This Week in Dynasty: Week 6

A dynasty take on current NFL developments for the week of 10/07/13.

Hey guys and gals, welcome to This Week in Dynasty. This is a new feature this year where we're going to discuss relevant developments from around the league with a dynasty slant. Everything is fair game, from high-level strategy to nitty-gritty player evals. If you have an suggestions for topics you'd like to see covered in this space, or if you'd just like to join the conversation, feel free to let me know on Twitter at @AdamHarstad.

The Big Takeaway

Those that have known me for a while know that I'm obsessed with injured players in dynasty leagues. I firmly believe that the market tends to overreact to injuries, and that this inefficiency can be exploited for big profits. In fact, I'm so predictable in this regard that every time a player suffers a major injury, I start receiving tweets and emails asking me if I've made an offer for him in all of my leagues yet. My answer is always either "of course", or "wow, I didn't realize that guy was done for the year, hang on a second while I go make an offer for him in all of my leagues". I'd been planning on writing about this belief at some point this year, and Julio Jones this week gives me the perfect excuse. Julio Jones is, without question, an absolute difference-maker. According to MFL's ADP data, Julio Jones was, on average, the 5th wide receiver selected in redraft leagues this year. According to DynastyLeagueFootball.com's offseason dynasty mocks, Julio Jones was a top-10 pick in startups and the 3rd receiver off the board. In PPR leagues, Jones currently sits as the #1 fantasy WR, leading the league in receptions and sitting second only to Jimmy Graham in receiving yardage. Among top receivers, only Randall Cobb and Torrey Smith are younger- and Smith only beats Jones by two months. So, Julio is young, has a proven track record, is universally considered elite… and is now done for the year with a season-ending foot injury. What kind of impact does that have on his value?

Value is a tricky thing, and obviously market price will vary wildly from league to league, but let's look at the two closest analogies I can find. This offseason, prior to his achilles injury, Michael Crabtree was typically being drafted as about the 9th or 10th receiver off the board, somewhere in the early 3rd round of startups. Prior to his injury being made public, Percy Harvin was drafted as the 7th receiver off the board, going in the early-to-mid 2nd round of startups. The immediate reaction to Crabtree's injury dropped him down to the 46th WR off the board in startups, going in the late 9th to early 10th round. Rather than stabilizing or rebounding, Crabtree's ADP continued to slowly decline from there, ending up firmly in the middle of the 11th round by August. Percy Harvin's injury news came much closer to the season, so we don't have multiple months worth of mock drafts to see how his value moved, but in the final round of mock drafts prior to the season, DynastyLeagueFootball had him going in the late 7th round, as the 34th receiver off the board (although the sample size was small- just six mocks- and there was a lot of volatility, with draft picks ranging from the late 4th all the way down to the 13th round).

In short, the prospect of losing most of a season had a very serious impact on the value of Percy Harvin and Michael Crabtree, two other young "blue chip" receivers. Keep in mind that every injury is different, and no two situations are going to be perfect analogies. For instance, Michael Crabtree's achilles injury is something of a fantasy boogeyman because as recently as 10 years ago, it was a near-certain career ender (although in recent seasons we've seen plenty of players, such as Demaryius Thomas and Terrell Suggs, return and play at an All Pro level). Percy Harvin's injury added to an existing case that he might be "injury prone". Who knows how the market will react to Julio Jones' injury. Maybe it'll be more generous to Jones because he doesn't have a long history of appearing on the injury report. Maybe it'll be less generous because he re-injured an existing injury. If the market reacts similarly to how it reacted with Percy Harvin and Michael Crabtree, however, we should expect to see it begin to value Jones around a 4th-round startup pick, somewhere in the 16-20 range.

This is all speculation about how the market WILL value Julio Jones. The real question, here, is how the market SHOULD value Julio Jones. What is a rational and measured response to Julio's injury? There's no question at all that this hurts his overall value. For one thing, even without the risk of re-injury, Julio is now expected to play about 11 fewer games during the course of his career. If we expect him to play 7 more years after this one (at the end of which he will be 32 years old), and we expect him to average 14.5 games played per year (because bumps and bruises happen- just ask Calvin Johnson), then without this injury we'd expect him to have somewhere in the neighborhood of 110 games left in his career. Note that these are rough estimations, not actual predictions. I'm not saying I'd expect Julio to retire at 32. I'm saying that he might retire at 32, he might play until 35, he might retire at 30, he might suffer a career-ending injury at 26. There's a whole range of possible outcomes for Julio Jones, and I'm estimating "110 games remaining" as a nice, conservative midpoint to that range. It's not Science!(™), it's just a rough guess to give us some numbers to work with.

