Wow. NFL teams weren't messing around with this trade deadline thing, huh? Several high profile players swapped cities on Tuesday -- including a couple of big name wide receivers -- and the fantasy implications could be...unsettling. Just when we thought we knew where guys like Demaryius Thomas and Golden Tate fell in the receiving hierarchy, it all gets turned on its head. Do they get upgraded? How about peripherally impacted players like Kenny Golladay and Keke Coutee? My opinions for the short term are found in this week's wide receiver rankings below. But first...
You can thank Ryan Fitzpatrick -- or perhaps Jameis Winston's festival of interceptions -- for Mike Evans' return to WR1 status. The Bucs receiver saw a league high 13 targets against the Bengals, amassing 179 yards and a touchdown. 111 of those yards AND the touchdown came from the 3 targets he got from Fitzpatrick, who replaced Winston late in the 3rd quarter. Fitz is a gunslinger, and Evans is about to become one popular hombre.
Larry Fitzgerald received double digit targets (12) for the first time since Week 1. The firing of Mike McCoy has opened up the Arizona offense, once again making Larry and the rest of the Cardinals crew fantasy relevant. And the world rejoices!
Golden Tate also notched 12 targets in his last game of the season as a Detroit Lion, but his trade to the Eagles complicates his target share moving forward. Philly already has a short route monster in Zach Ertz. Will Tate take enough of that work to remain a top receiving option in fantasy? It doesn't look great.
Which pass catcher should you start in San Francisco? Who the hell knows? With Pierre Garçon out of the lineup, sophomore receiver Kendrick Bourne stepped up and delivered 7 receptions for 71 yards on 10 targets. That's a better stat line than Garçon has seen all year. Hopefully the 49ers take the hint and get Bourne more involved. But hope is really all we have at this point.
Jermaine Kearse is back to getting 10 targets...but is he back to fantasy relevance? Miami is a tougher match than you might think, and distribution in New Jersey is tough to predict. For now, I'd stay clear of all Jets receivers if you can.