Thanks to Karl Safchick for allowing me to step back in for a one-week stint and take over the Weekly Impact Events. Karl has done a great job with an overhaul of the weekly news and views, most notably by adding coverage of the defensive side of the ball for all of you IDPers. Even while he was taking a much-needed break this week, Karl still wanted to be sure you were covered. Before I take over, he gets us started with the major news from Buffalo.
Jimmy Graham, TE NO
News: An arbitrator ruled this week that the Saints’ Jimmy Graham should indeed be classified as a tight end for the purposes of contract negotiations and any potential franchise tag.
Analysis: This decision was expected and many people are breathing a sigh of relief. There was much speculation over the past months how this decision might impact fantasy football leagues, with many dynasty owners counting on Graham as their top tight end. In the end, nothing changes for us, though Graham and the Saints now must re-enter into contract negotiations, which are said to be starting from scratch.
Kiko Alonso, LB BUF
News: The Buffalo Bills lost their star Will linebacker Kiko Alonso to a torn ACL this week. Alonso led the Bills with 159 tackles last year. He also accumulated two sacks, four interceptions and a forced fumble. Alonso was an IDP standout in his rookie year as he was a top five linebacker in almost every format.
Analysis: The first step most dynasty owners take when they lose a stud from their team is researching which player is directly behind them on the depth chart. Nigel Bradham and Preston Brown will compete for the starting Will position with Bradham looking like the early favorite. Alonso was being traded for a mid first round rookie pick in many leagues before his injury. While he will not hold the same value, he shouldn’t be sold for anything less than an early second round rookie pick.
LaVon Brazill, WR IND
News: The NFL suspended Indianapolis Colts wide receiver LaVon Brazill for one year for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. This is the second suspension for Brazill, who was also forced to sit out the first four games of the 2013 season for the same offense.
Analysis: Once a promising dynasty prospect, Brazill was buried after the signing of Hakeem Nicks and the addition of rookie Donte Moncrief. While this has little dynasty impact, it’s a harsh reminder of what could be in store for the Browns’ Josh Gordon. Gordon’s appeal will reportedly be heard sometime in late July. Until then, dynasty owners hold their breath.
Brian Hoyer, QB CLE
News: The Cleveland Browns are interested in signing quarterback Brian Hoyer to a contract extension, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Hoyer is in the final year of his contract and his agent has stated it will be difficult to come to terms with the Browns.
Analysis: It’s looking more and more like Hoyer will be the team’s week one starter, despite the addition for former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, who is viewed as the future starter for the team. The Browns obviously want to keep Hoyer around as insurance and as a veteran leader for the young team, which would be a wise move. Hoyer still has little long-term value, even if he does hold off Manziel to start the
Ben Tate, RB CLE
News: According the head coach Mike Pettine, the Browns plan to use a running back by committee approach this season. The team signed former Texans’ running back Ben Tate as a free agent early in the off-season, and followed that up by adding rookies Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell. Both Tate and Crowell missed some time during OTAs due to injuries.
Analysis: This is shaping up to be a situation to avoid for the short term. Tate seems to be the favorite to get the lion’s share of the carries, though he’s always had issues staying healthy. Although the buzz has been on West’s side thus far in the off-season, there are questions about whether he has the talent to be a long-term starter in the league. Many consider Crowell to be the most talented runner on the team, but he’s had well documented off field issues, meaning he is on a short leash.
Marshawn Lynch, RB SEA
News: A Seattle beat writer says this could be the final year in a Seahawks’ uniform for running back Marshawn Lynch, who has a $9 million cap hit next season.
Analysis: This has been widely assumed, but now local media seems ready to admit it is a real possibility the Seahawks cut ties with Lynch, who just turned 28 years old. With the heir apparent Christine Michael waiting in the wings, Seattle might feel comfortable letting Lynch go, considering they just signed some top defenders to contract extensions and still have quarterback Russell Wilson in need of a new contract. I don’t have to tell you how valuable Michael already is, despite proving nothing as a professional and with these recent reports, Lynch is falling down draft boards.
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