The 2013 fantasy football season is over, but the dynasty season is just beginning. As you 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! Here is a quick look at the events of the past week and how they impact the players on your team.
Tony Gonzalez, TE ATL
Tight end Tony Gonzalez, who has stuck by his retirement announcement throughout the past season, said this week he would consider signing with a contender for the 2014 stretch run. This is the first hint we’ve had that Gonzalez could return to the field and although he struggled in 2013, teams would be lining up to sign the future Hall of Famer, especially if the contract came after the beginning of the season, making it non-guaranteed. With shallow rosters, it’s not worth carrying Gonzalez for the next ten months in anticipation of a possible six week stretch that may never come.
Trent Richardson, RB IND
Colts running back Trent Richardson said this week his priority this off-season is to learn the Colts offensive system. He went on to say feeling comfortable with the playbook was necessary and that he also planned to speak to other running backs for advice on how to improve. Clearly, Richardson’s dynasty value has taken a huge hit. With his disappointing season in 2013, he’s gone from a top three overall player to a fifth or sixth round startup draft pick. For those who still believe, he offers great value in drafts or trades.
Matt Cassel, QB FA
This week, Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel announced he planned to void his 2014 contract, making him an unrestricted free agent. It’s a surprise considering Cassel was due nearly $4 million in 2014. There are multiple teams with quarterback needs and along with Michael Vick, Cassel will be among the top options for teams looking to sign a veteran. There’s a solid chance Cassel finds a starting job this off-season as a short-term option.
Larry Fitzgerald, WR ARI
Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has been in the news a lot recently. Two weeks ago, there were some rumors linking him to the Patriots and then this week, Fitzgerald agreed to restructure his contract. His contract is now reasonable for 2014, but pays him over $23 million in 2015, which could signal the end of his tenure in Arizona.
Zach Miller, TE SEA
An NFL.com report this week said the Seahawks are expected to present starting tight end Zach Miller with the ultimatum of either taking a pay cut or facing a release. Miller has not been fantasy viable since his departure from Oakland, but his release by the Seahawks could open the door for Luke Willson. Willson is the perfect option for dynasty owners looking for the next breakout tight end, in the mold of Jordan Cameron and Julius Thomas this past season.
Sidney Rice, WR SEA
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported this week that the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks are likely to release wide receiver Sidney Rice, who is seemingly always battling an injury. This season, a torn ACL cost Rice much of the season and the team didn’t miss a beat. Cutting ties with Rice would save the team over $7 million, making the move even more likely. With his consistent injury concerns and uncertain future, Rice has very little dynasty value.
Jermaine Kearse, WR SEA
Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse had a very nice game on the biggest stage, the team’s Super Bowl victory over the Denver Broncos. Kearse caught four passes for 65 yards and a score and nearly had a second touchdown that was eventually broken up by a Broncos defender. Kearse and teammate Doug Baldwin both left dynasty owners with a good impression as we enter the NFL off-season. Both are very solid players, but lack high-upside, especially in the Seahawks run-heavy offense. I suggest selling high on both players, especially considering Percy Harvin should be back at full strength in 2014.
Michael Vick, QB FA
Adam Schefter of ESPN has reported that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Jets are both expected to show interest in free agent quarterback Michael Vick. As the top free agent quarterback available, Vick should have plenty of interest, even at the age of thirty-four. Injuries have begun to catch up to Vick, who has also struggled with turning the ball over too much. Still, he has high upside for fantasy owners as long as he’s on the field. Both the Jets and Buccaneers have soon to be second year quarterbacks that they don’t seem to have much faith in, namely Geno Smith and Mike Glennon.
Jermichael Finley, TE FA
Things are looking better for tight end Jermichael Finley, who suffered a serious neck injury early this season. The injury was thought to be a potential career ending injury, but now Finley’s agent says he expects the free agent tight end to be cleared within the month. Finley is also being recruited to the New York Giants by some fellow players, which would seem to be a good match, considering the struggles of starter Brandon Myers this season. Finley had lost nearly all of his dynasty value due to the injury, but could be a great value as we wait to see if he can truly fully recover from the injury.
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