Finally, after a seemingly never-ending wait, football is upon us. Preseason games are in full swing and the news cycle is busier than ever. 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 training camp and preseason, the next few weeks will be filled with positive and negative reports of almost every NFL player. 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:
Michael Vick, QB PHI
The Eagles have named veteran Michael Vick as their week one starter. Vick won the battle against Nick Foles based on his strong play the past couple of weeks. Other than a strong streak during an early OTA session in which Foles looked like the leader, this has been Vick’s job to lose. Foles could be a trade candidate if the earlier rumor that the loser of the quarterback battle would not be on the final roster comes true. Vick looks like a great short-term option in all formats, while Foles has little dynasty value.
Lance Dunbar, RB DAL
Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar, who had been the leading candidate to be the top backup to DeMarco Murray, suffered a sprained left foot and will be out of action up to a month and is in danger of missing week one. It doesn’t appear to be a long-term injury, but it does hurt Dunbar’s dynasty value, though he had been a hot waiver wire pickup of late. Instead, Dunbar can be dropped while we await his return.
AJ Jenkins, WR KC
For weeks, there had been rumors about the disappointing play of second year wide receiver AJ Jenkins, ultimately leading to the possibility he could be cut. Instead, the 49ers have dealt their former first round pick to the Kansas City Chiefs for another letdown of a player, wide receiver Jon Baldwin. Both players had been routinely dropped in dynasty leagues recently, but this news might spark some interest in the pair. The popular conversation has been to choose which player benefits most from the deal. While I would not work too hard to acquire either player, Baldwin seems to have more potential in the 49ers offense.
Jermaine Kearse, WR SEA
Following a huge week two preseason game in which he caught a touchdown and had another score via special teams, little known wide receiver Jermaine Kearse has reportedly locked up a roster spot. After Golden Tate, the depth chart is wide open, thanks to injuries to Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice. Rice is expected back soon, but has logged little practice time this off-season. Kearse is worth stashing in deep leagues.
Marcus Lattimore, RB SF
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the San Francisco 49ers have no plans to use rookie running back Marcus Lattimore this season. Lattimore is still recovering from his severe knee injury he suffered his final year at South Carolina. Combine that with the depth the 49ers have with Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James, and the 49ers realize he will not be needed. Dynasty owners now have the next several months to acquire Lattimore at a discount.
Da’Rick Rogers, WR BUF
Talented wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers, who went undrafted mostly due to off the field issues is reportedly in danger of not making the Buffalo Bills week one roster. Local beat writers have suggested Rogers will not claim one of the 53 roster spots. In the team’s week two preseason game, he received the fewest snaps among all wide receivers. Rogers was also reportedly in the “coaching staff’s doghouse.” While this is obviously not a strong start for the young wide receiver, he still has some dynasty value and would likely be signed by another team should he be cut.
Dustin Keller, TE MIA
The Dolphins tight end suffered a horrific knee injury, tearing his ACL, MCL and PCL, along with experiencing a dislocated right knee. Clearly, Keller will miss the entire season and joins Jeremy Maclin and Denario Alexander as injured players who will enter free agency next off-season. Sadly, due to the severity of the injury, the rest of Keller’s career could be impacted. He can be dropped or stashed on the injured reserve and the Dolphins are left with few options at the tight end position. Rookie Dion Sims is intriguing, but likely not ready to be considered as a fantasy option. Expect most of the targets penciled in for Keller to be spread around to Miami’s wideouts.
Victor Cruz, WR NYG
Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz suffered a bruised heel in the team’s week two preseason game. Although the injury was not considered serious, Cruz was later spotted in a walking boot and walking with crutches. Regardless, he remains confident he will be ready for week one. His dynasty value is unaffected by the injury, though if he is unable to play early in the season, Rueben Randle could get his shot to emerge.
Mike Thomas, WR ARI
Wide receiver Mike Thomas was released by the Detroit Lions, but was quickly signed by the Arizona Cardinals. Though Thomas might make the team for the wide receiver needy Cardinals, he holds no dynasty value.
