The NFL Draft is over a month away, but it's not too early to start thinking about fantasy football. That's right, I said football. I know it's hard to think about football with the drumbeat of baseball blocking out everything else, but paying attention to what's happening in the offseason is what separates the men (and women) from the boys (and girls). Preparation is everything.
On that note, there was a trade yesterday with fantasy ramifications for several NFL teams involving a player most NFL fans don't know.
On Wednesday, the Falcons traded backup QB Matt Schaub and their first round pick this year (#10 overall) to the Texans for their first round pick this year (#8 overall), their second round pick this year and their second round pick in 2008.
My first response to this is...unbelievable! Giving up two second round picks plus dropping down two slots in the first round this year for a QB with two career starts? That seems to be far, far more than he's worth. I don't know which member of the Atlanta front office negotiated this trade, but somebody give that person a bonus. How will this affect the fantasy football season?
Atlanta - First and most importantly, this is a management vote of confidence in Michael Vick. There were calls last season for Vick to be replaced by Schaub, and this move puts those fears to rest. Hopefully Vick will respond to that support. The raw DJ Shockley is now the backup, though I expect them to pick up a veteran as insurance. Considering Vick's injury history, his backup could have some fantasy value as a late round flier.
This moves Atlanta up to the #8 spot in this year's draft, which gives them a shot at drafting such game breakers as Calvin Johnson, Ted Ginn or even Adrian Peterson. Michael Vick throwing to a receiving tandem of Calvin Johnson and Joe Horn suddenly makes the Falcons very interesting to fantasy players. It wouldn't surprise me to see the Falcons trade this pick to move back down a few spots either.
Houston - Obviously, you don't trade away all this value for a guy you're going to put on the bench, so say goodbye to David Carr and say hello to Matt Schaub as your starting quarterback. Schaub showed flashes of brilliance filling in for Vick, but career totals of six touchdowns, six interceptions and a QB rating of 69.2 don't exactly fill me with confidence. Schaub will be drafted, especially in larger fantasy leagues, but I don't see him having a major fantasy impact.
In this year's draft the Texans drop down to #10 though they still might end up with the player they really need, Adrian Peterson. Miami drafts at #9 and they don't need a running back, so maybe the Falcons provided assurances that they wouldn't take Peterson and the Texans dropped two expecting to still get him. If it works out that way they'll look brilliant, but who knows what will happen on draft day? What if Buffalo or Green Bay trade their way into the ninth slot? Maybe the Texans have another player targeted for the tenth slot. At this point, it's hard to know what the Houston front office is thinking.
The fantasy summary for this trade:
UP -- Mike Vick, the Falcons offense, Matt Schaub
DOWN -- David Carr, the Texans offense, the Texans future