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.
After the Bills lopsided loss to the Saints in Week 10, Buffalo made the quarterback switch, benching Tyrod Taylor for Nathan Peterman. In the New Orleans’ game, Taylor completed just 9 of his 18 passes for 56 yards. Peterman played well when inserted after the game became lopsided. Coach Sean McDermott had this to say about the quarterback switch, "We were made to be more than 5-4, and I've come here to be more than 5-4 … Really, it's about becoming a better team. Every position is evaluated and that's the direction I decided to go." The fifth-round pick played worse than anyone expected Sunday against the Chargers. It was a disaster. The only flaw with McDermott’s plan is that Peterman threw 5 first-half interceptions. He was benched, and Taylor reinserted into the starting lineup. The veteran played well in the second half. With Taylor signed to a non-guaranteed $10-million salary and a $6 million roster bonus due on the third day of the league year, he is likely played his last game in a Bills uniform. This move was about the team seeing what they have in Peterman before the 2018 NFL Draft. Taylor could have a hot market for his services as several teams will be looking for quarterback upgrades.
Ian Rapoport reported Sunday night, “#Texans RB D'Onta Foreman is believed to have torn his Achilles after his clinching TD today, sources say. Brutal luck all year for Houston.” It is sad ending to the season for the promising rookie. An Achilles injury will be difficult for Foreman to return to full speed.
Beat writer Michael Cohen tweeted on the October arrest of Aaron Jones, “McCarthy said he is aware of the situation with Aaron Jones and spoke to him about it after the incident. ‘He made a mistake,’ McCarthy said. It's a pending legal matter, so McCarthy can't say much more … It's the second arrest for Jones in the last two years. He was stopped for driving while intoxicated prior to his senior season in college. Breath alcohol concentration of 0.15 and 0.139.” Jones is looking at a possible suspension on the horizon. The pending legal action could allow dynasty owners to buy the best Packers running back at a discount.
The Chris Thompson injury was difficult to stomach live, Sunday, so we knew it was not a small injury. The team announced Monday that Thompson has been diagnosed with a broken right fibula that requires season-ending surgery. This is a tough blow for Thompson and the Washington offense. He was the best play-maker on the offensive side of the ball. Making matters worse, this injury comes after the season-ending loss of Rob Kelley. This is an offense lacking running back weapons.
A player to watch down the stretch is Jonathan Williams. The tailback was signed by the Saints off the Broncos practice squad. Denver signed him to an expensive practice-squad contract after Buffalo released him as one of the Bills final training camp cuts. Given the play and workload of Mark Ingram II and Alvin Kamara, Williams could be productive if given the opportunity. The New Orleans offensive line is opening holes for the backs. Plus, both Ingram and Kamara have battled injuries throughout their collegiate and professional careers.
Beat writer Mark Dalton was the first we saw report that Larry Fitzgerald had signed a one-year contract extension through the 2018 season. Even though the veteran is 34 years of age, he has played at a high level this season. Yes, there is a risk that Fitzgerald calls it quits after the season, but his high-level quality of play should make him a great dynasty target for teams needing a short-term fantasy starter, especially in PPR (Points Per Reception) leagues.
John Keim reported Monday, “Redskins received Terrelle Pryor will be placed on injured reserve after undergoing surgery on his ankle, coach Jay Gruden said.” With Pryor signed to a one-year deal, there is a good chance he is playing elsewhere next season. It is still amazing that Washington turned down trade offers for Pryor before the trade deadline.
A few days after the Carolina Panthers traded Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills so they could get Curtis Samuel on the field more, Samuel damaged ligaments in his ankle and is gone for the season. His dynasty value is tanking as the Panthers used him as a gadget player and not a cog in the offense. Receivers needing manufactured touches have minimal value unless they can score often (ala Tyreek Hill).
Rookie receiver John Ross has found it difficult to get on – and stay on – the field. After battling injuries for much of his first professional season, coach Marvin Lewis called out the rookie after the Week 10 loss to Tennessee. To set the stage, Ross took a play off because he thought quarterback Andy Dalton was going to throw the ball elsewhere. Well, Dalton threw his direction and the pass fell incomplete. Lewis let his frustration show to reporters a few days later, "John had a play last week we weren’t very thrilled with … He let his teammates down. He let me down. He let Andy down." For a coach to blast a rookie to the media it speaks volumes. Dynasty owners who liked Ross coming out of college know he can be bought at a discount this offseason.
Keep an eye on the Browns practice reports this week for the status of Josh Gordon. He’s first eligible to practice Monday. Coach Hue Jackson had this to say about the receiver, "He's doing well. In building every day, on time for everything … Smile on his face. He's a pleasure to be around." Gordon is first able to play in Week 13 against the Los Angeles Chargers. If he plays, it would be his first regular-season appearance since 2014. With so many injuries and distractions this season, Gordon’s return will be appointment television the last few weeks of the season.
With free agency looming after the season, Tyler Eifert recently underwent surgery to remove a cyst on his knee. He had this surgery while on injured reserve due to a lingering back injury which required a third surgery. There may not be a strong market for his services. One of the more productive pass-catching tight ends, Eifert is a weapon in the passing game. He will likely be forced to sign a one-year “prove it” deal in the offseason. It is difficult to imagine any team giving the oft-injured Eifert huge guaranteed money and a long contract.