It was a busy trade deadline in the NFL on Tuesday, with several notable names moved across the league.
The overarching theme of the trades that went down was contenders looking to bolster their roster for a playoff push with potential short-term acquisitions.
Here’s a breakdown of the biggest transactions.
EAGLES ADD GOLDEN TATE
The defending champions got better and they did it by finding value on the trade market.
Golden Tate isn’t going to solve Philadelphia’s secondary issues or banged-up backfield, but he does give Carson Wentz another weapon to work with. Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz are firmly established as the top two targets in the passing game, but Tate is known for having a safe pair of hands and an ability to fight for extra yards after the catch.
A third-round pick may seem like a steep price to pay for a player in the final year of his contract, but the Eagles will actually get a compensation pick somewhere in that ballpark if he leaves in the offseason.
Detroit, meanwhile, break up arguably the best receiver trio in the league, but it will allow Kenny Golladay to be more of a focal point in their attack.
TEXANS ADD DEMARYIUS THOMAS
After losing number two wide receiver Will Fuller to a season-ending torn ACL this past week, Houston were aggressive in filling his shoes by sending the Denver Broncos a 2019 fourth-round draft pick for Demaryius Thomas.
Two years ago, this would have been a bigger deal, but Thomas hasn’t topped 1,000 receiving yards since 2016 and at 30, doesn’t look like the playmaking receiver he once was. He’s also prone to drops – an area he will have no problem replacing Fuller. But otherwise, Thomas will struggle to be anywhere near the deep threat Fuller is.
He also brings a $14 million cap hit for next season, so it’s conceivable the Texans move on from him after half a season.
For the Broncos, shedding Thomas opens up even more opportunity the young Cortland Sutton, who has shown he’s ready for an increased role.
RAMS ADD DANTE FOWLER
The rich get richer as the league’s only undefeated team continues to stockpile talent.
It’s clear the Rams’ window of contention is at its most open right now, so it makes sense for them to go after a player who may not be there next season, which could be the case with Fowler who is due for free agency.
In the meantime, the former number three overall draft pick will bring situational pass rushing on the edge to compliment Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh.
Jacksonville’s defence will take a slight hit, but they have more than enough on that side of the ball to maintain their strength. And it allows them to hedge a bit if they don’t reach the playoffs at the end of this season.
WASHINGTON ADD HAHA CLINTON-DIX
It’s understandable why Green Bay shipped off HaHa Clinton-Dix, the safety who has kept their secondary from falling apart in recent years, but it’s a move that certainly hurts their contention hopes this season.
Clinton-Dix is in the final year of his rookie contract and it’s obvious the Packers weren’t planning on bringing him back, so they recouped what they could. Now, they’ll put their faith in their young defensive backs to help fill the void.
In Washington, Clinton-Dix will be another reliable presence in a secondary that includes Josh Norman and D.J. Swearinger. As the team currently leading the NFC East, Washington have every reason to believe they’ll need Clinton-Dix for the playoffs.
RAVENS ADD TY MONTGOMERY
Man, that’s a cold move by the Green Bay Packers to basically send Ty Montgomery away for his disastrous fourth-quarter fumble this past weekend.
Is a seventh-round pick really better than Montgomery, who can be useful as a runner and receiver? Probably not. But Green Bay also have Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams in their backfield, so the work just isn’t there for Montgomery – unless it’s on special teams, and everyone knows how that went.
For the Ravens, Montgomery can add another element to their running back group, which features Alex Collins and Javorius Allen. For a seventh-round pick, it’s worth a flier.
Here are five players worth targeting on the waiver wire this week who could be useful in your starting lineup going forward.
When talent and opportunity meet, that’s the intersection where you can find fantasy value.
After a slow start to the season, Moore appears to be getting his opportunity, with the Carolina Panthers wide receiver racking up 129 total yards in his first start this past weekend.
He was a first-round draft pick for a reason and isn’t someone who needs a heavy serving of targets to make plays.
Okay, you don’t have to convince us anymore David Moore. It’s reached the point where end-zone visits for the Seattle Seahawks wideout are no longer a fluke, but a trend.
He’s scored in three straight games now and is doing it efficiently without many targets. It’s unlikely he keeps up his touchdown rate to this degree, but he’s widely available as a home-run play.
WR David Moore has 9 receptions in the past three games.— Brian Nemhauser (@hawkblogger) October 29, 2018
4 have gone for touchdowns
4 have been for 27+ yards
Fitzmagic is back, baby!
