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We scour the news around the NFL to bring you what matters most to you and your dynasty team: the most current news on players, both superstars and the relative unknowns, and analysis to decipher the respective situations. These are many of the major stories and not meant to be an exhaustive look at all the recent happenings around the league.
Even before his strong showing on Sunday night, Adam Schefter reported that the Raiders "are prioritizing a new deal" for quarterback Derek Carr this offseason. Schefter tweeted that statement early Sunday morning. Carr’s play on Sunday night against the Broncos should solidify this stance. The quarterback is under contract for one more year, but the team will want to lock him up early because the price tag for top passers goes up every year. Schefter said that the contract should be in the range of Andrew Luck’s $123 million contract spread over five years.
Fantasy owners have been anxious to hear news on the return of Tampa Bay tailback Doug Martin. Alex Marvez of Sporting News offered some good news after discussing the matter with Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter. Koetter told him that there is hope that Martin can make it back to the field for next week’s game against the Bears. Koetter said, “We’re hopeful that after these three days off that maybe he has a shot at Chicago … But hamstrings seem to linger a little bit. We’ll have to wait and see … These hamstrings are just delicate … He was 90-plus percent back and doing his rehab run one day and he tweaked it again. (team trainers) kind of had to go back and start over.” Martin originally injured the hamstring in Week 2, but suffered a setback leading up to his Week 7 return. Tampa Bay has played without Martin, his backup Charles Sims (who is on injured reserve with a knee injury), and even Jacquizz Rodgers missed the Thursday night game due to a foot injury. Rodgers was spotted with a walking boot on Monday. Even Antone Smith, who played Thursday, was lost for the season with a knee injury. So, the Buccaneers has had four running backs on the shelf due to injuries. This is why the team is optimistic that Martin can return. Otherwise, it will be Peyton Barber and Mike James running the football against the Bears.
After practicing last week, and his team off for the bye this past week, New England running back Dion Lewis could play in the game against Seattle next Sunday night. Lewis will have a defined role complementing LeGarrette Blount in the Patriots backfield. He has yet to see the field after multiple knee issues. Lewis is dynamic in the open field and will see his role increase over time as he proves 100% health.
The Kansas City Chiefs placed Jamaal Charles on injured reserve this past week. First, Ed Werder reported that both the Chiefs and Dr. James Andrews have been unable to determine the source of Charles' knee pain. Then, Ian Rapoport reported that Charles needed a second operation on his surgically-repaired right knee. There is optimism that Charles might be able to return this season. Rapoport tweeted that he was told that the Kansas City veteran has "a shot to come back this year." Then, on Sunday, Rapoport tweeted that Charles and the Chiefs are targeting a Week 17 return. This would mean the that he returns in eight weeks, the minimum for a return from the injured reserve list. When considering Charles’ future in Kansas City, salary guru Joel Corry tweeted, “Going on IR should mean Jamaal Charles has played his last game for the Chiefs. Charles has a $7M salary & cap number in 2017.” With Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West locked up on the cheap, Charles will need a significant reduction in salary to remain in Kansas City past the 2016 season.
As if the San Diego Chargers needed another injury, the situation of running back Dexter McCluster has been curious. He went from involved in the offense to MIA. So, when Ian Rapoport tweeted Saturday on the topic, it cleared up the confusion. Rapoport tweeted, “The #Chargers placed RB Dexter McCluster on the non-football injury list, ending his season. He broke his forearm in an accident at home.” This will mean an even larger role for Melvin Gordon.
Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls has been out of action for several weeks. Coach Pete Carroll told reporters last week that Rawls could return in Week 11, but we think it may ambitious to expect much until Week 13. It will take a couple of weeks to get into playing shape after missing so much time with the broken fibula. Christine Michael and C.J. Prosise will carry the running game until Rawls return. We do expect Rawls to retake the starting gig when healthy and in shape.
Many fantasy owners had high hopes for Miami receiver DeVante Parker. He was a second-round pick in dynasty startup drafts for part of the summer. The youngster has only topped the 30-yard mark once this season. So, it was comforting when Miami offensive coordinator told reporters last week that Parker has not been healthy all season. The hamstring injury has lingered for most of the season. Dynasty owners who believe that Parker’s lack of production is due to injury should use the opportunity to buy him at a steep discount.
While it is far from notable for many dynasty owners, it was great to see Vikings rookie receiver Laquon Treadwell actually on the field in the loss to the Lions Sunday. He played as the fourth receiver in the contest. The rookie was targeted just once, but Treadwell caught the pass for a fifteen-yard gain. As the season progresses, we expect the first-round pick to move past Cordarrelle Patterson for the third-receiver job, and possibly Adam Thielen for the ability to line up opposite Stefon Diggs in two-receiver sets. The change in offensive coordinator may have led to the increased role (as small as it is) for the rookie.
After his arrest, it was obvious that Eagles receiver Josh Huff would soon be released. The one Eagles receiver to watch is undrafted rookie Bryce Treggs. Treggs is a speedster out of California and will add an element of speed to the Philadelphia offense. The other Eagles pass catchers are more of the sure-handed, possession types so the very swift Treggs will have a chance to see the field. On Sunday, he caught two passes against the Giants. We expect Treggs’ role to increase as he gets acclimated. Catching two passes in his first game on the active roster is a great sign. Coach Pederson stated Monday that he hopes to integrate Treggs into the offense even more going forward. Huff joined the Tampa Bay practice squad. This is a cheap gamble for the Buccaneers, a team light on receiver talent.
We have written several times how Miami tight end Jordan Cameron was likely done in the NFL. He suffered a concussion in Week 3 against Cleveland and has not been seen since. This was at least the fourth known concussion in his professional career. Cameron was placed on injured reserve last week. So, when the Miami Herald reported that Cameron was contemplating retirement, we were far from surprised. Given how little the Dolphins target the tight end position, we hesitate to recommend any of the other players at the position on the roster. But, this could be a sad ending to what was once a bright career. Yes, coach Gase stated Monday that he believes Cameron will try to play next year. For dynasty owners, it is not worth keeping a roster spot occupied by Cameron given the low upside of the position in the Miami offense.
Feel free to email me (Tefertiller@Footballguys.com) with feedback. Also, I am on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/JeffTefertiller), LinkedIn, and Google+, so you can ask me questions on one of these as well.