The 2013 fantasy football off-season is in full swing and dynasty drafts are in progress. 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 and have completed the NFL Draft, 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 include 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 players on your team:
Vincent Brown, WR SD
Chargers beat writers have had nothing but good things to say about wide receiver Vincent Brown following minicamp. San Diego has made some changes to their offensive scheme that should benefit quarterback Philip Rivers as well as Brown. He has dealt with injuries each of his first two years in the league, but is healthy now and has a good chance to claim a starting role for the Chargers. Our own Chad Scott had some great insight regarding Brown and his prospects in 2013.
Kellen Winslow, TE NYJ
The New York Jets signed veteran tight end Kellen Winslow to a one-year deal. Despite the lack of pass catchers in the Jets offense, it is highly doubtful the injury prone tight end plays a major role for Gang Green. In fact, Winslow is no sure bet to even make the team. The Jets entire team could be a disaster and fantasy owners should stay far, far away. Winslow has no dynasty value.
Dennis Johnson, RB HOU
Houston undrafted free agent running back Dennis Johnson has been impressing onlookers at Texans mini-camp. The Texans surprised many when they signed four undrafted free agent running back immediately following the NFL draft. One of those, George Winn, has already been released (and signed by the Patriots) and Johnson is standing out. While any rookie runner is unlikely to have a major role in 2013, there is a strong possibility that backup Ben Tate leaves town a year from now as an unrestricted free agent. It’s clear the Texans are planning ahead after signing undrafted free agent running backs like Johnson, Cierre Wood and Ray Graham. Johnson is a worthy roster stash in deep leagues.
Austin Pettis, WR STL
Rams wide receiver Austin Pettis has enjoyed an impressive off-season so far and finds himself surprisingly high on the wide receiver depth chart. As of now, he’s ahead of the much-hyped second year man Brian Quick. I think it’s too early to buy into Pettis as a starter for the Rams, but it could be a concern that Quick is not ahead of him on the depth chart. Rookie Tavon Austin and Chris Givens remain the top fantasy options in St. Louis.
Rob Gronkowski, TE NE
As expected, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski underwent back surgery this week. The Patriots also confirmed Gronkowski would begin training camp on the PUP list. They are still hopeful that he will be ready for week one, but that seems like a long shot at this point. Although Gronkowksi’s dynasty value has taken a hit with all of his health concerns this off-season, he remains a top two tight end to the majority of dynasty owners. If he can be acquired at a discount, there could be a huge payoff.
Dennis Pitta, TE BAL
With so much negative news regarding some of the top tight ends in the game, it is good to hear some positive reports about Ravens starting tight end Dennis Pitta. Once veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin was dealt to San Francisco, most assumed that would lead to more targets and a larger role for him – that seems to be proving true early as Pitta has been the favorite target of quarterback Joe Flacco. Pitta’s value is on the rise, and makes a great value in dynasty startup drafts.
Joique Bell, RB DET
When the Lions signed running back Reggie Bush, most assumed that all but sealed the dynasty hopes for backup runner Joique Bell, but early reports have been good for Bell. With Bush tabbed as the starter, Bell is now reportedly pushing former starter Mikel Leshoure for the primary backup role. Bell is a great player to look for on your league’s waiver wire, while Leshoure’s value continues to tumble.
Aaron Hernandez, TE NE
In what has clearly been the biggest news story of the week, and one that will be among the biggest NFL stories of the year, Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was allegedly involved in some fashion with a murder in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Since the story broke Tuesday, details have continued to leak out. What we know so far is that a Odin Lloyd, an acquaintance of Hernandez was murdered near the tight end’s home. The police have searched the home and collected evidence, Lloyd and Hernandez dated sisters and Hernandez reportedly destroyed his cell phone and home security system. While the exact details of Hernandez’ involvement are not yet known, it seems he may have played a role. With a life lost, it is trivial to discuss the dynasty value of Hernandez, but it is clearly destroyed. If you own him, you might as well keep him rather than dumping him for pennies on the dollar.
Trent Richardson, RB CLE
After some troubling news regarding Browns running back Trent Richardson and his lower leg injury, there are now reports the team fully expects him to participate in training camp – this is clearly great news for Richardson and his dynasty owners. His dynasty value remains sky high and he finished as the top running back drafted according to June ADP data.
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