The NFL Trade Deadline is typically one of the slowest in the major sports. This year seems to be the exception, as we have already seen some bigger deals go down ahead of Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline. The Minnesota Vikings pulled off a monster deal to acquire tight end T.J. Hockenson from division rival Detroit Lions.
Trade! The #Lions are sending TE T.J. Hockenson to the #Vikings, sources tell me and @RapSheet.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 1, 2022
Minnesota sends a 2023 second-round pick and 2024 third-round pick to Detroit for Hockenson, a 2023 fourth-round pick and a 2024 conditional fourth-round pick. pic.twitter.com/9P0ZjbS64g
The news came on the heels of Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. dealing with a high ankle sprain and is expected to miss multiple weeks. Unfortunately for Smith, this move essentially eliminates his hope for fantasy relevancy so long as Hockenson is active.
Hockenson, on the other hand, gets an uptick in fantasy value. Kirk Cousins is a better quarterback than Jared Goff and consistently finishes as a top-10 QB in fantasy football. Yes, Hockenson goes from one loaded offense to another, but he shouldn't see a drop in fantasy points. The Vikings have already had their bye week, similar to Detroit, so Hockenson won’t miss any time.
The biggest beneficiary of this move will be Cousins. He already has Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen to target and now gets Hockenson dominating the middle of the field. Cousins should secure weekly top-10 upside the rest of the way. The move doesn’t downgrade Dalvin Cook or Jefferson. If there is one person that is negatively affected by this move, it could be Thielen, who usually gets his work in short-yardage situations.
For the Lions, they lose one of their best players. This leaves the team with Jamaal Williams, D’Andre Swift and Amon-Ra St. Brown as their fantasy-relevant pieces. Brock Wright and James Mitchell are the incumbent tight ends for Detroit, but neither has inherent upside this week so leave them securely on waivers.