The 2012 fantasy football off-season has begun. You have to pay close attention to everything in order to stay on top of 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!
Now that we’ve entered the off-season, the next few months will be filled with rumors. Much of the “news” will be speculation about the futures of individual players. While this can be important, it can also be a challenge to determine the validity of certain reports. I will included many of these reports and share my opinion about how the player’s value might be affected, for better or worse.
Here is a quick look at the events of the past week and how they impact the players on your team:
Marcus Lattimore, RB FA
With the NFL Rookie Combine underway, all of the attention of fans, coaches and ownership is firmly focused on Indianapolis and this year’s crop of incoming talent. One of the players that dynasty owners are most interested in will not be showcasing his skills this weekend. Marcus Lattimore, the running back from South Carolina, is still recovering from his horrific knee injury. There has been some good news recently, though. Famed surgeon Dr. James Andrews was recently quoted as saying that Lattimore would “shock the world” and Lattimore himself thinks he will be able to play in 2013. Lattimore will currently cost you a top 100 pick in startup drafts, but if these positive reports continue, expect his ADP to climb up the board.
Titus Young, WR FA
The strange story of Titus Young got even stranger this week when the St. Louis Rams waived him. He lasted only a few days with the team and he passed through waivers unclaimed. It is doubtful any team will be willing to give Young a shot anytime soon. His behavior on the field and his poor choice of words on Twitter has likely cost himself a chance at playing in 2013. Young’s value is tough to gauge. While it seems that most are ready to give up on him, I have yet to see him dropped in the many leagues I am involved with. At this point, I would hold Young in most leagues, as he has no trade value.
Steve Breaston, WR FA
The Kansas City Chiefs released wide receiver Steve Breaston, along with tight end Kevin Boss this week. Although Breaston had four consecutive seasons with over 700 receiving yards entering last season, he landed in head coach Romeo Crennel’s doghouse and had only 74 yards on the season in 2012. While Breaston has already garnered interested from the Pittsburgh Steelers, he has no dynasty value.
Mike Wallace, WR FA
It has been widely assumed for nearly a year that wide receiver Mike Wallace would not return to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Wallace held out last season before finally returning to the team on a one year deal, but there seemed to be bad blood throughout the season. Another known fact related to this off-season is the Miami Dolphins desire to add a top wide receiver. Now, reports are that these two will meet up as the Dolphins consider Wallace their top target in free agency this off-season. He is expected to demand a deal in excess of the $12 million per season that Tampa Bay gave Vincent Jackson a year ago. Wallace’s value will likely increase with a fresh start on a new team and he makes a good buy based on his current value. In startup drafts, Wallace is routinely lasting until the late fourth, or early fifth round.
Alex Smith, QB SF
Although he would like to be released, ESPN’s Chris Mortenson reports the San Francisco 49ers are unlikely to release former starting quarterback Alex Smith. Instead, the team will continue to pursue a trade. Many teams are in need of an upgrade at the position and have already been linked to Smith. The 49ers stance that they will either trade him or keep him seems like a bluff to increase Smith’s trade value. Although the chances are good that Smith lands a starting job for a new team, which would have little effect on his dynasty value. He has shown he can win games for his NFL team, but is not a difference maker for fantasy owners.
Nate Burleson, WR DET
Wide receiver Nate Burleson has agreed to restructure his contract, meaning his roster spot for the 2013 season is likely safe. Burleson suffered a broken leg early in the 2012 season and many assumed that could spell the end of his career in Detroit. Since the injury though, wide receiver Titus Young went off the deep end and was cut and Ryan Broyles suffered his own season ending injury. The once deep Lions are now somewhat weak at wide receiver and the veteran presence of Burleson helped his cause. Burleson still has very little dynasty value and is not a good option for fantasy production.
Jared Cook, TE TEN
Reports this week suggest the Tennessee Titans will use their franchise tag designation on tight end Jared Cook, although both sides still hope to come to an agreement on a long term deal. One delay on that possible contract came with the disagreement on Cook’s position. He is, of course, listed as a tight end and the Titans want to pay him as such. Cook and his representatives though, argue that he lined up as a wide receiver on over 60% of his snaps. Other players have made the same argument in the past and never seem to be able to convince the ownership. Staying in Tennessee has little affect on Cook’s dynasty value, but does dampen the Taylor Thompson parade that many owners (myself included) had been enjoying. A pass offense like the Titans will do well to support Cook, along with wide receivers Kenny Britt and Kendall Wright. There is little hope for substantial production from a second tight end.
Nick Foles, QB PHI
With the recent re-signing of quarterback Michael Vick and the acquisition of Dennis Dixon (who played the position for new Eagles head coach Chip Kelly while he was at Oregon), the trade winds are blowing for Nick Foles. Foles struggled as the starter in his rookie season with Philadelphia, but that is somewhat understandable behind that offensive line and playing for a team that many felt gave up on the season. ESPN’s Chris Mortenson feels that Foles could be dealt for a third round pick if the Eagles can find a trade partner. Judging by our off-season dynasty mock drafts, Foles has very little value. In fact, in the majority of the drafts (which are twenty rounds each), Foles has not even been drafted. He makes a decent flier in deep leagues, based on his current cost.
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