Anyway, without this injury, Jones would be expected to play in about 110 games. With this injury, he's guaranteed to miss 11 of those games. We'd already baked one missed game this season into expectations (remember, we're projecting based off of 14.5 games played per season), so this injury drops Jones' "expected games remaining" from somewhere around 110 to somewhere around 100. That's a 9-10% decrease in total value right off the top. Factor in that immediate production is worth more than production five years down the road and the risk all injured players carry that they're never the same again (see: Jahvid Best, Austin Collie, Daunte Culpepper, Shawne Merriman), and the real value drop could be higher- anywhere from 15% to 30%, depending on how much one wants to weight the current season and how much of a risk they feel Jones presents.

So this injury hurts his value, and it absolutely should. If the Jones owner is a contender, and especially an aging contender, it hurts even more. By the time Jones takes the field again, not only will he be a year older, but everyone else on your fantasy team will also be a year older. If your core includes Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, Andre Johnson, and Tony Gonzalez, you're going to lose a lot of your team's value waiting for Julio Jones to return. In fact, in an extreme situation like that, it might make sense to say that Jones' injury costs him 33% or more of his remaining value. As I mentioned in my article this offseason about dynasty windows, the goal is to win championships, but any year you don't win a title you're not doing anything except earning rookie picks and watching your roster age. That's why it's important to make sure all of your players have windows that sync up- you want everyone on your team to be really good at the same time (to win you championships), and you also want everyone on your team to be really bad at the same time (to earn you high rookie picks). For an owner in a situation like that, it might make sense to sell Julio Jones for a player who is producing right now. I'm not suggesting giving him away for Nate Washington, but if a Jordy Nelson, Victor Cruz, or Brandon Marshall is available, I think that's the kind of deal with the potential to make sense for a championship contender. It gets you the immediate help you need without destroying all of your long-term value in the process.

Of course, as was mentioned, the market might not be so generous with Julio Jones. Nelson, Cruz, and Marshall are widely considered top-12 dynasty receivers, and they're all tremendously productive so far. Remember, based on how the market treated Crabtree and Harvin, in many quarters Julio will be commanding prices comparable to a low-end top-20 WR, such as a Mike Wallace, Marques Colston, or Vincent Jackson. Maybe even a WR in 16-18 range, like a Hakeem Nicks or a DeAndre Hopkins. Is this a fair and reasonable price for Julio Jones? Remember, based on our off-the-cuff calculations a few paragraphs back, Jones has lost anywhere from 15-33% of his value. Using the high end of that range (33%), saying that Julio Jones is worth Mike Wallace today is akin to saying that Julio Jones was worth 1.5 times Mike Wallace prior to his injury. Would any Julio Jones owner on the planet have traded him for Mike Wallace and another, slightly lesser piece two weeks ago? Would any Julio Jones owner have traded him for Vincent Jackson and, say, Dwayne Bowe or Wes Welker? Because trading him for VJax today is akin to trading him for VJax + Bowe a week ago, and if that latter trade seemed like a bad idea, the former trade should, too. It's easy to overreact when we focus only on the short term, the immediate returns, and the championship hunt, but we need to ask ourselves whether the discount we're applying is strictly rational, or whether it's emotional. We need to be buying or selling players based on careful analysis, not fearful overreaction. We need to keep an eye towards the future even when in the midst of a tight playoff race, because whether you win this playoff race or not, it's a virtual certainty that you'll be in another one at some point in the coming years, and at that time I'd imagine you'll probably wish you still had Julio Jones instead of Marques Colston or Andre Johnson.

Now, so far we've looked at this from the perspective of someone who owns Julio Jones. What about for the 90+% of teams that don't own Julio Jones? How much should they be willing to sacrifice their ability to win now to acquire him? What should they expect from him going forward?

If a team is in the middle of a championship chase, and especially if the roster is aging, it probably makes no sense to trade a currently productive asset to acquire dead weight like Jones. As I mentioned, if you fail to win the title this year, all your season got you was a low draft pick and a chance to watch your entire roster get a year older. Jones is a very valuable piece, but unless you can get him at a significant discount (say, for Mike Wallace or Vincent Jackson), he's probably not worth that risk. For teams that are more towards the middle of the pack, or for teams with a young roster (so the cost of watching it age a year is relatively low), Jones makes an easy target to acquire. According to the Footballguys Pick Value Calculator, 66% of the value of the #10 pick (Julio's pre-injury draft position) will get us the #25 pick. In other words, if you can trade a guy whose value is in the 3rd round range of dynasty startups in order to land Julio Jones, you should probably consider that a win. Anything later than that probably qualifies as a "steal". Yes, you'll face some pain in the short term, and it will lower your chances of winning it all this year (although it'll raise your chances of getting a good rookie pick), but as I mentioned earlier, there are always playoff chases, and the future version of yourself will be very thankful to the present version of yourself for giving him Julio Jones to assist him in them.

Heard Around the Water Cooler

THE EYE TEST:

Weeden's like Maverick in Top Gun after he loses Goose. "Nah, it's no good." Maverick won't engage.
Weeden in huddle:"I'll keep throwing high over the middle. You guys keep getting helmet to helmet hits. We'll be in FG range in no time"
-Joe Bussell (@NFLosophy)

Love Robert Woods. Wouldn't surprise me at all if he's the offensive rookie of the year.
-Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal)

Josh Gordon, you are ridiculous
-Bryan Fontaine (@Bryan_Fontaine)

Brandon Weeden only knows one speed.
-Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal)
@greggrosenthal awful isn't a speed, Gregg.
-ItsJoeG (@itsjoeg)

The Dolphins do not move Wallace. And they have been lining him up on the right side of formation almost exclusively. It's ridiculous.
-Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero)

Tony Romo has one of the highest completion percentages and has like the 2nd highest avg. depth of target. He's playing phenomenally.
-Joe Bussell (@NFLosophy)
(note: this was written BEFORE Sunday's 500-yard game against Denver)

Giants defense is two guys on DeSean, nine in the box, and meh, let's leave Cooper open and see what happens.
-Derek (@igglesblog)

Benjarvus Green-Ellis is still very much a part of the #bengals offense and he is running well between the tackles today vs his old team
-Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom)

That Andy Dalton interception was just inane. Why did he do that?
-Chris Brown (@smartfootball)

Justin Blackmon looks stronger, quicker, and faster than he did at any point last year
-Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom)

Alex Smith completes a pass over 40 yards, but Avery still had to pull up and field it like a punt bc it was underthrown
-Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom)

Alex Smith has 15 pass attempts. 1 target for Dwayne Bowe, 0 catches. Alex did complete a downfield throw to Donnie Avery for 44 yards.
-Evan Silva (@evansilva)

Alshon Jeffery just made kind of full extension deep catch that indicates he's on a best case scenario track now. @nfldraftscout loves it
-Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom)

After all the money the Titans gave Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene, it must be sad that they are relying on Jackie Battle.
-Chase Stuart (@fbgchase)

Dwayne Bowe got his first catch...on a ball not thrown to him that was deflected across the field.
-Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL)

People are just going to keep blaming the Pats lack of offense on WRs? All of them? Because there's a common denominator on every throw.
I know it's hard to remove the stigma of Brady from it... But he simply hasn't been great. He's been an above average QB so far.
-Joe Bussell (@NFLosophy)

Chad Henne comes in, Cecil Shorts starts going off obviously. Up to 5/74/1 now. #gabbertfactor
-Adam Levitan (@adamlevitan)

I know this sounds crazy, but Andrew Luck is underrated.
-Aaron Nagler (@Aaron_Nagler)

Eli Manning cannot stop throwing interceptions. This has actually just gotten bizarre.
-Chris Brown (@smartfootball)

Is Miles Austin better than Dwayne Harris at this point?
-Cian Fahey (@cianaf)

Cam Newton has been sharp, but getting killed by drops from Steve Smith, LaFell.
-Chris Wesseling (@ChrisWesseling)

Julius Thomas looks like the real deal this year
-Chris Brown (@smartfootball)

This offense is so scary and it's not going away. Demaryius Thomas can still get better, Julius Thomas definitely can. Crazy talent.
-Cian Fahey (@cianaf)

Imagine how much Peyton Manning's arm strength would be picked apart if he was a draft prospect.
-Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal)

