Much like us here at DLF, there really is no offseason in the NFL. Even after the dramatic conclusion of the Super Bowl and the MVP’s trip to Disney World, the day-to-day business of the league continues. This means you should be paying attention to give yourself every advantage in your dynasty league. For most of us, we do well to steal some time away from our families and jobs to watch the games on Sunday. It becomes difficult to monitor the daily happenings around the league, and even more demanding to process how that news affects your dynasty team.
That’s why we’re here!
Here is a quick look at the events of the past week and how they impact the players on your team.
Joe McKnight, RB NYJ
ESPN New York has reported that Jets backup running back Joe McKnight is in for an increased role on offense with the retirement of LaDainian Tomlinson. McKnight is the favorite for the third down duties, likely leading to plenty of targets in the passing game. Starter Shonn Greene has failed to establish himself as a top running back and some question his ability to hold onto the job. With the team desperate to win at all costs, expect them to ride the hot hand no matter what. That hot hand could often be McKnight. He’s on the waiver wire in many dynasty leagues and worth holding onto through training camp.
Kenny Britt, WR TEN
Last week, we discussed the hit Britt’s dynasty value had taken due to a third knee surgery in the past year. The bad news keeps coming as Britt was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. To make matters even worse, he was attempting to enter a military base when arrested. Not much can be said of Britt that has not already, but let’s focus on his dynasty value and what to do now. The decision to make is the same with every player…buy, sell or hold. Now is your chance to buy low if you are a believer in his talent, which is tremendous. If you have the depth to be able to endure any games he might miss due to injury or suspension, then he could be worth the risk. If you are tired of his antics and were relying on Britt as a WR2 or WR3, it might be wise to flip him for a safer, but less talented wide receiver. The best advice though is to hold him as his talent will come through and his value will rise. Selling low is almost always a bad idea.
Lestar Jean, WR HOU
The positive news continues this offseason for Texans wide receiver Lestar Jean as a local beat writer expects Jean to be the team third wide receiver. This would also mean an expanded role should one of the team’s starting wide receivers, Andre Johnson or Kevin Walter, miss any time due to injuries. Johnson has missed twelve games the past two seasons due to injury. The Houston Chronicle also expects Walter to lose snaps to the teams young wide receivers, including Jean and rookies DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin. Jean likely has already been scooped off waivers by this time, but if your league’s waiver wire has yet to open, be ready to add him when you get the chance.
Jackie Battle, RB SD
The Chargers signed former Chiefs running back Jackie Battle to play behind starter Ryan Mathews. The team now has four reserve runners in Ronnie Brown, Curtis Brinkley, Edwin Baker and Battle. Considering his injury history, Mathews owners should pay close attention to the battle for the primary backup. Most would assume Brown will win the job, but his play was very disappointing last season in Philadelphia. General manager AJ Smith has already pointed out that Battle was signed to focus on special teams work. At this point, there is no reason to add Battle except in the deepest of leagues.
Bryce Brown, RB PHI
The Eagles staff had already made it clear that running back Dion Lewis would not be handed the backup job and now there are reports that rookie Bryce Brown has been very impressive and is pushing Lewis. Fellow rookie Chris Polk is also attempting to earn a roster spot, but has a long way to go after being undrafted in this spring’s NFL draft. As I said last week, all three players are worthy of speculative adds in dynasty leagues, but Brown is gaining steam. Stay tuned to DLF for more on Brown in the coming days.
Louis Murphy, WR CAR
The Oakland Raiders traded wide receiver Louis Murphy to Carolina, who is desperate for some depth at the receiver position. The depth chart is up in the air after starter Steve Smith. Brandon LaFell is expected to break out this season, but is still unproven. David Gettis is still recovering and starting training camp on the PUP list. Murphy immediately tweaked his hamstring and is questionable for the beginning of training camp. He is simply depth for the Panthers and is not deserving of a roster spot in your league.
Mohamed Sanu, WR CIN
Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer expects rookie wide receiver Sanu to win the starting job opposite sophomore AJ Green. There is a tough competition for the job between Sanu, fellow rookie Marvin Jones, Bradon Tate and Armon Binns. Jordan Shipley is still recovering from his season ending injury, but is expected to man the slot, when healthy. Sanu is the most talented of this group and easily carries the most dynasty value. His owners likely are not ready to sell, but with the targets Sanu could see while Green is double teamed, his value will only increase.
Visanthe Shiancoe, TE NE
The Patriots have signed veteran tight end Visanthe Shiancoe to a one year deal. It’s a curious move as he will play behind both Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. With Hernandez playing more like a wide receiver, Shiancoe will be the primary backup to Gronkowski. Considering the number of pass catchers battling for targets, Shiancoe has no fantasy value at all.
