Adrian Peterson, Stefon Diggs biggest fantasy winners of Sam Bradford trade
The Vikings found their Teddy Bridgewater substitute by acquiring Sam Bradford from the Philadelphia Eagles. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Minnesota will send their 2017 first-round pick, as well as a conditional 2018 fourth-rounder. The Eagles will go with free-agent signee Chase Daniel to start the season at quarterback, with first-round rookie Carson Wentz waiting in the wings.
Bradford’s two-year, $35 million contract runs through next season – perhaps an acknowledgement on the Vikings’ part that Bridgewater’s severe knee injury may cost him all or part of the 2017 season in addition to this year. But with Bridgewater going down and Minnesota’s roster in a championship window, they made an aggressive move to shore up the quarterback position.
Coming off of two injury-wrecked seasons of his own, Bradford played better than commonly assumed in 2015. After shaking off some rust, he was our seventh-highest-graded passer, ranked third in accuracy percentage, and led the league in accuracy percentage while under pressure. However, he does not threaten defenses downfield, as evidenced by his 7.4-yard average depth of target, which ranked 34th of 37 qualifying passers.
The trade is not much of a boon for Bradford’s fantasy value. He takes Bridgewater’s spot in an offense that ran on the third-highest percentage of plays (48.7), had the third-lowest no-huddle rate (2.8), and produced the fifth-fewest snaps per game last season (60.8). The former Eagle remains at the bottom of the fantasy quarterback rankings – he’s still a low-end QB2, at best – especially when factoring in the time it will take Bradford to pick up the offense.
As for other members of the Vikings offense, Stefon Diggs gets a slight bump from a more talented quarterback than 36-year-old Shaun Hill, but remains in the fantasy WR3 range. The already-low fantasy viability of Charles Johnson, first-round-rookie bench player Laquon Treadwell, and tight end Kyle Rudolph all remain unchanged. Running back Adrian Peterson’s outlook is a bit rosier, as Bradford will likely help the offense into the red zone more often than Hill would have.
Daniel had spent the last three seasons in Kansas City and knows Doug Petersen’s offense well. Unfortunately, he is arguably not a starter-level quarterback. He struggled during the preseason, posting our 61st-best passing grade, 5.7 yards per attempt, and a 68.9 quarterback rating, while taking six sacks. He, too, will pilot a slow-paced, run-heavy offense on a defense-led team and has minimal, if any, fantasy value in standard fantasy leagues. He is worth rostering in two-QB leagues as a backup.
The main takeaway for the Eagles is their raw first-round passer, Carson Wentz, is much more likely to see playing time as a rookie. That may be interesting from a real football standpoint, but it is not a boost for the fantasy values of Philadelphia’s weapons. He was erratic in camp and awful in the 38 preseason snaps he took before injuring his ribs. Both WR Jordan Matthews and TE Zach Ertz are in a worse position than they were before this trade and are shaky buys at their current average draft positions.