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.
Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores told reporters last week that his quarterback situation has been finalized and Josh Rosen will start the remainder of the season. With the team is eyeballing the top draft pick and needing to evaluate the youngster, this is a good thought. However, Rosen did not play well against Washington and was pulled in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Flores seems conflicted between getting Rosen experience and trying to win – something not recommended for a team “tanking for Tua”. The game Sunday was a battle of evenly-matched teams and the Dolphins should feel good about where they are in the rebuilding process. Flores did tell reporters after the game that Rosen was the starter going forward.
With the Denver Broncos on the outside looking in for the playoff chase, the team may turn to rookie Drew Lock if mathematically out of the playoffs. He has shed his thumb brace and threw on the field before the Week-5 upset of the Los Angeles Chargers. Lock can resume practicing with the team this week and must sit out eight games while on injured reserve. This is a team that needs to rebuild but has thought of itself as a contender. With a potential top-5 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Broncos need to evaluate Lock for the future. He is no “lock” to be the 2020 starting quarterback if Denver is in a position to select a top passer in the upcoming draft class.
Yes, Luke Falk was predictably bad while replacing Sam Darnold. He was waived on Saturday and David Fales is now the Jets backup quarterback. Fales followed coach Adam Gase to New York and knows the offense. Not that he has met expectations, but Darnold gives the Jets a chance to win that Falk never could. This is a team that invested heavily in the offense but had scored just 39 points through the first four games of the season. It is of no coincidence that New York scores 24 points against a solid Dallas defense in Darnold’s first game back.
Beat reporter Dale Lolley tweeted last week, “Jaylen Samuels had a knee scope on Monday. He will be out a month. Looks like it's the James Conner show in Pittsburgh. #Steelers #dkps.” Samuels is a multi-dimensional threat who gives the Pittsburgh offense capabilities not found in the other skill position players. The Steelers offense was barely passable on Sunday night against the Chargers without Samuels and the top two quarterbacks, Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph. There were a few big plays on offense.
Last Wednesday, Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Norv Turner told reporters that tailback Reggie Bonnafon has "probably improved more than anyone on offense over the last year and a half." Bonnafon has worked exclusively as Christian McCaffrey’s backup. Given McCaffrey’s workload this season, Bonnafon is a great player to stash as there is any fantasy upside for the Panthers starting tailback. While the comments by Turner could be viewed as “coach speak”, Bonnafon has looked better than expected.
Bengals beat reporter Paul Dehner Jr. captured a great quote from coach Zac Taylor’s press conference last week, “Zac Taylor on A.J. Green: ‘I’ve heard the speculation. We are not trading that guy.’ Taylor DEFINITIVE that Green will not be dealt. #Bengals.” Fellow beat reporter Jay Morrison tweeted Friday, “After sprinting for the first time in Wednesday's practice, A.J. Green said the plan is for him to run routes for the first time Sunday before the game in Baltimore and see how the ankle responds. He remains hopeful for a return in Week 7.” Hopefully, Green can return this week or next. The Cincinnati offense could use another play-maker.
As though we have not heard enough about Antonio Brown, Jeremy Fowler reported last week that Brown "hopes to have his playing status cleared up" in the next few weeks. Sure, he said he would never play again but his bank account is likely giving him differing advice. Expect the commissioner to take a strong stand against Brown as his actions are not a good look for the league.
DeSean Jackson provided big plays early in the season before missing action with an abdomen injury. It has since come out that he has a “small tear” and is trying to play through the pain. We wrote recently that the injury smells like a sports hernia and it still seems like the most likely answer. Jackson is choosing to manage the pain instead of undergoing surgery which will inhibit his upside this season. He will likely try to play in the next couple of weeks but a tear in the abdomen is not a quick-healing malady.
After a recommendation by a former teammate, Demaryius Thomas, the New York Jets signed Vyncint Smith from the Houston Texans practice squad. The Athletic had a great story on how Thomas influenced his team to sign Smith. The youngster has flashed when given the opportunity, so he is a player to watch. The story discussed how Smith has impressed teammates and the coaching staff since his arrival in the Big Apple. With Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder also on the team, there may not be too many targets for Smith this season. But he is a player to stash in deep leagues. With Darnold back in the lineup, the Jets receivers have some upside.
Last Thursday, Ian Rapoport tweeted out an update on Jets tight end Chris Herndon, “#Jets TE Chris Herndon suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain while running routes on Friday, source said, and he’s out this week and likely next week. But the belief is the pull is minor and his absence won’t be long. Herndon is waiting to make his debut because of his suspension.” Herndon has been missed in an offense decimated by injuries. The good news is that – even with a 1-4 record and the Jaguars next up, the schedule gets much easier. Starting in Week 9, New York plays Miami, New York Giants, Washington, Oakland, Cincinnati, and Miami. It is conceivable that the Jets are .500 – or better – by the Week-15 game against Baltimore.
In a predictable move, Washington placed tight end on Jordan Reed injured reserve Saturday, per Adam Schefter. He had missed several games with a concussion and the team concluded that the chances of a 2019 return grow slimmer every week. Each roster spot on the active roster comes with an opportunity cost and the team needed the spot, especially with fellow tight end Vernon Davis also out of action with a concussion. For perspective, if he plays a regular-season game in 2020, it will be his first since December 9, 2018, a Week 14 contest against the Giants. Beat reporter John Keim tweeted, “Didn’t make sense to keep him on roster anymore. No sign was getting close. Shame; looked terrific in camp before that hit. Now wonder about his future.” Keim followed that up with, “With tight end Jordan Reed now done for the season, the Redskins have $33.5 million of cap space occupied by big-money players who haven't played a down for them this season. Quarterback Alex Smith (leg) takes up $20.4 million; tackle Trent Williams... “ Dr. David Chao had an interesting take, “The team has taken criticism for not doing this earlier. Perhaps they were just doing right by #JordanReed who wanted to play so they gave him a chance to improve without rushing him before making this decision for IR. “ This may be the end of the road for Reed.
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