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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL TRADE DEADLINE: MORE ACTIVITY THAN USUAL

The NFL deciding to move back the trade deadline in 2016 finally showed some intriguing results this season as there were a few big trades done leading up to the 4:00 PM cutoff.  The fun started with the Miami Dolphins trading running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles and included the Buffalo Bills shockingly adding wideout Kelvin Benjamin from the Carolina Panthers.  Let's take a look at these happenings and of course the latest Ezekiel Elliott happenings.

Jay Ajayi:  The first place Eagles made a big and bold move early Monday by picking up running back Jay Ajayi from the Miami Dolphins for just a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.  Clearly Dolphins head coach Adam Gase had no use for Ajayi and his disdain for the running back goes back to the start of last year.  That was when Gase suspended Ajayi after he was beaten out by Arian Foster to begin the season as the starter and with the running numbers falling way below expectations, the move was made.  Prior to the deal, Ajayi struggled in all but two games for the Dolphins as the struggling O-line failed to open holes and the numbers dipped sharply compared to a year ago.  This after Ajayi went as a late first-round pick in many drafts this past summer.  So now we have to grade Ajayi on his new locale and on that front things are looking up.  The Eagles' O-line is much better at opening up holes in the run game and that alone will boost Ajayis numbers.  Of course LeGarrette Blount remains and GM Howie Roseman proclaimed late Monday that he remains the starter.  That will likely just be until Ajayi gets a hold of the offense and so overall his stock is moving upwards to high-RB 2 status instead of the low-RB 2 tier he resided in with Miami.

Kelvin Benjamin:  The real shocker was the Carolina Panthers dealing top wideout Kelvin Benjamin to the Buffalo Bills for 2018 third-and-seventh-round picks.  Benjamin is a pending unrestricted free agent which likely was the impetus for the deal but his status as a WR 2 doesn't in moving to Buffalo.  However Bills QB Tyrod Taylor will benefit for sure, while Panthers wideout Devin Funchess is now the top dog in the team's wide receiver hierarchy. 

Ezekiel Elliott:  Already the first of two appeals was denied for Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott on Monday and the second one will likely be rejected as well.  The next phase would then be Elliott challenging to the Second Circuit Court which will continue this nonsense.  Elliott really needs to get the suspension over with so that he is there for the Cowboys the last few games of the season when a division title could be on the line and also to return for the fantasy football playoff weeks for his owners.  This saga shows no signs of ending anytime soon. 


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