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.
A potential trade of Deshaun Watson to the Miami Dolphins dominated last week’s news cycle with the NFL trade dealing coming up on November 2. The trade reports are picking up. Miami beat writer, Barry Jackson, tweeted, “(owner) Ross has spoken excitedly about Watson trade to associates since this past spring, as we've reported for many months. Grier doing it now could help save Grier's job, like a lifeline to distract from poor drafting.” Later in the week, Tony Pauline reported, “Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier are on the hot seat and there are people in the organization who have given up on Tua Tagovailoa.” With this much smoke in Miami, Tagovailoa may get a new start elsewhere, and it is likely a good thing. Most teams who would trade for a promising young quarterback should have the other pieces necessary for success. So, we know that Miami is interested and Houston wants to trade Watson. This leaves three main sticking points:
- Can they agree on compensation?
- If traded, can Watson play immediately or will he land on the commissioner’s exempt list?
- Are there other teams involved?
We take all the “smoke” over the weekend to mean that Houston is using other teams’ involvement to drive up the price on Miami since all sides know the owner loves Watson. Houston is rumored to be asking for (3) first-round picks and (2) other picks. Plus, the Texans are said to not want Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa back in any deal. Sunday morning, Mike Garafolo answered the second question, “A note here for all those who have wondered if Deshaun Watson would land on the commissioner's exempt list if he gets traded. All indications are his status wouldn't change. He'd be available to play as his legal situation unfolds.” Miami beat reporter, Barry Jackson, helped answer the last question, “Watson (who has no trade clause) is owed $35 M guaranteed in 22. If he tells Texans he'll accept trade only to Fins - & if Dolphins determine this to be true - Fins would be fools to succumb to Houston's demands for a huge haul of picks. If he wants only Miami, call Houston's bluff … Dolphins, through discreet sleuthing, need to find out if Watson will reject a trade to any team except Miami, so that the Dolphins don't end up bidding against themselves, as they did in the Josh Rosen debacle. Hopefully, the Dolphins are smart enough to do that.” In his reporting, Ian Rapoport keeps mentioning Carolina, Philadelphia, and Denver as potential suitors but we should disregard the report as Watson has already vetoed a trade to Philadelphia and Denver is not the type of organization to trade for Watson given the circumstances. As for Carolina’s interest, there have been several reports from Houston-based reporters listing the Panthers as a potential destination. While Miami should be considered the heavy favorite and Houston is likely just using Carolina to bid up the price, the benching of Sam Darnold against the New York Giants has to be a part of the conversation. For now, there are many moving parts and Watson is expected to be traded, likely to Miami in the next week.
On Thursday morning, Ian Rapoport tweeted, “#Browns QB Baker Mayfield is expected to need surgery on his torn labrum following the season, sources say, the result of the hits he’s taken on his non-throwing shoulder. The belief is he can deal with it through the season, but incurring more damage would make it challenging. Then, before the Thursday night contest, Jay Glazer said, “Actual fracture according to Baker is called tuberosity, which is top of the humerus. Once that heals he can come back, he’s hoping he’s back for their next game. Mayfield told Glazer, “I need that fracture to heal for me to get back out there.” When his shoulder popped out, it fractured the bone. Ouch! Case Keenum played well enough in the Thursday night victory for the team to be patient with Mayfield.
Beat reporter, Ralph Vacchiano, was the first to report that New York Giants receiver Sterling Shepard suffered a setback in his return from a hamstring injury. The Giants offense has been injured throughout much of the season. Shepard flashed early in the season and makes a great “buy low” for dynasty managers.
Indianapolis Colts receiver Parris Campbell injured his foot after his 51-yard touchdown reception in Week 6. The 24-year-old has been injured for much of his brief career. Loaded with potential, we will have to wait another year to see him in action as Campbell was placed on injured reserve later in the week. He has already had surgery to fix the injury. While coach Frank Reich intimated that Campbell's rehab should last "2-3 months," that puts the timetable into January … if all goes well. Foot injuries are difficult to hit the low end of expected return dates. Drafted in 2019, Campbell has played just 14 games in his professional career. Zach Pascal is expected to benefit from Campbell’s absence, but Sunday night’s game showed how little volume the Colts passing game generates for fantasy pass catchers. With T.Y. Hilton also ailing, Michael Pittman Jr should see enough targets to be an every-week fantasy must-start. Ashton Dulin is an upside what-the-heck flex as long as Hilton is sidelined.
We rarely talk about the scary side of football. Seattle Seahawks rookie receiver D'Wayne Eskridge is on injured reserve with a concussion and remains without a timetable for a return, as per coach Pete Carroll. Eskridge has not played since the season opener and could miss his entire rookie season. As the 56th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Seahawks had high hopes for the speedy receiver.
Dawson Knox broke his hand in the victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6. He has already had surgery to repair the hand. With the bye week, there is a chance the emerging tight end plays in Week 8 against the Miami Dolphins. While a painful injury, as evidenced by Knox’s ugly throw on the two-point conversion, he should return quickly. If Knox does miss action, we expect Cole Beasley to be the beneficiary, not one of the backup tight ends.
Nick Boyle is one of the more underrated tight ends in the league. He has missed the first seven weeks of the season with a knee injury but should return to the field soon. Boyle has returned to practice, opening the 21-day window for activation from the injured reserve. He is still likely a month away from full health as Boyle was spotted with a large knee brace at his first practice. He is a great blocker and a good receiver. Expect Baltimore to utilize more two-tight-end sets when Boyle returns, to take advantage of Boyle’s blocking prowess. Also, he makes a great injury hedge in case Mark Andrews misses time due to injury.
After the Zach Ertz trade to the Arizona Cardinals, focus shifted toward Tyree Jackson. From ace beat writer, Jimmy Kempski of the Philly Voice, “The trade deadline is November 2 … So really, he probably only has one game to look like Darren Waller for the Eagles to say, ‘OK, Goedert, clean out your locker, there's a new tight end in town.’ And even if he did unexpectedly dominate against the Lions, yes, I would say that it would be far too small a sample size to throw all my eggs into the Tyree Jackson basket. Jackson was the surprise standout from this year's training camp. From the first week of camp until he got hurt in joint practices with the Patriots, Jackson consistently made highlight-reel plays. He's a 6'7, 250-pound beast of an athlete who has the chance to develop into a legitimate NFL tight end, after converting from quarterback in college. It was interesting to hear Howie Roseman twice bring up Jackson, unprompted, when discussing reasons he felt comfortable trading Zach Ertz … But we should probably also keep in mind that Jackson has literally never appeared in an NFL regular-season game … It'll take time for Jackson to grow as a positional player, especially at tight end, where a lot of very talented players find that success comes slowly. I wouldn't expect amazing results immediately, and I think it was probably a little premature on Roseman's part to hype him up before he's ever even played a snap as a pro.” Kempski’s honest, thorough opinion is why we especially love reading his work. For those wanting to know exactly what Roseman said to warrant the attention, the quote was, "If he's going to look like he did during training camp .. that's going to be a player for us. But he's got to show it in games. And this is an opportunity for him to come back and for us to see that." As long as Goedert is healthy, we expect Jackson to be nothing more than an upside player with a great athletic profile. But, if the general manager is buying into Jackson’s future, dynasty managers should, too. As far as Ertz, he looked great in the Cardinals offense Sunday.
If you would like to review our most recent Dynasty rankings, here is the link.