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Jadeveon Clowney Trade Fantasy Implications

In the second move of Bill O’Brien’s cut-day trade spree, the Texans shipped unsigned franchise tag player Jadeveon Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks. In return they received:

  • 2020 3rd round pick
  • Barkevious Mingo, LB
  • Jacob Martin, LB

By waiting until after the last date that Clowney could potentially sign a new contract with a team, the Texans have shot themselves in the foot in terms of compensation. 

Just a few months back the Seahawks received a first and a second (with a swap of 3rds) for their own franchise-tagged pass-rusher Frank Clark.

You can’t feel good about this if you’re a Texans fan. 

There are a few potential implications for fantasy:

Team D & Skill Positions

The Seattle defense, for whom many had predicted a decline, now has the potential to be elite, with two pro-bowlers in the front seven.

  • Now a draftable defense (please, don’t draft any defense before the last two rounds, and you should be streaming matchups) with a week1 matchup against the Bengals & their depleted o-line
  • Potentially a challenging matchup for opposing skill players
  • An improved defense can mean lower passing volume, so it potentially lowers the ceiling for Russel Wilson and Tyler Lockett 
  • An improved defense will help Shottenheimer run the grind-it-out rushing attack he wants. Potential bump for Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny

The Texans defense takes a definite downgrade

  • Still streamable but not a top defense to draft, particularly with a week 1 matchup in New Orleans
  • Volume bump for Deshaun Watson & all pass catchers
  • Potential bump for Duke Johnson if Texans are trailing 
  • Likely downgrade for Carlos Hyde if the Texans spend less time running out the clock


  • Jadeveon Clowney
    • Clowney should see a bump up
    • Ranking seventh last year among all pass rushers in PFF grading, Clowney is a high-end talent. He’ll be asked to fill the void from Frank Clark
    • Clark was a top 25 IDP player in 2018 with 14 sacks, 27 QBH, 14 TFL.  
    • Seattle’s front seven is stacked, but Clowney will be the most talented rusher
    • Look for Clowney’s sack count to rise. Move him up IDP rankings. A finish in the low 30s or high 20s is a reasonable expectation
  • JJ Watt
    • Without Clowney drawing attention from blockers, Watt will have a harder time getting penetration
    • Move him down rankings accordingly. His talent should keep him a top-10 IDP asset but in the 8-10 range instead of top-3
  • Barkevious Mingo
    • Mingo started at OLB alongside Bobby Wagner last year for Seattle
    • Graded out as average player by PFF
    • His 60.5 points put him outside of the top 250 defensive players
    • Even without Clowney, the Texans have two quality starters at OLB in Whitney Mercilus and Zack Cunningham
    • Look for Mingo to be a rotational piece for the Texans. He’s unlikely to be fantasy-relevant
  • Jacob Martin
    • A second-year ILB, Martin was a 6th round selection by the Seahawks
    • In limited 2018 action, he received an above-average 66.5 grade by PFF
    • He will be a rotational player for Texans. 
    • Unlikely to be relevant this year but could be a good dynasty stash
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