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.
Mikel Leshoure, RB DET
Lions’ offensive coordinator Scott Linehan was asked about backup running back Mikel Leshoure and responded by saying he sees a very bright future for the former starter. Leshoure has been an afterthought this year with the addition of starter Reggie Bush and the emergence of Joique Bell as the backup. We are getting to the point of the season where speculation begins and that will continue throughout the off-season. As you search for deep roster stashes for the off-season, Leshoure is someone to consider.
Kirk Cousins, QB WAS
Starting in place of the benched Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins threw for 381 yards and three scores against the Atlanta Falcons poor defense. It’s a great showing for Cousins despite the loss and could create a strong trade market for Cousins this off-season. Head coach Mike Shanahan has already wondered aloud through the media about the team possibly getting a first round pick in return for Cousins. Perhaps there will even be a quarterback controversy for the Redskins if the team chooses to keep both. At this point, we can’t rule out anything with this team. For now, Cousins value is on the rise and he’ll be worth adding if he is somehow still sitting on your waiver wire.
Trent Richardson, RB IND
After an injury knocked starting running back Donald Brown out of the game in week fifteen, benched running back Trent Richardson entered and had his best game as a Colt, rushing for sixty-four yards and catching four balls for thirty-eight yards and a score. While it is a solid showing or Richardson, he’s clearly not back to the form that all dynasty owners expected. Hopefully a full off-season with his new team will help him be ready for the 2014 season. At his current cost, he’s a solid buy low in dynasty leagues.
Michael Crabtree, WR SF
49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree is showing that he’s all the way back from the Achilles injury that cost him the majority of the season. Crabtree caught five passes for forty-five yards and his first touchdown of the season in the team’s week fifteen win over the Buccaneers. Crabtree’s value had been fairly stagnant as owners waited to see how quickly he could return and how he would respond, but all signs are positive and Crabtree can be viewed as a top twenty wide receiver, if not higher.
Ryan Griffin, TE HOU
With both tight ends Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham out of action in week fifteen, rookie Ryan Griffin started the game and caught six passes for sixty-two yards. It has long been an assumption that Daniels will be gone from Houston following this season and that Graham would step in as the starter in the tight end friendly offense, but if Griffin can continue to prove he is a reliable pass catcher, he could claim that role instead. Griffin is another player to stash in deep dynasty leagues as we wait to see how the off-season pans out for the Houston Texans.
Andrew Quarless, TE GB
Continuing to fill in for injured tight end Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quarless caught six passes for sixty-six yards and a touchdown in week fifteen against the Cowboys. After Finley’s injury landed him on the injured reserve list, there was speculation that Brandon Bostick could be the tight end of the future for the Packers, and he still could be if the injury he suffered last week is not serious, but he has rarely been on the field while Quarless has become more and more involved in the offense.
Jordan Reed, TE WAS
The Redskins have placed rookie tight end Jordan Reed on the injured reserve list due to continued symptoms related to his concussion suffered in week eleven. It’s been clear for a couple of weeks that Reed was unlikely to return, but now there has to be some long-term worries for Reed, the Redskins and all fantasy owners. Dr. Jene Bramel of Footballguys.com expressed concern that Reed’s career could be over. His upside is high as one of the focal points of that offense. But we’ve seen how head injuries can put a quick and unfortunate end to promising careers, specifically running back Jahvid Best.
Ben Tate, RB HOU
The Houston Texans placed running back Ben Tate on the injured reserve and he will miss the season’s final two games with a rib injury. The running back, who has had a solid year in place of Arian Foster, will be a free agent following the season. Local beat writers are already expecting that Tate has played his final snap for the team. The free agent market has been soft for running backs in recent years, so it is difficult to predict which teams could have an interest in Tate, though early in the season, it was rumored that the Cleveland Browns would make Tate a significant offer.
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