Today we’re going to take a look at all of the trades that occurred at the 2023 NFL Trade Deadline yesterday and it’s rest of season fantasy football impact.
As is usually the case at the trade deadline, there tends to be more fantasy impact from the trades that didn’t happen than the trades that did. The Chiefs didn’t add a receiver. The Broncos didn’t trade a receiver (it’s time to drop Marvin Mims). There was no running back movement (time to drop Dalvin Cook too) outside of the Bills signing Leonard Fournette.
While we would have liked more movement, it is what it is and there’s still some impact to see here.
PLAYERS ADDED VIA TRADE
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
The 49ers added former No. 2 overall pick Chase Young at the expense of a 3rd round pick.
Chase Young is a talented defensive end who has always seemingly been dealing with injury issues. When healthy, he is usually a fairly productive player, albeit not at the early 1st round level.
This is a move that will definitely help the 49ers D but doesn’t fully solve their issues. Their secondary has been mediocre at best the past month and they did not improve in that area. The thinking here was probably that Young would help free up Nick Bosa and that they’d be able to pressure opposing QBs more effectively. More pressure means less time to throw, covering up their weakness in the secondary.
The thought process is reasonable. However, it’s a band-aid not a true fix. In terms of fantasy, it makes the 49ers a tougher DST to play against for your offensive weapons. It also makes San Fran D more useful with the hope of some extra sacks.
There shouldn’t be a huge change in fantasy impact here, but it’s not nothing.
Montez Sweat is a quality defensive end. The Bears are a mediocre team with little chance of being a winner this year. Trading away a 2nd rounder in a non-competitive year seems… questionable.
That being said, the Bears D has been looking fairly solid lately and this addition will only bolster that. In terms of fantasy, nothing really changes though. The Bears D is still ultimately unusable most weeks for fantasy. I also don’t think Sweat changes enough to makes the Bears a scary matchup for your offensive players.
The Vikings went out and got their Kirk Cousins replacement! Sort of.
For anybody who has been watching the Cardinals play the past few weeks, they know that Joshua Dobbs is just a guy. He started out the year kind of solid. Then he slumped from where he was. Then he lost his job to Clayton Tune. Realistically, the impending return of Kyler Murray pushed Dobbs out of Arizona, but they were willing to turn to Tune in the meantime. That should tell you something about how good Dobbs is or isn’t.
That all being said, Dobbs still represents an improvement over the Vikings previous options. Dobbs will not start this week (rookie Jaren Hall will) because he has to learn the playbook, but I expect he’ll be in there soon enough.
This is the first of the trades that probably actually has some fantasy impact.
When Cousins went down it looked very bleak for all pass catchers in Minnesota. While Dobbs won’t be anything to get excited about, I do think he represents enough competency at the position to rehab the value of the pass catchers a little bit.
The most significant beneficiary of the deal should be TJ Hockenson. He was looking like a top 3 TE with Justin Jefferson down. Then he was looking to drop hard with Cousins out. Now, based on how Dobbs looked with Trey McBride this week, I have some optimism that Hockenson can still be a top 5 TE going forward this year.
Jordan Addison‘s outlook is much cloudier. The kid has talent and Marquise Brown was able to still be decent enough with Dobbs at QB. However, he is not a veteran WR and he definitely relied on Kirk Cousins to guide him.
Bottom line, Dobbs is an improvement over where the Vikings were 24 hours ago. But, Dobbs is obviously a solid downgrade from where the Vikings were a week ago.
Expect Hockenson to bounce back the most, with Addison being hit or miss (depending on how fast he can build rapport with Dobbs and how much of his talent was his vs. Cousins). Beyond those two players, I think KJ Osborn is likely done being relevant this year and obviously Jefferson will still be great when he comes back, just not best in the game great.
Anybody watching the Lions on Monday night saw a team with a great WR1 in Amon-Ra St. Brown but inconsistency behind him.
Donovan Peoples-Jones is a serviceable WR who should give the Lions an additional target as it seems that Jameson Williams isn’t ready to be the WR2 (he may never be ready to be honest).
In terms of fantasy impact, DPJ moves into a better situation but is still not rosterable in most leagues. Jameson Williams shouldn’t be greatly changed by the addition, but it does mean that he likely has a cap on his upside in terms of targets now.
Realistically, I would move on from Williams in redraft leagues until he shows something.
Another defensive trade, yay! The Bills lost Tre White for the year. They needed a replacement and they got one with Rasul Douglas.
Realistically, Douglas is a solid player but White is probably better when both are healthy. This shouldn’t change much in fantasy for the Bills.
The Jaguars acquired a solid starter level offensive lineman here in Ezra Cleveland.
Although Cleveland won’t make a major impact, he should help an offensive line that has allowed nearly a full sack per game from last year.