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.
Last week, Ian Rapoport tweeted, “#AZCardinals QB Carson Palmer is slated to have surgery today to repair his broken arm, source said. He hopes for shorter than 8 weeks.” Palmer was placed on injured reserve a few minutes later. With the thought that this might his final NFL season, the veteran is pushing to get back on the field late in the year if the Cardinals are still in the playoff chase. Coming off a bye week, the pressure will be mounting for Drew Stanton to play well in Palmer’s stead.
On Sunday morning, Jay Glazer reported that Andrew Luck’s shoulder is still causing him pain and Luck is seeking further opinions to figure why. Any hope of the star quarterback coming back this season can be extinguished. Further, dynasty owners need to decide whether this is a time to buy or a time to sell. Luck’s dynasty price is depressed due to the shoulder injury but there is no guarantee that the pain will eventually cease.
Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning that Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater could return to action this week. Minnesota has until next Wednesday to activate Bridgewater since he has resumed practicing. This is an interesting situation given Sam Bradford’s knee issues leaving him without a definite return date. Both Bridgewater and Bradford are better than Case Keenum, who is best suited as a reserve. The Vikings will need to make a decision as to which the team prefers since each is a free agent after the season.
Adam Schefter reported before the Thursday night game last week that Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler is expected to be available against the Raiders this week. After the dismal performance of Matt Moore and the rest of the Miami offense against the Ravens, it was far from shocking when coach Adam Gase said after the game that Cutler would start this week. Moore threw two pick-6s against Baltimore and was not poised in the pocket.
Cardinals beat reporter Mike Jurecki reported last week that David Johnson does not know when he will be able to return to the field after his wrist injury earlier in the year. Johnson said, "I hope I do get back, but I really don’t know … The wrist is a complicated limb and it’s tough to say, just because I still have this cast on. I haven’t even started rehab so I don’t know yet." With reports of Johnson returning later this month, it is difficult to see at this point. In addition, Arizona may be out of the playoff race by the time Johnson is ready. If so, there is no reason to rush him back.
James Palmer had an interesting tweet this past week. He tweeted, “Jamaal Charles said two teams who examined his knees this offseason told him he should retire. Averaging 4.7 ypc & workload set to increase.” While many people may see this “news” and be encouraged that Charles beat the odds, we see it as the knees will be an issue as the season progresses. Running backs rarely see diminished knee performance improve. It is just a matter of time, especially with an increased workload.
The Chicago Bears have been snakebit this year at the wide receiver position. Expected starters, Kevin White and Cameron Meredith, are now on injured reserve. Their replacements have been mediocre on the field. The playoff-pursuing Bears traded for Dontrelle Inman from the Chargers in exchange for a conditional 2018 seventh-round pick. Inman is another average possession receiver who is on par with Kendall Wright. Inman is tall (6’3”) and skinny (205 pounds) without much speed. Chicago would not be in such a bind for receivers had the team been patient with Deonte Thompson. He was released and has been productive for the Bills. Let’s consider that this is the same Bears offense that attempted just 7 passes in the victory over Carolina a week ago. When needing to throw more against New Orleans, Sunday, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky completed only 14 of 32 passes. In such a conservative offense, no Chicago pass catcher will have much dynasty value.
Dynasty waiver wires were lit up Sunday morning after Adam Schefter reported that two teams have approached Detroit in the last week about acquiring the rights to Calvin Johnson. Each time, the Lions told the interested teams to contact Johnson and see if he is interested in playing again. Chris Burke tweeted Monday, “@mortreport on Mike and Mike: Eagles and Jaguars two teams with some interest in Calvin Johnson. "Chances are, I don't think it happens” and “Calvin has been working out, I guess, but does he really want to play? Jacksonville, their ears have perked up.” Interestingly, Detroit might trade the future Hall of Fame player instead of letting him come out of retirement as a member of the Lions.
Last week, the Charlotte Observer ran an article on the recovery of Greg Olsen and his likelihood of returning this season. The article read, “Olsen, the only tight end in NFL history with three consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons, is out of the protective boot and has been running on an underwater treadmill. He’s eager to see how his foot responds to football activities. ‘I’m doing good. I’m starting to move around … Start progressing here and ... hopefully start getting on the field and doing some stuff by next week. And just take that next step. Everything’s going well.’ The earliest Olsen is eligible to play is the Nov. 26 game against the Jets in the Meadowlands. Olsen says it’s too early to say whether he’ll be back in uniform that day. ‘We won’t really know a lot until you start really getting out there and moving around and running around and see how it responds,’ he said. ‘So far so good.’” We will keep you updated. Beat reporter Joe Person tweeted Monday, “RR: Greg Olsen will go out and test foot today or tmrw with training staff. Can begin practicing this wk if foot responds well.” If Olsen is able to return later this season, he would be a great trade target for teams looking to add points at the tight end position.
Another tight end to watch is C.J. Fiedorowicz. He was placed on injured reserve after suffering a concussion in Week 1. Fiedorowicz returned to practice last week and can be activated next week. Check his availability on your waiver wire and via cheap trades. Houston gave the young tight end a big contract extension this past offseason. With so few solid fantasy tight ends, Fiedorowicz makes a great buy-low target.
Late last week, veteran tight end Martellus Bennett announced via Instagram that he plans to retire after this season. While still far from aged and signed for two more seasons, this announcement is far from a surprise given his poor performance this season. Bennett looks disinterested in his play this year. The retirement would save Green Bay more than $17 million for the remaining years of the contract.
The oft-injured Jordan Reed injured his hamstring in the loss to Dallas and could not return to action. Reed has battled hamstring injuries often enough that there is a chance that the injury lingers. His absence would leave the door open for Vernon Davis to become fantasy-viable once again. Coach Jay Gruden told reporters Monday that he expects Reed to miss Week 9. Look for Davis on your waiver wires. Reed is not known for quick injury recovery.
One of the more gruesome injuries this season was the knee injury suffered by Zach Miller in the loss to New Orleans Sunday. Early Monday morning, Chris Mortensen tweeted, “Bears TE Zach Miller was having urgent vascular surgery in New Orleans last night to repair artery damage on dislocated knee, per sources. Then, Adam Schefter tweeted, “Vascular surgeons are trying to save Bears TE Zach Miller's leg, not just his career, per @mortreport.” Lastly, Mortensen tweeted, “Bears TE Zach Miller now undergoing an MRI post-emergency vascular surgery to evaluate blood flow and anatomy of injured leg, per sources.” His career is likely over. This will leave Dion Sims and rookie Adam Shaheen at the position for Chicago. Shaheen was a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft and should get a look sooner than later.