Fantasy Football: What Is the Fantasy Impact of the Brandon Lloyd Trade
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TIM TEBOW—Tebow loses his most proven target, but it might not matter that much. Tebow doesn't appear to be a great downfield passer and it's unlikely that he could've effectively utilized Lloyd's talent. The Broncos do have some younger players at WR on their roster. Most likely the playbook will be retrofitted to Tebow's unique skill set. That means more short passes and screens with a continued emphasis on the running game. Tebow's value doesn't change without Lloyd.
WILLIS MCGAHEE & KNOWSHON MORENO—The departure of Lloyd all but ensures that the Broncos will continue to lean heavily on their running game. Look for McGahee to continue to dominate the carries on early downs while Moreno takes on a bigger role in the passing game. The few extra carries gained by the subtraction of Lloyd might offset the slight losses of caries to Tebow. Neither RB is affected negatively by the loss Lloyd.
ERIC DECKER—Decker now becomes the No. 1 target in the passing game for the Broncos. It's unknown how the Broncos will utilize him at this point. But he's better off being the No. 1 target for Tebow than the No. 2 target for Tebow. So Decker is more valuable in fantasy now than he was with Lloyd on the Broncos. He's a decent buy-low target if his owner is worried about the loss of Lloyd and switch to Tebow.
DEMARYIUS THOMAS—The Tebow pick was so polarizing that most people forget that JOSH MCDANIELS DRAFTED DEMARYIUS THOMAS AHEAD OF DEZ BRYANT! Seriously. Thomas possess elite physical tools, but he's never been able to stay healthy. Thomas is supposed to return in Week 7 and is worth a pickup in deep PPR leagues.
EDDIE ROYAL—Royal was also rumored to be on the trade block. It's unlikely that he will actually go anywhere. The subtraction of Lloyd at least ensures some kind of role on offense for Royal. With Demaryius Thomas returning, he might not have had a role if Lloyd stayed. So he's better off now than he was with Lloyd. But as Tim Tebow's No. 3 target, he should remain on the waiver wire.
SAM BRADFORD - No one can possibly be happier about this move than Bradford. Lloyd is instantly the best WR he's had at the NFL level. If Mark Clayton comes back healthy, Bradford might start to regain some of the fantasy value he had in the preseason. He's worth picking up if he's available and he's a very nice buy-low candidate for trading.
STEVEN JACKSON—Adding a real NFL starting-caliber WR will absolutely help Jackson out. With the Rams passing game almost non-existent, Jackson has seen teams just load up against the run. The presence of Lloyd will change the way that defenses play against the Rams. Even if it means a couple less touches per game, this is good news for Jackson.
MIKE SIMS-WALKER—If Mark Clayton returns healthy, it would be surprising if Sims-Walker is NOT cut. He can be released in all fantasy leagues.
Where will Brandon Lloyd finish overall in the WR rankings in PPR leagues?
BRANDON LLOYD—Lloyd should instantly jump to about what his preseason value was. He's a solid No. 2 fantasy WR. As long as he starts this week and is supposed to play a full complement of snaps, I would start him in Week 7. He might be an interesting guy to try to trade for. I would trade Brandon Marshall straight-up for Lloyd right now in a PPR or standard league.
BRANDON GIBSON—Gibson will remain the starter opposite of Lloyd for now, but that could change quickly. Gibson can be cut in all but the deepest of leagues.
DANARIO ALEXANDER—Alexander had a nice game in Week 6 and could wind up in the starting lineup opposite of Lloyd sooner than later. But his injury history is terrifying. Not to mention that the Rams try to limit his snaps when they can. He's a nice stash in deep PPR leagues.
MARK CLAYTON—Clayton is supposed to return to practice in Week 7 after opening the season on the Phyiscally-Unable-To-Peform (PUP) List. It's unknown if he will return to game action in Week 7 and what his role will be upon his return. Before he was injured last season, Clayton had the best rapport with Bradford and there's a chance that they could pick up right where they left off. Clayton is a decent roster stash in the deepest PPR leagues. I would cut Gibson for Clayton.
LANCE KENDRICKS—It's unlikely that the presence of Lloyd will affect Kendricks much. Josh McDaniels doesn't call plays for his TEs very often and Steven Jackson is Bradford's check-down option. Kendricks is just a desperation bye week fill-in for the deepest of leagues.
It's also worth pointing out that the Rams have played what is maybe the most difficult schedule in the NFL so far in 2011. After two more tough games, it gets much easier for the Rams. That makes all of the Rams nice players to try to buy-low on.
Let me know what you think or if I missed anything. You can use the comments or reach out to me on Twitter. Good luck in Week 7.
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