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.
This was a bad week for injuries to the quarterback position. Aaron Rodgers injured his calf. Matthew Stafford injured the fingers on his throwing hand. But, the most catastrophic was the loss of Ryan Tannehill with an ACL injury to his left knee. The injury occurred in the third quarter on a low hit by Calais Campbell. Yes, Matt Moore led the Dolphins to victory against the Cardinals. But, the loss of Tannehill could doom Miami’s playoff hopes. The initial reports are positive. Tannehill appears to only have sprained his ACL and MCL. Jeff Darlington, of ESPN, reported Monday that Tannehill will get a second opinion this week to confirm he does not need surgery. In addition, if Tannehill is able to avoid surgery, there is a chance he could return for the playoffs, assuming Moore is able to lead the Dolphins to the postseason.
The injury to Melvin Gordon III doomed many fantasy playoff hopes. Gordon left the game against the Panthers in the first quarter. He was quickly ruled out for the game. There is some optimism that the young runner will be ok. More will be known this week. The injury was called a “hip” injury but it was tough to see the exact mechanism because of how his leg was caught in the pile of players. There have been reports calling the injury both a hip strain and a knee sprain. Gordon was replaced by Kenneth Farrow, who had a monster fantasy outing much to Gordon owner’s chagrin. He could have another big outing against the Raiders this week if the starter misses the contest. Sadly, for Gordon, if he is not able to return to the field for the final three games of the season, he will finish just three yards shy of the 1,000-yard mark. On Monday, Chargers coach Mike McCoy called the injury "week to week." Farrow will be the hot waiver wire add this week.
Jamaal Charles looks poised to possibly return this season. On Thursday, Ian Rapoport tweeted, “As his team plays tonight, #Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (2 knee surgeries) is doing well, working hard, hopeful to be back for the playoffs.” It was great to see some positive vibes after two knee surgeries just this year, in addition to the ACL injury which initially sidelined the veteran ball carrier. Then, on Sunday, Adam Schefter tweeted, “reports there is a ’very realistic’ chance Jamaal Charles (knee, injured reserve) returns for the playoffs.” The Chiefs will be formidable if they have a fully-healed Charles even if in a part-time role.
We hate to see veteran players suffer major injuries at the end of their respective careers. When watching the game Sunday, we were afraid it would be the case with Matt Forte, who seemed to suffer a nasty injury in the come-from-behind victory over San Francisco. After the game, Forte admitted that he felt "cracking and popping" in his knee. We hope Forte can get back to the field soon. For the Jets, Bilal Powell will step into the starting role if Forte is out. He played very well Sunday against the 49ers, the worst rush defense in the NFL. But, also, the team re-signed Khiry Robinson late last week. This is a sign that Robinson is recovered from his broken leg, which allowed New York to waive/injured reserve before the start of the season. While Robinson has endured his share of injuries, he could assert himself into a viable role the last three weeks of the season.
Rookie Wendell Smallwood went down with a right knee injury but was quickly ruled out. He had not been overly effective this season after generating buzz in the offseason. On Monday, coach Doug Pederson called the injury an MCL sprain. Later Monday, he was placed on injured reserve. This injury combined with the Darren Sproles concussion leave Ryan Matthews and Kenjon Barner as the only two healthy backs for the Eagles.
Michael Floyd has gone from a future star to just an average player. He has played almost all of the past few contests, but has been unable to put up fantasy points. For a player who will become a free agent after the season, Floyd needed a strong finish in order to generate a market for his services. Early Tuesday morning, Floyd was arrested on drunk driving charges when he was "found unconscious at the wheel." So, any team signing Floyd to a free agent contract will need to consider the impending suspension. The Arizona receiving corps will look much differently in 2017.
Dynasty owners are anxious for information on Steelers star Martavis Bryant, who is missing the season on suspension due to the substance abuse policy. Last Wednesday, Mike Clay was listening to an interview by a Pittsburg beat writer and tweeted, “On Martavis Bryant @JFowlerESPN said “hes coaching high school football..everything going well..he’s been clean..team will welcome him back." This is great news.
Donte Moncrief was not overly involved in the offense against Houston but left the game in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury. This appears to be a setback to the injury which has bothered him for a while. This is another situation we will monitor this week.
Keep an eye on Josh Huff in the last three games of the season. This past week, the Buccaneers activated him from their practice squad. With all of the injuries to the Tampa Bay receivers, Huff could see regular snaps. Let’s remember that Huff was waived by Philadelphia after an arrest and will need to make an impact to overcome his expected suspension in 2017.
While fantasy owners have not been overly happy with Vance McDonald, the San Francisco tight end. Well, the team seems to be satisfied with the results, giving him a big contract last week. Adam Schefter tweeted, “49ers signing free-agent-to-be TE Vance McDonald to a 5-year, $35 million extension that includes $16M gtd, sources tell @caplannfl and me.” While McDonald is still young, turning 27 this coming summer, this is a curious contract extension for a player who catches few passes and is just an adequate blocker. For a franchise, which is rebuilding and could turn over regimes, this is a strange deal. That is a lot of money for a very average player. But, the timing was good for McDonald. He left the game against the Jets with a shoulder injury and was placed on injured reserve Monday. The 49ers offense could look very different next season.
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