The NFL trade deadline is always one of the more exciting parts of the NFL season. Just hours before the deadline, the Detroit Lions traded away wide receiver Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a third-round draft pick. A trade of this magnitude obviously has significant fantasy implications on not only Tate but several members of both the Lions and Eagles.
Fantasy Football Fallout: Winners and Losers of the Golden Tate Trade
Major Winners: Marvin Jones/Kenny Golladay
Earlier in the week, Last Word on Pro Football wrote about Marvin Jones and his lack of opportunity in the Detroit Lions offense. With Tate in the picture, there weren’t enough targets for Jones and Kenny Golladay to both be serviceable fantasy options.
Now that Tate is out of the picture, both players are startable fantasy players. The Lions don’t have a natural replacement for Tate in the slot, so Matthew Stafford should start looking towards Jones and Golladay more often.
Even though Stafford is throwing less than usual, both players should receive enough targets moving forward to be fantasy relevant. Jones and Golladay are both owned in a majority of fantasy leagues, but it’s worth checking the waiver wire to see if they’re available. If they are, make sure to put in a claim for their services. If you an owner of either player, they’re worth a start in the flex at the very least.
Major Loser: Nelson Agholor
The 2018 season has been something of a mixed bag for Nelson Agholor. On the season, the fourth-year wide receiver has recorded 41 receptions for 372 yards and one touchdown. While these aren’t terrible by any means, Agholor has the most to lose in the Golden Tate trade.
Agholor spends the majority of his playing time in the slot, while Tate is at his best aligned inside. The Philadelphia Eagles would not have given up a third-round pick if they felt comfortable with Agholor manning the slot. Once Tate is comfortable with the playbook, Agholor will no longer have a role in this offense. Chances are you weren’t relying on Agholor for fantasy production to begin with, but if you were, you should look to find any other alternative.
Minimal Change: Golden Tate
Ironically, the guy getting traded is the one least affected by this move. Tate was the top slot option in the Detroit offense and always carried a safe floor on a week-to-week basis with the potential for explosive weeks. That’s basically what he’ll be in Philadelphia.
Granted, it may take him a week or two to learn the playbook, so his production could drop in the short term. That said, the Eagles wouldn’t give up a third-round pick if they didn’t believe Tate was capable of learning the playbook and developing chemistry with quarterback Carson Wentz. Wait a week or two before starting Tate, but you should be able to throw him back into your lineup after that and get the same results he put up in Detroit. He clearly has the ability, and the Eagles will give him a role in this offense.
Minor Winner: Carson Wentz
Carson Wentz was already one of the better fantasy football quarterbacks, but the addition of Tate makes him an even better option. Wentz is getting better on a weekly basis, and the addition of Golden Tate gives Wentz a reliable weapon in the slot.
Tate is a clear upgrade on Agholor and should provide a dependable security blanket for Wentz. This move makes the Philadelphia offense even more dangerous and forces defenses to account for yet another strong weapon. Wentz is more than capable of spreading the ball around, and defenses won’t be able to account for all the different weapons on the Eagles offense.
Minor Loser: Matthew Stafford
See above. While Wentz gains some value from this trade, Stafford loses a bit for the same reason. While Jones and Golladay are both good wide receivers, neither provide the security in the passing game of Golden Tate.
Jones is primarily a deep threat down the sideline while Golladay does his best work in the intermediate portion of the field. While both players are good at what they do, neither player provides the versatility of Tate. Tate is capable of getting open at all three levels of the field and proved to be a reliable weapon for Stafford, week in and week out.
Jones and Golladay are both good receivers, and Stafford has done more in the past with less. However, neither player is good for the safe catch-and-runs that made Tate so good. Any time a quarterback loses a valuable weapon, it’s going to hurt his overall production. Stafford is still a good “set and forget” quarterback, but he won’t put up quite as many points on a weekly basis.
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