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.
This was a bad week for the quarterback position. One of the more prominent injuries was the fractured fibula of Marcus Mariota on his right leg. The good news is that the budding superstar quarterback will be ready for the 2017 training camp. Mariota put up solid fantasy numbers in a run-oriented offense, lacking weapons at the receiver position.
Derek Carr also broke his fibula Saturday. Matt McGloin takes over as the Oakland quarterback, leading the Raiders in their title run. The team has stated their belief in McGloin. Fans and fantasy owners of Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper are leery. McGloin is an impending free agent and will want to play well for his next deal. Carr will hopefully be back for training camp. Carr took a big step forward this season and will look to build on it in 2017.
Adam Schefter sent shockwaves – as usual – last week. He reported that Tampa Bay backup quarterback Mike Glennon could garner $13-15 million per season on his next contract. With such poor quarterback play across the league, we will not be surprised if Glennon scores a big contract. Look what Brock Osweiler got … and Glennon has shown more than Osweiler ever has. For context, Glennon has started 18 games and is still just 27 years of age.
Before his poor play on Christmas evening, many beat writers thought Trevor Siemian would be the defacto starter in training camp next season, with Paxton Lynch working for snaps. NFL Network’s James Palmer tweeted, “Belief in #Broncos building is that Siemian will hold off Lynch for next couple of years.” With Lynch’s poor showing in his two starts, all onlookers believe he has a long way to go. But, the game against Kansas City showcased Siemian’s limitations. Denver may be looking to add a low-end veteran free agent to the mix. Someone like Hoyer or Fitzpatrick would not be a surprise addition. A solid running attack will help whichever player is under center in 2017.
The Denver offense desperately misses C.J. Anderson. Last Wednesday, Cecil Lammey tweeted, “It doesn't look like CJ Anderson will return to practice this year. ‘Its not looking good’ Kubiak #Broncos.” The Broncos showed that the offense needs him back to anchor the running game. Poor quarterback play and an ineffective running attack have led to the team’s demise this season.
Carlos Hyde also was injured on Saturday. Hyde was blasted by Los Angeles defensive back E.J. Gaines late in the 49ers win over the Rams. Sadly, the injury came with Hyde just 12 yards short of the 1,000-yard mark. Adam Schefter tweeted the outcome of Hyde’s MRI. Schefter tweeted, “49ers' RB Carlos Hyde tore his MCL on Saturday, per source; he will miss last game of season.” He will be replaced by Shaun Draughn as the lead back in Week 17. Dr. David Chao tweeted about Hyde’s prognosis, “Relatively good news. Season over but not surgery and fine for the offseason.” It is amazing that Hyde was able to put up such good numbers in the historically-bad San Francisco offense. He should be a dynasty buy in the offseason.
One player we advise buying in the offseason is C.J. Prosise. He is currently on the shelf with an injured shoulder but has played better this season than has Thomas Rawls. Prosise has the burst and speed to give the Seattle offense a new dimension. The team is hopeful he can return in the postseason.
It was reported last week that Jamaal Charles will not be back for the playoffs. His fate was sealed by the team activating Justin March-Lillard from injured reserve. Each team can only activate one player from injured reserve per season. While he is a candidate for release (due to salary) in the offseason, the middling play of Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West might lead the team to re-think the idea and renegotiate Charles’ contract or draft a rookie in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The Buccaneers rocked the fantasy world by benching a healthy Doug Martin in Week 16 against the Saints. This is an interesting storyline as the team gave Martin a $35 million contract not long ago. No, he has not played well this season. But, let’s remember that Martin was an All-Pro in 2015. Tampa Bay started Jacquizz Rodgers at the tailback position and used Charles Sims in passing situations. When asked, coach Dirk Koetter only said, "We have four backs and we can't give them all touches." This does not sound like a coach who believes in his tailback. Dynasty owners are encouraged to pick up Rodgers this offseason. He has put up solid numbers when playing the starting back role. As with most curious situations, there is likely much more to this story.
One player who has disappointed dynasty owners this season is Shane Vereen. Injuries have derailed his 2016 season. In Week 15, Vereen, re-tore the same triceps he originally tore in Week 3. With Paul Perkins playing so well, it would not be a surprise if Vereen was playing elsewhere in 2017.
Tyler Lockett suffered an ugly injury in the Week 16 game against Arizona. Pete Carroll told reporters that Lockett will have surgery and be out for the rest of the year. Brady Henderson tweeted, “Carroll said Lockett broke both his tibia and fibula above his ankle. Surgery was late Sat night and didn't finish until around 4 a.m. Sun.” Then, Dr. David Chao tweeted about the injury, “May not be 100% at start of 2017 season. Horrific injury, but good prognosis.” The loss of Lockett will push Jermaine Kearse to the starting spot opposite Doug Baldwin. Keep an eye on the speedy Paul Richardson as he will see more time.
Last week, Calvin Johnson put to rest the talk he was coming back to football. Johnson said, “I'm not coming back, man … Look, man. I got stuff that's going to hurt for the rest of my life. I got a finger that's literally bone-on-bone." He added that his ankle still bothers him and he has a pinched nerve in his shoulder. We wish the former Lion a great retirement.
Larry Fitzgerald told reporters last week that he will need time in the offseason to consider his future. Jim Trotter tweeted, “Larry Fitzgerald told me he wants to take off a month or 2 after season, then decide whether to return in '17 for final year on contract.” Knowing that this type of comment would cause a stir, Fitzgerald followed that up with a comment to reporters. He said, "I will never play anywhere else … This is where I want to be. This is where I want to retire." He is under contract for one more season and is not showing signs of slowing down.
Michael Floyd is fitting in with the Patriots just fine. He hauled in one pass against the hapless Jets. Floyd should see a role during the playoffs. We expect him to rehab his image in New England. Dynasty owners should keep DUI arrest in perspective, though. It was reported last week that Floyd’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) was .217. The released video was scary in that a person with this BAC was in control of a vehicle. He is expected to serve jail time in Arizona for this trespass. Floyd is expected to sign a “prove it” deal in the offseason. He was on the outs with the Cardinals before the arrest and the DUI just sealed his fate.
Keep an eye on DeAndre Smelter. Yes, dynasty owners have given up on the youngster. Owners carried him for almost two full years before throwing in the towel and tossing Smelter to the waiver wire. But, he was recently signed off the 49ers’ practice squad. The former fourth-round pick possesses great athleticism but has been oft-injured throughout his short career. Also, San Francisco placed Torrey Smith on injured reserve with a concussion. Smith never was a factor in the Chip Kelly offense. It is difficult to believe the veteran pass catcher is still only 27 years old. His contract increases in the offseason so Smith could be playing elsewhere in 2017. Smith is a player to pick up off the waiver wire if dropped.
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