Yahoo Fantasy analysts Liz Loza and Matt Harmon examine the fantasy fallout after two big NFL Draft first round trades.
LIZ LOZA: All right, Matt. This NFL offseason has been driven by the rapidly increasing cost of wide receivers. And that trend continued during the first night of the 2022 NFL draft. We had two big trades come in during the draft and we got to talk about them. Let's start first, with the Cardinals trading for Marquise Hollywood Brown. I know you had some rather, shall we say, big feelings, about this move. So I'll let you start and maybe, start venting those.
MATT HARMON: I mean, it's just crazy that all of these receivers from that 2019 class, you know-- And AJ Brown's been rumored. You know, Deebo Samuel. Obviously, everybody's been talking about that. Even in the whispers of DK Metcalf. Old Marquise Brown went ahead of them all in 2019 and gets dealt with. Like, even Lamar Jackson didn't see this one coming. Obviously, he tweeted WTF after this all happened.
But the Ravens and the Cardinals had this one agreed to, you know, for, like-- Marquise Brown was at the Cardinals' draft party. So caught everybody by surprise. Looks from-- from a trade perspective, I think it's an aggressive move on the Cardinals' part. Obviously, Kyler has to be a big driving force here. Him and Marquise Brown were teammates.
I do think it's basically a replacement for Christian Kirk. Potentially, an upgrade on Christian Kirk too as a vertical slot receiver. I think that's probably Marquise Brown's best position. So the Cardinals needed some juice in their wide receiver room. Marquise Brown certainly gives them that. And now, I'm also though, I'm looking back at Baltimore and thinking, it's Rashod Bateman season. And I'm very excited about--
LIZ LOZA: Yeah, it is.
MATT HARMON: That is very exciting.
LIZ LOZA: Yeah, it is.
MATT HARMON: So that's--
LIZ LOZA: That's it, right?
MATT HARMON: That's my takeaway.
LIZ LOZA: Stock up on Bateman. And Rondale Moore truthers, my apologies. I think this is what's happening. We know who's going up. We know who's going down. If we want to talk about going up at least in terms of grabbing the bag, let's get to the second trade. The Tennessee Titans traded AJ Brown, one of your favorite receivers--
MATT HARMON: Yeah.
LIZ LOZA: --to the Eagles in exchange for Philadelphia's 18th overall pick and a third rounder as well. The Eagles then signed Brown to a, we're talking about it now, four-year deal worth 100, that's two zeros, $100 million. It's-- I mean, the money is bananas. But I think if we're looking at this from the Eagles' perspective, they've got DeVonta Smith, they've got AJ Brown.
That is a dynamic duo. Obviously, AJ Brown's after the catch ability, his physicality, helps ease things up for DeVonta Smith a little bit here. And by the way, Smith cleared 100 targets last year. I don't think you want a receiver like Smith doing that much heavy lifting given his size. Not that I'm out on, like, his size or anything.
MATT HARMON: Yeah, sure.
LIZ LOZA: I just think that he probably needs a little bit of help, you know. And also, this has to help as well Jalen Hurts, although Jalen Hurts is in the top 10 of every single consensus fantasy QB ranking. So I don't know how much higher we can move it.
MATT HARMON: Yeah. It's an interesting fit for obviously from, like, an overall offensive volume perspective. Like, the Eagles started off last year being one of the most pass-heavy teams in the NFL and then slowly had to transition to one of the most run-heavy teams in the NFL. So I, kind of, wonder where they end up falling on that spectrum because now they have the personnel to throw the ball.
You know, with AJ Brown, who I think has top five wide receiver talent, you know. And I think he-- in Tennessee, he could have had, like, a nuclear season at some point to me, like, from a fantasy angle because he's just that good. I love your point about how he complements DeVonta Smith too. Like, DeVonta Smith basically ran out last year as the Eagles' X receiver. And I think you, kind of, want him to be someone you move around pre snap. Maybe you move inside a little bit too. Brown brings that 50-50 ball dominance, the ability to get off press.
Not that DeVonta Smith again, can't do that, he can. He's a great technician. But it just opens up so much for Smith. I think it opens up so much for the offense in general. And now if Jalen Hurts doesn't work out, and, I mean, he'll work out for fantasy, you know, because he can run. The Eagles have one of the most attractive landing spots in the entire NFL. I do think it's probably a little bit of a fantasy negative for AJ Brown. I hate to be pessimistic, right? From just-- from a pure-- from a pure numbers perspective--
LIZ LOZA: From a volume standpoint.
MATT HARMON: Yeah. From a volume-- although he's not exactly coming from one of the most voluminous offenses in the NFL in Tennessee, but I think Ryan Tannehill probably a slightly better passer than Jalen Hurts. You know, obviously, just familiarity with the system too. So not, like, a total death knell or anything like that. I'm not going to be fully fading AJ Brown at ADP. But I think it might be, you know-- If I was trying to maybe push him into, you know, the top five or even, like, the first year of dynasty rankings or something, maybe he comes a bit back from that.
LIZ LOZA: That makes sense. I will say that the Titans then drafted Treylon Burks to replace AJ Brown. But we'll get into more of that on the "Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast," which you should definitely check out.