The trades came like a bolt of lightning in the past 48 hours or so. Miami traded their starting RB, Jay Ajayi, to the Philadelphia Eagles. The New England Patriots traded their back-up QB, Jimmy Garoppolo, to the San Francisco 49'ers. Then, on Tuesday, the Buffalo Bills acquired WR Kelvin Benjamin from the Carolina Panthers.
Check out how all the trades could rock fantasy football.
49'ers Get Their Quarterback
The San Francisco 49'ers traded a 2018 second-round pick to the New England Patriots for backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo has all the skills to become a franchise QB. He's learned from the best having played behind Tom Brady since the 2014-2015 NFL Season, Garoppolo's first.
Last season, while Tom Brady sat out a few games because of Deflategate, Garoppolo started 2. He completed over 68% of his passes when completing 43 of 63 throws. He threw 4 touchdown passes. He didn't throw a pick while his yards per attempt was a healthy 8.0.
Based on the above stats, Jimmy's got a lot of upside as he heads to San Francisco. The 49'ers had been starting Iowa rookie C.J. Beathard. Beathard has some skills. He's no where near the polished NFL QB that Jimmy Garoppolo is.
San Francisco has yet to win a football game this season. The first question is if Garoppolo is the answer, how long will it take before the 49'ers do win a football game? Surprisingly, if Garoppolo can grasp Kyle Shanahan's offensive system in only a few days of practice, the 49'ers should beat the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals have their own quarterback issues. Starter Carson Palmer is out for the season. Neither backups, Blaine Gabbert nor Drew Stanton, has proven to be an effective NFL QB. Within a few days, the favored Cardinals could suddenly find themselves dogs to an 0 and 8 team just because that 0 and 8 team pulled the trigger on a potential star quarterback.
The truth about SF is that there is talent at the skill positions. Carlos Hyde, when he's healthy, can be as fearsome as any running back in the league. Pierre Garcon has been one of the professional, hard working, wide receivers in the NFL for a long time. Surrounded by decent talent, Jimmy could hit the ground running, which would make Niner fans grin from ear to ear.
If you need a QB in Week 9, Jimmy Garoppolo might be your guy. Make sure San Francisco starts him, though. If they do, rest assured that he'll have success. Opponents scorch the Cardinals for 250 passing yards per game.
RB Jay Ajayi Heads to Philadelphia
Let me just write that I believe Miami when they said that they traded Ajayi because they feared that his best days were behind him. That makes sense to me. Ajayi has knee issues stemming from a significant surgery that took place in 2011. Since Ajayi was garnering 3.4 yards per carry, the Dolphins figured it made sense to unload an RB that they thought had 1, maybe 2, good seasons left for a Round 4 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Ajayi trade effects 2 teams. First, I want to discuss the Philadelphia Eagles. Jay Ajayi runs like LeGarrette Blount. Both are bruising, tough RBs that take no prisoners. But, neither can catch the football out of the backfield particularly well. For the Eagles, adding Ajayi is sort of like adding another LeGarrette. If LeGarrette gets tired, just put in Ajayi. I'm not sure how many carries he actually takes away from Blount, who's been effective when given a chance this season. I do know that Ajayi shouldn't take any snaps away from Wendell Smallwood.
Ajayi's main focus, to start out at least, might not be what everyone expects it to be. He could serve as Carson Wentz's blocking running back. Should you play Ajayi? I don't think so. Wait and see what Philly's got planned for him.
The Miami Dolphins trading Jay Ajayi makes a ton of sense. Like I wrote above, the Dolphins felt that Ajayi's best days were behind him. Why wait to unload a player when you must when you can unload a player when you can? Football is a brutal sport. If you can't perform due to knee issues, that's it.
Strangely, I found myself discovering a possible Miami diamond in the rough fantasy football player after the Fins traded away Jay Ajayi. Damien Williams could turn into a decent fantasy running back. He'll never be a star RB. He can catch the football, though. Because he can catch the football, Williams could rack up points in DraftKings' DFS. Each catch is a point in Classic DFS fantasy football contests.
Williams could also prove to be a more effective rusher than Jay Ajayi was. That would lead to more carries. Think Damien Williams if you need a running back for Week 9.
Buffalo Trades for WR Kelvin Benjamin
This trade makes a ton of sense for the Buffalo Bills. The Bills' offense has suddenly come to life. Buffalo scored 30 points in a 30 to 27 win over Tampa Bay in Week 7. In Week 8, the Bills scored 34 points. Adding Benjamin gives Buffalo QB Tyrod Taylor a legitimate deep threat. Benjamin has the skills to be one of the better wide receivers in the NFL. He just hasn't been healthy enough during his career to prove it.
Now, with LeSean McCoy rushing the football and Taylor serving as another rushing threat, Benjamin could get loose more than Sammy Watkins did. That should lead to the Bills' offense being even better than it is now. Let's not forget that across from Benjamin is Jordan Matthews. He's not a bad WR himself.
What's confusing is why the Carolina Panthers traded Kelvin Benjamin. For Benjamin, the Panthers picked up a Round 3 and a Round 7 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Carolina QB Cam Newton has had his ups and downs this season. For every game where he looks like a former NFL MVP, Cam ends up having 2 games where he looks like a rookie. Newton is tied with Cleveland rookie QB DeShone Kizer for most interceptions thrown this season. Both Newton and Kizer have tossed 11.
Is taking away one of Cam's weapons really the best way to get him out of his funk? I don't think so. All of this leads to the one name from both teams, besides LeSean McCoy, that DraftKings DFS fantasy football players should consider adding to contests. The name of that player is Devin Funchess. With Benjamin out the door, and TE Greg Olsen out for the season, the only player that can stretch the football field in Carolina is Funchess.
Carolina battles Atlanta at home in Week 9. Don't be surprised if Funchess posts huge fantasy stats.