The recent trade of TJ Hockenson from the Detroit Lions to the Minnesota Vikings may have major fantasy football implications. I detail below which players may be impacted by the move the most below.
The trade means that the Lions’ first-string tight end spot is now open for the taking. This could mean good news for the second string tight end, Brock Wright, who could potentially see an increase in targets and therefore production. I wouldn’t be too confident in looking at Wright as the next breakout tight-end slot. However, if the position is your team’s weakest position and you have the space on your bench then consider picking up Wright after waivers process as a potential lottery ticket.
Irv Smith Jr.
This is the time to move on from Irv Smith Jr. as the Vikings TE1 spot now belongs to Hockenson. The fact that the Vikings traded for Hockenson indicates that the Vikings believe that Smith will be out for a long time due to his high-ankle sprain. Even if he does return, Hockenson’s presence on the field will diminish Smith’s targets and production. Will Disslly or Isaiah Likely may be good replacements to pick up off the waiver wire.
Hockenson going to the Viking’s seems to be a move that is better for the team overall, but may not have as big of an impact on the individual fantasy players. In fact, Hockenson himself may see a decrease in production as his ceiling will be limited because he will be sharing the field with other star pass catchers like Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson.
If Hockenson sees a similar amount of targets to what Smith Jr. saw in Minnesota, then we can expect a 23% decrease in targets compared to his time on the Lions. This move hurts Hockenson’s fantasy football value and may not be the tight end that he was on the Lions. I would recommend selling high on the trade news and trying to package him with another player for an improvement at tight end.
Overall, this trade is a good move for the Vikings, but may not have as big of an impact on fantasy football. It’s crucial to keep tabs on the number and percentage of tight ends being utilized each week, as this can help you predict which players will have an increased opportunity for catches and yardage. As always, stay active on the waiver wire and be aware of any potential roster changes that could occur before making decisions about your team.