Lloyd to the Show-Me State
The first big trade of the year has happened, and it involves someone from my very own alma mater, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Lloyd has had an enigmatic career in the NFL, seemingly exploding onto the season here and there and then managing to disappear as quickly as he sparked. But last year was different. With the help of Denver coach Josh McDaniels and a QB that loved getting him the ball, Lloyd turned in the best year of his career, putting up consistent numbers week in and week out.
He rejoins that coach now in St. Louis, where McDaniels has taken on the offensive coordinator position. The Rams have been looking for a WR1 who young QB Sam Bradford can throw to with confidence. I believe they’ve found their man in Brandon Lloyd. His fantasy value actually rises now in light of Tebow taking over the reins in Denver as Bradford is much more accurate a passer. Look for Lloyd to make an immediate impact.
As for the other players affected in Denver, WR Decker remains the possession receiver, WR Royal should return to the slot and so the question remains who will be the big-play guy. As the Broncos have opted to go young, I wouldn’t be surprised to see WR Demaryius Thomas step into that role. He has shown flashes of his potential when healthy, and he is on the verge of returning as this deal has gone through. I would wait to see how Tebow spreads the ball this upcoming week, however, before employing an Broncos receivers.
Here are some quick names to consider adding to your roster this week:
QB: Tim Tebow (DEN) - It’s his show now in Denver, and I do believe that he will find success and prove haters wrong (I hope). The trade of Lloyd does take away a deep threat of his, but now he will have time to gel and grow with a younger WR core. Look back at his games started, and one stat you should enjoy is the number of times this guy crosses the endzone via his feet.
Matt Cassel (KC) - With veteran Jackie Battle splashing onto the scene with a decent run game and rookie WR Baldwin healing up, Cassel has room for consistency. We all know that Dwayne Bowe is the man in KC, and with the added pieces, Cassel should be able to finish the season strong.
WR: Jacoby Jones (HOU) - Jones did show some success last year when fellow WR Andre Johnson went down. And after an uneventful start in place of Johnson last week, Jones showed that he can play this past week. There’s talk that Johnson could possibly return this week, but Houston may opt to ease their stud back in. If they opt for the safe route, Jones could be a good play this week.
Steve Breaston (KC) - Baldwin will soon return, but Breaston has shown that he can play well. Look for him to build upon his 2-TD game with some solid yardage games. Cassel looks more and more comfortable leading the Chiefs offense.
Torrey Smith (BAL) - He made a big splash onto the scene eclipsing the rookie record for touchdowns in a quarter. And then, well, he showed why you can’t trust rookies (which I tried to guard you against). However, after seeing the youngster play this past week with another big grab and a decent day of yardage. If I were the Ravens, even with Lee Evans getting healthy, it would be hard for me to sit this guy. Take a flier on this guy if you have space and see if the coaching staff doesn’t look to keep him in.
Arrelious Benn (TB) - I get to write about another player from my Fighting Illini!! Last year, Mike Williams is the one who emerged as Josh Freeman’s favorite target. However, it was a battle for that spot and many actually had Benn as the better of the two skill-wise. Maybe Benn just needed a year to put it altogether because he has come on as of late. I’d take a chance on him and see if Freeman doesn’t start looking his way more. If Benn’s targets go up, I’m excited to see what he’ll do with them.
RB: Jackie Battle (KC) - If he’s still available, please get your waiver claim in on him. (I talked about him in last week’s post).
DeMarco Murray/Tashard Choice (DAL) - What a rough year it has been for Felix Jones owners (and also for Jones himself). He is hurt yet again, and it looks like the rookie may get some time to shine. Limit your expectations a bit, however, as Choice is still also a relatively young guy that has shown some potential to succeed. The Cowboys will probably do some type of time-share, but see how things pan out.
Maurice Morris (DET) - Jahvid Best suffered a concussion this past weekend, and Morris is second in line for the “lion”-share of the carries in Detroit. He’s not as talented as Best, but he has the receiving skills to offer up good value, especially in PPR leagues.
TE: Fred Davis (WAS) - I’ve mentioned Davis in a previous post, but now with another injury to Chris Cooley, look for Davis to be a lot more involved in the passing game. He should receive all the targets now at the TE position. I believe that Grossman will stay at QB despite a dismal Week 6, and that actually bodes better for Davis, who has a connection with Grossman. I like the possibilities for Davis with Cooley out.
I hope everybody’s fantasy season is going well and that you’re still in contention for the playoffs! Remember, it’s never too late to make a move!