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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.
Long-time local beat reporter Terez Paylor had the first report on Patrick Mahomes II’ injury, “Hearing early indications are that Patrick Mahomes II has a dislocated knee but at the moment it looks like it isn’t fractured, per a source. MRI coming tomorrow when we’ll know more, but it’s a positive early sign.” Dr. David Chao chimed in, “Medically we say dislocated knee cap not knee. No risk for artery or nerve. This is why @TerezPaylor says positive early sign.” Later Thursday night, Adam Schefter tweeted, “Chiefs will be awaiting MRI results on Patrick Mahomes II’ right knee Friday, but one league source said that ‘if there’s no damage, the best case would be around three weeks.’ But that’s best case. Worst is downright dreary for the Chiefs, their fans and the league as a whole.” The best-case was affirmed and Mahomes will be able to return to the field this season if he can put off having the surgery. Inside Injuries tweeted, “Patrick Mahomes II’ MRI showed that the kneecap dislocation caused minimal damage. He is expected to miss 3 weeks. Based on this news there is likely some slight ligament or cartilage damage, but he can play through it with a brace. Surgery could still come after the season.” Dr. David Chao brought some perspective to the opinions and expectations flying around, “A) @Chiefs haven't said anything yet, only reporters. B) Reports said "not significant additional damage". It didn't say no damage (to me implies the expected to MPFL injury). C) Let's see what ultimately happens. Expect more definitive updates in the coming days. As the focus moves toward Matt Moore for a few weeks, James Palmer tweeted, “Matt Moore told me tonight he taken exactly ZERO reps this season.” The Chiefs defense will not look the same as Moore does not have the arm strength of Mahomes, nor the ability to make ad hoc plays. Expect coach Andy Reid to adjust his play-calling accordingly.
Last Monday, Adam Schefter gave an update on Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, “Panthers’ QB Cam Newton’s foot injury has healed well and he is expected to be ready to practice after the team’s bye this week, per league source. Panthers have said they will make a QB determination when Newton is healthy; that looks to be coming soon.” With the way Kyle Allen has turned around the Carolina season, it will be difficult for coach Ron Rivera to make a move to the declining Newton. The Panthers were on bye this past week so expect much chatter on the topic this week.
Ace beat reporter Mike Klis reported last week that rookie quarterback Drew Lock should return to practice this week. Given the poor play of the statuesque Joe Flacco, the Broncos need to evaluate Lock’s ability this season. With a 2-5 record, Denver might be in position for a top-five pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Yes, Gardner Minshew has played well after Nick Foles went down to injury, but the veteran is likely to regain the starting job once healthy. Last week, coach Doug Marrone told reporters Foles would begin practicing this week. Early indications gave Foles a Week 11 or Week 12 return date so this would be an early return. Minshew could be playing for his job the next few weeks. He did not play well against the Bengals but the still drew the victory.
Former Titans leader and wide receiver Rishard Matthews appeared on ESPN 102.5 The Game and gave his thoughts on the Tennessee quarterback situation. As per the radio station Twitter account, Matthews said, “Former Titans WR Rishard Matthews on 102.5 The Game: ‘I've been with Ryan [Tannehill] and I feel like he's going to do a great job at demanding greatness from those guys. He's going to show up, he's going to lead vocally... At that position you've got to lead.’" That quote was followed up by, “Rishard Matthews on Marcus Mariota: ‘When you're in high school & college, you can be that silent leader. When you're in the league, you're around grown men and you've got to demand greatness from them. They've got to be able to see that every day, not just every now and then.’" Mariota was benched in Week 7 for Tannehill. Tannehill led his team to the victory Sunday over the Chargers. We fully expect the situation to be fluid the rest of the season. Tennessee traded for Tannehill coming into Mariota’s last season under contract so that had to be a sign for the organization’s lack of confidence in the former first-round pick. Unless one of these passers steps up their game, expect the Titans to go a different direction in 2020.
After Ian Rapoport reported Miami would be open to trading Kenyan Drake for the right offer, dynasty owners should have quickly made their collective way to the waiver wire, checking on the availability of Mark Walton. It is not too late, even after Walton started and out-shined Drake Sunday in the loss to the Bills. Ballage is not the answer. Drake might be traded. This would leave Walton as a high-volume make-or-break RB2 the last half of the season.
Texans receiver Will Fuller has battled injuries for most of his professional career. After leaving the Week 7 game against the Colts, fantasy players were waiting with baited-breath on the results of the MRI on Fuller’s hamstring. The MRI, according to Ian Rapoport, showed significant damage and Fuller is expected to miss several weeks. Kenny Stills appears to be the beneficiary and Keke Coutee should see more targets, too. Stills is a big-play receiver and should be a solid WR2/flex most weeks.
Rookie tight end Jace Sternberger was designated for return from injured reserve (IR) last week. The rookie was placed on IR with an ankle injury. Sternberger has until next week to practice before able to join the active roster. The third-round pick has a real opportunity with the middling play of Jimmy Graham. Also, neither Robert Tonyan Jr nor Marcedes Lewis was able to step up, leaving a massive void for Sternberger to occupy.
Rookie Josh Oliver came to Jacksonville with high hopes of making an early splash, but a hamstring injury delayed his career by a few weeks. After practicing in full last week, Oliver played against Cincinnati but was not targeted in the victory. His good health comes at a good time for the Jaguars as James O’Shaughnessy was lost for the season with an ACL injury a couple of weeks ago and Geoff Swaim was ruled out early with a concussion. Oliver is athletic and the injuries could allow him to carve out a role as Jacksonville pushes for a playoff berth.
Early last week, the New England Patriots re-signed tight end Ben Watson, according to exceptional beat reporter Mike Reiss. Reiss tweeted, “Contract note: TE Benjamin Watson re-signed to a one-year deal with a base salary of $1.236 million, of which $800k is guaranteed. There is also a chance for Watson to earn $200k in playing time incentives. The $800k guarantee provides Watson some assurance he is in team's plans.” So, a week after releasing Watson due to no space on the active roster, the veteran was brought back for serious money. Given the injuries to the receivers, Watson could have some big fantasy games down the stretch.
If you would like to review our most recent Dynasty rankings, here is a link.