Carson Wentz already got traded. Deshaun Watson and the Texans are locked in a staring contest about his trade demand, but he remains insistent that he won't play for them again. And now Russell Wilson might be on the move?
To be clear, Wilson apparently hasn't requested a trade from the Seahawks -- yet. However, he has told the team he would waive his no-trade clause for the Cowboys, Saints, Raiders or Bears, per an ESPN report, while The Athletic added the Dolphins and Jets to the list. Again, he hasn't requested a trade -- yet -- but apparently the relationship has deteriorated, as CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora first reported a few weeks back. In Wednesday's newsletter, I said that as much as half the league might be in the market for a new quarterback this offseason, and reports of Russ' discontent add yet another potential permutation to the proceedings.
Dave Richard and Adam Aizer break down Russell Wilson trade talk and the ridiculously awesome free agent WR class on the Fantasy Football Today in 5 podcast. Listen below and subscribe at Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts:
It's possible all this ends up being noise and the status quo ends up reigning, but the amount of rumors we're hearing so far this spring is uncommon, to say the least. Wilson, like Watson, is the kind of quarterback whose context doesn't matter -- he's proven that much by being an elite Fantasy QB on a team that has often seemed intent on limiting his opportunities to be an elite Fantasy QB. He's finished higher than 13th in pass attempts just twice in the past five seasons, including never in the top five; he had just 30 designed runs in 2020 as well.
Which is to say, Wilson could actually be helped by a trade to a team that runs a more aggressive offense that takes better advantage of his robust all-around skill set. He might not land in a spot with better weapons than he has in Seattle, of course, but Russ has been an elite Fantasy QB before the Seahawks had enviable receiving talent. Wilson getting traded would have a big Fantasy impact -- and I would bet it would make him a better option -- but the bigger impact would be felt for the receivers he leaves behind and whoever he joins.
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So, that's another franchise- and Fantasy landscape-altering player who may be looking at a new home for 2021 -- and that's another reason to make sure you don't tune out this offseason, because there's going to be a ton to keep track of. You'll have an edge on the competition come draft season when your league mates are trying to play catch up.
Another thing you'll want to keep up with is the coaching changes from around the league, and Dave Richard has been breaking down the new offensive minds, how they fit with their new teams, and what it might mean for the Fantasy value of those players:
- Will Arthur Smith change the Falcons pass-happy ways?
- Joe Lombardi can solidify Justin Herbert as a QB1
- How does James Robinson fit into Urban Meyer's offense?
- Anthony Lynn could make D'Andre Swift a busy, busy man
And now, here's our Friday bonus mailbag, with Heath Cummings answering your questions. If you want to get your offseason questions answered, send an email to Chris.Towers@CBSInteractive.com. Dave, Heath and Jamey Eisenberg will be answering your questions every Friday this offseason, so this is your chance to get their insights, too.
Heath Cummings' Friday mailbag
Tyreek Hill is my favorite player in the deal, even in Superflex. So you've got that going for you, which is nice. My Dynasty trade chart says that Hill and Laviska Shenault are a near push for Joe Mixon and CeeDee Lamb. Let's consider that part of the trade a push.
I wouldn't argue with someone who considered the trade a push at this point, but I'd much prefer Hunter Henry over Logan Thomas. Thomas was awesome last year but it was largely volume-dependent and he'll be 30 before the next season starts.
Considering you're also giving up a 2021 1st for a pair of second rounders, I'm going to have to give you a D on this one. Best case scenario, Hill and Mixon repeat 2020 which gives you an edge in Year 1, but I believe you're going to regret this trade long term unless Burrow is far superior to Hurts.
There are, though I'm not sure we can all agree on what they are. I guess if we could, they wouldn't be inefficiencies.
The biggest one I thought going into last year was the idea that Zero RB was dead. This pendulum swings back and forth with the wind, so I'm not sure which direction it will go in 2021, but last year actually turned out to be the perfect year for the strategy. Kareem Hunt, James Robinson, Mike Davis and Antonio Gibson all finished inside the top 13 backs in PPR. To a lesser extent, backs like J.D. McKissic, Nyheim Hines and Chase Edmonds came through as well. Those types of backs will pop up again in 2021, but ultimately the consensus handling of the first two rounds will determine how optimal the strategy is this year.
The second one I'd highlight is that we continue to undervalue elite tight ends. And, of course, this fits in with the one above. Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, George Kittle and maybe Mark Andrews should all be drafted in the first three rounds this year. Kelce should be a first rounder.
Jake in KC: You get to pick 3 keepers. I have the 10th pick, and here are my choices:
The fact that you have the 10th pick is an important one. The difference between Kamara and Evans is only four picks, but the difference between Swift and Sanders is 18!
I don't like the idea of keeping three running backs, but my initial lean is to Kamara, Swift and Sanders. The biggest non-running back value I see is Johnson, who I value as a fifth rounder, followed by Higgins, who I would take in the sixth round.
The big swing here would be Swift, Sanders and Higgins, who I think has more upside than Johnson. The safe play is Kamara, Sanders and Swift. The best value is Johnson, Sanders and Swift.
As you can tell, I'm definitely keeping Sanders and Swift. My final decision would be made by who is playing quarterback for the Saints. If it's Taysom Hill, I'd turn to Johnson.
- Max: If the Packers let Aaron Jones walk and sign a third-string type of back in his place (a Carlos Hyde, Frank Gore type), where would you rank unmentioned second year RB, AJ Dillon? Personally, I'd be more interested in him than Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
I cut out Max's spectacular Dr. Seuss poem about Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but I'll give you a taste:
"I do not want him in a mock
I do not want him with the rock
I do not want his yards per game
I do not want him, I'll take Dame"
As for the question: I agree 100% in full non-PPR. In fact, in my initial projections I project Jones leaving and Dillon ranks ahead of Edwards-Helaire as long as catches don't count.
The difference for me is that I expect Dillon to share with Jamaal Williams, or a pass-catching back of some kind. The Packers have thrown 268 passes to their running backs the past two seasons and I don't believe Dillon is ready for a full three-down role. Dillon only caught 21 passes in three seasons at Boston College.
- Fitz: You all have Jonathan Taylor ahead of Nick Chubb and Josh Jacobs and I'm struggling to figure out why. Hines is a passing downs back just like Hunt in Cleveland and Washington in Vegas. All three backs have good power, speed and are the centerpiece of their offense. The difference is Chubb and Jacobs have done it for a whole season while Taylor has not. This seems like the classic the devil you don't know is better than the devil you do. Just an observation, keep up the great work.
Taylor, Chubb and Jacobs are all remarkably talented so I don't want to put down one to praise the other. That being said, Taylor scored 252.8 PPR Fantasy points last year, which is 21 more than Jacobs has ever scored in a full season. It's 2.4 points shy of the best season in Chubb's three-year career. His 36 catches were also more than Chubb or Jacobs has ever totaled in a season.
Taylor did all this despite seeing fewer than 10 carries in three of his first nine games. I can't imagine that happening again in 2021. If I were to rank Taylor solely on what he did after his breakout, he would be my No. 2 running back. My system (projections) won't allow me to do that, but I kind of want to anyway.