Mark Clayton was traded from the Ravens to the Rams for late round future draft considerations. The exact compensation is unknown, but the need for the Rams to bolster their wide receiving corps was certainly no secret.
The Rams enter the 2010 season in complete rebuilding mode and have already lost their best receiver, Donnie Avery, to a torn ACL. Adding Clayton to the mix was a necessary upgrade to help Sam Bradford and their young offensive unit.
Baltimore took Clayton with the 22nd overall pick in the 2005 draft, but his five-year production has been widely regarded as a major disappointment. He finishes his Ravens career with 234 catches for 3,116 yards, and just 12 touchdowns.
With the Ravens acquiring T.J. Houshmandzadeh earlier in the day, Clayton immediately became expendable. It was rumored the Ravens would actually release Clayton if they found no immediate takers. The fact the Rams even gave up anything shows just how desperate they are for help at wideout.
The trade has an effect on more than a few players in dynasty leagues.
Mark Clayton, WR, STL
Clayton was completely off the grid before this move. In fact, he’s owned in just under one percent of fantasy leagues right now.
That number needs to change right away.
While Clayton is nowhere near a No. 1 receiver in fantasy, he’s worth rostering in both redraft and dynasty leagues as a player given a much needed rebirth. It’s quite possible he could pick up the Rams offense quickly enough to post 700 to 800 yards with a few touchdowns.
The Rams receiving corps was widely regarded as the league’s worst, so it’s not inconceivable to think Clayton could be starting very soon.
While he may not help your fantasy team immediately, there’s never been a doubt about his talent. The best case scenario is he becomes a decent flex player this season in fantasy leagues.
I’ll take that off the wire at the moment.
Sam Bradford, QB, STL
Bradford has looked great in preseason action, going 33 of 55 for 338 yards, and three touchdowns. While those numbers mean very little, he’s at least shown an ability to lead the team down the field.
He’ll make his fair share of mistakes this season, but having Clayton should help him a little.
It certainly can’t hurt.
Danny Amendola, WR, STL
Amendola was on our waiver wire pickup list for the week. He still remains a worthy candidate for a roster as a young player with upside.
He’ll be in the mix with Laurent Robinson and Clayton in the likely three receiver rotation.
Laurent Robinson, WR, STL
He was in line to be the No. 1 wide receiver for the Rams this year and still very well could be. Clayton is arguably more talented, so Robinson is going to need to step it up to get the most targets.
He’s still worth a roster spot in dynasty leagues.
Other Rams Wide Receivers
Clayton’s acquisition should push down Mardy Gilyard, Keenan Burton, and Brandon Gibson down the depth chart.
That’s actually a good thing for dynasty league owners as each of them could use another year of development before being counted on for production.
The Rams may not be done, though. Former Raven Demetrius Williams is rumored to have a tryout with them today.
Ravens Wide Receivers
As if it wasn’t official already, this locks in Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and T.J. Houshmandzadeh as the top three receivers for the Ravens.
With Clayton out of the way, the door could be opened for Marcus Smith, but that’s likely stretching it a little.
While this isn’t going to be a featured headline in your local paper (even if you live in Baltimore or St. Louis), it does have fantasy ramifications.
You just never know what can happen with a second chance and Clayton is getting just that.
Don’t believe me?
Go ask Cedric Benson.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK
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