Ok, so full disclosure, I’ve been busy. I work two jobs and actually try to have a life outside of football. The podcast is a blast, but we are not at a point where it pays the bills. So I saw all the news break Friday and thought to myself, ‘Prioritize! You only have time to write one entry on Saturday, better go after the Elliott news.” I figured I could write about the trades a couple days later, but NOOOOOOO. Thanks again, NFL. Things are already heading downhill. Well, here we are, let’s dive in.
Jordan Mathews to the Bills was a conundrum to me at first. On the plus side, he would be back in the slot where he is at his best. every key stat went down last year when they tried to pull him out of his comfort zone. He caught fewer passes, for fewer yards and fewer touchdowns. The only stat that went up was games played! He played more and produced less. Want a simple example of how the changes in Philly effected him? 2015, longest catch was 78 yards, in 2016 it was 54. He was not comfortable last year with the new role. Yet he was getting a downgrade at QB, Taylor has not looked sharp in camp and we know from the last couple years that Sammy Watkins was only limited by his health and the ability of his QB. Then he got hurt…. in his first appearance as a Bill…. in practice. So what do we make of him now, well I had him somewhere in the WR 2L or 3H category anyway, so I’ll keep him right there for now. If he is healthy he has a risky upside but realistically, he is likely a weak flex option or unrosterable. I’m beginning to think there is some sort of weird jinx on number 1 receivers in Buffalo, ever since Stevie Johnson left, its been an injury plagued position. The Stevie Jinx?
Sammy Watkins is a little more complex. I think Jared Goff is going to advance this year. Not into the upper tier of QBs but high enough to make someone take notice. He is absolutely usable in 2 QB leagues right now and the addition of Watkins makes him even more noticeable. Watkins seems to pick up offenses quickly and I think he will ultimately do well with the Rams, but expect a slow start. In season long, I’m downgrading him to a WR2L from a WR2. Wait an extra round or two before you target him and if he does get off to a slow start, maybe toss out a trade in week 3 or so. You may catch an owner desperate to cut his losses and be wiling to accept a trade for Watkins that strongly favors you. I think the more comfortable he gets in LA, the better he will play. Look for him to potentially be a top ten WR at year’s end and maybe a top 5 WR in the last five weeks of the season.
Everything I hear about these trades is that the real winner is Zach Ertz. With Mathews gone, Wentz will look to him even more. I’m moving Ertz up into the top ten (I think I had him at 12). The injury history is still a cocnern but keep an eye on him and if he is healthy, dont hesitate to take him. He could easily end the year as a top 5 TE in the right conditions.
Wow, its Monday already, we have a podcast to record. So much for a weekend off. -B