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 San Francisco 49ers offense has looked lost without quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo hurt his knee a couple of weeks ago and the offense is much less potent with C.J. Beathard at the helm. In dynasty, Garoppolo is a good player to acquire on a discount from teams with a hole at quarterback, needing an immediate starter at the position. Last Wednesday, beat reporter Cam Inman tweeted, “#49ers Kyle Shanahan: Jimmy Garoppolo had knee surgery this morning. Shanahan no details on it. Way too early to tell on comeback timeline.” He will be back for next season’s summer training camp. Coach Kyle Shanahan agrees. He said, "I’m hoping he’ll get into OTAs and do some non-contact stuff … It’s always a little bit better when you’re dealing with a quarterback as opposed to other positions because you can get them in 7-on-7 drills, which helps those guys get involved a lot faster." When OTAs begin, Garoppolo will be eight months removed from surgery.
Ian Rapoport tweeted Monday, “#Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette is, in fact, going to miss Sunday’s game against the #Cowboys with a hamstring injury, sources say. Not a surprise, it was headed that way. So he’s out two in a row after his setback.” Expect T.J Yeldon to dominate touches once again. The Jaguars will wait until Fournette is fully healthy before bringing him back to the starting lineup.
It appears that there is an unwritten rule that the Bengals can only have one healthy running back available for each game. With Joe Mixon practicing and playing last week against the Dolphins, Giovani Bernard missed the game with a sprained MCL. He is expected to miss 1-3 more weeks. Cincinnati will need both backs healthy down the stretch if a deep playoff win is on the horizon. Mixon was the only tailback to carry the rock in the victory over Miami on Sunday.
Jeff McLane broke the Jay Ajayi news on Monday via Twitter, “Jay Ajayi tore the ACL in his left knee, per sources. A significant distinction. He tore the ACL in his other knee during his freshman year at Boise St. There have been reports that he has had a chronic issue with his right knee. #Eagles.” Ian Rapoport followed up with, “#Eagles RB Jay Ajayi will have surgery to repair his torn ACL on Thursday, source said. The belief is it’s just that ligament. It occurred in pass-protection during the game and he played through it.” He is a free agent after the season and likely never put on the Eagles jersey again.
On Monday. Matt Maiocco tweeted, “Source: #49ers Matt Breida sustained a mid- to high-ankle sprain. He’ll undergo an MRI on Monday. He may not play next week, as the team wants to give it time to heal and not be something that bothers him throughout the rest of the season.” He followed up with another tweet, “The MRI on #49ers RB Matt Breida came back negative, according to a source. It’s considered more of a mid-ankle sprain, which is good news. He’s been battling a variety of injuries the past few weeks and has proven to be a quick healer.” It will be the Alfred Morris show for a few weeks.
As though the Jacksonville offense was not languishing enough with Leonard Fournette sidelined this past week, and possibly Week 6, Corey Grant exited Sunday’s contest with a Lisfranc injury. Even worse for Grant is his free agent status next offseason while the veteran will not be fully healed. Free agency starts in approximately six months. Lisfranc injuries often need longer to heal.
One player to trade for this coming week is D'Onta Foreman. Foreman is eligible to return Week 7 and coach Bill O'Brien said the physical runner is "on track" to return when initially able. Returning from an Achilles injury has not been easy for many running backs, so expectations should be tempered. But, Lamar Miller has been oft-injured and outplayed by Alfred Blue.
The Indianapolis Colts looked anemic on offense Thursday night. Andrew Luck did his best but there is no way to be effective if Chester Rogers is the top wide receiver. Luck was without T.Y. Hilton, Jack Doyle, and Marlon Mack for the contest. Hilton looks to be far from a lock to play this coming week. Last Wednesday, beat writer Stephen Holder tweeted, “And I don’t want to sound the alarm, but not hearing great news on the severity of T.Y. Hilton’s hamstring for even beyond tomorrow night. But it’s too early to speculate more specifically than that.” Hilton’s absence from the lineup is bad news for the Colts offense as Adam Caplan tweeted, “#Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (chest, hamstring) is out vs. #Patriots. He had only missed 2 games in his 7-year career previously (last game missed-12/21/2014 vs. Cowboys).” If Hilton and Doyle out again, expect Rogers and Eric Ebron to be fantasy starter options.
Available on many dynasty waiver wires, Mike Garafolo reported over the weekend that "teams have been keeping tabs" on free agent Jeremy Maclin. Maclin has been on the shelf with a hamstring injury. At 30 years of age, Maclin has enjoyed big seasons and there are several receiver-needy teams. If you have a roster spot available, Maclin makes a great speculative acquisition.
Not that he was a fantasy force, but it is safe to drop Terrance Williams after he was placed on injured reserve this past week with a foot injury. Between injury and the off-field issues, Williams has been in a precarious situation for some time. Dallas does not throw the ball to the wide receivers enough to recommend anyone stepping up into the opportunity.
Beat reporter Jordan Raanan noted last week that Evan Engram has resumed running and doing some light-cutting drills on the side of the practice field. We expect he is still a week away, but now is the time to trade for Engram from impatient owners.
Injuries have hit the Cincinnati skill-position players this season. With Bernard out of action and Eifert on injured reserve, John Ross also missed Sunday’s game against Miami with a groin injury. Ross came up lame after the 39-yard touchdown against Atlanta in Week 4 and could not practice all week. He is likely out multiple games. Tyler Boyd saw his role expand with Ross injury but was ineffective against the Dolphins. Alex Ericson saw more action, too. Boyd has played extremely well this season and should start climbing dynasty rankings.
Last Friday, Ian Rapoport tweeted, “The #Panthers have ruled TE Greg Olsen (foot) out this week, but his presence on the practice field means there is a chance at next week.” We are reluctant to recommend Olsen as a fantasy option until we see his foot hold up in game action, but his return is coming soon. On Sunday morning, Ian Rapoport reported that Olsen is expected to play this week against Washington. This puts his return just five weeks after re-fracturing the surgically-repaired foot. This has the smell of a player at the end of his career trying to get back for a playoff push.
We noted the gruesome ankle injury of Tyler Eifert last week. On Friday, Eifert was placed on injured reserve. The Bengals replaced him with a mix of C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Kroft with the former the better fantasy option going forward. Andy Dalton has thrown the ball well this year so Uzomah may become a viable fantasy starter as the season progresses.
Ian Rapoport broke more news on Twitter, “#Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins is going on IR, but will be eligible for return.” This is why Niles Paul had a quality fantasy game. He makes a solid stash.