The Minnesota Vikings didn’t have much time to find a new quarterback after Kirk Cousins suffered a season-ending Achilles on Sunday. Still, they managed to acquire a signal-caller before today’s NFL trade deadline.
Vikings Trade for QB Josh Dobbs
The QB trade market wasn’t exactly overflowing with options for the Vikings as they tried to replace Cousins, who was leading the league in touchdown passes when he went down.
Doing nothing at the deadline and sticking with fifth-round rookie Jaren Hall under center (at least until veteran backup Nick Mullens returns from injured reserve) would have signaled that Minnesota’s season was essentially over at the midway point.
That likely would have been a tough pill to swallow for a Vikings roster that won 13 games a year ago and had fought its way back into contention this season with three straight victories.
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) October 31, 2023
Acquiring Dobbs allows the Vikings to reach something of a middle ground. They’re not giving up anything of value to add him to their roster, and there’s nothing stopping head coach Kevin O’Connell from turning things over to Hall if Minnesota falls out of the playoff picture.
Dobbs has flashed at times this season, but he ranks just 27th in EPA per dropback after eight weeks. He’s now been traded twice in the last three months, as the Cardinals picked up him from the Cleveland Browns in August.
What the Dobbs Trade Means For the Cardinals
The writing was on the wall for Dobbs in Arizona, where head coach Jonathan Gannon had already announced that Kyler Murray or fifth-round rookie Clayton Tune would start against the Browns on Sunday.
Murray has been on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list since training camp as he works his way back from a December ACL tear. The Cardinals designated him to return, and Murray has been fully practicing for several weeks.
MORE: Clayton Tune Pre-Draft Scouting Report
Arizona can keep him on the PUP list through Week 9. If they don’t activate Murray before Week 10, he’ll have to stay on the injured list for the rest of the season.
Tune is expected to draw the start on Sunday, as NFL Network reported this week. Now in line to make his first NFL appearance, Tune topped 4,000 yards and threw 40 touchdowns during his final season in the University of Houston’s Air Raid offense.
Fantasy Fallout From the Dobbs Trade
This move salvages the fantasy stock of Jordan Addison both this week (assuming Dobbs can step right in) and moving forward. Dobbs is more of a known commodity, and while he’s not perfect, he should provide fantasy managers with more confidence than Hall.
This season, Dobbs’ aDOT, with considerably less talent at his disposal, is 12.8% higher than that of Kirk Cousins. Addison is Minnesota’s aDOT leader this season, and while he will carry an extensive range of outcomes moving forward, he has access to a ceiling that he didn’t before this deal.
As for Justin Jefferson, he steps right back into a top-five ranking at the position when deemed healthy enough to play (eligible to be activated next week). Dobbs funneled 26.7% of targets to his top target in Marquise Brown this season, an impressive rate for a receiver with a far less impressive record in terms of target-earning capabilities.
Naturally, there could be a bit of a learning curve, but with a Week 13 bye and a favorable schedule over the final month of the regular season, Jefferson could end up being a league winner as Minnesota aims to qualify for the postseason.
— PFN Fantasy Analyst Kye Soppe