The Houston Texans are on a five win hot streak with star quarterback Deshaun Watson looking more and more like the player who took the NFL by storm last year before he tore his ACL. Ironically, they’ve now lost receiver Will Fuller for the season with a torn ACL of his own. Fuller and Watson had really connected and it was looking as if the Texans had the making of a very potent offense with Fuller alongside All-Pro and dynasty star DeAndre Hopkins. The Texans proved to be aggressive at the trading deadline, sending a fourth round selection and swapping seventh rounders with the Denver Broncos in exchange for former All-Pro receiver Demaryius Thomas. The deal has far reaching dynasty league ramifications that stretch from Houston to Denver.
Let’s examine the players who have seen their dynasty values changed as a result of the trade.
Demaryius Thomas, WR HOU
Thomas has been one of the most consistent wide receivers in the dynasty leagues over the past decade. Over his nine year career, he’s posted 665 catches, 9,055 receiving yards and 60 touchdowns. He’s also been extraordinarily durable as he’s in the middle of posting his seventh straight season without missing a game.
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Unfortunately, his production has clearly started to tail off in the past two years. After five straight 1,000 yard campaigns, Thomas was only able to post 83 catches for 949 receiving yards and five touchdowns last season. He was on pace for just 72 catches, 804 yards and six scores this year in Denver. While Thomas has lost a step, one also has to wonder just how much since the quarterback play around him has been sub-par ever since Peyton Manning retired.
In Houston, Thomas will attempt to fill the void left by the departure of Fuller, However, their skill sets are very different as Fuller is a “lid lifter” and Thomas is more of a physical possession receiver. It’s fair to wonder just how he’ll fit in opposite Hopkins but it’s also hard to see this as a bad move for Thomas as well.
In the end, I’d expect Thomas to at least keep up the pace and finish the season with around 80 catches, 900 yards and a nice handful of touchdowns, making him likely a high-end WR3. While it’s not likely to rise a ton, I’d expect Thomas’ ADP to start evening out as a result of the trade.
Deshaun Watson, QB HOU
Watson is really coming on and the addition of Thomas should help him maintain his hot streak. The Texans were thin at receiver and while Thomas isn’t the player he once was, he should prove to be a nice veteran presence and red zone weapon for the Texans. Another couple of solid outings and Watson will again become a “set it and forget it” QB1.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR HOU
Yeah, he’s still the man.
Keke Coutee, WR HOU
Coutee was slated for a bigger role without Thomas in the fold but this deal in no way ruins his value, as some are suggesting. Coutee has proven quickly that he’s more than capable of big games and now just needs to get healthy and man the slot on a consistent basis. Thomas isn’t going to be in Houston in the long-term and while Coutee’s production may take a short-term hit with Thomas in the fold, he has great long-term dynasty upside. In fact, I’d target him in trades now if his owner is down on his value.
Sammie Coates, WR HOU
There was some hope out there for Coates after Fuller went down but the Texans pretty much figured out what we all knew already – Coates really isn’t an NFL-caliber starting receiver. He belongs on the waiver wire in dynasty leagues now that the Texans have their receiver corps solidified.
Jordan Thomas, TE HOU
One could say Jordan Thomas loses value now that the Texans have a veteran red zone threat in the form of Demaryius Thomas. However, I’m not sold on Jordan as a short-term contributor right now even without DT on the roster. He had a great game last week but expecting consistent production from him at the moment wouldn’t be advised. He remains a nice hold in dynasty leagues as a player with upside but not one you can really start every week at this point.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR DEN
Sanders has really been the top receiver in Denver for a while now and this move just makes it official. If Courtland Sutton fails to live up to what are now some lofty expectations, Sanders could even have more targets come his way. No matter what, Sanders belongs in dynasty lineups as a consistent and valuable top-tier receiver option. He’s going to have a really nice second half of the season.
Courtland Sutton, WR DEN
If there’s a big winner in this trade, it’s clearly Sutton. On the year, the rookie has just 17 catches for 324 yards and two touchdowns. While that doesn’t seem like a ton, we’ve seen some flashes in his game that reinforce why he was a coveted rookie pick. His ADP is going to rise at this point and he’s going to have a legitimate chance to become a dynasty starter for years to come now. If you were trying to trade for him, the bargain window has closed. At this point, Sutton is looking like a much better prospect than some rookies taken ahead of him like Rashaad Penny and Ronald Jones. Buckle up.
DaeSean Hamilton, WR DEN
I believe Hamilton is now a sneaky target as a “throw in” for dynasty trades at the moment. The Broncos reportedly love this kid and have some very high hopes for him moving forward. Most of the post-trade attention is going to go to Sutton (and rightfully so). However, Hamilton is now suddenly poised to have a big role in the Denver offense. While he’s reportedly out until week 11 at the earliest as he nurses a minor injury, he should come in as the slot receiver and prove to be very valuable in dynasty leagues unless…
Tim Patrick, WR DEN
…Patrick takes the job and runs with it. Patrick (and possibly Jordan Taylor) will carry the torch for Hamilton while he continues to recover from that minor knee injury. Patrick is intriguing as a roster add at the moment as a player who will get a chance to produce after scoring his first touchdown last week. There’s just something about him that’s intriguing.
Case Keenum, QB DEN
Losing quality receivers is never a great thing, even if they are aging. However, Keenum has bigger problems at the moment as he’s failed to live up to expectations thus far in the Mile High City. Luckily for him, his greatest competition was waived last week as Chad Kelly decided to have a little too much fun at Von Miller’s Halloween Party. In short, Keenum needs to play better no matter who is catching the ball or his tenure in Denver is going to be short.
Side Note: I really want to get an invite to that Halloween Party next year.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK