With the number of names flying around on cut down day, it can be difficult to sift through everything and make sense of the news. Here are the most important moves from Saturday and what they mean for fantasy football teams.
Note: These notes do not reflect the secondary wave of waiver claims that will come on Sunday after teams examine cut lists and do this exercise for themselves.
Buffalo releases Corey Coleman
The Bills chose to keep UDFA Robert Foster (Alabama) over Coleman as a deep threat. Coleman has played well enough to deserve a spot on an NFL roster in his first two years, so there must be off-field issues that are keeping him from sticking somewhere. He could get another shot or two on his talent if he clears waivers and loses the first-round pick salary, but the clock is ticking on Coleman’s career.
Buffalo trades AJ McCarron to Oakland
The Bills will be going with rookie Josh Allen or 2017 fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman at quarterback. McCarron was still going to leave them in one of the worst 2 or 3 starting quarterback situations in the league, but he would have at least been another option if Peterman or Allen get overwhelmed. The Bills offense is in for a rocky season.
Miami releases Leonte Carroo
The Dolphins gave up three draft picks for Carroo just two years ago. As a Rutgers product and player who still could develop, Carroo makes sense as a waiver claim for the Patriots.
Miami releases Greg Joseph
Barring any further move, the Dolphins will start seventh-round pick Jason Sanders at kicker Week 1.
New England releases Mike Gillislee
The potentially valuable #4 running back role now goes to Jeremy Hill, who had a better summer than Gillislee. Gillislee should catch on somewhere else eventually and already has a visit scheduled in New Orleans.
New England keeps only three wide receivers on initial roster
With Julian Edelman suspended, the Patriots have only three wide receivers eligible to play Week 1: Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, and Cordarrelle Patterson. They will surely be claiming, signing, or trading for another wide receiver before the season opener against the Texans.
Baltimore keeps Kenneth Dixon
After a suspension and injury-marred 2017, Dixon had to prove he was still worth a roster spot this summer. He missed some practices, but stayed healthy and played well enough to win the #3 running back job over Gus Edwards. He has as much talent as any back on the Ravens roster and should be on our waiver wire watch lists.
Baltimore releases Breshad Perriman
The team has officially given up on their 2015 first-round pick. Perriman wasn’t expected to start with John Brown and Michael Crabtree signed in the offseason, but he could have still played a role in the pass offense and been in a position to do more if Brown’s injury recovery issues resurface this year. Chris Moore is the top backup at outside receiver and could have fantasy relevance if injuries thin the Ravens wide receiver depth chart.
The Texans drafted a slot receiver (Keke Coutee) and two tight ends (Jordan Akins and Jordan Thomas) and appear to be ready to use them. Bruce Ellington will be the starting slot receiver in Week 1 after Coutee missed most of camp and the preseason with a hamstring injury, but Coutee should be next in line for snaps. Miller was a third-round pick two years, but the team has decided the investment wasn’t worth it. Anderson was a UDFA who got starts last year, but with new hands on deck, he wasn’t deserving of a roster spot. Ryan Griffin will be the Week 1 starter for the Texans at tight end and he should be on tight end streamer lists.
Houston releases Nick Rose
Ka’imi Fairbairn will be ready to kick for the Texans in Week 1.
Indianapolis releases Reece Fountain and trades for Marcus Johnson
Fountain was a fifth-round pick, but not good enough this summer to make the team, even after sixth-round pick Deon Cain tore an ACL. Johnson has experience with head coach Frank Reich when they were together in Philadelphia last year and could figure into the mix at a thin position for the Colts.
Denver releases Carlos Henderson and De’Angelo Henderson
The Broncos have moved on from last year’s third round pick. Carlos Henderson was having off field problems and also had a one-game suspension to serve. We may not see him in the league again soon. De’Angelo Henderson was seen as many as worth a roster spot and possibly even better than starter Devontae Booker, but the team didn’t want to have a roster full of running backs with no meaningful NFL experience. He’s a strong candidate to get claimed and maybe even get playing time soon for a new team.
UPDATE: De'Angelo Henderson was signed to the New York Jets practice squad
Kansas City releases David Amerson
Amerson’s signing preceded the trade of Marcus Peters and most thought he had a good chance to start, if not at least play a big role in the Chiefs defensive backfield. His release shows just how bad off they are at corner, which points to strong numbers for the opposition passing games and the need for Patrick Mahomes and company to put up big numbers to keep them in games. This offense could greatly exceed expectations via game script.
Los Angeles Chargers release Roberto Aguayo
After Adam Schefter among others saw Aguayo in the lead in the kicker battle for the Chargers, Sturgis won out after all. This has been a nightmare position for the team lately, but Sturgis has had some success in the NFL offers promise to stop the bleeding.
