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.
Josh Rosen has been dealt quite the blow in his career. He has had more play-callers in his college career than Tom Brady, who is almost twice Rosen’s age. After getting released by the Dolphins a week ago, it was great to see the still-very-young Rosen land in Tampa Bay under the tutelage of Brady. For the Buccaneers, this is an awesome move as the team only has Blaine Gabbert behind the 43-year-old Brady who only signed a two-year deal. Also, Tampa Bay’s offensive coordinator, Byron Leftwich, was on the staff in Arizona when Rosen played for the Cardinals. For the Buccaneers to still target Rosen – even with Leftwich’s blessing – it shows Rosen’s reputation may be more media-driven than actuality.
In deep SuperFlex leagues, dynasty managers might consider rostering Case Keenum and Josh McCown. Baker Mayfield played poorly in Week 1 and may not have a long leash. For Carson Wentz, he took way too many hits behind a porous offensive line against Washington. As valuable as quarterbacks are in these leagues, these two marginal backups might provide fantasy upside.
Indianapolis Colts tailback Marlon Mack left the Week-1 loss to Jacksonville early and did not return. It is feared Mack tore his Achilles. Nyheim Hines and rookie Jonathan Taylor filled the void. If Mack is lost for the season, Hines immediately becomes a waiver wire darling while Taylor is groomed for the bellcow role.
With Sony Michel having surgery this offseason, Damien Harris became the dynasty darling. It will have to wait as the second-year tailback was placed on injured reserve with a hand injury. He is able to return for Week 4 after recently undergoing surgery on his pinkie. Michel is currently the lead back in a huge committee for the Patriots and scored a short-yardage touchdown against Miami. James White might be the lone back to target as his targets should be high each week. As for Harris, the injury offers a great opportunity to acquire.
Rookie DeeJay Dallas was inactive Sunday with Travis Homer the third tailback. The strong receiving prowess of Carlos Hyde and Chris Carson against Atlanta might delay Dallas’ ascent into the lineup. Even with the lead, the Seahawks tailbacks only ran the ball 16 times, with Carson getting 6, Hyde 7, and Homer 3. Carson also saw 6 targets. His usage in the passing game – if Seattle will permit Russell Wilson to throw often – will temper expectations for Dallas and Homer.
We are closely monitoring how the Dolphins will use rookie Lynn Bowden Jr, acquired via trade with the Raiders last week. Las Vegas took Bowden in the third round, but the rookie was a non-factor in training camp. Miami traded a fourth-round pick for Bowden and a sixth-round pick. This trade shows two things: Bowden was close to getting cut and the Dolphins had Bowden rated well in their pre-draft scouting. Coach Brian Flores gushed about his new multi-dimensional toy, “We did a lot of work on Lynn pre-draft and when the trade was an option, we did a lot more work … We’re excited about having him join our team. There’s a lot he’s going to have to learn. He’s not going to jump out and start playing. He has to learn how we do things. He’s got a lot to learn and [that takes] a little bit of time. We’re excited to have him.” One note for fantasy players. Upon acquiring Bowden, Miami declared him a wide receiver. The team has a glaring hole at slot receiver with Albert Wilson not playing this year. Bowden was inactive Sunday in the loss to New England.
As one might expect, hamstring issues popped up for several receivers. The one who suffered most was Kenny Golladay. The Lions missed their alpha receiver in the loss to the Bears Sunday. If he continues to miss time, keep an eye on rookie Quintez Cephus who has excelled in training camp. The former fifth-round pick has potential. Veteran Marvin Jones Jr instantly becomes an every-week fantasy starter with Golladay sidelined.
The fact that Deebo Samuel was only ruled out on Friday shows he was close to a return from the foot injury before being placed on injured reserve Sunday morning. The buying window is closing as Samuel will return the San Francisco lineup in the three weeks. Expect the 49ers to take it slow with his snap counts early on and build up by midseason.
Jacksonville made receiver Dede Westbrook a healthy scratch for Sunday’s victory over Indianapolis. The lack of preseason games kept the fantasy community in the dark. This is a clear signal that Westbrook has no future with the Jaguars.
The Eagles receiver position has been a MASH unit. Rookie Jalen Reagor fought his way back from the shoulder injury to play in the loss to Washington. DeSean Jackson and Greg Ward are in the mix, too, as the team awaits Alshon Jeffery’s return from his foot injury. Sunday’s game was ugly on the part of the Philadelphia offense. Jeffery is working his way back from a dreaded Lisfranc surgery. These types of injuries take a toll on older receivers and have expedited the end to many careers. Making his timetable even vaguer, Philadelphia did not put him on injured reserve even though General Manager Howie Roseman said last week that he expects Jeffery back by Week 7. There is a disconnect between what the team is saying publicly and their actions.
Packers receiver Equanimeous St. Brown was another surprise inactive. He is droppable unless in the deepest leagues. One signal we heard in training camp was Marquez Valdes-Scantling. He had a great showing against Minnesota and could overtake Allen Lazard for the WR2 role. Green Bay desperately needs Valdes-Scantling to stretch the field, no matter his snap count.
Blake Jarwin reached for the back of his right leg during the second quarter of Sunday night’s game. This was the first game in the So Fi stadium. Remember, there were no preseason games this season. Later, it was confirmed that the young tight end tore his ACL. Ian Rapoport confirmed the season-ending injury Monday, “#Cowboys TE Blake Jarwin suffered a clean ACL tear, the MRI confirmed. No other issues. He’ll have surgery and make a full recovery for 2021. The timing of his 3-year, $24.25M extension was fortuitous for Jarwin.” It is a sad end to a promising year for Jarwin. Thankfully for Jarwin, his new contract should guarantee a long-term role in the Dallas offense. Dalton Schultz is the next man up, but the Cowboys are prone to sign street free agents and Delanie Walker fits the bill. The second-half drop by Schultz may perpetuate a free agent signing or trade. Stephen Jones confirmed this last thought for us on a Monday radio interview, “Blake Jarwin's injury means undrafted rookie Sean McKeon will need to step up along with Dalton Schultz and Blake Bell … We'll see what's out there at tight end as well." The last part is consistent with how the Joneses handle business.
One tight end who has teased dynasty players the past few years is Mo Alie-Cox. Well, his time has come to be rosterable with Trey Burton going on injured reserve with a calf injury. Burton was expected to miss the first two games with the injury so now he must miss at least three. Alie-Cox is athletic, and we know Philip Rivers loves throwing to the tight end.
David Njoku left Sunday’s game in the third quarter with what was called a hamstring injury. On Monday afternoon, Njoku was placed on injured reserve with a sprained MCL (knee). He must miss at least three games. Rookie Harrison Bryant will be the obvious beneficiary. The rookie is talented and could see an expanded role.
Rookie tight end Hunter Bryant missed the opener with a hamstring injury but has yet to be cleared to practice. With the injuries to the offensive line, Jesse James played often in the opener so Bryant may not have seen the field much anyway. The transition to the pros is difficult enough for rookies so any setback should be seen in a negative light.
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