In the late hours of last night, Ryan Olsen’s The Resistance and The Commish’s Pecan Sandies struck a deal on what is the first major blockbuster trade of the 2019 season. The deal sees the teams swap their former first round picks, Le’Veon Bell and DeAndre Hopkins, as The League heads into the second half of what has been an ultra-competitive regular season in which 11 of the 12 teams are within at least 1 game of a playoff spot.
Yesterday evening, driven no doubt by the loss of RB Kerryon Johnson to knee surgery, The Commish informed The League that Hopkins and fellow receiver Amari Cooper were available for trade in return for running back help. After receiving several other offers, The Commish and Olsen hammered out a deal rather quickly that seems to benefit both squads as they attempt to make a playoff push.
For Olsen, the trade adds another top flight receiver to pair with Adam Thielen as plug and play starters, providing The Resistance with possibly The League’s top receiving core and the added flexibility to play the matchup game in the flex with Allen Robinson and the New England-bound Mohamed Sanu. Hopkins is also a needed-security blanket in this week’s upcoming game in the event Thielen is unable to suit up tomorrow night. Marlon Mack and James White will slide into the every-week RB roles in the absence of Bell.
For The Commish, the loss of Hopkins undoubtedly hurts the receiving game, but provides a big boost to a ground game that was in shambles due to the injury to Kerryon Johnson and the League-wide lack of RB depth. Bell gives the team a reliable floor with potential upside as the schedule lightens up and, as an added bonus, has already had his bye. While Ekeler and Bell do the ground work, Courtland Sutton will move up to WR2 and The Commish figures to play it by ear in the flex with waiver wire addition Kenny Stills, Jamison Crowder, and Phillip Dorsett, who was also included in the deal with Olsen.
Both Olsen and The Commish currently sit at 3-4 and are battling for playoff position. They face off next week in what could be a pivotal matchup for both teams.
In years past, the first big trade of the year has been a harbinger of more deals to follow. While the trade front has been quiet this year, we’ll see if last night’s deal is followed up by anymore fireworks from elsewhere in The League.