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Dynasty New You Can Use, Week 8

A look at the recent fantasy news from a dynasty perspective.

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. 

As if the injury situation with Andrew Luck did not seem it could not get much worse, the news was disappointing last week.  First, the Indianapolis Colts’ team twitter account tweeted, “GM Chris Ballard announces a cortisone shot and rest for Andrew Luck this week after soreness. No timeline on his return.”  Yuck.  Then, Ian Rapoport‏ tweeted, “#Colts GM Chris Ballard said Andrew Luck has soreness in his shoulder and took a cortisone shot. This is a setback. No practice this week.”  This is a major setback for those hoping to see Luck on the field this season.  Footballguys’ own, Dr. Jene Bramel‏ tweeted, “Andrew Luck was already 2-3 weeks from returning. Can likely add another 2-4+ wks w/ today's news. Getting tough to see him playing in 2017.”  Lastly, beat reporter Zak Keefer‏ tweeted, “Based on what we heard today, I wouldn't be surprised if Andrew Luck misses the entire 2017 season.”  Given the minimal chances of the Colts making the playoffs, the odds are increasing weekly that we will not see the superstar quarterback in 2017.  Rapoport reported over the weekend that Luck will return if he's healthy this season, regardless of the Colts' record. Further, there is concern that his shoulder may not be able to get back to where it was in 2016. 

Even though Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is back to practice, he is still not ready to play.  Coach Mike Zimmer told reporters last week, "We still don’t know where it’s going to go, where that’s going to lead … Everybody is excited about Teddy being back, but he’s got a ways to go. He’s probably not going to play this week, so we need to put the brakes on things a little."  With Sam Bradford’s balky knee leaving him without a timetable, Bridgewater could possibly play after the team’s Week-9 bye.  But, let’s consider how rusty he could be after not practicing for over a calendar year.  We advise giving him a couple of starts before inserting into fantasy lineups. 

Beat reporter, Rob Demovsky reported last weekend that the Packers are holding out hope quarterback Aaron Rodgers can return from his collarbone injury Week 15 against the Panthers.  Per the injured reserve guidelines, Rodgers must sit out at least eight games and the contest against Carolina will be when he is first eligible.  This seems overly-aggressive but may depend on how well Brett Hundley plays in his stead.  Adam Schefter reported over the weekend that doctors have told the Packers that Rodgers can resume throwing in six weeks.

Jay Cutler cracked two ribs in the win over the Jets, according to Adam Schefter.  After he left the contest, Matt Moore entered and rallied the Dolphins to a 14-point comeback in the fourth quarter.  On Monday, coach Adam Gase told reporters that Cutler will miss the Thursday night contest against the Ravens.  It is conceivable that a strong showing may allow Moore to start once Cutler is healthy.  It is not as though Cutler has played well this season. 

It has been a bad month for quarterback injuries.  Carson Palmer is another passer lost for the season.  He broke his left arm in the Week-7 contest against the Rams.  Palmer will need surgery to repair the injury.  Coach Bruce Arians has stated his desire to go with Drew Stanton over Blaine Gabbert.  While neither is a great option, Stanton has been abysmal when filling in for Palmer the past few seasons.  This could be a sad ending for Palmer and receiver Larry Fitzgerald as both are rumored to be playing in their final seasons. 

Indianapolis running back Robert Turbin suffered a gruesome arm injury in the loss to Tennessee last Monday.  He will miss the remainder of the season.  Last year’s sensation, Josh Ferguson, was signed off the practice squad to take Turbin’s place.  Ferguson created a short-lived stir early in the 2016 season.  Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski said rookie Marlon Mack will see more touches with Turbin out for the season.  Mack could slowly garner more touches from Frank Gore if he can develop as a pass blocker and receiver.

Ian Rapoport reported last week that Lions slot receiver Golden Tate should miss a few weeks with a shoulder injury.  He has a sprained AC joint.  The bye week comes at a great time for Tate to heal because he was not going to play in Week 7.  The Lions host the Steelers on Sunday night this week and Tate is not expected to play.  Rookie Kenny Golladay will play in Tate’s place if his hamstring is back to full strength.  The Lions will need a win to keep pace in the division.

Last week, Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone told reporters that rookie receiver Dede Westbrook is on track to return to the field Week 9 after having core muscle surgery during training camp.  Barring any setbacks, Westbrook will be able to return to the field when he is first eligible.  His role should be greater than most expect as the Jaguars need plays from the receiver position after the season-ending Allen Robinson injury.  Neither Allen Hurns nor Marqise Lee scares opposing defenses. 

Yes, we have heard this story before, but Washington coach Jay Gruden said last week that he is actively planning to expand Josh Doctson’s role.  Gruden said, “He didn’t get as many reps as I would like at the end of the day when you look at the numbers … We have got to get him in there more and expand it." On a struggling offense, desperately missing its two departed receivers from a season ago, Gruden is willing to try anything to right the ship.  We might advise helping either Terrelle Pryor or Jamison Crowder get on track before relying too much on the oft-injured and frequently out-of-position- Doctson.  And, getting tight end Jordan Reed untracked would be a good idea, too.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported late last week that both Kenny Britt and Corey Coleman were sent home to Cleveland from Houston for missing curfew prior to the Week 6 contest against the Texans.  Neither player was going to play so it is not a huge ordeal.  But, the issue is that the Browns hoped that these two receivers would be their starters and leaders this season.  On a young team, the Browns brass needs these two to be leaders in the locker room.  Given the poor play and being a distraction for the younger players, Britt has found himself in coach Hue Jackson’s doghouse.  Following Garafolo’s report, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Britt is in danger of getting cut.  The article said that Britt may be cut midseason if he is a distraction off-the-field again.  He played Sunday with expected results, with just two receptions for a total of seven yards.

Feel free to (email me) with feedback.  Also, I am on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/JeffTefertiller), LinkedIn, and Google+, so you can ask me questions on one of these as well.