Kelvin Benjamin traded to Buffalo
The Panthers wanted to get more speed on the field to open up the run game. They had two wide receivers with very similar skillsets in Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess on the outside, and wanted more route running on at least one side of the ball. This will allow rookie speedster Curtis Samuel to play wide, opposite Devin Funchess. Samuel is a good flier to pick up, although he’s a tough play this week against an Atlanta defense who just doesn’t allow big plays. Until Greg Olsen comes back, I would expect them to run more 3-wide sets with Russell Shepard in the slot, who should see an uptick in targets. Once Olsen comes back, expect the Panthers to run more 2-tight end sets, and get that run game going. Jonathan Stewart definitely benefits, as teams will start easing up on the box and he will have more running room. I don’t see Christian McCaffrey getting that much of a bump in the running game, but he could see a bump in targets moving forward. Cam Newton can see a bump, as he had his best season in 2014 without Benjamin, but that remains to be seen.
Getting Kelvin Benjamin definitely helps Tyrod Taylor. He basically had no weapons outside of Shady, and was still getting it done without any. Now that he has a legit red zone presence, we can see his numbers go up, as the Bills have a better chance of scoring. Shady will probably get a few targets taken away from him, but having a guy like KB that defenses have to pay attention to will help Shady have a bit more room. The offense will still run through him, but the offense as a whole gets better with KB on the field.
Jay Ajayi traded to Philadelphia
Kenyan Drake should get the first crack at the starting job, as he was getting reps and is the better runner between him and Damien Williams. I don’t think Drake can lose the job to Williams, as I believe the talent gap between the two is significant. Williams can come in on passing situations and third downs since he’s the better pass-catcher of the two. The Dolphins defense haven’t been putting the offense in terrible situations, so I don’t expect Drake to be put in too many negative game scripts. The offensive line has played terribly this year, so I don’t expect him to be a league winner, although he a must-pick up. If he can get solid volume, he’s a potential RB2. If you’re in a PPR league, Williams is a flier pickup.
The Eagles offense has been great this season, and they just got better with Jay Ajayi. LeGarrette Blount was actually a very effective runner this season behind a really good offensive line, so Ajayi should be able to put up some numbers as well. I would assume that Ajayi will be the #1 over Blount eventually, and even if this is a timeshare, Ajayi should be able to be put together much better fantasy days on less touches in a more efficient manner. I like Ajayi in Philly, and I will try to trade for him if the owner thinks it’s a crowded backfield. This obviously hurts Blount, as he is only viable with volume. Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood are out of the picture for now, but it remains to be seen who the passing-down back will be. Clement did out-snap Smallwood last week 19-12, and out-touched him 10-2.