Rapid React: Golden Tate Traded to the Eagles
The NFL trade deadline has come and gone, and in one of the biggest deals of the day, the Detroit Lions sent wide receiver Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Given the sheer volume of skill players for both teams rostered in fantasy leagues, this will surely have a profound impact on the second half of the season.
Obviously, the first player impacted is Tate himself. Much like (new) Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Amari Cooper, Tate now has his second bye week of the season. Unfortunately for those that have Tate on their fantasy team, this bye week comes at one of the worst times of the year (and not just because of candy corn).
Tate now joins Larry Fitzgerald, A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton, Odell Beckham Jr. and Alshon Jeffery on the fantasy bench. Didn’t get one of those guys paired with Tate? You might have Calvin Ridley, Tyler Boyd, Sterling Shepard, or Nelson Agholor though. Regardless, Tate will be occupying your bench this week as the Eagles are on bye. Here’s how it impacts both the Lions and the Eagles from a fantasy sense.
Over the last four weeks, the Lions have run their offense out of the “11” personnel 63% of the time. That’s 19th in the NFL over that period. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has attempted more than 30 passing attempts just once over the last month. Now the Lions lose 27% of the target share and 22% of the market share of air yards.
Obviously, the biggest benefactors are Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay. The re-emergence of Jones as of late hints towards a significant second-half breakout. As for Golladay, expect an uptick in targets and production as well. While his production has dipped recently, his first few games showed everyone his potential.
During Week 1-3, the #Lions averaged 70 plays per game (5th most). Kenny Golladay ranked 13th in targets (9/game).
Since then, the #Lions average 56 plays per game (dead last). Kenny Golladay ranks 74th in targets (4/game).
— Pat Thorman (@Pat_Thorman) October 29, 2018
The rich get richer it seems in Philadelphia. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, this is going to cause some headaches on occasion. The good news is that Tate and the rest of the Eagles should have plenty of targets to still share amongst themselves. Last season saw Zach Ertz (110) and Jeffery (120) see more than 100 targets. Agholor had 95 targets while Torrey Smith had 68 targets.
Expect to see Agholor’s production enter boom-or-bust territory (more than it is currently). Agholor has severely disappointed fantasy owners this season. Now one has to wonder whether Jordan Matthews might siphon more of Agholor’s snaps, particularly if he’s going to be lined up outside more often.
Also wonder how much Agholor is used outside now after he struggled there early in his career.
PHI has left Agholor in slot for 61% of snaps this season and has used Jordan Matthews 83% outside.
Tate a 70% slot WR this season in Detroit.
— Chris Raybon (@ChrisRaybon) October 30, 2018
Are there too many mouths to feed now for the Eagles? Sure. Of course, remember that Doug Pederson is an Andy Reid disciple, and as you saw last season in Philadelphia and this season in Kansas City, modern day offenses can sustain a lot of fantasy relevant players.
Thus far this season, Carson Wentz has targeted 13 different receivers. The prospect of throwing to Tate instead of Kamar Aiken and Josh Perkins probably sounded a bit better to Pederson and company. While the targets are likely to remain for the Eagles pass catchers, it will be interesting to see how the offense will be schemed.
According to Warren Sharp’s NFL Strength of Schedule, the Eagles have the third-easiest pass efficiency of opponents remaining. Now they add Tate to the mix? The Eagles get the benefit of the bye week to incorporate Tate right out of the gate…which happens to be against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Giddy up!