With Jameis Winston playing himself out of the starting job thanks to his love of interceptions, Fitzpatrick could take the reins of the Buccaneers offence once again.
If he is named the starter, don’t expect Fitzpatrick to put up the kind of numbers he did in the beginning of the season, but he’s obviously capable of capturing lighting in a bottle once in a while.
The Philadelphia Eagles backfield is unpredictable right now, so use that unpredictability to your advantage by taking a stab on Adams, who may end up emerging as the lead back.
It was Adams and not Wendell Smallwood or Corey Clement who received the most carries on Sunday, and it’s possible that continues to be the case considering his efficiency this season (5.4 yards per carry).
Having as many shares of the Los Angeles Rams offence as possible this season has been a winning strategy, so why not target Reynolds?
It’s true his value is largely dependent on how much more time Cooper Kupp misses, but with how well the Rams are playing, they can afford to play it safe with their starting wideout as he recovers from an MCL sprain. In the meantime, Reynolds can thrive.
Thirty six losses later, Hue Jackson’s rope has finally run out.
The Cleveland Browns fired the head coach on Monday, as well as offensive coordinator Todd Haley, following a 2-5-1 start to the season.
There were reports that the relationship between Jackson and Haley had turned into a power struggle, but the Browns decided to let go of both coaches in an attempt to get a fresh start for a team that was going nowhere under their leadership.
While Haley’s stint in Cleveland was a short one after he joined the franchise this past offseason following five years in Pittsburgh, Jackson had umpteen chances to right the ship in Cleveland.
Even after the Browns went 1-15 in Jackson’s first season at the helm, he was retained. Cleveland showed even more unfounded faith in Jackson following a winless 0-16 campaign last year.
But after drafting quarterback Baker Mayfield first overall and adding veterans like wide receiver Jarvis Landry through free agency, the Browns were done being so patient this season – especially with newly-hired general manager John Dorsey not having handpicked Jackson.
There are almost no positives to take away from Jackson’s time with the franchise – his 3-36-1 record is the worst head-coaching mark for one team in NFL history, while his .205 winning percentage is second-worst among all coaches with at least 40 games, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Todd Haley is fired, too. Play calling was a problem. Thread: https://t.co/lor9kZHM91— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) October 29, 2018
Senior offensive assistant Al Saunders, former head coach of the Chargers, will reportedly take over as interim coach, but the appointment will likely only be until Dorsey can select a candidate he likes.
This is the hard reset the Browns desperately needed, but unfortunately they’ve lost valuable time in waiting until now to finally pull the trigger.
Here are more takeaways from this weekend.
Look out, the New Orleans Saints are now winning games in which Drew Brees is a non-factor.
Normally the head of the snake, Brees was nothing more than a game manager on Sunday, and yet the Saints still earned their sixth straight win – and that too by double digits (30-20) over fellow NFC contenders Minnesota.
At the beginning of the season, the thought of New Orleans beating anyone with Brees throwing for only 120 yards would have been unfathomable. But after being a major weakness in the early going, the Saints defence has rounded into shape and given the team the kind of balance that was expected coming into the year.
The 120 yards is the fewest by Saints quarterback Drew Brees in a full game in his 13-year Saints career. He threw for 46 yards in the 2006 regular-season finale vs. Carolina, but left the game after playing the opening series.— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) October 29, 2018
The secondary is by no means completely fixed, but they’re at least making plays now, as they did on Sunday when they forced two critical turnovers to change the complexion of the game.
With Mark Ingram back, the backfield is also doing more of the heavy-lifting now, which was essential to the Saints’ success last season.
It’s a good thing New Orleans are beginning to play their best football because a potential NFC Championship Game preview is on the way with the Los Angeles Rams coming to town this week.
Speaking of the Rams…
The NFC leaders have made it a habit of winning pretty this season, but Sunday’s close call against the Green Bay Packers was anything but.
It took a late fumble on a kick-off to keep Aaron Rodgers from attempting a game-winning drive, but the real reason the Rams stayed undefeated was Jared Goff, who was the best quarterback in the game.
It wasn’t Goff’s best performance of the season, but it was arguably the most impressive as he led the team back from a 10-point deficit to out-duel the future Hall of Famer on the other side.
At 24, Goff has already established himself as one of the best players at his position, and someone who won’t just be along for the ride if the Rams win the Super Bowl, but at the front steering the ship.