Fantasy fallout from Watkins & Matthews trades

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The Bills made two trades earlier today that completely flipped the WR projections for three teams.  Let’s take a look at Jordan Matthews and Sammy Watkins in their new home, as well as Nelson Agholar who figures to absorb some of the targets that Matthews leaves behind in Philadelphia.

 

Jordan Matthews  —  Matthews’ 4th season just took a turn.  He looked set to resume his slot receiver role in Philly, as the Eagles added Alshon Jeffrey to patrol the outside.  Now, Matthews will be the #1 WR for a Buffalo team that also recently signed Anquan Boldin.  No Buffalo WR topped 75 targets last year.  Matthews had 117 in Philly.  I would look for those numbers to meet somewhere in the middle, and I am projecting him to come in close to the 100-110 target mark.  Assuming he maintains his career averages in Catch % and YPR, that would put him in line for a season somewhere in the neighborhood of 68 catches, 750 yds, and 6 TD.  That projects him for 179 PPR Fantasy points.  I’ll slot him in as my WR 35, just in between Jeremy Maclin and Brandon Marshall.

Sammy Watkins – Poor Sammy.  He can’t stay healthy.  Now, in his contract year, he goes from having Tyrod Taylor throwing him the ball to Jared Goff.  Goff isn’t exactly Kurt Warner and this isn’t the Greatest show on Turf.  Goff averaged a paltry 5.3 yards per completion in 2016.  With Watkins averaging 16.1 yards per reception, something has to give.  Watkins loves the deep ball.  Goff can’t throw the deep ball.  This is just not a good match for me, and I’m staying far away from Watkins at his current ADP.  I think the ceiling for Watkins’ workload is in the 2016 Kenny Britt territory, even if he is healthy and plays all 16 games.  Britt had 111 targets last year.  If Watkins gets that and maintains his career Catch %, that places him around 62 catches.  Bringing his YPR down slightly because of the offense, I see his final line being in the neighborhood of 62/950/7 which would equate to 199 PPR fantasy points.  That makes him my WR28.  Watkins will be a fringe WR2, albeit with upside.  I’m just not willing to risk that upside at the 36th draft spot, which is where his ADP currently sits.

Nelson Agholar – With the Eagles WR corps losing Jordan Matthews, there are 117 targets that are up for redistribution.  Look for Agholar to be the recipient of a good number of those.  The third year WR from USC should be thrust into the main slot position when Philly goes 3 wide.  Agholar maintains a 52% catch percentage.  If he can improve on that slightly, he could be in line for a 60 catch, 650 yard, 3 TD type stat line this year.  Those numbers would double his career totals, and project him for around 143 PPR fantasy points, putting him on the WR3 bubble.  While not startling, that would liken him to this year’s version of 2016 Randall Cobb or Ted Ginn.

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