What’s the impact of the trade of Desmond King from Los Angeles to Tennessee? A look at how this change of scenery could impact your fantasy teams.
With the NFL’s trade deadline quickly closing in, it has been eerily quiet, as there has been just a handful of trades and no big blockbuster deals. However, Monday evening there was one trade that occurred that I found very interesting. The Los Angeles Chargers traded away defensive back/punt returner Desmond King to the Tennessee Titans. They traded King away to the Titans in exchange for a 2021 6th round pick. This is a steal for the Titans who are in desperate need of cornerback help. A bit strange that such a high caliber player fell out of favor with the Chargers, but a great and much-needed acquisition for the Titans, in their quest for a Championship run. Let’s take a closer look at this change of scenery for King and the impact it could have.
King was drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers in the 5th round, 151st selection overall of the 2017 NFL Draft, from the University of Iowa. King has spent three and a half seasons with the Chargers. He played in 53 games, starting 23. During his time with the Chargers (2018 season), King earned All-Pro honors at cornerback and was a 2nd team All-Pro as a punt returner. He produced 213 tackles, 172 solos, 14 TFLs, 13 QB hits, 7.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, four interceptions – which resulted in 165 yards and two touchdowns. King also defended 17 passes
As a punt returner, he produced 455 yards and returned two to the house. As a kick returner, he amassed 1,206 yards over 55 returns. A multi-threat player who impacted both the defensive and special team’s phases of the game.
The Change of Scenery
A change of scenery doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can be a great opportunity for both the player and his new team. The Titans secondary has been horrible this season, except for their safeties. Their cornerback play has been atrocious, due in part to injuries (Adoree Jackson & Kristian Fulton) and ineffectiveness (Jonathan Joesph). They have been forced to start a couple of rookies (Fulton & Chris Jackson), who have had to learn on the fly. After starting the season 5-0, they have lost the last two games and are being exploited in the secondary. There were rumors they could possibly be in the market for cornerback help but after the loss to Cincinnati. Vrabel and co knew they had to address the issue quickly.
King can come in right away and provide the Titans with experience. King can play corner and safety. His versatility is highly valuable. They should use him in the same role that Logan Ryan filled. Acquiring King and getting him in that role will not all but a lot of the problems they are having at cornerback. He’s also just 25, playing on the last year of his rookie deal, so he’s not an expensive option for them. With that said, if he plays the second half of this season, the way he has his whole career, then the Titans would be wise to sign him to a new deal at seasons end.
In a video conference call on Monday, Vrabel acknowledged King has played the majority of his career in the slot, “and by all accounts, that’s where he would start out.” “(GM) Jon (Robinson) and I talked, and he’s a player he and I felt like could help us, has played DB, has been disruptive, has been an effective blitzer, and has done some things,” Vrabel said of King.
“We’ll see where he’s at when he gets here. He’s going to be away from the building for a while, going through protocols. We won’t know much until much later in the week. Everything that we’ve heard is he’s a player that loves football, is competitive, and he’s played a number of different spots.”
Vrabel said there’s a chance King could be available for Sunday’s game vs the Bears, but he indicated some testing and travel protocols are on the horizon. Vrabel said he believes Saturday is the earliest King could be with the Titans.
Now, what does change of scenery for King all this mean? I personally love this for fantasy managers. I feel he’s a terrific buy now piece for any manager who is in contention. Float some trade offers to buy him at a relatively cheap price. King provides a safe floor with upside. Many fantasy managers have soured on King lately. They might be willing to get rid of him cheaply, especially since most fantasy managers stream cornerbacks. I would also scour the waiver wire to see if he’s available. King is a box score filler. He plays at a position with a few of those options. If you play in leagues that score for kick and punt returns, that adds to his value.