Unlock More Content Like This With a Footballguys Premium Subscription
"FBG is the best fantasy football advisory service anywhere."
Nigel Eccles, Co-Founder, FanDuel
The NFL trade deadline has long been an anticlimactic moment on the league calendar, paling in comparison to the action of Major League Baseball's. Recent seasons, however, have become more interesting. Just as NFL coaches are learning not to punt on fourth-and-short from midfield, NFL general managers are making more calculated moves to recoup draft capital from expiring contracts or fill needs for stretch runs.
The Bills paralleled baseball's moves for playoff pushes by trading a third-round pick to the Packers for cornerback Rasul Douglas and a fifth. The deal is remarkable in that Douglas was unemployed throughout September 2021 and was not an every-week starter and full-time player until this season, his seventh in the league. Furthermore, he would carry a $9 million cap hit on the Bills' roster in 2024.
The Bills have lost Tre'Davious White to another catastrophic injury and have simply lost 2022 first-round pick Kaiir Elam. Elam was rumored to be available via trade and made inactive the past two games. He was placed on IR shortly after the trade deadline passed. Douglas is likely to step in for Dane Jackson, a former late-round pick who fits best as depth.
The 6-foot-2, 209-pound Douglas has become a staple for fantasy gamers in cornerback-required leagues since joining the Packers. He's twice finished among the top ten scorers at the position. He maintains fantasy utility playing for a unit that values run defense at the corners. Buffalo's frequent two-high-safety looks and zone coverages allow their cornerbacks to play closer to the line of scrimmage, facing the quarterback.
I feel like NFL Twitter underappreciates the value of stout IDLs in the current game. https://t.co/amhKZuLeaa— Footballguy TRIdP (@DynastyTripp) March 12, 2023
An underappreciated storyline of free agency in Spring 2023 was the money paid to defensive tackles. The Seahawks thought they were keeping pace by signing Dre'Mont Jones to a 3-year, $51.53 million contract. Jones blossomed in Ejiro Evero's defense for the first half of the 2022 season, but he, like much of the unit, faded after Denver traded away Bradley Chubb.
Jones has been an adequate rotational piece in 2023. Seattle felt it needed another of those to contend in the NFC and thus acquired Leonard Williams from the Giants. The price, a second-round pick with a fifth coming back, was more than the Giants paid the Jets for Williams (a third and a fifth in 2019). Williams was, in each case, on an expiring contract.
The Giants' acquisition of Williams looked like a gamble at the time. The sixth overall pick of the 2015 draft blossomed in Patrick Graham's defense. He finished inside the top 20 defensive linemen by Footballguys' scoring in 2020 and 2021.
He's been slowing down since. He has just 21 combined tackles and 1.5 sacks through 8 games this season. He can be safely ignored by fantasy gamers in the far corner of the nation. The Seahawks found that competition for talent was fierce and concluded the high pick was the cost of doing business.
Continue reading this content with a ELITE subscription.
An ELITE subscription is required to access content for IDP (individual defensive players) leagues. If this league is not a IDP (individual defensive players) league, you can edit your leagues here.
"Footballguys is the best premium
fantasy football only site on the planet."
Matthew Berry, NBC Sports EDGE