Detroit is dealing QB Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for two future first-round picks, a third-round pick and QB Jared Goff, per sources. Two former No. 1 overall picks trading places in the first blockbuster NFL trade of 2021.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 31, 2021
The fantasy football implications to this trade are a huge win for the Matthew Stafford camp, as well as every skill player in Los Angeles. On the other side of the coin, Jared Goff goes from having an extremely favorable situation with the Rams — plenty of targets and a creative playcaller — to an offense with considerably less talent and a run-first narrative.
There is way too much uncertainty in Detroit to get far into Goff’s outlook. The top three receivers from last season are all poised to hit the open market in March. We’ll invest plenty of attention to this situation and do a deeper dive once more pieces are in place.
Goff offers matchup-play potential if the needs are met around him, but we’re probably a year or more away from that being the case with a first-year head coach and a bunch of holes to fill. He is a system quarterback who requires plenty of support to be at his best.
The offense will be commanded by Anthony Lynn, and he’ll look to return to his run-heavy ways. That favors Goff and his penchant for finding success out of play-action passing. While that may be good for the Lions, rarely do fantasy gamers find consistent utility when their quarterback is at his best when the system limits his throws. Think respectable QB2 territory if the receivers improve in a hurry.
Regardless of recent injury issues, Stafford immediately solidifies as a strong No. 1 fantasy passer based on the system and the weapon cache. There is considerable talent at receiver, tight end and running back. It will be interesting to learn how much of a blend we’ll see between the offense molding around Stafford’s skill set vs. how much LA will ask him to fit into their existing scheme of a play-action, run-friendly design. Frankly, there’s little reason to expect the latter given the draft capital surrendered to land him.
The entire cast of passing game and backfield outlooks in the Los Angeles offense will see improvement. The vertical nature of Sean McVay’s offensive style will thrive with Stafford’s cannon of an arm and ability to exploit defense via off-platform throws like few others. Veterans in Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods offer a top-level tandem for reliability, and the personnel depth gives Stafford multiple outlets throughout the route tree. Entering his second year in the backfield, Cam Akers is poised to have a breakout season with a dynamic quarterback running cover. Toss in playmaker potential at tight end and there’s plenty to like about the age-33 season for Stafford.
Fantasy football drafts are a ways off for the majority of owners, but it will take a catastrophe between now and the heart of the selection season for Stafford to fall out of the top 10 of starters. Some drafters will put him closer to the top five quarterbacks.