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The only thing less frequent than a fantasy football trade is an actual NFL trade, and we've had two big ones in the last couple days: Semi-retired/exiled QB Carson Palmer is headed from Cincinnati to Oakland for first- and second-round draft picks, and WR Brandon Lloyd is going from Denver to St. Louis for a late-round pick.
Both of these deals have some strong fantasy implications, especially the Palmer deal. It's unclear how soon he will start, and he certainly will need a couple games worth of reps to make an impact, but he's a terrific waiver wire pick-up to stash on your roster for the second half of the season - he will have at least five solid targets in WRs Denarious Moore, Louis Murphy, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Jacoby Ford, plus a pass-catching TE, Kevin Boss, who wasn't really on the same page as Oakland's previous, now-injured QB Jason Campbell.
Palmer was a big yardage and TD threat in his best years in Cincy, throwing to the likes of Chad then-Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but also was plagued by INTs. In Oakland, he'll be behind one of the most secure offensive lines in the NFL (tied for a league-low seven sacks given-up), which could limit the mistakes. Palmer should be a nice option for the last five or six games of the season, so he could be a difference-maker in fantasy playoffs. The numbers of all Oakland receivers might be due for a nice boost, too.
The Lloyd trade is a little more difficult to analyze. In St. Louis, he becomes the obvious No. 1 target, which can be both good and bad. He may have to deal with heavier coverage than in Denver, and St. Louis QB Sam Bradford is having a tough sophomore year, getting sacked frequently. In Denver, Lloyd stood to probably lose some catches with Tim Tebow taking over at QB and needing to throw some shorter routes, but could have picked up more TD receptions.
The fantasy winners in this deal may be Denver's remaining WRs - Eric Decker, who no longer has to share with Lloyd; Demaryius Thomas, who has been viewed as a sleeper; and even the forgotten Eddie Royal. Lloyd may be less fortunate in St. Louis.
* SI.com believes another winner in the Palmer trade is Oakland RB Darren McFadden.
* Bleacher Report says Lloyd could benefit from the Rams' pass-happy ways.
* Fantasy Knuckleheads likes rookie Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray to take over for the injured Felix Jones.
* SB Nation has another clue in the mysterious disappearance of Browns RB Peyton Hillis. Hillis went from last year's surprise star to this year's dud, but now he's getting an MRI.
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Posted on Feb 20, 2018