The 2013 fantasy football season is now entering the playoff season. As you battle in the playoffs (or prepare for next season), it’s more important than ever to stay on top of the news. You have to pay close attention to everything 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! Each week there are many news items that are important and helpful in the day-to-day managing of your fantasy team, yet have little affect on the dynasty value of players. Because of this, I will not be mentioning those here. Here is a quick look at the events of the past week and how they impact the players on your team.
Lance Dunbar, RB DAL
Cowboys’ reserve running back Lance Dunbar suffered a season ending knee injury and was placed on injured reserve. Although he had played sparingly this season, there was and still is some long-term dynasty upside for the young runner. The Cowboys’ starter DeMarco Murray has an extensive injury history of his own, so Dunbar could eventually have a shot at extended playing time, if he can heal in time for next season. At this point, he’s only worth rostering in very deep leagues.
Trent Richardson, RB IND
The Indianapolis Colts finally made the move many have been calling for for weeks, benching start running back Trent Richardson in favor of Donald Brown. Richardson’s struggles since arriving in Indianapolis have been well documented and his dynasty value, as a result, has plummeted. It appears that this is not a move that will last long-term, meaning the Colts are still counting on Richardson as a key player for the future, but he’s simply not getting the job done right now. I know many are giving up on the former first round pick, but I think he’s an excellent buy low as we head into the off-season.
Stevan Ridley, RB NE
Patriots’ running back Stevan Ridley was inactive last week as a result of a coaching decision. New England head coach Bill Belichick was quoted as saying the move was made in order to put the team in the best position to win. Most have assumed this move was a result of Ridley’s recent fumbles. There have already been rumors and reports that Ridley will not get another shot to be the team’s lead back and even that he could be on his way out of town. This obviously hurts Ridley’s short-term value, but if he lands in a new situation, he could quickly regain much of that value.
Josh Gordon, WR CLE
Browns second year wide receiver Josh Gordon continues to tear up the league. For the second consecutive week, Gordon had over 200 receiving yards and became the first NFL to accomplish that feat. Gordon continues to dominate the targets and catch the majority of them, despite some of the worst quarterback play in the league. With expectations that the Browns will upgrade their passing game over the off-season, expectations for Gordon will be off the charts. He’s now being considered as a top five dynasty wide receiver by many.
Geno Smith, QB NYJ
Geno Smith was again benched at halftime of the Jets game against the Miami Dolphins, giving way to Matt Simms, who also struggled. Following the game, head coach Rex Ryan refused to name a starter for this coming week, which means Smith is no lock to get his job handed back to him. Smith played well to begin the season and it looked like he could save Ryan’s job, but the Jets’ offense has fallen apart. They need upgrades everywhere and they may even consider pulling the plug on Smith after less than a full season under center. Obviously, Smith’s value is nearly gone, but I can see a new head coach giving him a chance to start and his value rising. If he’s hit the waiver wire in your league, he’s certainly worth adding, and I might even look to buy low on him via trade.
Alshon Jeffery, WR CHI
In addition to Gordon, there was another young receiver who enjoyed a record setting day. Bears wideout Alshon Jeffery broke his own team record for receiving yards in a game as he hauled in twelve passes for 249 yards and two scores. There’s not much to say about the performance of Jeffery over the past few games. He’s been dominant and, by most accounts, has eclipsed teammate Brandon Marshall in terms of dynasty value. Jeffery can now be considered a top ten dynasty wide receiver and don’t be surprised to see him drafted in the second round of off-season startup drafts.
Ace Sanders, WR JAX
Jaguars’ rookie wide receiver Ace Sanders tied for the team high with eleven targets in last week’s game, hauling in eight passes for 67 yards. It’s Sanders third consecutive game with sixty or more yards and he’s been a decent flex option in PPR leagues recently. Depending on the future of fellow Jacksonville wide receiver Justin Blackmon, Sanders could play an important role in the coming season. If Sanders is still on your league’s waiver wire, go grab him now!
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