The Matthew Stafford trade race is over, with Jared Goff swapping teams- but what are the fantasy implications? Lets get straight into it!
The details of the trade (incase you missed it!?) were:
Fantasy Implications Stafford Goff Trade: LA Rams
The Rams have upgraded at QB with the arrival of Matthew Stafford. Also, Stafford has upgraded his team by leaving the Detroit Lions. Although Stafford is going to be 33 at the start of next season he is worth more now. Stafford has been consistent with the Lions but now he has an (arguably) better offensive line in front of him. This is a massive plus for an already steady QB that has averaged 25 touchdowns a year in Detroit.
Effect on Running Game
Stafford coming in might make you think that the Rams will be throwing the ball more- but the stats don’t back that up. This year Stafford had 528 pass attempts with the Lions. Goff had 552 pass attempts with the Rams so the run game should not be adversely affected. With that in mind Cam Akers is still worth a lot to your fantasy team. Sean Mcvay showed with Todd Gurley that he wants a strong run game and Akers is the man for this upcoming year. This trade won’t affect his usage as he looks to become a top tier running back.
Effect: Akers should still be a top running back for next year
Effect on Wide Receivers
However, the wide receiver core will be worth much more to your team next season. With Stafford, the Lions had 26 touchdowns and ten interceptions this year. With Goff, the Rams had 20 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Although the stats might not seem to different you have to remember that Goff was in a playoff team and Stafford was in a team that went 5-11. Taking that into account imagine what Stafford could do with the better players around him.
Both Cooper Kupp, and Robert Woods had decent seasons last year but you would expect better with Stafford. Both guys received around 950 yards but Woods outscored Kupp on touchdowns six to three. The touchdowns should go up for both players next year. Also, with Josh Reynolds becoming a free agent you would expect Van Jefferson to be worth more. Jefferson showed he was capable with 220 yards and one touchdown from just 19 receptions this year. You should be stashing him in dynasty.
Effect: Kupp and Woods should still be as effective as they were previously, but the likes of Van Jefferson increase in value with improved QB play. Although it remains to be seen if the Rams move to a downfield attack.
Effect on Tight End
Another part of the Rams offense who you want to be looking at more now is tight end Tyler Higbee. Higbee had 521 yards and five touchdowns this season with Jared Goff. Stafford uses his tight end just as much as Goff does. Stafford targeted T.J Hockenson 101 times this year, Goff targeted Higbee and Gerald Everett a combined 122 times. The difference this year is that Everett is a free agent and Higbee has shown he can be the main tight end on the team.
Effect: Sideways for the position, as both Stafford and Goff have targeted their TE as much as each other.
Fantasy Implications Stafford Goff Trade: Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions are in full rebuild mode now which would explain why they gave new head coach, Dan Campbell, a six year deal. This is going to take time for the team to become relevant again but they do still have some good pieces for fantasy. However, Jared Goff is unlikely to be one of them.
Goff has struggled ever since his Superbowl loss with the Rams and it is unlikely he will suddenly become a top QB. There is something to be said for being in a new place and a new team might see improvement but it is unlikely. Not only because he has a limit to what he can do but also because the Lions wont provide him with the quality he needs around him. Selling Goff is not an option as his value is so low but you would only want to buy him if he was a second or third choice QB for your team.
Effect on Running Game
One area that might improve is at running back and especially for D’Andre Swift. Swift ranked as the running back number twenty this year rushed for 521 yards and eight touchdowns. On top of that he also was useful in the receiving game gaining 357 yards and two more touchdowns. Goff used Todd Gurley in the passing game a lot when the Rams made it to the Superbowl. You could see Swift being used in a similar role as well as the teams leading rusher. Swift will cost you plenty but he maybe the one player on the Lions team that would be worth having next year.
Effect: Swift should still be as valuable as he was previously. He might be less-efficient but should get more opportunity
Effect on Wide Receiver
The wide receiver core is a complete unknown for this upcoming season. The Lions two main guys are both free agents now and it is unknown if they will stay in Detroit or not. Kenny Golladay is a pro bowler but struggled with injuries last season. Many fantasy players would of been burned by him last year and given the arrival of Goff it would be understandable why you wouldn’t want him.
On the other hand, Marvin Jones has looked decent over the last few years but looks to be leaving this offseason. Jones finished in the top 15 wide receivers with 978 yards and nine touchdowns. You wouldn’t want to pay to much for either of these two guys given their ages and not knowing where they will be starting next year. One other receiver that might be worth looking at is Quintez Cephus. He had a few games where he looked ok and scored a couple of touchdowns from his twenty receptions. He might be worth stashing if you are in a deep league.
Effect: The receiver position is up in the air for the team, and it remains to be seen how Goff would fit into the downfield attack Detroit has previously used.
Effect on Tight End
One positive the Lions have had recently is T.J Hockenson who has become a quality tight end. Hockenson finished the season with 723 yards and six touchdowns leaving him ranked at the tight end number five. The arrival of Jared Goff will not stop him being used but obviously the talent of the QB has gone down. Given the unknown nature of the receiving core in Detroit its possible they could draft some young receivers. This would leave Hockenson as the most reliable source for Goff to aim for. Hockenson is still worth a lot to your team, especially given he is only 23, just not as much as he was with Stafford.
Effect: Goff should still be able to give targets to Hockenson, but there are likely going to be fewer scoring opportunities.
The Lions are rebuilding and its going to take time for them to have many pieces that are fantasy relevant. The only part of this Lions team you want to be trading for now is Swift. He is the one who can improve despite the arrival of Jared Goff.
So those were the fantasy implications as we see them) after the Stafford and Goff trade. But what do you think? We are going to be providing you with dynasty content all offseason. So check us out as well as our social media channels. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Image Credit: Raj Mehta – USA TODAY Sports