The NFL trade deadline came and went Tuesday afternoon, and while there were plenty of big names moved, the list of rumored trade targets who didn't end up moving was probably a bit more impressive. No Kareem Hunt trade. No Brandin Cooks trade. The Jaguars didn't move pass-rusher Josh Allen, and trade requests from Cam Akers and Elijah Moore went unfulfilled.
The Packers and Cowboys stood pat in their pursuit of wide receiver help, and they might have the Bears to blame for that – Chase Claypool was the only active wide receiver moved at the deadline, and he went for a second-round pick, an awfully high price to pay for a guy who was a second-round pick in 2020 and has seemingly stalled in his development since. For Claypool, the move to the Bears is probably a lateral one for his Fantasy value – he could be the Bears No. 1 WR, but he already had more targets as the No. 3 for the Steelers than Darnell Mooney, the Bears' current No. 1. That offense as a whole is pointing up – more about that shortly – but Claypool's best-case scenario is probably fighting for a big slide of a pretty unappetizing pie.
The Dolphins continued to be aggressive, acquiring pass-rusher Bradley Chubb from the Broncos in exchange for a badly needed first-round pick. The 6-1 Vikings were also aggressive in going out to get T.J. Hockenson after losing Irv Smith to an ankle injury that will likely cost him the rest of the regular season, while surprise contenders like the Seahawks, Jets and Giants opted not to go all-in. It's hard to blame them.
All in all, it was a pretty active deadline, but not necessarily the most impactful for Fantasy. The biggest name moved was probably Calvin Ridley, who isn't even eligible to play until 2023, at the earliest. Still, there's plenty you need to know about from Tuesday's deadline, so let's hit as many of the key storylines as we can with a look at the biggest winners and losers from the deadline.
Fields was playing with one of the worst wide receiver groups in the NFL, and Claypool gives them a gigantic (6-foot-4, 238 pounds), athletic (4.42 40-yard dash) wide receiver to pair with Mooney. This offense is probably never going to throw the ball much, but when they do throw the ball, they're going to focus on winning down the field in play action, and Claypool gives them another guy who can do that, at least theoretically. He's struggled with consistency at the NFL level, but he's shown the ability to make plays down the field and as a gadget player in the run game from time to time. The Bears probably gave up too much for what Claypool has done in the NFL, but there's no question he's a talent upgrade over the likes of Equanimeous St. Brown. Fields is an elite runner, so he just has to be good enough as a passer to be worth starting in Fantasy. This definitely gives him more upside in that regard.
I mostly think Hockenson's move to the Vikings is a lateral one for his Fantasy appeal, but it's possible there's room for Hockenson to take a step forward. He's been miscast as a primary option for the Lions, but that won't be a problem lining up next to Justin Jefferson in Minnesota. I think he'll probably be right there with Adam Thielen as the team's No. 2 option in the passing game, and with Jefferson drawing so much defensive attention, that could lead to career-best efficiency for Hockenson. He's probably my TE6 the rest of the way.
Already, you can see we're scraping the bottom of the barrel in looking for winners here. None of these guys is likely to be a starter for Fantasy anytime soon – Edmonds is probably the only one who might be a starter for their own team without an injury, and even that is no sure thing. But Jackson becomes the clear No. 2 back for the Colts, and he looked like a potential must-start guy when Jonathan Taylor was out. Wilson joins a Dolphins team that runs a system he has experience with, and he's behind just the historically very injury-prone Raheem Mostert now, a better spot than being behind Christian McCaffrey (and, soon, Elijah Mitchell). Edmonds might get a chance to usurp the decidedly uninspiring combo of Melvin Gordon and Latavius Murray, and Russell Wilson has thrown the ball to his running backs 27.2% of the time this season, so that might not be a terrible landing spot for him. Or, he might be one part of a three-headed backfield where nobody is worth using.
Cooks thrived in this same offense last season, but the Texans have not been able to figure out how to get him going, and this increasingly looks like maybe the most hopeless offense in the league. Davis Mills is clearly not the long-term answer, but Cooks is now stuck with him. Maybe getting past the deadline can crystallize his role, but Cooks' cryptic tweet in the immediate aftermath of the deadline – "Don't take a man's kindness for granted. Covered for the lies for too long those days are done. Crossed the line with playing with my career" – doesn't suggest he's going to be happy here moving forward. There's still upside here, but Mills has to play a lot better than he has been, and I don't have much hope for it.
It's a similar situation for Hunt, who has been trying to get a new contract from the Browns or a trade since the offseason. He got neither, and now he remains stuck behind Nick Chubb. That role keeps him in the RB2/3 discussion moving forward, but obviously, there was upside beyond that if he was moved. Now? He'll get his 10-13 carries and 2-4 targets per week, and if he finds the end zone, you'll be happy you started him. If not, he'll probably be pretty underwhelming. That's a disappointing outcome.
The Bills traded for Nyheim Hines just before the deadline, which probably isn't great news for Singletary's value. It's more obviously bad news for whatever path James Cook was supposed to have to relevance, but even as the clear lead back for the Bills, Singletary doesn't have a ton of appeal – he only has one game with more than 15 PPR points this season, and it was when the Bills threw the ball 11 times to him to counter the Dolphins blitz-heavy approach. Hines is a pass-catching specialist, one of the best in the league, so there goes that bit of potential upside. Singletary only really has appeal for Fantasy when he's the only back in Buffalo who matters. With Hines there, he probably isn't. He's probably just a fringe RB3 at this point.
Christian Kirk's Dynasty value
The Jaguars traded for Calvin Ridley, presumably with the intention of having him be Trevor Lawrence's NO. 1 option next season. Kirk should still remain at the top of the heap for the rest of this season, but the Jaguars needed a higher-upside go-to receiver, and Ridley definitely is that. Kirk should remain in the fringe WR2/3 discussion for the rest of this season, but it'll be much harder for him to matter for Fantasy next season with Ridley around.