Terrance Williams has shot to be really good. Had issues learning DAL playbook from basic (but very effective) Baylor route tree, but smooth
-Chris Brown (@smartfootball)

Ted Ginn leads Panthers WRs in receiving yards and TDs despite seeing just half the targets of Steve Smith.
-Chris Wesseling (@ChrisWesseling)

Was in the middle of explaining to my wife that Matt Schaub isn't great, but not as bad as...OMG ANOTHER PICK 6!
-Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL)

Hey @SigmundBloom, I think we both need to admit that @ChrisWesseling was 100 percent right on the Foster-Tate debate. It's all Foster.
-Cian Fahey (@cianaf)

THE NUMBERS GAME:

A.J. Green has been covered a CB1 pre-snap on 76.7% of plays. Tillman (70.9%), Ike Taylor (90%), Shields (63.6%) and Haden (76.2%)
-Ross Miles (@PFF_RossMiles)

The Rams have just been horrible in the secondary this year. Even throwing out the top 10% of plays they still give up 2.7 FP/deep att.
-Fantasy Douche (@FantasyDouche)

Andrew Luck's now 2-of-12 on passes thrown 21+ yards this year.
-Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar)

Stafford, Rodgers and Brady all under 100 yards at halftime. That kind of day.
-Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar)

Megatron's plus/minus really looking good today.
-Fantasy Douche (@FantasyDouche)

Coming into the week, Trent Richardson, David Wilson & Lamar Miller totaled 100.2 FPs (PPR), which is just 5 points more than Charles alone.
-Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23)

Tom Brady is 4-of-15 (26.7%) targeting Thompkins, Dobson, Boyce & Sudfeld in the red zone this yr. 8-of-12 (66.7%) targeting all others
-Cecil Lammey (@cecillammey)

One NFL RB has more than 3 carries from the 1 yd line this year: Rushing oTD leader Willis McGahee (5)
-Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL)

Last 2 games, #Cowboys rookie WR Terrance Williams: 10 catches, 216 yards, and 1 TD.
-Adam Caplan (@caplannfl)

ALSO OF INTEREST:

Zach Sudfeld is a non-waiver claim away from dominating my all-Patriots practice squad league. Gonna be a stressful 48 hours...
-The Fantasy Hipster (@FantasyHipster)
(unfortunately for the Hipster, the New York Jets had to swoop in and ruin his day)

My worst trades are typically the ones where I get ahead of myself and force the short-term or group think mentality.
-Josh Haymond (@JPesoFF)
(If I did a tweet of the week, you'd be looking at this week's winner…)

Adam Schefter reported there were "teams not happy" the #Ravens got Eugene Monroe for such a cheap price. Contacted NFL office. #Jaguars
-Evan Silva (@evansilva)
(There's a lesson for fantasy owners: don't assume someone's out of reach. Make an offer, or risk being mad later when someone else gets him cheap.)

After announced Calvin Johnson was inactive (knee), Packers went from -7.5 to -10
-Sportsbook.com (@sportsbook_com)

So the new regime hates all 3 of CLE top picks in 2012 RT @RapSheet Turns out, #browns would've traded for Eugene Monroe if they had chance
-Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom)

No matter where Freeman lands, we've learned the Raiders aren't nearly as high on Pryor as their fans.
-Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal)

I forgot to set all my fantasy lineups today, I'm still better prepared to win than the Dolphins seemingly.
-Cian Fahey (@Cianaf)

Dear @NFLprguy If you're going to have pink flags, don't have pink towels, or vice versa.
-Jeff Haseley (@JeffHaseley)
(#CommonSense)

The one thing I can't understand is why Giants RBs constantly fumble even though they know Tom Coughlin hates when they do that?
-Chase Stuart (@fbgchase)
(Also, someone should probably tell Eli his team would do better if he just didn't throw interceptions anymore.)

And with that FG, the #Giants have allowed as many points through 18 quarters as the 2000 Ravens did all season.
-Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski)

#11 Gabbert, Blaine. Pos: Fetal
-Josh Norris (@JoshNorris)

You could combine the best players from any 2 AFC teams in action and I still don't think they could beat the #broncos right now
-Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom)

How much do the Patriots miss Gronk? They just threw to Nate Solder at the goal line.
-Chase Stuart (@fbgchase)

Just like last year, the two things to survive the apocalypse will be cockroaches and Cecil Shorts' fantasy value
-Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom)

How low scoring will fantasy games be today? Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mike Vick, Russell Wilson & Randall Cobb among the fantasy rushing leaders.
-Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23)
(Make that "how low scoring will fantasy games not involving any Cowboys or Broncos be today?")