Colt McCoy, QB CLE
ESPN Cleveland now expects the Browns to eventually release former starting quarterback Colt McCoy. The team has been committed to rookie Brandon Weeden since drafting him and have attempted to trade McCoy, with no luck. McCoy is viewed exclusively as a backup quarterback after two disappointing partial seasons as the Browns starter. His only dynasty value will come as a “handcuff” to the starting quarterback of his eventual new team. Earlier in the offseason, the Green Bay Packers were rumored to be interested in McCoy.
John Skelton, QB ARI
A report this week claimed that the Cardinals locker room is gravitating towards Skelton as the team’s starting quarterback. This is another interesting camp battle to watch. Kevin Kolb has the big contract after the team traded for him a year ago, but Skelton has had more success on the field and boasts a better win percentage. With some nice weapons on offense, namely wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and rookie Michael Floyd, whoever wins the starting job has a chance to post impressive numbers. Skelton is on the wire is many leagues and should be added while we watch this competition play out.
Greg Salas, WR STL
Much like last season, the Rams wide receiver depth chart is crowded and unclear heading into training camp. One local beat writer though is expecting sophomore Salas to breakout from the crowd. Salas suffered a a broken fibula ending his rookie season but has fully recovered and impressed throughout OTAs. Salas is also battling rookies Brian Quick and Chris Givens, as well as oft injured Danario Alexander and Steve Smith. Again, this is a muddy situation and will be tough to assess until the team begins making its cuts.
Joseph Addai, RB FA
The New England Patriots released veteran runner Joseph Addai after he failed a physical. The Pats signed Addai after his release by the Colts following the 2011 season and was expected to share carries with youngsters Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen. Instead, he is looking for work and there are rumors about his lack of effort and poor attitude during his short tenure with New England. There are few spots where Addai could land that would give him much dynasty value. While he is still rostered in most leagues, it’s time to cut ties with the former stud running back.
Mike Wallace, WR PIT
The Steelers and wideout Mike Wallace have broken off talks on a long term contract and Wallace has refused to report to training camp. Little focus is given to offseason contract talks, but once camp begins the fears of players falling behind or even worse, missing game action, becomes a legitimate concern. With new offensive coordinator Todd Haley installing a new offense, it is even more imperative that Wallace get into camp and learn the offense. While it is a still a long shot that Wallace misses any game action, Emmanuel Sanders is gaining dynasty value as he is stepping in as a starter in Wallace’s absence.
Vick Ballard, RB IND
Rookie running back Vick Ballard has been generating some positive buzz recently and may have an opportunity for a significant role on the young Colts team. Both starter Donald Brown and sophomore backup Delone Carter have struggled with consistency and health issues. Ballard was impressive in OTAs and has a chance to push both Brown and Carter for snaps this season. He is another player worth adding during this camp battle, especially considering how challenging it can be to find running backs in dynasty leagues.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB JAX
Jones-Drew did not report to training camp and his holdout is officially underway. This has already been labeled as the “scariest” of the contract disputes and could lead to the star running back missing preseason or even regular season games. The Jags owner has gone on the record stating their will be no new contract for Jones-Drew. Even if he does report prior to the regular season, fantasy owners will be reminded of the Titans’ Chris Johnson disappointing performance in 2011 after missing much of training camp and preseason action. While we wait for Jones-Drew to report to camp, backup running back Rashad Jennings takes over the starting role and is still a great value in all formats.
Ed Wesley, RB DAL
Ed Wesley was the forgotten player following the supplemental draft hype revolving around Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon. Wesley was expected to be the second players selected in the supplemental draft, but instead, Gordon was the only player chosen. Now, the Cowboys have signed running back Wesley, who is expected to fall behind starter DeMarco Murray, as well as backups Felix Jones and Phillip Tanner on the depth chart. Do not bother to add Wesley on your dynasty team. The fact that it took a team nearly two weeks to give Wesley a shot is a bad sign.
Jahvid Best, RB DET
As training camp began for the Lions, running back Best was not on the field. He has yet to be cleared for contact following his struggle with concussions last season. Best’s health remains a huge concern for the Lions and fantasy owners, especially considering one more hit could end his career. The Lions have depth at the position, but each player has their own concerns. Mikel Leshoure is coming off a serious injury of his own to go along with his offseason arrests and upcoming suspension. Providing the most value in dynasty leagues, Kevin Smith has battled injuries throughout his career as well. Best is a player to avoid, despite his huge upside in PPR leagues.
Dezmon Briscoe, WR FA
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe as new head coach Greg Schiano continues to clean house. Briscoe did not report to OTAs and was already expected to face stiff competition for a roster spot. Briscoe has flashed talent at times for the Bucs and should get a shot elsewhere. He may be an example of a player who just needs a change of scenery. With so many players looking good early in camp, Briscoe is not deserving of a dynasty roster spot.
Check back next week for another update on the week’s impact events!
Follow Ryan McDowell on Twitter @RyanMc23.