Big news is coming out of the Twin Cities Saturday morning. The Minnesota Vikings have traded their 2017 first round pick and more for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford. This shakes things up in the NFC just before the start of the NFL and Fantasy Football season. The exact details of the trade have not been officially confirmed, however, the Eagles or believed to have received the aforementioned first-round pick as well as an additional pick at some point in 2018. This will significantly impact both teams.
A first-round pick is a hefty price to pay for a quarterback that has proven to be nothing more than mediocre with small flashes of bigger potential up to this point. However, teams continue to believe in and roll the dice on the former first-overall pick despite lackluster play and severe injury woes. With that said, he’s a significant upgrade over Shaun Hill. It’s clear the Vikings have aspirations of being a legitimate contender, and they went out and made a move that makes them better right now. A talented young defense and Adrian Peterson’s days being numbered almost certainly influenced this move.
Bradford can get the ball downfield much better than both Hill and Teddy Bridgewater. All of the Vikings wide receivers should see a bump in value following this move. Charles Johnson, who will likely serve as the primary deep threat, should see the biggest boost in ADP. Stefon Diggs and Laquon Treadwell should also benefit slightly as well. Currently, our SCOUT Fantasy Rankings have Treadwell as the WR45, Diggs the WR46 and Johnson the WR78.
Because he’s more mistake prone, Bradford is not a better option for the Vikings in real life compared to Bridgewater. Nonetheless, he is a better Fantasy option and improves the value the wide receivers because of his ability to throw down the field, which Bridgewater was completely inept at last season. Still, like any quarterback in Minnesota Bradford’s primary job will be to turn around and hand the ball to Adrian Peterson. The veteran RB is getting about 20 carries a game no matter who is under center, so he should stay right where he is in your rankings. Make no mistake, this is and will be a run-first team.
The Fantasy bottom line is that it should go without saying that Bradford is the Vikings’ Week 1 starter. Vikings never believed Hill could be more than a band-aid. So they went out and got the guy they wanted. Whether it works out for them remains to be seen.
The Eagles can’t be overlooked in this equation either. They just traded away their Week 1 starter the weekend before the opener. Despite insisting Bradford was their guy in Philly, you always got the vibe new head coach Doug Pederson believed Chase Daniel could get the job done just as well. Pederson declaring Daniel more than a backup and his three-year, $21 million deal also leave the same impression.
Needless to say, Daniel is set to start Week 1, and it will be his job to lose. If he does lose the job, second-overall pick, Carson Wentz will be looming large over his shoulder. Daniel has two career starts and knows Pederson’s system well from their time together with the Kansas City Chiefs where Pederson was the offensive coordinator and Daniel backed up Alex Smith. This was clearly a move to help the Eagles in the future, though, so as soon as things go south, look for them to get Wentz in to develop him for the future as well.
It’s not completely clear how this will affect the supporting cast in Philly. The issue is their pass-catchers aren’t very good no matter who the QB is. Jordan Matthews is still the WR1 by default. He’s a decent Fantasy option but has struggled with drops and consistency. Behind him are Dorial Green-Beckham and Nelson Agholor. Neither has shown much to lead us to believe they will be consistent Fantasy contributors. DGB is at least an athletic freak with upside. Tight end Zach Ertz may hold the most value of all their pass-catchers. With that said, we don’t know if Daniel is a significant drop off from Bradford. There’s a chance he could even be better in that system.
This was a shocker and a blockbuster at this time of year by NFL standards. Fantasy owners must adjust their game plans accordingly. However, as I always say, do not overreact. Whenever a big move takes place, somebody ends up being drafted way too early or way too late. While this is a big deal, the three players immediately impacted are still just Bradford, Daniel, and Hill. Only slight adjustments need to be made to your Fantasy mindset.