Lamar Miller, RB MIA
The reports of a wide open backfield competition in Miami persist to the dismay of Lamar Miller owners. Miller has been one of the more hyped players this off-season, even though he was relatively quiet as a rookie last season. Miller owners can take solace in the fact that his prime competition is perpetual disappointment Daniel Thomas. If this competition seems to be worrisome to the Miller owner in your league, take that as an invitation to make a strong play for him.
Arian Foster, RB HOU
Although the Houston Texans finally activated star running back Arian Foster from the active/PUP list, rumors persist the former Volunteer could be in danger of missing the team’s opening week game. Foster was originally placed on the PUP due to a calf injury, but has also been dealing with back pain that has required pain relieving injections. The more this is discussed, the more Foster’s dynasty value suffers. He is nearing the range of being a buy low target for contending teams.
Latavius Murray, RB OAK
Much hyped rookie running back Latavius Murray, who many expected to claim the backup job for the Oakland Raiders, underwent an ankle scope this week. Murray has been sidelined for most of camp with the ankle injury, dashing the hopes of many dynasty stat heads that pegged him as their top rookie sleeper. This will result in veteran Rashad Jennings likely claiming the backup job behind Darren McFadden, while Murray could be headed for the waiver wire in most shallow dynasty leagues. If you have the space to stash him, now is an ideal time to inquire about his current cost. Jennings is not a long-term option for the Raiders and McFadden’s health issues are well documented.
Le’Veon Bell, RB PIT
After suffering a foot injury in the team’s second preseason game, rookie running back Le’Veon Bell has been diagnosed with a Lisfranc injury. Bell was able to avoid surgery on the injury, meaning he will only miss six to eight weeks, rather than the majority of the season. It is still a huge blow to Bell owners, not to mention the Pittsburgh Steelers. Dynasty owners were likely already counting on Bell as a RB2. Meanwhile, the Steelers are left with Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman to hold down the backfield until Bell can return. We saw what those two had to offer last season, so don’t bother wasting a spot on them. However, it could be a great time to see if the Bell owner is willing to sell at a discount.
Santonio Holmes, WR NYJ
Although New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes has resumed running, he is still not practicing with the team and continues to feel pain in his foot. Doubts are starting to creep into the minds of the Jets regarding the actual severity of Holmes’ injury. Considering the lack of options for the Jets, he could contribute immediately upon his return, but at this point, who knows when that might be. Holmes is barely worth a roster spot in dynasty leagues.
Terrance Ganaway, RB FA
Second year running back Terrance Ganaway, recently of the St. Louis Rams, has elected to retire. Ganaway played sparingly for the Rams during his rookie season of 2012 and may have seen the writing on the wall with the addition of rookie Zac Stacy to the Rams backfield. Obviously, it’s time to drop Ganaway in all deep dynasty leagues.
Seneca Wallace, QB SF
The 49ers have signed quarterback Seneca Wallace to compete for their backup job behind starter Colin Kaepernick. Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien have been competing for the prime backup position, but neither have impressed. Barring an injury to Kaepernick, none of the trio has any dynasty value.
Ricardo Lockette, WR FA
The San Francisco 49ers waived wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, who was a hot waiver wire stash over the summer following the injury to starting wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Even with the lack of depth at the position, Lockette couldn’t stick. Another team may give Lockette a shot, but he has no fantasy value. If you are one of the owners who stashed him weeks ago, it’s time to let him go.
Charles Johnson, WR GB
Late round rookie pick Charles Johnson received plenty of hype following the NFL Draft, but the wide receiver has dealt with a sprained MCL for the majority of the off-season. He recently returned to practice, but it may too late to safe his spot with the Packers. Other reports have Jarrett Boykin having already locked down the fourth wide receiver spot. Don’t drop him just yet. If the Packers try to sneak him onto their practice squad, another team could strike and sign him to their active roster.
DJ Williams, TE GB
Another player who could see his name on the NFL transactions page is once promising prospect DJ Williams, a backup tight end for the Green Bay Packers who is now considered a long shot to make the team’s final 53-man roster. Williams was a hot waiver wire pickup at the end of last season when it looked like starter Jermichael Finley may not be retained. Once Finley did return, multiple negative reports about Williams’ inconsistent play began to surface. Clearly, he has no dynasty value.
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