#Titans still going with Jackie Battle over Chris Johnson on every goal-line snap.
-Evan Silva (@evansilva)

Brandon Marshall on Alshon Jeffery: "He’s probably going to shatter all the #Bears records by the time he’s done at the receiver position."
-Adam Jahns (@adamjahns)

When Cam Newton has more tackles (2) than touchdowns (0), it's pretty much a bad game.
-Jeff Haseley (@JeffHaseley)

Score more than 40 points at home and since 1978 you are 493-5 straight up and 472-20-6 ATS.
-Spreadapedia (@Spreadapedia)

NFL record for points in a game is 113. We're at 89, which means holy smokes, how did that game happen?
Tom Gower (@ThomasGower)

I could get on board with this. RT @BobbyBigWheel It should be "picks six," like "attorneys general."
-Chase Stuart (@fbgchase)
(Matt Schaub just became the first quarterback since Peyton Manning to throw four picks six in four weeks- although, to be fair, Manning actually threw all four of his in a two-week stretch).

Foles Time. RT @howardeskin @MikeVick to get MRI Monday but I'm also told Vick likely out at least next wk against Tampa and Maybe 2 weeks.
-Evan Silva (@evansilva)

Josh Freeman is signing with Minnesota.
-Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter)

Stat of morning via @GerryCallahan: Broncos are averaging 27 points per game more than the Patriots this season.
-Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter)

Stay classy, Denver. RT @DenverBroncos: The #Broncos' 51 points in yesterday's win are as many points as the Jaguars have scored all season.
-Jacksonville Jaguars' official account (@Jaguars)

Falcons will just have to start running the ball hard until SJax can't go any more. So basically until about halftime of week 7.
-Paymon Shokoohi (@SetMyRoster)

#dynastytrades Julio Jones/Dwayne Bowe for Randall Cobb/Le'Veon Bell
-Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23)
(I'm all for buying injured players, but the idea is to get them at a discount. That doesn't look like much of a discount at all…)

I was checking out career comps for Larry Fitzgerald (>700 receptions, >65 TDs by age 29) on @pfr....there are none. #Cardinals
Larry Fitzgerald is an all-time, but the offense in Arizona looks to be on the outs yet again. More HOF years wasted.
-Chad Parsons (ChadParsonsNFL)

News that Percy Harvin began running next week is first real sign of where he is in rehab.
Many rehab protocols have sport-specific activity / running beginning somewhere between 9-12 weeks after surgery. Harvin was at 8 weeks.
There's still a lot of rehab to go (this stage can stretch between 9-16 weeks), but we could see Harvin back well before Sea W12 bye.
-Jene Bramel (@JeneBramel)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS PICKUP LINES:

When I look at you I feel like I'm Blaine Gabbert 'cause I start feeling tons of pressure in the pocket. #JaguarsPickupLines
-Downer Jag Fan (@DownerJagFan)

#JaguarsPickupLines without you I'm like a pass from Blaine Gabbert, incomplete
-Charles (@vancinialfredo)

I'm the @TonyBoselli of the bedroom, baby. Incredibly good, but not for very long. #JaguarsPickUpLines
-Beef (1010XLBeef)

Take off the tarps and show me your upper deck #JaguarsPickupLines
-Dipayan Banarjee (@dippicus)

#JaguarsPickupLines Trust me, I'm not looking to score
-Logan Austin (@LoganAustin27)

Wanna crash a wedding and do it in the coat room? Because we won't make the reception. #JaguarsPickupLines
-Sean Conover (@JaxSean)

You look like you could use a drink.....cause you just watched our game. #JaguarsPickupLines
-Richard David Smith (@RDS3Tweets)

Second Thoughts

After kicking the tires on Josh Freeman, it seems like the Raiders front office is about the only group on the planet that isn't excited about Terrelle Pryor right now. The stat community loves him because he's executing at an unbelievable level of efficiency. The scouting community loves him because he's making a broad range of plays in every conceivable manner. Pryor has all of the tools a quarterback needs, and seems to be putting things together mentally. His game is still limited, and he must continue his growth if he hopes to succeed in the long run, but right now he's looking like a phenomenal high-upside QB2 in dynasty leagues.

