Trades in the NFL are extremely rare, but the Buffalo Bills blew past that belief on Friday when they traded wide receiver Sammy Watkins and a sixth-round pick to the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback E.J. Gaines and the Rams' second-round pick in 2018. The trade, which came out nowhere, was first reported by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
The trade is massive for many reasons, especially with the second blockbuster trade the Bills struck that followed this move. But initially the focus will be on Watkins move from chilly Buffalo to Los Angeles.
From a fantasy perspective Watkins relocation isn't a great sign for hopeful fantasy owners. Tyrod Taylor might not be an elite quarterback, but he proved to be a strong quarterback over the years. Now he will be catching passes from Jared Goff, who rated as one of the worst quarterbacks in the league last season.
As a rookie, Goff posted miserable lines across the board with a 2.82 ANY/A, 63.6 QB rating and a 22.2 QBR. Struggles as a rookie are understandable., but Goff showed very few moments of being an NFL-caliber quarterback in his first season against the highest competition.
The hope will be that new head coach and offensive mastermind Sean McVay can turn things around. McVay helped orchestrate one of the best offenses in the NFL while in Washington and is regarded as one of the young masterminds in football. So there is at least some reason for optimism that this offense can turn it around, which would be good news for Goff and Watkins.
Watkins, 24, certainly comes with injury questions and Buffalo reportedly carried concerns with his rehab process from his foot injuries in the past. But when healthy, Watkins flashed plenty of promise as a No.1 wide receiver for a team and he'll do just that with the Rams. He gives them a dynamic weapon who can make big plays and post 1,100-plus yard seasons and do some work in the red zone.
He is a much needed weapon that will help take the defensive focus off running back Todd Gurley and force them to account for Watkins, Robert Woods and Tavon Austin.
For Buffalo, this is a clear move towards a rebuild. General Manager Brandon Beane, who just joined the team this offseason, is setting a timetable far beyond 2018 and is pushing the reset button on the Bills.
It serves as a blow for Tyrod Taylor's fantasy value, even after the team traded for Jordan Matthews. The trio of Matthews-Anquan Boldin and Zay Jones is a downgrade from what surrounded Taylor before. This will be a run-heavy offense and unless the Bills trade Taylor, he is now on the bottom end of fantasy quarterbacks this season.