We break down the Brandon Lloyd trade and fantasy implications. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams.
The big news on Monday is the report that Brandon Lloyd has been traded from the Denver Broncos to the St. Louis Rams for a sixth round pick that could become a fifth round pick if certain catch numbers are met. The trade is not particularly shocking as the Rams were rumored to be interested and have a lot of holes on offense after Steven Jackson. And the Denver Broncos are slowly moving into Suck For Luck territory and generally rebuilding, so the move is not a surprise on their end.
From a fantasy perspective, it raises some interesting implications. For Lloyd, he is going to a Rams team that has struggled immensely. The loss of Danny Amendola combined with an expected regression has led to a winless start through six weeks. Lloyd should help improve the offense and I would argue it will be a fantasy boon for him. Kyle Orton was a solid enough quarterback but I like what he could do with Sam Bradford. It might take a couple weeks for the two to get in sync, but in spite of a winless record, I think the Rams are in a better position to find success as compared to the one win Broncos.
This could also be a benefit to running back Steven Jackson. Teams are able to stack more men in the box when the passing game is struggling, and this could open up at least a little bit of space for Jackson to find some holes. He is looking healthy and ready to go after an early quad injury, so hopefully he can break out in the coming weeks.
As for the Broncos? Well, they continue to sink further and further into fantasy oblivion. The trade of Lloyd leaves this team with fewer and fewer weapons. Eric Decker will get more looks, but will also now be covered by the opposing defense's number one cornerback week in and week out. Tim Tebow will be with one fewer weapon now and will likely end up relying more on his legs, which is a bit of a good thing for fantasy football. Nonetheless, I would avoid all Broncos for the rest of this year where possible.
Lloyd is expected to play this week for the Rams against Dallas in part because he already knows the offense quite well. He played for Rams OC Josh McDaniels as recently as last year, so that could really help his fantasy production early on.