• Roquan Smith Trade: The IDP Fantasy Impact

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    Former Bulldog Linebacker Roquan Smith is trading his bear for a bird. What does this mean for his fantasy stock?

    The Chicago Bears have traded superstar linebacker Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens in what will likely be the league’s most significant defensive trade before the November 1 deadline.

    Trading one of IDP’s brightest stars is sure to shake some fantasy rosters to the core. There’s now a gaping hole in Chicago and a massive hole filled in Baltimore. What does this mean for both sides?

    For Chicago

    This adds to the growing draft chest. Nicholas Morrow will be the plug-and-play for the Bears, though it is essential to remember that he was already an every-down player for Chicago. Morrow has played 100% snaps in every game, but one — and even that was 98%.

    The workload won’t increase, although the tackle rate likely will. Morrow has been solid yet mostly unspectacular, with just two double-digit tackle days to represent a higher ceiling. The trade definitely raises the roof, so to speak, for Morrow.

    As for the LB2 fill-in — which is a valuable role given Morrow’s every-down role while Smith was a Bear — there are several candidates. The team added A.J. Klein in the deal, who spent September on the Giants' practice squad three weeks ago before being signed by the Ravens.

    There’s rookie Jack Sanborn, who went undrafted out of Wisconsin, who saw a season-high 22% of snaps in Week 8. But there’s also Joe Thomas, the 31-year-old veteran who played more in Weeks 1 and 2 but saw his role massively reduced in the following weeks.

    So who steps up of the three? All are worth speculative pickups given the 100% snap share possibility, but look for Sanborn to get the first crack. The 22-year-old saw more snaps than Thomas recently, and while Klein could take the job in time, it makes total sense for Chicago to give the young buck some more run.

    For Baltimore

    Patrick Queen takes an obvious hit. Baltimore drafted him out of LSU in 2020. While Queen hasn’t been the player the Ravens were hoping for, he’s been better in run defense this year. Still, Smith will command an every-down role, and you can bet he’ll carry his tackle rate with him to the Ravens.

    Smith will still be terrific for fantasy, but Queen becomes more of a streaming candidate as his snaps likely dip. Josh Bynes, who flirted with fantasy relevance at times, will be firmly sent to the bench.

    The trade for Smith also doesn’t help safeties Chuck Clark and Kyle Hamilton’s prospects for box play. They will still definitely get their due in certain packages — we saw how relevant Jaquan Brisker and Eddie Jackson have been this year with Morrow and Smith — it more so impacts Hamilton’s already smaller role.

    Thank you for checking out my article! You can read all of my content on my IDP Guys’ author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @Michael__Sicoli and @IDPGuys (we have offense too). Please check out our website at idpguys.org!

    Michael Sicoli

    A dynasty enthusiast and fantasy football addict, there's not much more I'd prefer to write about. I'm a New Yorker at a Connecticut university -- Quinnipiac -- who's a firm believer that the NFL doesn't have an offseason.

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