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.
The poor play of Brock Osweiler has been well-discussed the last few weeks. He has been terrible and coach O’Brien has been scrutinized for defending his passer. Well, after his quarterback was playing horribly in the first half against the Jaguars, the coach finally had enough. The Jaguars were leading the Texans and O’Brien made the switch to Tom Savage. Savage led Houston to the win. For those wondering how bad Osweiler played. He was actually worse than the 6-for-11 passing for 48 yards and two picks. The insertion of Savage was great for the fantasy exploits of Hopkins, Fuller, and Graham. Savage targeted Hopkins on 42% (15 of 36) of his pass targets. This was a huge bump over the passive Osweiler who was afraid to throw the ball down the field. As Houston is vying for a playoff spot, the coach announced Savage as the starter on Monday. When asked about the quarterback change, O'Brien said, "We don't make decisions on how much a guy gets paid … We make decisions on what's the best way to win a game. That was the decision we made today and I thought today, it worked out OK." We do not buy this answer as – if true – the quarterback change would have happened weeks ago. The team gave him way too much money in free agency and it will take years to dig out of Osweiler’s deal. Former agent, Joel Curry said via Twitter that the team would take a $6 million cap hit if cutting ties with Osweiler after the 2017 season.
There is a reason aging running backs have abrupt endings to their respective careers. This was illustrated Sunday as Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams was inactive for the game against Cincinnati due to swelling in his knee. Williams practiced all week in the final stages of recovery of his surgery-repaired knee. Even though he was very productive while Le'Veon Bell was suspended earlier in the season, Williams’ best days are behind him.
Another injury-riddled aging tailback is Matt Forte. Last Wednesday Morning, Jets beat reporter, Rich Cimini tweeted, “Matt Forte told me MRI on knee revealed torn meniscus. He suspects he's been playing w/ it all yr. Hopes to play this wk. #Jets.” This explains a lot as to why Forte has not been explosive of late. Yes, he was active for the Saturday game against Miami, but played behind Bilal Powell. Powell has become a valuable fantasy contributor the past two weeks, even while carrying a heavy workload.
On Thursday, Adam Caplan tweeted, “#Rams placed RB Benny Cunningham and DE Robert Quinn on IR.” The loss of Cunningham should result in more pass targets for Todd Gurley. As the blowout loss to the Seahawks illuminated, the Los Angeles offense is a mess. We are interested to see what the new coaching staff does with the lacking talent on both sides of the ball.
When asked about his future after the loss to the Saints, Larry Fitzgerald was noncommittal. The star receiver said on Fox Sports 910, "We'll see what's going on this off-season … Right now my attention is solely focused on Seattle Saturday." While the frustration of the moment might be the root of the comment, Fitzgerald has only one or two seasons – tops – left in him. This uncertainty should allow the veteran pass catcher to be a value in dynasty leagues once again in 2017. He is due $11 million next season, his last year under contract.
On Wednesday, Darren Urban was the first to report Michael Floyd’s release. He was also one of the first to tweet about Floyd’s new team. Urban tweeted, “Patriots claimed WR Michael Floyd off waivers from the Cardinals.” He traveled but was inactive in the victory over the Broncos. Floyd could be another great reclamation project for Belichick and company.
Houston placed rookie receiver Braxton Miller on injured reserve last week. He had been battling a shoulder injury for most of the season. The former collegiate quarterback, learning a new position while have Osweiler throwing passes, makes it difficult to evaluate Miller’s rookie season for dynasty potential. A potential quarterback change in 2017 will elevate Miller’s value.
Chicago receiver Marquess Wilson was just starting to assert himself before suffering another injury last week. Last Thursday, beat reporter Jeff Dickerson tweeted, “Bears WR Marquess Wilson suffers another foot injury.” Later, it came out that the foot injury is related to the one that held him out the first ten games of the season. The former seventh-round pick was later placed on injured reserve. This is a sad ending to the season for Wilson as he heads to free agency in the offseason, just months after re-breaking his foot.
We recently wrote about tight end Julius Thomas landing on injured reserve. Adam Caplan reported the injury Sunday as a fractured tailbone. We are left wondering if it is more painful to have that injury or play in a pass offense led by Blake Bortles. Jacksonville has ample weapons but poor quarterback play and a new coaching staff will only serve to frustrate fantasy owners again in 2017.
It was a scary time in Cincinnati Sunday when tight end Ladarius Green left the game with another concussion. His exit came after a huge reception but was clobbered by George Iloka on the play. Let’s remember that Green missed all of the offseason, preseason, and first few weeks of the season with concussion-related symptoms. We wish him the best. The Steelers gave him a huge contract in the offseason and was just getting acclimated into the passing game. Green was just beginning to emerge as a big asset in the Pittsburgh offense.
Feel free to email me (Tefertiller@Footballguys.com) 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.