make a Super Bowl run another weapon. But, at the same time, the Bills haven’t been a high-volume offense. Adding Hines gives them more mouths to feed as well. The Bills already have Singletary and rookie James Cook in the backfield getting touches and targets. The Bills also have a rich passing game, with Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Isaiah McKenzie, and Dawson Knox all playing a meaningful role. That’s without considering Josh Allen as the team’s best running back. All this to say the Hines trade is a better NFL move than a fantasy move.
Chase Edmonds, RB, Denver Broncos
About: A curious piece of the Bradley Chubb trade was the inclusion of Edmonds. Just this past off-season Edmonds signed a lucrative free agent deal with the Dolphins. It was supposed to be a chance for him to be a star. It hasn’t worked out. He has just 42 carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 2.9 yards per carry. He also has only ten receptions. Mostert surpassed him easily in Miami and Edmonds became expendable. In Denver, he joins a crowded backfield that includes Melvin Gordon, Latavius Murray and Marlon Mack. Edmonds is probably the best receiver, but it’s a low-volume offense. He’s on a multi-year contract, but the Broncos will have young star Javonte Williams back in 2023. In short, the trade didn’t make a lot of sense for NFL or fantasy, and it certainly caps Edmonds’ value.
Kadarius Toney, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
About: Whenever the Chiefs acquire a passing game weapon it raises an eyebrow. But that’s all it raised when they acquired Toney from the Giants. The Giants desperately need receivers, so the fact they were willing to trade their First Round pick from 2021 seemed like a grim sign. Can Toney turn it around? Perhaps, but it’s a crowded field in Kansas City. The Chiefs have Juju Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Mecole Hardman atop the depth chart this year. That’s been enough to keep even rookie Skyy Moore from contributing. Perhaps it’s a forward looking move, but it’s hard to say what Toney can bring. He’s played just 12 games and caught just 41 passes. Time will tell, but for now it doesn’t move the needle for his fantasy value.
T.J. Hockenson, TE, Minnesota Vikings
About: I was on the fence, but I’m going stock down. Yes, Irv Smith is on IR, creating a need. The Vikings are 6-1 and ready to go all in to compete for a title this season. So, it makes sense to add a playmaker. The Vikings are also seventh in the NFL in pass attempts, a more robust rate than the No. 15 Lions. So, why stock down? Well, for me it comes down to opportunity. Amon-Ra St. Brown is great, but aside from him Hockenson is the best option in the Lions’ passing game. He’s been about the best option since he was drafted. In Minnesota, he joins a crowd. Justin Jefferson is the clear No. 1 option, and one of the best receivers in football. Then comes receivers Adam Thielen and K.J. Osborn, and running back Dalvin Cook. All of them contribute in the passing game. I still believe in Hockenson’s talent but I’m less bullish on his volume in Minnesota. Smith saw 33 targets in seven games. Hockenson saw 43 targets in Detroit. Will the Vikings change their offense? Will Hockenson’s talent lead to a bigger role than Smith had? Or will he be a secondary option that enjoys more boom-bust games? All that is in question and for now, I’m calling this a smart NFL move that might not work out well for those that roster Hockenson.
Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.