Speaking of Josh Freeman, he claims he went to Minnesota not expecting to be a starter. His competition is Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel. Is anyone else buying that claim? I didn't think so.

Jamaal Charles' monster assault on PPR leagues has continued unabated. After five weeks, he's on pace for 90 receptions and 2000 yards from scrimmage. While he feels older for an RB, the truth is, in today's RB pool, almost all of the guys worth owning are older backs, too. At 26, Jamaal Charles should be a no-brainer top-5 dynasty back in all formats.

It's safe to say that Lesean McCoy is not a fan of Knowshon Moreno. McCoy responded to a positive tweet by saying that Moreno "sucks". While I'd ordinarily be inclined to agree with Shady, Knowshon Moreno has done absolutely everything EXCEPT suck this season. As someone who has watched every snap of his career, I feel confident in saying that Knowshon Moreno has never played anywhere near this well, even during last season when he was putting up huge yardage totals to end the year. Typically, it was assumed that Moreno would be a free agent after this year, but Denver has a club option for Moreno in 2014, and as well as he's been playing, you have to think they'll be mighty tempted to exercise it. Even if Moreno walks, some RB-needy team out there is going to give him a shot to be a starter next year. Moreno is currently a top-10 fantasy back, and figures to be a very strong starter the rest of the way... but at just 26 years old, I think it's premature to be considering him just a one-season rental. Knowshon could easily have value that extends for years beyond this year's magical record-setting season in Denver.

Oh David Wilson, you take one step forward and then two steps back. After a failed Brandon Jacobs run at the goal line, Wilson got a chance to punch the ball in from the 1 and he converted. Shortly thereafter, he suffered an injury to his neck, or possibly his head, which won't prevent him from playing this week, or could possibly keep him out for weeks to come. Needless to say, there's a lot of confusion surrounding the specifics, but none of it sounds particularly good. As old as the RBs are in the league, someone like Wilson is always intriguing simply because of his crazy youth, but eventually youth doesn't mean anything if you can't score fantasy points...

File this under "it could always be worse". Fans of 31 NFL franchises are reminding themselves this weekend that it could always be worse after Jacksonville traded away one of their starting tackles, only to lose the other to a season-ending injury just days later. And for fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars... it could always be worse. You could be starting Tim Tebow at quarterback.

As this week's "Takeaway" shows, I'm not a big believer in the "injury prone" label. I tend to think, with few exceptions, injuries are just random events. People think "random" means "distributed evenly", but that's actually the opposite of random. In a truly random sample, you'll run into a lot of streaks. That doesn't mean anything other than that random is random- just ask Fred Taylor. While I don't doubt that there are people whose bodies are not able to withstand the rigors of an NFL season, I believe most of those guys get weeded out early and never make it to the NFL, and the guys who make it get limited by their coaches to limit exposure. With that said, there are certain players who seem to absolutely possess a greater risk of injury. Danario Alexander is one of those guys, and the fact that no NFL team signed him to an offer sheet despite the fact that he was an RFA who was tendered at the lowest possible level and was coming off an amazing season suggests that NFL franchises felt similarly- nobody wanted to commit money to him because they all believed it was just a matter of time before he broke down. NFL franchises do their homework, and they're typically extremely smart about what a player's body can handle. With that said, Darren McFadden is a free agent this offseason, and I'm really curious to see what NFL franchises do with him. Will someone believe that his injury history was just random chance and give McFadden a big contract? Or will teams give him the "Danario Alexander" treatment and be wary about signing him to a long-term deal with lots of guaranteed money? Either way, I think this offseason will clearly answer whether McFadden is injury prone or just unlucky.

Speaking of injury prone, concussions are absolutely no joke. They're one of the few types of injuries that make me legitimately nervous about a player's long-term prospects. The fate of Jahvid Best and Austin Collie illustrate the potential fall, even if we'd forgotten the lessons after Steve Young and Troy Aikman. Cecil Shorts looks tremendous for the Jaguars, and he seems to be one of the few things that can survive Blaine Gabbert, but his history of concussions has me nervous about ranking him where his production would merit. Hopefully he stays healthy for the remainder of his career, but I can't help but wonder if he's just one helmet-to-helmet blow away from being the next Austin Collie...

Best of luck to everyone in their Week 6 games. I'll see you back here next week with plenty of NFL action to break down and plenty of dynasty implications to discuss!


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