The future Hall of Famer is back for another season. Gates will only be a matchup streamer, but his knowledge of the offense and chemistry with Philip Rivers is undeniable. He could ding Melvin Gordon III and Mike Williams’ outlook a little bit with those two best set up to soak up Hunter Henry’s vacated touchdowns. Henry could still return later this year with the Chargers deciding to put him on PUP instead of injured reserve.
Oakland releases Martavis Bryant
After giving up a third round pick for Bryant earlier this year, the Raiders have already moved on. He is facing another suspension under the league’s drug policy and was having trouble building momentum on the depth chart this summer. Bryant’s time as a fantasy relevant receiver or even a dynasty stash has come to a close.
Dallas releases Dan Bailey
The team’s long-time kicker and one of the most accurate in NFL history had some injury and accuracy issues last year, which must have undermined their confidence in him. Brett Maher has never kicked in an NFL game, but after final cuts, he’s the starter. Bailey should be claimed and Dallas might not be done making kicker moves.
Wendell Smallwood has made the Eagles roster as the #4 running back. With Jay Ajayi potentially on a managed workload, Corey Clement a little banged up in camp and Darren Sproles coming off of an ACL tear, the #4 back behind this great offensive line in a great offense is a name worth remembering.
Washington releases Kapri Bibbs
2017 fourth-rounder Samaje Perine was squarely on the bubble after Adrian Peterson was signed. He made the roster over Bibbs, who displayed some pass-catching ability and usefulness as a runner late last year.
Chicago releases Ryan Nall
Nall was seen as a fit a fullback, in addition to having the ballcarrying skills to be a backup to Jordan Howard. Instead, the Bears kept true fullback Michael Burton. Benny Cunningham and Tarik Cohen are the other running backs on the roster, so if Howard goes down, they might have to look elsewhere for an early-down runner.
Detroit keeps Ameer Abdullah
The Lions did not release the 2015 second-round even though it doesn’t appear that he has a stable role in the offense. He could still be traded to a running back needy team like San Francisco, or be released if the Lions see someone they like on the other 31 cutdown lists.
The Packers were expected to have some tough calls to make at wide receiver, but only let De’Angelo Yancey go of players expected to vie for a roster spot. The team is reportedly shopping Trevor Davis and certainly won’t keep eight wide receivers on the Week 1 roster. There are more moves left to be made here.
The Vikings had two preseason UDFA hits at running back, and instead of making a difficult choice, they kept both. Boone is probably the #3, but one of them will be the #2 eventually and both are worth deep dynasty league roster spots.
Atlanta releases Giorgio Tavecchio
Matt Bryant was dealing with an undisclosed injury issue this preseason and the late signing of Tavecchio raised some worry that Bryant might not be ready for Week 1, but it was a false alarm.
New Orleans releases Jonathan Williams
Williams had a connection with the Saints running back coach when they were together at Arkansas and it appeared that he was in position to hold the #2 job while Mark Ingram II is serving his four-game suspension to begin the season. Sixth-round Boston Scott instead will be the top remaining backup running back, although the team is likely to look elsewhere for someone to share the #2 back job with him for the first month of the season and they are already hosting Mike Gillislee.
New Orleans keeps Austin Carr
The Saints have made great things out of undrafted slot receivers in the past with Lance Moore and Willie Snead IV, perhaps Carr could be next in line. RFA acquisition Cameron Meredith might be 100% percent yet, and third-round camp sensation Tre’Quan Smith is an outside receiver.
Arizona releases Matt McCrane
The UDFA was nailing long field goals and veteran Phil Dawson had some struggles in the preseason, but the team decided to stick with the more experienced and expensive option at kicker.
Arizona releases Brice Butler
JJ Nelson had some drops in preseason and some saw him as the veteran wide receiver whose bubble would burst with youngsters Chad Williams and Christian Kirk moving into bigger roles. Butler was hyperefficient with Dallas, but couldn’t find a spot with Arizona.
Even after Jerick McKinnon tore an ACL in practice on Saturday, the 49ers decided to let their 2017 fourth-round pick and Tampa’s 2017 fifth-round pick go at final cuts. The team currently has Alfred Morris, Matt Breida, and Raheem Mostert and could make another move at running back before the season begins.
Seattle releases Amara Darboh
The 2017 third-round pick wasn’t healthy for much of the summer and the team was pleasantly surprised with the play of free agent pickup Brandon Marshall and 2017 seventh-round pick David Moore. Marshall could play a large role in the offense from day one.