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 benching of Jameis Winston should come as no surprise to anyone watching the past few Buccaneers games. While talented, the youngster has played mistake-prone football. The move to Ryan Fitzpatrick should be beneficial to the team's skill position players.
In an expected move, the Broncos waived Chad Kelly last week, even with the rollercoaster play of Case Keenum. The last straw was Kelly’s arrest for first-degree trespassing after getting drunk and sitting on a stranger’s couch after a Halloween party hosted by Von Miller. Kelly has NFL ability but has made too many immature off-field decisions to warrant consideration for an NFL roster. This incident likely marked the end of Kelly’s NFL career. Sadly, it came before we were able to see him play.
Fantasy players have lamented the usage of David Johnson after the retirement of Bruce Arians. Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy tried to turn Johnson into a between-the-tackles runner, something he is not. But, new coordinator, Byron Leftwich, told reporters he wants to utilize Johnson similar to Arians. Leftwich said, "I sat shoulder to shoulder with B.A. every day I was here. There have been a lot of long nights sitting next to him, us nodding off together." Johnson owners rejoice. The poor supporting cast will be a limitation, but the increased usage as a receiver will help his PPR value. Dynasty owners may see the switch in coordinators as an opportunity to buy low. Johnson’s market is suppressed.
Vikings beat writer Courtney Cronin reported last week that Dalvin Cook will sit out through Minnesota’s Week 10 bye with a hamstring injury. This lost time comes on the heels of last year’s ACL tear. Latavius Murray has stepped into the void for the Vikings, but the offense misses the play-making ability out of the backfield.
The career of Jets runner Bilal Powell is in jeopardy with a season-ending neck injury which requires surgery. He was placed on injured reserve. Last week, coach Todd Bowles told reporters that there is doubt regarding Powell’s future. The very next day, Bowles said he is hopeful Powell can return next year. The change in tune was likely just to help everyone feel better about the situation. He will soon be 30 years of age and will be a free agent next season. Powell’s future with the team is tenuous at best. Elijah McGuire, who was placed on injured reserve earlier in the season with a foot injury, returned to practice last week. He can be activated this week if healthy. McGuire could have a sizable role splitting time with Isaiah Crowell and should be rostered in most dynasty leagues. The youngster flashed potential as a rookie and could surprise down the stretch. Another player to watch is De'Angelo Henderson who was promoted from the practice squad last week. Henderson is a player we liked in Denver before being one of the final cuts. He might emerge late in the season to be the best back on the roster.
Expect rookie Ronald Jones, II to miss a few weeks with a hamstring injury suffered in the loss to Cincinnati. It is one more issue for the youngster to overcome. He has certainly started his career on the wrong foot.
Will Fuller V was just beginning to emerge as a fantasy star before tearing his ACL in the Thursday night win over the Dolphins. He had caught 5 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown before getting interfered with in the end zone in the fourth quarter of the blowout win. The pass interference call was a small consolation for Fuller and Texans fans. The team is now anxiously awaiting the return of Keke Coutee from his hamstring injury. Vyncint Smith was the next receiver up in the rotation so he makes a decent stash in dynasty leagues.
The career of Cincinnati receiver John Ross has been far from successful. Ross has battled injuries for most of his career and will be sidelined a few more weeks with a groin injury. The ninth-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft has a whopping seven career catches. Thankfully for the Bengals, Tyler Boyd has stepped up as a solid receiver across from A.J. Green.
The career of Martavis Bryant reads like an epic novel, full of turmoil mixed with hope … only to be dashed in the end. Bryant became the de facto top receiver for the Raiders after the trade of Amari Cooper to the Cowboys. Offensive coordinator said last week of Bryant, "I think it helps a player like Martavis Bryant … because he’s got tremendous skills, tremendous size and speed, and he’s still really kind of learning the system." Until he is suspended for the incidents earlier this season, Bryant could be a fantasy starter as Oakland will be passing often trying to fight back from big leads.
The Dolphins have suffered through a myriad of injuries at the wide receiver position. With Kenny Stills sidelined, Albert Wilson will miss the remainder of the season with a hip injury. He was placed on injured reserve last week and will not return this season. At this time, Wilson will not require surgery, but it is an option if the hip injury does not heal properly.
With the injuries suffered at the receiver position, the Jets signed Rishard Matthews, formerly of the Titans. Matthews stepped into duty against the Bears and will see his role grow as Quincy Enunwa is sidelined with an ankle injury. Matthews will have upside as the season progresses as New York does not possess much talent at the position with Robby Anderson banged up and Jermaine Kearse the only healthy option.
We were holding out that Jeremy Maclin would return in 2018 but he will undergo surgery to repair an injured hamstring and try to be ready for the 2019 campaign. Maclin will be 31 years of age next offseason and will not have a strong market for his services. As your dynasty season ends, consider adding Maclin off the waiver wire.
Baltimore has an abundance of young tight ends with Maxx Williams, paired with rookies Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst. Hurst has been slow to get up to speed after suffering a foot injury in Week 5. Coach John Harbaugh had this to say about the rookie, "He’s a first-round pick, talented guy. He’s practicing really well. He’s a rookie –- that’s the other side of it -- and he missed a significant portion … It’s important for us to have him rolling in our offense." At this point, it appears that the Ravens will utilize multiple tight ends, making each less than viable fantasy options.