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 are not meant to be an exhaustive look at all the recent happenings around the league.
The Deshaun Watson saga is far from over. While the legal wrangling ensues, Watson still wants to play for a team not called the Houston Texans. Ed Werder tweeted Thursday, “A source says Deshaun Watson remains committed to forcing his exit from Houston, no matter how long that might take. The source close to Watson said, ‘If you’re paying him $10 million to sit this year, you don’t think he would take $30 million and sit next year?’’’ The “source” is likely Watson’s agent. We should remember that the superstar quarterback was trying to force a trade before the allegations arose. This is a team with poor personnel and little hope (draft picks) to change its course.
Wednesday, Cameron Wolfe tweeted “Brian Flores said Tua Tagovailoa is ruled out this week. He has fractured ribs. Jacoby Brissett will start vs. Raiders.” He followed it up with, “Flores said they are taking it ‘week to week’ with Tua. Not a season-ender but they are trying to save him from himself. Tua wants to play. There was optimism after initial tests but they ran more & fracture was revealed. Reid Sinnett is the backup. They aren’t thinking about IR.” Tagovailoa was placed on injured reserve on Saturday, meaning he will miss at least three games. Brissett was not sharp against the Raiders, averaging just 4.4 yards per completion. His biggest asset is as a runner. The Dolphins played the Raiders tough, but it was not pretty. This team has little hope for a playoff berth if Tagovailoa misses more than a handful of games.
Justin Fields played poorly in his first NFL start. The Cleveland Browns defense is stout and the rookie will improve. Andy Dalton has been assured that he will retake the starting gig when healthy. Fields’ performance only solidifies the thought. It still could be a week or two away. Last week, coach Matt Nagy said Dalton was “week-to-week”. Fields has a chance to be a good pro quarterback. It just will take time. He completed just 6 of 20 passes for 68 yards. Yuck!. Making matters worse, the rookie hurt his hand late in the contest. Thankfully, x-rays were negative. There is a chance that Nick Foles starts this week, but the entire Chicago Bears offense has been a mess this season. One observation from Sunday’s game was the curious game plan by the Bears coaching staff, asking Fields to run the same offense as Dalton, without catering to what Fields does well.
Christian McCaffrey was quickly ruled out after exiting the Thursday night win over the Houston Texans. Such a quick rule out was not a good omen. It came true. On Friday, Ian Rapoport tweeted, “#Panthers star RB Christian McCaffrey is expected to miss a few weeks, sources say, as the team continues to run tests on his hamstring injury suffered last night. IR is not the plan as of now. Rookie Chuba Hubbard is the next man up.” He was replaced by rookie Chuba Hubbard with veteran Royce Freeman mixed in. The pair – like most NFL running backs – are a steep drop-off from the elusive McCaffrey. In the contest, Hubbard carried the ball 11 times for 51 yards, adding 3 catches for 27 more yards. Do not let the stats fool you. Hubbard was inconsistent with his vision and hands. He should not be considered an every-week must-start at this time. It is entirely possible that Freeman becomes the lead ball carrier.
Keep an eye on the James White hip injury. He left the game – a loss to the New Orleans Saints – and was quickly ruled out for the remainder of the contest. In the game, it was Brandon Bolden who saw the extra work, but we like Rhamondre Stevenson and J.J. Taylor to see time behind Damien Harris if White is out for a significant amount of time. Monday, Ian Rapoport tweeted, “#Patriots RB James White suffered a subluxation of the hip during yesterday’s game, per me and @MikeGiardi. The injury knocks the key offensive player out indefinitely. He has been undergoing tests today, but an IR stint would make sense.” Pick up Taylor if you have the roster space.
The A.J. Brown hamstring injury is severe enough to expect a multi-week absence. He left the game in the middle of the first quarter and came out of halftime in street clothes. Julio Jones did not play a ton, either, even without Brown in the lineup. It was Nick Westbrook who flashed, but he fumbled late in the win over the Indianapolis Colts. On Monday, Adam Schefter tweeted, “Titans’ WR A.J. Brown has a strained hamstring and is expected to be considered week to week, per source.” We do not have a favorite player to take his place in the lineup.
