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 Super Bowl hopes for the New Orleans Saints took a blow when Jameis Winston went down in the victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Yes, Trevor Simian played well, but he is not good enough to be a playoff quarterback. Winston tore his ACL and damaged his MCL, too. He will miss the remainder of the season. Taysom Hill is expected to be cleared from concussion protocol this week. While Hill is a viable fantasy option, he limits the upside of the offense. Further, the New Orleans wide receivers and tight ends should be downgraded. The Saints defense played very well against Tom Brady and company but this is a totally different team without a viable quarterback. For all the grief Winston has endured, he played well this season and should be in the Saints' long-term plans.
Taylor Heinicke has not played well enough the past few weeks for the Washington Football Team to compete for the playoffs. Many are wondering when Ryan Fitzpatrick will be healthy. Last week, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Fitzpatrick "was still weeks away from returning." He – per Rapoport – is still on crutches and will undergo an MRI next week. The team will know more at that time. As for timing, the Football Team’s bye is Week 9. Fantasy managers are pining for Fitzpatrick’s return so Terry McLaurin and crew can see an uptick in fantasy production. On Monday coach Ron Rivera told reporters that he is sticking with Heinicke, even with the poor play.
Quite possibly the most impactful injury so far this season was Derrick Henry’s foot injury. He has a jones fracture, an injury with at least an eight-week recovery timetable. The bruising back will undergo surgery on Tuesday. Despite his high usage, Henry has only missed one game in his career. His 219 carries are 82 more than the second-highest back. Henry is everything to the Tennessee Titans offense. Compounding the impact on the offense, the talented, but injury-plagued Darrynton Evans was placed on injured reserve last week. Evans has yet to warrant his third-round draft capital in the 2020 NFL Draft. Just days after coming off injured reserve for the first time, the youngster went back on injured reserve after reaggravating his knee injury in practice. Tennessee hoped Evans would be the complement for Henry, but he has yet to see meaningful action and we will now have to wait until 2022. With Jeremy McNichols the lone viable healthy back on the roster, the Titans signed Adrian Peterson to the practice squad Monday with the hopes of elevating him to the active roster when he is ready.
The Philadelphia Eagles placed Miles Sanders on injured reserve last week. Sanders hurt his ankle and was unable to play through it. Now on injured reserve, he will miss at least the next two games. Boston Scott saw the largest increase in action against the Detroit Lions with rookie Kenneth Gainwell and veteran Jordan Howard mixed. At first, we saw this as a big break for Gainwell as he hoped to carve out a long-term role in the Eagles offense, but Scott dominated the meaningful snaps and Howard played the short-yardage role.
The Houston Texans traded veteran running back Mark Ingram II to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round pick. The 31-year-old back is returning to the team that drafted him 28th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. He spent eight years in New Orleans before heading to Baltimore, then Houston. Saints beat writer Nick Underhill reported that Ingram’s presence will allow the team to "move [Alvin] Kamara around the field, and get him some looks as an outside wide receiver and from the slot." Friday, Field Yates tweeted, “Soon-to-be Saints RB Mark Ingram II has signed a 1-year extension worth up to $2.8M in 2022, per sources. The extension was signed yesterday before the trade becomes official, but Ingram will now be under contract with the Saints for next year. (1/2).” He followed it up with, “ Key details:
- Ingram receives a $250K signing bonus from Houston
- His 2021 salary rate drops from $1.5M to $1.075M and his per-game bonuses are gone
- Cap charge for Saints in 2021: ~$657K
- 2022: $1.5M salary, $300K roster bonus, $500K per-gamers, $500K in incentives (2/2).” --Long-time Texans beat reporter Aaron Wilson reported that the Texans are "expected to feature David Johnson" following the trade. He also said that Philip Lindsay will see his role increase, too. Of the two, Johnson is far more fantasy-viable as Lindsay has looked downright awful at times. The entire Houston offense will improve once quarterback Tyrod Taylor returns to the lineup. Taylor played well before injuring his hamstring a few weeks ago. He is expected back in the next week or so.
Calvin Ridley missed Sunday’s game due to “personal reasons” which caused much worry in the football world. Ridley posted on social media telling fans he needs to step away for a while. Ridley said, “These past few weeks have been very challenging … I need to step away from football at this time and focus on my mental well-being. This will help me be the best version of myself now and in the future." After the game, coach Arthur Smith said he did not have a timetable for Ridley’s return. Expect the Falcons to continue to feed Kyle Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson while Ridley is away.
Yes, there is a lot of fluff thrown about when quarterbacks talk about receivers. But, when Jared Goff compared Kalif Raymond to Cooper Kupp, we took notice. Goff said, “I think I’ve been lucky to work with some really good receivers who practice hard and that’s the main thing … He practices hard. Cooper Kupp was the same. Robert Woods was the same. Brandin Cooks was the same. And Kalif is the same in that way where you know where he’s going to be, you can trust him, you can rely on him and he’s accountable. And that’s all you can ask for as a quarterback.” With the lack of weapons in Detroit, there is ample opportunity for Raymond to emerge. He likely will settle into a WR2/3 role long-term as the Lions accumulate talent in the coming years.
Thursday night’s win over the Arizona Cardinals may prove costly for the Green Bay Packers. After a 32-yard, third-quarter catch, tight end Robert Tonyan Jr went down with a knee injury. He was soon ruled out. After the game, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said he was "sick" for Tonyan. After Tonyan’s injury, Josiah Deguara caught both of his targets, possibly signaling his role in the offense. Friday, Adam Schefter tweeted, “Packers' TE Robert Tonyan Jr's agent, @jackbechta, confirmed that his client tore his ACL last night.” This was not unexpected but still not good news. With Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams free agents after the season, the offense may look remarkably different by the time Tonyan is fully healthy.
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