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 he left the game Thursday night with a shoulder injury, many assumed Trevor Siemian would be lost for the season. This turned out to be correct. On Friday, Adam Schefter tweeted, “Broncos placing QB Trevor Siemian on IR with a shoulder injury; he’s done for season as Broncos go into off-season with QB questions.” Siemian is gone for the season. Beat writer, Mike Klis, tweeted from the team press conference on Friday, “Trevor Siemian has sublaxation, or partial dislocation, in left shoulder joint, league sources tell 9News. Will miss rest of season. Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch are up. #9sports … Vance Joseph said football people want to see Paxton Lynch play more. But hadn't made decision if he starts yet. Joseph said probably wouldn't sign a No. 3 QB. #9sports.” Footballguys.com own Cecil Lammey followed that up with a couple of tweets, “#Broncos Vance Joseph @1043TheFan "I'm not sure." on Brock starting at QB vs WAS … #Broncos Vance Joseph @1043TheFan "Paxton being a young guy, we want to see him play more, but we'll see." So, expect Paxton Lynch to start at least one of the final two games. The team will want to know whether to move on from both Lynch and Siemian after the year, or just Siemian. Osweiler is the likely candidate for the backup job next season with Chad Kelly or one of Lynch or Siemian as the QB3. The Broncos will either sign or draft their next starting quarterback.
Trying to save face after an awful season, New York Giants owner John Mara told the media this past week that he wants quarterback Eli Manning to return in 2018. Fans still remember the benching of Manning for Geno Smith. With the regime change, we expect the new general manager and head coach to either draft or sign in free agency their quarterback of the future. The Giants should have a high pick and be able to select the next face of the franchise. With Manning still owed over $20 million in guaranteed money, a likely scenario is Manning transitioning the starting job to a rookie midseason 2018. But, there is a possibility that the Giants trade Manning to Jacksonville or another quarterback-needy team with a low enough pick that the top rookie passers are off the board before they draft in the first round.
Even after Josh McCown was placed on injured reserve, New York Jets coach Todd Bowles told the local media that Christian Hackenberg will not play this season unless Bryce Petty suffers an injury. Ouch! Bowles said, "We got people at every position that want to play … We’re not jumping people over people just to play considering anything. Bryce is our starter." The coaching staff sees the quarterbacks practice every day, so Bowles must know something the fans and fantasy owners don’t …. just how bad Hackenberg must be. New York should turn over much of the offensive depth chart this coming offseason. lacking talent at quarterback or running back apart from aging players McCown and Matt Forte.
Last week, beat reporter, Rick Stroud, admitted on Twitter that tailback Doug Martin is likely to be released this offseason. His suspension opened the door for the Buccaneers to not pay him the guaranteed money negotiated in the contract extension signed earlier this year. Then, fellow beat reporter, Greg Auman, piggybacked Stroud with a tweet saying the Buccaneers would save $6.75 million next year if Martin is released. This looks like a done deal with the way Peyton Barber is playing. Expect a second or third-day pick to be used to bolster the running back position.
One of the more underrated fantasy performers this season was by Chargers scat back Austin Ekeler. He became a weapon for Los Angeles as a change-of-pace back spelling Melvin Gordon III. In Saturday night’s game against the Chiefs, Ekeler broke his hand on the fourth-quarter fumble, according to Ian Rapoport. His season is now over but a player to stash if dropped in the offseason.
The career of Adrian Peterson may be coming to an unceremonious end. Even though he posted on social media that he does not require surgery for the injured neck and he hopes to play in 2018, Peterson turns 33 years of age in March and may struggle to make a team. Yes, Peterson played admirably in Arizona this season. But, he is not worth holding in the majority of dynasty leagues.
There is one Denver Broncos running back to watch the final two games, De'Angelo Henderson. He is a player we liked in preseason. On Friday, Mike Klis tweeted, “Joseph said possible rookie RB De'Angelo Henderson gets a look in final two games. #9sports.” Henderson ran decisively in preseason but struggled with fumbles. He could be auditioning for a spot in the running back rotation in 2018.
Beat writer Michael DiRocco recently said on the radio that Jacksonville Jaguars will try to bring receiver Allen Robinson back, but doesn't think it will be a big deal because “AR lacks leverage (rough 2016/hurt 2017).” Mike Clay followed that up with a tweet, “Allen Robinson - drafted in 2014 - is only 3 months older than Dede Westbrook - drafted in 2017.” Still very young, Robinson could look to change teams this offseason. There should be a better market for his services than DiRocco expects. Teams like Chicago, Washington, and Carolina all desperately could use the play-making of Robinson. The Jaguars seem content with Hurns, Lee, Westbrook, Cole, and a bevy of other little-known pass catchers.
One player we will be monitoring this offseason is receiver Jordan Matthews. Still just 25 years of age, and entering free agency in the spring, Matthews will be looking to prove he is something more than an injury-plagued possession receiver. Last Thursday, Matthews underwent surgeries on his left knee and right ankle in hopes of being healthy by the start of free agency. The trade to acquire Matthews looks more curious every day given that Matthews was not 100% healthy when the transaction occurred. In his four-year career, Matthews has yet to top the 1,000-yard mark and has averaged 11.8 yards-per-reception. Matthews is what he is at this point. But, if landing in a decent situation, he could be a cheap and profitable acquisition in PPR (Points Per Reception) leagues.
Even though he looked like he was toast in Cleveland, New England signed receiver Kenny Britt after he passed through waivers. The Patriots have a receiving corps full of players acquired from other teams, so anything is possible. Adam Schefter tweeted on the subject, “Patriots are paying WR Kenny Britt a pro-rated portion of the veteran minimum $900,000 this year, then $1.5 million next year with chance to get to 2M with incentives, per source. Next year is Patriots’ option; if not exercised, Britt becomes a UFA.” This is a low-risk move for New England and it gives them depth at the receiver position. There is little chance that Britt will make the team next season with Julian Edelman healthy and added to Danny Amendola, Brandin Cooks, Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Hogan, and Phillip Dorsett at the receiver position.
Even with the signing of Britt, there is a chance Malcolm Mitchell comes back this season. Beat writer, Zack Cox, tweeted on Friday, “Malcolm Mitchell just walked into the locker room with cleats on. Looks like he’s making progress. Still eligible to come off IR if he’s healthy enough to do so.” Dynasty owners are encouraged to check the waiver wire because Mitchell has upside.
The placement of Jordan Reed on injured reserve is less of a surprise each successive year. It is almost as though fantasy owners expect this outcome on an annual basis. At least the injury that shelved Reed this season was a hamstring and not another concussion. Reed only played in six games in 2017. Still just 27 years of age, the athletic tight end was summarily outplayed by aging veteran Vernon Davis this year. Reed is still under contract for four more seasons, but it is doubtful he will be able to stay in the league that long.
We wrote about Eagles tight end Trey Burton in last week’s Dynasty Rankings Movement. An impending free agent, Burton is expected to sign a large deal this offseason. Mike Garafolo said Sunday morning that he expects Burton to land a significant deal after the year. There are few teams with strong weapons at the position, so Burton could be a great player to stash. Imagine him as the replacement for Jason Witten or signing in San Francisco. The upside could be huge.