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Demaryius Thomas, Golden Tate's Updated Fantasy Outlooks After Trades

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2018

Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) runs against the Oakland Raiders during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas' fantasy value experienced a boost Tuesday, as he was dealt to the Houston Texans from the Denver Broncos prior to the trade deadline.

Meanwhile, Golden Tate getting shipped from the Detroit Lions to the Philadelphia Eagles may be a lateral move.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Broncos sent Thomas and a seventh-round draft pick to the Texans for fourth- and seventh-round selections.

The Eagles officially announced the acquisition of Tate, but terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.

With two high-profile wideouts moving to new teams, here is a closer look at the impact it will have on the fantasy football landscape.

Demaryius Thomas

The 30-year-old veteran is in the midst of his worst season since 2011, but Houston presents far more opportunity for production than Denver.

After topping 1,000 receiving yards in five consecutive seasons, Thomas fell to 949 last season with the Broncos cycling through Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch under center.

Case Keenum has provided more stability at quarterback for the Broncos this season, but he has clearly locked on to Emmanuel Sanders as his top target.

Because of that, Thomas has just 36 grabs for 402 yards and three touchdowns through eight games this season.

The four-time Pro Bowler will immediately replace Will Fuller as the No. 2 wide receiver in Houston behind DeAndre Hopkins.

Fuller suffered a season-ending knee injury in Thursday's game, which saw him rack up 124 yards and a touchdown.

As quarterback Deshaun Watson's second-favorite target, Fuller had 32 receptions for 503 yards and four touchdowns in seven games this season.

Those numbers represent an upgrade over what Thomas was able to do in eight contests with the Broncos.

Jeff Ratcliffe of Pro Football Focus believes going from Keenum to Watson should be helpful to Thomas from a production standpoint:

Jeff Ratcliffe @JeffRatcliffe

Fantasy impact: Demaryius: slight upgrade b/c better QB situation Hopkins/Sanders: no change in value Sutton: big time upgrade, hope you added him already. He'll be one of the top waiver adds tonight Coutee: downgrade in terms of target share https://t.co/1x2eOxKsiv

Even so, Thomas is far from a lock as a fantasy starter unless you're in a deeper league.

He is a WR2 at best, and it is smartest to deploy him as a WR3 or flex for now until it becomes apparent that he has chemistry with Watson.

Thomas may be worth a flier start this week, though, since he will coincidentally face his former team in Denver.

Golden Tate

Tate may not put up eye-popping numbers, but he was a consistent WR2 during his five-year tenure with the Lions.

The 30-year-old made 90 or more receptions in each of his four full seasons with the team, and he topped 1,000 yards three times.

Through seven games this season, Tate has produced as usual with 44 catches for 517 yards and three touchdowns.

One issue that was developing in Detroit was the emergence of second-year wideout Kenny Golladay. With Golladay coming into his own and Marvin Jones Jr. eating up plenty of deep targets, Tate was bound to see a decrease in targets eventually.

Although he may experience a quarterback upgrade in going from Matthew Stafford to Carson Wentz, Tate's numbers probably won't change drastically in Philly.

Much like in Detroit, Tate will have to fight for targets with the likes of No. 1 receiver Alshon Jeffery and elite tight end Zach Ertz.

The Athletic's Ross Tucker noted that the acquisition of Tate could push receiver Nelson Agholor into a more comfortable role as well:

Ross Tucker @RossTuckerNFL

Golden Tate is a strange fit in a Philly offense that needed a guy who could stretch the field vertically. My guess is they think Agholor can be that guy and put him in that role.

Jordan Matthews has also been a reliable target for Wentz in recent weeks, but Tate will likely push him out of a significant role in the offense.

Since the Eagles are without starting running back Jay Ajayi for the rest of the season, they figure to lean heavily on the passing game moving forward.

That means there should be plenty of volume to accommodate three start-worthy pass-catchers from a fantasy perspective.

Knowing that, Tate will remain in the WR2/flex conversation, and will have the added benefit of learning the playbook on a bye this week before making his debut against the Dallas Cowboys the following week.

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