The wide receiver position has seen some major moves this NFL trade deadline. After Demaryius Thomas was shipped to the Texans, the Eagles made a big trade to shake up their receiving corps. Golden Tate will be joining the defending Super Bowl Champions, as the Eagles gave up a third-round pick to acquire him. This could be an impactful move for fantasy football leagues, and it will certainly have an effect on the value of players on both teams and create some new start ’em, sit ’em decisions.
Also, fantasy owners usually wonder about whether or not the recently-traded player will suit up in their next game. Well, because the Eagles are on bye, Tate’s owners won’t have to worry about that. He’ll be out this week no matter what, and while that creates a dreaded second bye for those Tate owners, they can rest easy knowing that Tate is going to an offense that should allow him to continue to succeed.
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What is Golden Tate’s fantasy value with the Eagles?
Tate’s value with the Eagles is largely the same as it was with the Lions. He’s a great, versatile slot weapon who is a yards-after-catch (YAC) machine. He can catch any pass and turn it into a big gain, and he should see a fair amount of targets in the Eagles offense.
Tate will serve as the No. 2 receiver for the Eagles behind Alshon Jeffery. Zach Ertz may see a lot of targets, as well, which could make Tate the third-ranked receiving option, but the fact is that Carson Wentz throws the ball enough to support three relevant fantasy receivers. And given that Tate has always been a high-volume target guy and has averaged nearly 10 targets per game this season, he should be given the opportunity to produce with the Eagles.
It’s also notable that the Eagles have averaged more pass attempts per game than the Lions this season, out-throwing them 38.5 to 37. That will create more opportunities for Tate to catch passes, and it could cause his average targets per game to actually rise — or at least be on par with his production in Detroit.
It seems likely that Tate will take a chunk out of Nelson Agholor’s targets. The Eagles have been attempting to use Agholor in a similar way to Tate, targeting him frequently near the line of scrimmage, but Agholor hasn’t shown the same elusive ability. Agholor has seen about 7.6 targets per game, but he could soon find a majority of those going Tate’s way.
WEEK 9 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end
Does Nelson Agholor still have fantasy value?
Speaking of Agholor, his fantasy value is undoubtedly dropping in the wake of Tate’s acquisition. At best, Agholor is now the fourth-best target on the team. Tate will take over his role as an inside/outside slot threat and will see targets on the plays that had previously been designed for Agholor, so that could put a damper on his production.
At the same time, Agholor could see less coverage on deep plays because of the acquisition of Tate. With so many weapons on the Eagles, opposing defenses will have a tough time accouting for everyone on the team’s offense and that could leave Agholor in some favorable matchups. So, he could use his speed to become a boom-or-bust playmaker, but still, his lack of targets could be an issue for fantasy owners.
Agholor shouldn’t be cut just yet, but his value is definitely trending downward. If he doesn’t show up in Week 10, he can be dropped in most formats.
How is Matthew Stafford impacted by the loss of Golden Tate?
The loss of Tate isn’t great for the outlook of Stafford. The Lions QB had previously had one of the strongest three-WR sets in the league, with Tate, Kenny Golladay, and Marvin Jones creating a dynamic and versatile group.
Without Tate, the unit is weaker and Stafford loses his short-yardage security blanket. The replacement for Tate is going to be T.J. Jones. While Jones has been a solid bench weapon at times, he has merely three catches this season and isn’t the same YAC generator that Tate is. Jones can do a little bit in the slot, but Stafford is going to be relying more heavily on Marvin Jones and Golladay, and that could limit his upside against stronger defenses that can erase or limit those two players.
Stafford will still be a starting QB most weeks, but it just might be harder for him to produce against tougher defenses like the Bears and the Vikings. So, he may get a little downgrade some weeks, unless Golladay and Jones prove that they can make up for the loss of Tate’s production.
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