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:
Andre Brown, RB NYG
In the team’s week four preseason game, Giants running back Andre Brown suffered a broken leg. It’s a devastating injury to Brown, who has multiple serious lower leg injuries. He finally broke out last season in his brief stint with the Giants and was primed to play a big role as part of the New York offense. Considering his injury history, this destroys almost all of Brown’s dynasty value, though he is worth stashing on the injured reserve for now. In the meantime, the dynasty value of David Wilson will continue to rise, if that’s possible. The Giants will be on the lookout for an additional running back depth as the season nears.
Kevin Kolb, QB BUF
In week three preseason action, veteran quarterback Kevin Kolb suffered a concussion so serious the Bills worry Kolb’s career could be over. With rookie EJ Manuel still dealing with a knee injury, it is possible that undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel is the Bills starting quarterback week one. It is another scary concussion related issue with Kolb, but it obviously opens the door for Manuel. Tuel is the Bills backup at best and carries no dynasty value.
Rob Housler, TE ARI
Cardinals’ starting tight end Rob Housler suffered a high ankle sprain and is in danger of missing the season opener. Housler was a popular sleeper tight end early in the off-season, along with the Browns’ Jordan Cameron, but he saw few targets in the pre-season games and is now dealing with the injury. Housler’s value has dropped, but he has a chance to regain said value. Housler is still a good target as a high upside TE2, but I would not want to rely on him as my fantasy starter.
Mike Goodson, RB NYJ
Jets running back Mike Goodson has been suspended for the first four games of the season for a violation for the league’s substance abuse policy. The suspension stems from Goodson’s spring arrest and is no real surprise. Also of note, Goodson has not been with the team for the majority of training camp. As bad as this is for Goodson, he could still get a shot at carries once he returns, thanks to the subpar play and injury issues of fellow Jets runners Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell. With that said, Goodson is not worth hanging onto during the season’s first month.
DuJuan Harris, RB GB
The Packers placed running back DuJuan Harris on the injured reserve list with a knee injury. Despite drafting two high profile running backs (Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin), head coach Mike McCarthy was still willing to give Harris a shot at the starter’s job. Instead, the knee injury he suffered in week three of the preseason will cost him his year. Lacy is easily the back to own for the Packers, while Harris can be dropped.
Latavius Murray, RB OAK
Running back Latavius Murray was placed on the injured reserve list due to an ankle injury. Murray was the Raiders sixth round pick but earned some early hype from dynasty owners, due to his excellent metrics and the fact that he was set to play behind oft injured starter Darren McFadden, but he rarely practiced due to the nagging ankle injury. Thought the injury was likely not worthy of an injury reserved designation, the Raiders will go with McFadden and veteran backups Rashad Jennings and Marcel Reece, while Murray gets a “redshirt” year.
If your league uses an injured reserve spot, Murray is worth acquiring and stashing while we wait for next season.
Montario Hardesty, RB CLE
The Cleveland Browns placed backup running back Montario Hardesty on the injured reserve list, ending his season. Hardesty’s surgery was not considered serious, but the constant injuries he has dealt with made it clear he could not be relied on to serve as Trent Richardson’s backup. Hardesty has no dynasty value and can be dropped in all formats. With Dion Lewis also landing on the injured reserve list, Brandon Jackson will be the primary reserve runner.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR HOU
Houston Texans rookie wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins suffered a concussion in week three of the preseason which will cost him the remainder of preseason practice and game action. Adding to the concern, it was also reported Hopkins suffered a concussion during a car accident in college. Teams are now being very cautious with players suffering concussions. It is unclear if he will be available week one and now with two documented concussions, Hopkins is a player to track. It’s a big stretch, but we’ve seen concussions end promising careers, such as Jahvid Best.
Da’Rick Rogers, WR FA
The Buffalo Bills waived undrafted rookie wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers. It was viewed as a bit of a coup after the Bills snagged the talented, but troubled former Volunteer wide receiver following the conclusion of the NFL Draft, but he struggled to learn the offense and was outplayed by below average wide receivers. Considering the combination of Rogers’ low salary and the fact he cleared waivers it’s a bad sign for his future. I am usually willing to gamble on big talent players who have off the field troubles, but this just isn’t good. Rogers can be dropped in all but the deepest of dynasty leagues.
Terrelle Pryor, QB OAK
It appears the race for the starting quarterback job in Oakland has come to a conclusion and it’s bad news for Matt Flynn for a second consecutive year. Terrelle Pryor is the favorite to be named the starter and his dynasty value is climbing. His running ability should put him on the radar of all dynasty owners, though his arm could limit the upside of Raiders wide receivers Denarius Moore, Rod Streater and Brice Butler. Flynn on the other hand has no dynasty value after coming from ahead to lose a starting job two seasons in a row.
Jonathan Stewart, RB CAR
For months, we’ve read reports about the severity of running back Jonathan Stewart’s ankles. Then, earlier in the week, he was placed on the PUP list, guaranteeing he would miss the season’s first six games. Following that move, there have been reports that Stewart may not be ready even by week seven. Stewart is now among the most hated players by fantasy owners thanks to his constant injuries and failure to break through, despite being considered one of the most talented backs in the game. Combining the injury status with the general disdain for Stewart and his dynasty value is all but gone. He can even be considered as a drop in some very shallow dynasty leagues.
Geno Smith, QB NYJ
NFL Network reports that with Mark Sanchez still not ready for action, rookie Geno Smith will likely be the starting quarterback for the New York Jets. Both quarterbacks have struggled this pre-season and it is very possible Sanchez would have already been cut had it not been for his contract. Though Smith has shown he’s not ready for NFL action, he is the one with the highest upside and the most dynasty value. Using this as a chance to buy low on Smith could be a smart play, while Sanchez has no dynasty value.
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