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.
In a local radio interview, John Elway was effusive in his praise for rookie Drew Lock, “I thought he played great. It is OK to be excited about him because he has played very, very well in his first two starts. He’s handled himself great. Obviously, he’s a young guy with two starts, but we could not be happier with the way he came out of the gate and know there’s still going to be ups and downs. We’re going into Kansas City against a defense and he’s going to see a lot more looks than he’s seen the first two weeks. But, you know what, we are excited about where he is. Plus, it is nice to go on the road and get a real good win against a very good football team in the Houston Texans.” Elway may not be so effusive after the loss to the Chiefs, but still thinks he has a long-term quarterback – and hope – for the first time in many years. The Broncos will look to confirm that Lock is the long-term answer over the last two games of the season. Still in need of offensive weapons, Denver has a good young nucleus of Lock, Courtland Sutton, Phillip Lindsay, and Noah Fant.
The Arizona Cardinals are still assessing and assembling their roster. There will be many decisions – some surprising – during the offseason. One such decision is the future of tailback David Johnson. Johnson turned 28 years of age this Monday and is not getting any younger. After the Kenyan Drake trade, Johnson has been a bit player, unable to assimilate into Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. When asked about Johnson’s future, General Manager Steve Keim showed no love, "Those are the kind of conversations that will certainly be held internally … We'll take a deep dive into this roster and take a look at every guy." Even though the recent contract extension makes releasing the veteran prohibitive, a trade frees up salary cap space and leaves minimal dead money. We expect Johnson to be playing elsewhere next year. If you are still a believer in his talent, Johnson makes a great “buy low” candidate. Drake’s monster outing Sunday – with four touchdowns and strong yardage – should help solidify Johnson’s exit. Also, Chase Edmonds is a solid stash if you think Johnson will be traded. Drake has not been overly durable, and the Cardinals offense is great for running backs.
After much debate, Ian Rapoport tweeted out the expected, “The #Eagles made it official, ending WR Alshon Jeffery’s season by placing him on Injured Reserve with a foot injury. They promoted WR Robert Davis from the practice squad to the active roster.” Local Philadelphia news anchor John Clark added, “Sources say Alshon Jeffery has Lisfranc injury, Eagles have put him on season-ending IR.” Clark added, “I’m told this is a long recovery. They will be deciding quickly on whether surgery is needed or not.” Then, Rapoport piled on with, “Alshon Jeffery should be fine by next season but worth noting: He added $11.5M fully guaranteed for 2020 with his recent contract adjustment that becomes important now.” The surgery was performed over the weekend and the recovery is expected to take many months. While very risky in dynasty for the coming year, Jeffery is not fearful of release. He is not a lock to be ready for Week 1 of the 2020 season. The Eagles, with or without Jeffery in the lineup, are in desperate need of receiver weapons in the offseason. Losing DeSean Jackson for most of the season created a void and Philadelphia has lost most of the receiving corps to injuries. Rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside has yet to make plays even with all other receivers – except for Greg Ward – sidelined by injury.
Friday night, Tom Pelissero broke the DeVante Parker news, “The #Dolphins and WR DeVante Parker are finalizing a four-year extension worth over $40 million, source said. Lot of guaranteed money. Another step in his remarkable turnaround. ðŸ’°” Ian Rapoport piled on with more detail, “Incredibly turnaround on DeVante Parker’s career in Miami. Agent Jimmy Gould tells me, ‘It’s always been my desire to keep DeVante as a member of the Dolphins family.’ Parker will be now with this 4-year, $40M deal including $21.5M in guarantees with an $8M signing bonus.” The strong play of Ryan Fitzpatrick and the injury to Preston Williams has allowed Parker to become the unquestioned WR1 for Miami. Staying healthy has helped, too. Breaking out in year five is rare but Parker flashed potential in between injuries early in his career. Before the game against the Giants Sunday, Parker had topped his previous career highs for receiving yards and touchdowns. Parker and Williams are locked up for years to come. Parker began rewarding the Dolphins with his two-touchdown performance in the loss to New York.
Beat reporter Michael Rothstein tweeted Tuesday, “Marvin Jones Jr is going on injured reserve for the Lions.” Thankfully, the ankle injury should not impact Jones’ outlook for 2020. Jones played well when both he and quarterback Matthew Stafford were healthy. We like him as a solid WR4/5 for dynasty and a player to see if you can acquire on the cheap.
Field Yates tweeted last Tuesday, “The 49ers have placed WR Marquise Goodwin on IR, per source.: It was a merciful ending to an injury-filled season for the speedy veteran. He is likely playing elsewhere next season. Goodwin has been battling the knee injury for much of the season. He ended the year with just 12 catches spread over 9 games. With a salary of almost $4 million, the speedster is a candidate for release. The money is not guaranteed. He also has discussed trying out for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. At the age of 29, Goodwin still can contribute on the football field in the right offense. We expect a solid market for his services if Goodwin sticks to football.
Mercifully, Paul Richardson Jr’s 2019 season is over. He was placed on injured reserve Saturday afternoon. He had not played since October 24 and had a modest stat line of 28 receptions for 245 yards and 2 touchdowns. Richardson turns 28 in April and the team has until the fifth day of the new league year to release him to avoid Richardson’s $8.5 million salary. He is likely to be playing elsewhere in 2020. Kelvin Harmon will continue to see his role grow through the remainder of the season. Washington has two good rookie receivers in Harmon and Terry McLaurin for the new coaching staff to utilize – with or without Dwayne Haskins under center.
The Jets have lost their two top tight ends to season-ending injuries after placing Ryan Griffin on injured reserve late last week. Griffin had been battling an ankle injury and he could not make enough progress for the Thursday night game. While older than most realize – almost 30 years of age – Griffin is locked into the starting gig with the new three-year contract signed just a few weeks ago. Expect Chris Herndon to push him for the starting gig, but it is Griffin’s to lose.
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