Washington receiver, Curtis Samuel, is eligible to come off injured reserve this week. Coach Ron Rivera told reporters, "We'll see how it goes Wednesday. Our offensive coaches are fired up to see where he is. If he has a good day Wednesday, we'll progress and go forward." He would be a big addition to the Football Team lineup. The “buy” window is closing.
On Friday, Adam Schefter tweeted, “NFL informed suspended former All-Pro WR Josh Gordon that it is reinstating him, sources tell ESPN. Gordon is expected to be eligible to play as early as Week 4.” He followed that up with, “Josh Gordon’s new agent Zac Hiller from LAA Sports & Entertainment: ‘We are grateful that the NFL appreciates the work that Josh put in and now he has earned another opportunity to be part of this league. We are proud of Josh, and I know all the fans can’t wait to see him on Sundays.’” We are pulling for Gordon. There are not a ton of teams clamoring to sign him at this stage.
Last Wednesday, Ian Rapoport tweeted, “#Falcons WR Russell Gage is considered week-to-week with an ankle injury suffered on Sunday, source said. The team will see on Friday if he can possibly go this week vs the #Giants, though it appears as a bit of a long-shot at first glance.” As if the Falcons offense could afford to lose a starting receiver. Gage was on many “sleeper” lists and fantasy managers are still waiting for him to awaken.
Monday afternoon, Adam Schefter tweeted, “Broncos’ WR K.J. Hamler tore his ACL Sunday and is out for the season, per source.” He joins Jerry Jeudy on the sideline. This is a tough break for the Broncos as the schedule gets increasingly difficult as Denver plays the Ravens, Steelers, Raiders, Browns, Football Team, Cowboys, and Eagles before their Week-11 bye. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has played well against the three bad opponents to start the season, but the level of difficulty picks up going forward. They signed David Moore late Monday to add depth.
Later on Monday, Adam Schefter also tweeted, “Former All-Pro WR Josh Gordon, who is being reinstated, is planning to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs, sources tell ESPN. His agents, Eric Dounn and Matt Leist from @LAASportsEnt, confirmed Gordon is headed to Kansas City.” Ian Rapoport followed it up with, “The #Chiefs are signing Josh Gordon to their practice squad, with the goal of elevating him at some point when he gets up to speed.” We take this as a shot to Hardman, Pringle, and Robinson. Each should be moved down the dynasty rankings. Gordon was not overly special last we saw him. He has turned 30 years of age since. To that point, he scored nine touchdowns in 2013 and only six since. His on-field play aside, we are rooting for him as a person to make the most of this opportunity.
The Detroit Lions placed receiver Tyrell Williams on injured reserve with a concussion. It is a scary reality of the toll football takes on the players. He will be eligible to return in Week 6 against the Philadelphia Eagles. We are hoping Williams can get back to normal for his like, not just football. Until then, Quintez Cephus will be the starter.
The Jacksonville Jaguars placed starting tight end James O'Shaughnessy on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain. With the Jaguars trading for Dan Arnold, the team must consider O’Shaughnessy’s absence a lengthy one, especially if giving up a talented young corner.
Last Tuesday, the day after the Monday Night Football victory over the Detroit Lions, the Green Bay Packers waived former third-round pick, Jace Sternberger. Sternberger was suspended for the first two games so the team released him at the earliest possible moment. Then, on Wednesday, Doug Kyed tweeted, “The Seahawks are signing TE Jace Sternberger to their practice squad, per his agent @MikeMcCartney7.” This is a good landing spot for the youngster as Gerald Everett only signed a one-year deal and Pete Carroll loves stockpiling tight ends.
If you would like to review our most recent Dynasty rankings, here is the link.