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.
On Thanksgiving morning, Jason La Canfora tweeted that Washington is prepared to use the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins again this offseason if they cannot reach a long-term deal. There are plenty of rumors circling about the quarterback wanting much more than $20 million per season and $60 million guaranteed, numbers thrown around last offseason. This situation will be interesting to watch play out. The organization is incentivized to reach a long-term deal. With another solid season playing on the tag, Cousins could garner even more and the price of a franchise tag in year three will be too expensive. But, there is a risk for Cousins, too. If he is injured or has an offseason, the market for his services could decline. The good news for dynasty owners is that Washington wants Cousins to remain the starter at least one more season and both sides want a long-term deal.
Yes, there has been some expectation for future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson to return to the field this season. Well, let’s put that to rest. On Thanksgiving Day, Ian Rapoport reported that Peterson has yet to be cleared to run. Per the report, the star ball carrier is running with just 30 percent of his body weight on his knee and still has several obstacles to overcome before he is cleared to run in practice. For some, Peterson is expected back to full speed for the last three games of the season. But, that is just three weeks away. That is unlikely. To summarize, we do not expect a player who is unable to run will be up to full speed in three weeks. The Vikings could use a strong running game for the playoff chase, but Peterson’s return is unlikely.
Tampa Bay welcomed tailback Charles Sims to the practice field last week. He is still on injured reserve, due to a knee injury, and is eligible to return Week 14. This will allow the talented backup to get into playing shape for his return. By then, the Buccaneers will have a stable of healthy and proven running backs, including Doug Martin and Jacquizz Rodgers, ready for the stretch run.
Packers beat writer Wes Hodkiewicz tweeted last week that running back Eddie Lacy, who is on injured reserve with an ankle injury, will officially miss the remainder of the season. Lacy has been out of action since Week 7. We do not expect the team to re-sign the powerful back but Green Bay has not been able to run the ball week since Lacy exited with the ankle injury. The Packers are expected to use a second-day draft pick on the position. The lack of a strong season may cost Lacy a big contract, but he should still have a strong market for his services.
Keep an eye on the practice participation of Jaguars ball carrier Chris Ivory. The veteran ball carrier exited last Sunday’s game against the Bills with a hamstring injury. He has endured hamstring injuries in the past and is not known as a quick healer. T.J. Yeldon and Denard Robinson could see a bump in snaps just in time for fantasy playoffs.
Seahawks beat writer Curtis Crabtree quoted coach Pete Carroll regarding the injury to rookie running back C.J. Prosise. Per the coach, Prosise suffered a fractured scapula and he will be re-evaluated in a couple weeks. Carroll said the team has no estimate on a recovery time, and "won't know for weeks" on when – or whether – Prosise is able to return to the field. At best, he will be back sometime during the playoffs.
Running back Karlos Williams has had one of the worst seasons we can remember a player having in year two as a pro. He had a quality rookie season in Buffalo but showed up overweight and out of shape to offseason activities. While the Bills were trying to get Williams in condition, the youngster was suspended four games for substance abuse. This led the team to cut Williams. Noticing his talent, Pittsburgh signed Williams to their practice squad, giving him a chance at redemption. So, when it was announced last week that Williams will be suspended for ten more games, the Steelers organization was not happy. We expect the team to let the second-year player walk and use the practice squad spot on a player who cares about his professional career.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported last week that Chargers receiver Keenan Allen is expected to be ready for spring workouts. The report said that Allen has not had any setbacks and is pain-free just eight months after knee surgery. Sadly, the star receiver went down in Week 1, leaving the San Diego passing game without its star. The Chargers offense has endured several tough injuries to its play-makers.
Expectations were high for receiver Nelson Agholor coming out of Southern California. Agholor has struggled mightily with dropped passes and mental mistakes. Mike Garafolo tweeted last week, “Eagles OC Frank Reich says Nelson Agholor has ‘great skills.’ Trying to figure out what's causing drops. Acknowledges that issue is ‘real.’" For those who still believe in Agholor’s upside, this is a great time to buy him in dynasty leagues. His fall from grace was evidenced by being a "healthy scratch" in Monday night's game versus Green Bay. The price should be very low. The bad news is that Philadelphia will likely bring in multiple pass catchers in the offseason. Another Eagles receiver to monitor is rookie Bryce Treggs. He is a speedy undrafted rookie who can stretch the field. The Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News had a report on the rookie. In the report, coach Doug Pederson said the rookie is "in a position to contribute more" down the stretch. Treggs does make a great player to stash. Jordan Matthews is little more than an above average slot receiver and Dorial Green-Beckham has yet to distinguish himself and show that he can live up to his potential.
Another Jaguar left the Bills game with a hamstring injury. Allen Hurns suffered the injury on his 12-yard touchdown grab, his only reception in the game. If Hurns misses time, Marqise Lee could see an expanded role.
The return of tight end Jordan Reed to the field on Thanksgiving Day was amazing. He suffered a shoulder injury in the first half and it appeared to be a multi-week injury. But, Reed came back into the game and played an awesome second half. Regarding the injury, beat writer John Keim tweeted the day after the game, “…tight end Jordan Reed suffered a Grade 3 AC joint separation in his left shoulder, an MRI revealed Friday according to coach Jay Gruden. He first mentioned it on his weekly ESPN980 radio appearance. Reed still might play vs. Arizona on Dec. 4, depending on his range of motion and level of pain. He injured the shoulder in Thursday's 31-26 loss to Dallas.” We fully expect Reed to play this week as his team needs a win to stay in the playoff race. It will all depend on his pain tolerance and range of motion.
Last week, the Chicago Bears placed tight end Zach Miller on injured reserve with a broken foot. The former college quarterback has endured injuries for most of his professional seasons. The Bears have been beaten down with injuries. There is no guarantee that Miller will be back in Chicago next season. The Bears offense will look much differently with quarterback Jay Cutler and receiver Alshon Jeffery are both free agents.
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