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.
It is difficult to repeat as Super Bowl champs. Just ask the Eagles. Carson Wentz has yet to be fully healthy for Philadelphia to make a run for the playoffs. Now, Wentz is gone for the year with a fractured vertebra in his back. The good news is that he does not need surgery and should be ready for all offseason activities. After a down year, the Eagles should be primed for a rebound in 2019. The squad is still talented. The big points of emphasis will be at running back – with Jay Ajayi likely gone – and the offensive line.
Early Sunday morning, Ian Rapoport reported that the Ravens are expected to trade Joe Flacco this coming offseason. While Lamar Jackson has put together a nice winning streak, it is easy to talk about getting rid of the veteran quarterback. Flacco has a large ($18 million) base salary for 2019 so we see a trade versus a release. Add in the large number of teams with a void at the position and it is easy to imagine a market forming for Flacco’s services. Baltimore could receive a second-round pick – or even more – for the former Super Bowl MVP.
Many dynasty players have been buying Derrius Guice from teams needing assets for a playoff push. But the recent report regarding Guice requiring multiple surgeries to address infection is worrisome. The Washington Post report said Guice needed three additional surgeries. The infection makes it unlikely that Guice will be ready for training camp. Per the report, the infection lasted two months after Guice’s surgery to fix his torn ACL. Guice is still a buy in our point of view as he is immensely talented on a team lacking offensive talent …. and, possibly, needing to address the quarterback position if Alex Smith is unable to return.
Isaiah Crowell was somewhat productive in his first season as a Jet. Almost one-third of his 685 rushing yards came in Week 5 against the Broncos. Crowell had 219 yards in that contest. He was placed on injured reserve this past week with a foot injury. New York has little talent at the running back position and will likely keep the overpaid ex-Browns back one more season. Elijah McGuire, Trenton Cannon, and De'Angelo Henderson have not shown enough for the organization to make that move. Rookie quarterback Sam Darnold will need a quality running game in year two.
DeSean Jackson has enjoyed a long career. Now 32 years of age, the former second-round pick is battling thumb injuries and may miss the final two games of the season. Last week, he told reporters that he still could not squeeze the football. Jackson may have played his last football in a Tampa Bay uniform. He could be a cap casualty after signing a 3-year, $35 million in March of 2017. The Buccaneers could save $10 million by releasing the veteran. With Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Adam Humphries all in their prime, it is difficult to imagine paying Jackson so much money. Much could change for Tampa Bay this offseason. The front office brass must make decisions on the futures of Jameis Winston and the coaching staff. This is a team with ample talent on paper but rarely putting everything together for multiple games. It seems like a long time that Ryan Fitzpatrick led the troops into New Orleans for a victory over the Saints in Week 1 and beat the defending Super Bowl champions in Week 2. New Orleans has only lost one game since the opener. This same team lost to Washington (16-3) a few weeks later.
The NFL finally threw down the hammer on Martavis Bryant. He was suspended indefinitely for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. This is his third suspension and likely his last. It is a sad ending to a once-promising NFL career. The least-discussed aspect of the situation is the Raiders giving a Day-2 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft for Bryant. For a team accumulating draft picks while trading away top-end players, trading a good pick for a soon-to-be suspended player is more than curious. It shows a lack of direction and forethought. Oakland still owes Gruden $90 million for the next nine seasons and there will be changes in the front office. With the move to Las Vegas in 2020, the Raiders may struggle to be competitive by then.
Pierre Garcon was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury last week. His coach, Kyle Shanahan, told reporters that Garcon needs his knee scoped. Now 32 years of age, Garcon has now played in exactly half of his team’s games since signing the five-year, $47.5 million deal in March 2017. He is slated to make $5.6 million in 2019. Even if San Francisco keeps him around, it will likely be his last year on the team as Garcon’s salary jumps to $8.5 million in 2020. Dante Pettis is starting to emerge across from Marquise Goodwin, so the 49ers organization may choose to save the salary. Also, Richie James and Kendrick Bourne have shown promise. This is a young team that may choose to save the salary and invest in the wide receiver position again through the NFL Draft.
Beat Reporter, Eric Williams, tweeted Monday, “On the PUP list since the start of the regular season after suffering an ACL injury in May, Lynn said tight end Hunter Henry may do some work on the side in some individual drills, as early as Monday. Still no official timetable on Henry’s return to the field.” So, we may see Henry pack on the gridiron during the playoffs. The Chargers have a shot at a deep playoff run.
It was too much to ask for Jordan Reed to make it through a season sans injury. He missed the game against the Giants with toe, ankle, and foot injuries. Sure, most players are injured this time of year, but it was just a matter of time. As Reed ages, we expect him to slow down some. Even with the relative health this season, Reed was a low-end (9.4 PPR points/game average) fantasy starter. It is entirely possible that Vernon Davis is the better player at this point in their respective careers.