TRADE RUMORS AND THEIR FANTASY IMPLICATIONS
The offseason is constantly filled with fluff pieces and wild speculation about the potential of young players or players added during free agency. This year has been a little different though, solely based on the endless drama between reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers as well as the more recent Julio Jones trade talks. While both are extremely important pieces to their franchises, they each have different values in the game of fantasy football. Julio Jones has been a more valuable fantasy commodity over the course of his career, despite his recent struggles to stay on the field. Rodgers, along with most quarterbacks in fantasy, tends to be a little more volatile year-to-year. Both players have high fantasy expectations, so let’s discuss what these trade rumors could mean for their production this season.
Aaron Rodgers is unhappy. That’s the most transparent aspect of his whole ordeal and while this may not be a shock for fans of the Green Bay Packers or NFL fans in general, this time it could mean the end for Rodgers in Green Bay. All the insight provided by insiders and sources close to the situation say it’s personal for Rodgers and that he’s willing to potentially retire if he doesn’t get traded. While the best football situation for him is to stay in Green Bay, there are other intriguing options that have been tossed around, mostly surrounding the Denver Broncos. The young receiving talent on the Broncos includes the likes of Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and tight end Noah Fant. Having dealt with underwhelming quarterback play over the past few years, the Broncos traded for Teddy Bridgewater to compete alongside incumbent starter Drew Lock, both of whom are less than ideal options for fantasy managers. Aaron Rodgers would come in and immediately make this team AFC contenders and boost the value of every offensive skill position player on that team. On the other side of the transaction, the Green Bay Packers players would see obvious regression. Davante Adams is one of the most talented wide receivers in the league, but even he would struggle to put up great numbers without his MVP quarterback. Aaron Jones would possibly be the player affected the most due to the increased number of defensive players within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage, thus limiting the amount of space granted to him by currently playing with Rodgers. The Packers would be turning the keys of the franchise over to Jordan Love, the 1st round pick from 2020, with more questions than answers. The Rodgers move, regardless of where he plays football in 2021, will come with a surge of excitement for the team he ends up with and for fantasy managers alike.
While the majority of the offseason discussion has focused on Aaron Rodgers, for good reason, Julio Jones can be the more impactful move from an individual fantasy perspective. No matter what team Aaron Rodgers goes to, he will be a positive upgrade at the quarterback position and will improve the value of those around him. There is an argument to be made that Julio Jones could be traded to a team where his value is less than it was on the Falcons, and he could also bring down the value of those around him. Yes, it will improve the team as a whole, but it could wreak havoc in terms of fantasy numbers. One team most commonly mentioned are the Seattle Seahawks, who already have two top-20 receivers in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. Adding Julio to that mix only complicates the value and ball distribution for all three players. The teams that should be targeting Julio Jones are those in need for a #1 or #2 guy, with nothing behind them on the depth chart. Those teams include the Titans, Patriots, Eagles and Chargers among others. I'm not sure who will have the guts to pull the trigger and trade for him considering his want for a new contract as well as numerous other factors, but whichever organization decides to bring him in must fully commit to Jones. All of this leads me to believe that he might get shipped off to a less desirable team in the hopes of getting better draft capital. Despite this, Julio is capable of a top-10 wide receiver finish this season, health pending of course.
All the offseason discussion could be flipped in an instant if either of these players are traded, and it not only affects the teams they are traded to but also the teams they leave. There is still plenty of time for debate and deliberation in the offseason, so stay tuned to the weekly articles and be sure to check out the Fantasy DayDreamers Podcast for great, in depth fantasy football discussion. Thanks for reading, stay alert and as always, stay dreamin’!