One trade is going to create a shake-up for three players in the fantasy football and real world in 2018.
Washington's trade for Alex Smith will affect not only the future for Smith, but also for Kirk Cousins and Patrick Mahomes. Who is the best bet for your 2018 fantasy football roster? Here's a look at the opportunities presented by this blockbuster trade.
It's not worth investing in Smith. He had a nice start to 2017, but pretty much everyone knew that Mahomes was going to be the answer on that roster. And if Smith didn't have such a solid start to 2017, Mahomes probably would have been considered an option down the stretch.
We have too much evidence in Smith's career to be hoodwinked by his start to 2017. He's a passer who will throw for a little more than 3,000 yards, and have minimal success throwing touchdowns. I'm not going to let six really good games in 2017 sway my opinion for a career that relies heavily on a running game, short-yardage passing and a low amount of touchdowns.
From weeks 8 to 16 in 2017, Smith went for more than 250 yards three times. During that time, he had five interceptions and threw for more than one touchdown on three occasions.
The value just isn't there for Smith. Washington's offense doesn't feature a running game like Kansas City employed, so I wouldn't waste a stater's pick on Smith in the 2018 fantasy football draft.
Kansas City's new starting quarterback is basically a Hall-of-Famer by now. Or at least that's what everyone believes in Kansas City.
I don't take much stock in preseason or garbage time NFL games, but even I have to admit, Mahomes was pretty good in all those situations in 2017. He comes from a good pedigree and it's reported that he looked good throughout the year in practice.
We still haven't seen him in meaningful action. However, Mahomes is in pretty much a perfect situation. The Chiefs can run the ball. They also have some weapons with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. And the defense is good enough that Mahomes should be afforded some miscues.
Mahomes offers the better value than Smith based on the hype. He's a natural thrower who has to be better than Smith in throwing the ball down the field. It's almost impossible to be worse. Kansas City's coaching staff had to see something out of Mahomes to warrant this trade, so I'll trust their judgment and give Mahomes a rising grade in the 2018 fantasy football draft.
Where is the respect? Cousins hasn't gotten much from Washington, so now he'll attempt to find a team who will appreciate what he can provide.
I'm a bit of a Cousins apologist at times, because he does put up some monster numbers, with very little talent around him. His best receiver during his time with Washington is probably Pierre Garcon, who is basically just a possession guy. Jordan Reed is a major weapon, but he's been injured more often than not, so that pretty much precludes him from being a consistent weapon in the passing game.
Like all quarterbacks, especially in fantasy football, Cousins needs to find the right fit. I feel a bit like Nostradamus, because during the Christmas holiday with my family, I was already discussing the possibility of Cousins going to Cleveland. That could happen, but it would be detrimental to Cousins' draft stock.
He's shown solid numbers without many weapons, but I would like to see what he could do on a team like Arizona or even Denver, who have some players who can make plays on the outside. His value is totally dependent on the landing spot, but if he lands in a place that has weapons, he's easily the best bet among these three for 2018 fantasy football stardom.
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. Check out more at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH