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, superstars, and the relative unknowns, and analysis to decipher the respective situations. These are many major stories and are not meant to be an exhaustive look at all the recent happenings around the league.
August 18: With the Deshaun Watson suspension saga now resolved, dynasty players are left trying to ascertain the long-term ramifications. First, if Watson's transgressions cause you to not want him on your roster, it is understandable and well within your rights. This is fantasy football. It should be fun. So, if it is not fun for you to roster Watson, do not do so. For dynasty, Watson is an enigma. He will miss the first 11 games of the season after missing almost two full seasons. The veteran passer was rusty in his first preseason game so dynasty players should not expect pinnacle Watson play on the field. There is no guarantee he will return to 2020 form so there is ample risk. For the first 11 games, Jacoby Brissett will start. Brissett is passable, but not a great fantasy option. Plus, we expect the Browns to shift into a run-heavy offense while Brissett is under center.
August 25 A couple of days ago, The Athletic, reported that the Las Angeles Rams will monitor quarterback Matthew Stafford's throwing as the season progresses. While the passer is throwing the ball well, the “baseball-type” elbow injury will not heal on its own. In two-quarterback or SuperFlex leagues, John Wolford is a player to stash at the end of the fantasy roster.
August 18: Stafford has practiced on and off the past couple of weeks, taking time off for "load management". While there is still concern for Stafford's ability to play all 17 games, it appears as though the team has a plan to increase the chances.
August 6 There have been many reports on the elbow of Los Angeles Rams passer Matthew Stafford. The elbow was called “bad tendonitis” by Ian Rapoport and coach Sean McVay said Stafford’s injury was common for baseball pitchers. The coach also told reporters that Stafford had an "anti-inflammatory injection" in his throwing arm in the spring. He said, “We’re really taking it a week at a time, really a couple of weeks … Don’t expect him to do anything in these team settings for this block or the next three days, next week. Nothing has changed. ... This is part of the plan that we feel like is in his best interest.” For now, dynasty managers are in wait-and-see mode, hoping Stafford’s elbow can recover quickly. The concerning aspect of the issue is that the team has tried to address the pain for several months with rest and at least one injection, and neither worked. In two-quarterback and SuperFlex leagues, John Wolford is a player to roster as the situation plays out. If Stafford misses time, the Rams offense will take a step back. Wolford has been passable, not great in his limited action.
August 29 Monday, Aaron Wilson tweeted specifics on the Garoppolo contract, "49ers and Jimmy Garoppolo have negotiated a deal on restructured contract and he can leave the NFC West franchise after the season, given presence of no-trade clause that keeps him in place this season, along with no franchise tag clause heading into 2023, league source confirms." There is still a chance Garoppolo is traded or plays if Lance is either hurt or bombs.
August 6: It was unsurprising that San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo passed his physical and was cleared to practice. The 49ers needed him healthy for two reasons: 1) to open up a trade window and 2) to get the team off the hook for the guaranteed portion of the contract. He is likely playing elsewhere by the season opener, but that is subject to change if Trey Lance struggles in the preseason. The best landing spot for Garoppolo is Seattle, but the odds of an intra-division trade are slim.
August 25 After showing promise in training camp, rookie passer Matt Corral was placed on injured reserve with a foot injury. The Panthers youngster will miss the 2022 season with a Lisfranc injury. He will now sit and learn as Baker Mayfield starts the season under center.
August 18: This week, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh told reporters that star tailback J.K. Dobbins is likely back for the season opener in his return from a devastating knee injury. Harbaugh's said, “He looked good ... He’s kind of back on track, and I thought he looked a little better than he did before. So, he continues to improve, and we’ll see where it goes.” With Gus Edwards likely out for the start of the season, we expect veteran Mike Davis to see valuable snaps complementing Dobbins
August 29 Brian Robinson Jr was shot twice, once in the glute and once in his lower extremities, according to Commanders coach Ron Rivera. Fantasy managers should not count on seeing Robinson back on the field any time soon. We are thrilled that he is now out of surgery and feeling well, according to Robinson's social media accounts. We expect Washington to add another back or expand the role of J.D. McKissic.
August 25 After the release of Kenyan Drake, Raiders beat report Paul Gutierrez wrote last week that tailback Josh Jacobs will be mired in a committee with Ameer Abdullah, Zamir White, and Brandon Bolden. Gutierrez noted that coach Josh McDaniels was bringing the committee approach from New England. Abdullah has been impressive in the James White passing-game role. White has shown impressive burst and the trie will be used situationally. The former Patriot, Bolden, came to Las Vegas with his coach and will primarily play a special teams role unless injuries plague the top three backs.
August 25 Benny Snell played as the top backup in the second preseason game and looked good. He is now healthy but we expect Warren to see the field soon enough.
August 18: There has been a quiet, but resounding, drumbeat coming out of the Pittsburgh Steelers training camp. No, it is not how great George Pickens has looked, even though that would be warranted. The drumbeat is how undrafted free agent rookie running back ted rookie Jaylen Warren has pushed past Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland Jr on the depth chart, landing as Najee Harris' backup. Snell has missed time with injury but has not shown enough in his brief career to warrant the team holding his spot for him and McFarland - while promising - has yet to put it all together. Warren is a great player to stash as the team has frequently told reporters how they want to limit Harris' workload this season.
August 25 Titans beat writer Joe Rexrode opined that tailback Dontrell Hilliard is "clearly the second-best running back on the roster … (Hilliard) would get the bulk of the work" if Derrick Henry were to miss time. While Tennessee selected Hassan Haskins in this year’s draft, he has yet to threaten Hilliard for the backup role. Hilliard makes a great end-of-the-roster stash as Henry is coming off an injury and the Titans are a run-oriented team.
August 6: After signing his three-year, $71 million deal, 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel is open to playing wherever the team wants him. You may remember the report about Samuel balking about playing running back due to health concerns, but now he is fine with the usage. Further, his new contract has incentives for rushing touchdowns. He is now paid like one of the top NFL receivers and is under contract through the 2025 season.
August 6: Tampa Bay receiver Chris Godwin returned to practice on August 5 and went through drills. He was still favoring the knee and was wearing a knee brace but went through receiver drills at close to full speed. With the signing of Julio Jones, the Buccaneers will not rush Godwin back. Russell Gage has looked good in training camp, so we expect the team to take a long view of the situation. This team is primed for another Super Bowl run and will take things slow.
August 18: Godwin has picked up the pace in his return, even practicing in 7-on-7 drills. Expectations are rising that he will be in the lineup for the opener.
August 6: The Pittsburgh Steelers rarely extend wide receivers, and – after the draft selections of George Pickens and Calvin Austin III III – it was expected that Diontae Johnson would depart after the season just like the many talented pass-catchers throughout the past two decades. A few days ago, Johnson signed a two-year, $36.7 million extension, keeping him in Pittsburgh through the 2024 season. While less money than the other prominent receivers, Johnson will be able to enter free agency before the others who signed extensions this offseason.
August 6: Denver Broncos receiver Tim Patrick was primed for a break-out season before tearing his ACL last week. The injury occurred after Patrick made an outstanding leaping catch. He tallied 734 receiving yards and five touchdowns in 2021. We expect K.J. Hamler to get the first crack at replacing Patrick. With the sizeable quarterback upgrade, the Broncos WR3 has fantasy relevance. Hamler is coming off an ACL injury himself after going down in Week 3 of the 2021 season. Denver has several other youngsters who could emerge, so the situation is fluid.
August 6: After the Buffalo Bills signed Jamison Crowder, many assumed Isaiah McKenzie would wilt into the background. But the former Denver Broncos draft pick has continued his strong play since late last season. While not big, McKenzie is quick and offers explosive play-making ability from the slot. Crowder has missed time with “general soreness”, giving McKenzie more opportunities to shine. With a depressed dynasty value, he is a player to target before the preseason games. McKenzie flashed potential against the New England Patriots the day after Christmas when he caught 11 of his 12 targets for 125 and a score. The Bills have an explosive set of weapons for quarterback Josh Allen. Between Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, McKenzie, and tight end Dawson Knox, there is a threat for a big play every snap. The draft selection of James Cook should only add to the firepower. The Bills are a Super Bowl favorite in a top-heavy AFC.
August 6: Aaron Rodgers does not throw platitudes around, but his appreciation for rookie receiver Romeo Doubs has been expressive. Rodgers told reporters the rookie makes plays regularly. He added, "that's kind of rare for a young guy like that. Now we've had some young guys over the years kind of do that, but you know they're all in the top 10... in Packers receiving history." Doubs is getting more reps as fellow rookie Christian Watson has missed time with a knee injury. Also, Sammy Watkins has missed time with injury, which is indicative of his career. Doubs could be primed for a breakout rookie season with only Allen Lazard locked into a starting role. He will battle Randall Cobb, Amari Rodgers, Watson, and Watkins for playing time. This is a good time for dynasty managers to see if Doubs can be had for cheap before the glowing reports are more well known.
August 6: After signing as a free agent, hopes were high that James Washington could help soften the blow after the trade of Amari Cooper and as Michael Gallup returns from injury. But, Washington broke his foot last week and will be sidelined for at least a few months. We expect him to start the year on injured reserve. Currently, the team is saying they are not interested in bringing in a veteran. Odell Beckham Jr and Will Fuller V are free agents who could help the Cowboys offense. Gallup is expected to begin the season on the PUP list, leaving CeeDee Lamb as the lone anchor at receiver, with Noah Brown and rookie Jalen Tolbert thrust into larger roles.
August 25 A couple of days ago, Josh McDaniels told reporters that he does not feel comfortable making a prediction but also added, "I’m not concerned about it" regarding star tight end Darren Waller's status for Week 1 against the Chargers. Waller is dealing with a hamstring injury, and the opener is quickly approaching. Also, Waller is missing out on valuable practice time learning his new coach’s offense.
August 18: The Indianapolis Colts recognized their deficiency at tight end, selecting two players at the position in the 2022 draft, Jelani Woods (third round) and Andrew Ogletree (sixth round). The team hoped that one of the youngsters would push Mo Alie-Cox for the starting gig. Well, Ogletree will not compete this season after tearing up his knee in practice. It is sad news for the mammoth youngster, and gives more credence to Alie-Cox hanging onto the job.