Sam Bradford Traded to the Minnesota Vikings
We knew something was going to happen with the Vikings quarterback position after Teddy Bridgewater’s excruciating non-contact knee injury in practice. Would they acquire AJ McCarron from the Bengals? Would Michael Vick come out of retirement? It ended up being Door #3… Sam Bradford, who was the presumed starter for the Philadelphia Eagles, has been sent to Minnesota in exchange for a 2017 1st round draft pick and a 2018 4th round draft pick. That’s a massive return for Bradford, who was no world-beater for the Eagles, but it is a serious upgrade for the Vikings instead of relying on Shaun Hill under center.
Obviously, this trade has major NFL implications, but let’s take a look at what it affects on the fantasy football spectrum for each team.
Sam Bradford has… 8 days to learn a brand new system and then use it in an NFL game that counts. That’s a steep learning curve. He won’t be asked to do much in Week 1, and probably won’t be fully trusted with the complete playbook until closer to week 3-4.
The good news is, though, that Bradford is a much more capable down-field thrower than Minnesota would have had in Bridgewater or Shaun Hill. Via KC Joyner on Twitter, Bradford led the league in vertical yards per attempt in the second half of the 2015 season. That won’t completely change Minnesota’s cautious, defensive/run first approach, but it’s at least an added dynamic that they didn’t have before.
The proverbial “threaten with the deep pass so they can’t clog the box” addition can’t hurt Adrian Peterson’s value, and the more capable passer under center means Stefon Diggs value is much better than what it would have been with Shaun Hill at the helm. It’ll take some time for them to develop chemistry, but I think Diggs has a chance to be a legitimate WR3 with Bradford under center. I’m intrigued by what it could mean for Kyle Rudolph too, since Zach Ertz was such a big part of the Eagles offense at times, but I’m more in a wait and see mindset with him to see how Bradford fits into the Vikings offensive scheme. Their
From a DFS perspective, in Week 1 I will not be buying any Bradford/Diggs shares, that’s a situation we have to watch develop before I will trust when I have 16 teams worth of players to choose from. Adrian Peterson will be trusted with a large share of the workload, as already expected, but with Bradford learning the playbook on the fly I’m pretty confident in AP getting a ton of work against the Titans subpar run defense. He’s a GPP play for me.
Edit (Sun 9/4 10:00 a.m.): According to the Star Tribune, Shaun Hill will start Week 1 for the Vikings against the Titans while Bradford adjusts to the new system and learns the playbook. Bradford says in the article that the coaches will slot him in to start when they feel like he is “ready to help the team,” but it’s hard to imagine that he would be left on the bench beyond Week 1 based on the price they paid to get him in Minnesota. After the Titans, the Vikings face a pair of tough defenses: home vs. Green Bay and at Carolina, before a primetime matchup against the New York Giants in Week 4. That would be my first time to consider using Bradford/Diggs in a contrarian GPP play in DFS.
Stock up: Adrian Peterson, Stefon Diggs
With Sam Bradford gone, Chase Daniel will not last long under center for the Eagles. The Carson Wentz Era is right around the corner, as soon as his ribs are healthy and the Eagles have seen enough from the Chase Daniel Experiment. Edit: This may be as soon as Week 1 if Wentz’ ribs are fully recovered (via Rotoworld).
While he’s the Eagles QB, Daniel will assuredly be Captain Checkdown, especially paired with head coach Doug Pederson. Think less “Chip Kelly Mad Scientist” approach and more “4th grade science class lab experiment.” His average yards per attempt and yards per completion in his career would both be bottom 5 in the league last season. That has Darren Sproles and Zach Ertz written all over it, two players I will be targeting in GPPs in Week 1 on DraftKings. Daniel isn’t under consideration for me, it’s more likely that he provides a lot of receptions with not a lot of yardage or touchdown potential for his pass catchers. Doug Pederson isn’t known for being a part of high octane, fantasy point-producing passing games, and I’m not imagining that will change with Chase Daniel under center in Week 1.
If you are a Jordan Matthews owner, unfortunately this news isn’t the best for you. He garnered 118 of Bradford’s targets last season and 7 touchdowns in 14 games together, and as long as Daniel is under center his overall scoring potential will be capped off.
Stock Up: Carson Wentz
Stock Down: Jordan Matthews (until he and Wentz built a rapport)
There is a ton to talk about on both sides of this trade, and we will learn more as we see these teams attempt to adjust with their new quarterbacks. If you have any questions about the fantasy implications, comment below or find me in the FTA forums or on Twitter.Fantasy Football