Much like us here at DLF, there really is no off-season in the NFL. Even after the dramatic conclusion of the Super Bowl and the MVP’s trip to Disney World, the day-to-day business of the league continues. This means you should be paying attention to give yourself every advantage in 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.
Martellus Bennett, TE NYG
The reports out of Giants OTAs say that offseason free agent acquisition Martellus Bennett has gained nearly thirty pounds and is now weighing in at 291. There have long been whispers that Bennett lacks the discipline to succeed in the league, despite immense talent and this report seems to confirm just that. Bennett has been looked at as a breakout candidate after being signed away from the rival Dallas Cowboys to fill the void at tight end left when both Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum suffered torn ACLs during the Super Bowl. He’s one of the best blocking tight ends in the league and should see plenty of targets in the Giants offense, but he must control his weight and display dedication to the sport. Bennett is still a great sleeper and high upside TE2 in dynasty leagues.
Kenny Britt, WR TEN
Titans head coach confirmed the previous reports that wide receiver Kenny Britt would be limited in training camp following ACL and MCL surgery in the fall, as well as a follow up surgery in May. Britt has yet to begin running and his health should be a concern for dynasty owners. He is certainly still a valuable asset, but was being prematurely placed among the top five wide receivers by many. If you find a worried Britt owner in your league, take this chance to pounce, but be ready to hold him on the bench until he consistently performs.
Jake Locker/Matt Hasselbeck, QBs TEN
Munchak also revealed the two quarterbacks vying for the starting position would split reps until the starter is named. Although many dynasty owners have been high on Jake Locker’s stock this offseason, local beat writers seem to think that Matt Hasselbeck will win the starting job. Locker is likely not a starting fantasy option even if he wins the job, so if the Washington Husky product does start the season on the bench, take the chance to buy him at a reduced price. His abilities outside of the pocket give him some added value in fantasy leagues. He is a great and high upside QB3 at the moment.
Jordan White, WR NYJ
The rookie wideout from Western Michigan fractured a bone in his left foot during OTAs and will miss extended time. The late round draft pick had very little dynasty value prior to the injury, but this affects his chances of making the Jets active roster. With other young wide receivers ahead of him like Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley, White has a long road ahead. If you did have him rostered in a deep league, its time to take a chance on someone else, possibly Kerley.
Jacoby Jones, WR BAL
The Baltimore Ravens are expected to use newly signed wide receiver Jacoby Jones extensively in the return game, both on punts and kickoffs. Don’t be surprised if Jones receives less snaps and targets than in past years as part of the Houston Texan offense. There are hints the Ravens signed him primarily as a special teams player. This is important for fantasy players to note for a couple of reasons. Unless you play in a league that rewards points for return yardage and scores for individual players, Jones loses any value he may have had as a wide receiver. On the flip side, the Baltimore Ravens defense/special teams could see a boost to their already solid fantasy stats. Once again, the Ravens should be among the best fantasy team defenses.
Jimmy Clausen, QB CAR
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera thinks his backup quarterback Jimmy Clausen will get another chance to be a starter in the league. His team gave up on him after one disappointing season and it has already proven to be the right decision as Cam Newton made Carolina fans quickly forget about the poor play of Clausen. Obviously, Clausen will not unseat Newton as the starter and there are no teams lining up to trade for the former Irish signal caller. While it is a good sign that he has the support of the coaching staff, Clausen has no dynasty value, even in quarterback heavy leagues.
Jonathan Stewart, RB CAR
Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart came out this week and said he’s interested in signing a long term extension with the team. This is terrible news to dynasty owners who have been waiting for the inevitable breakout year from Stewart for what seems like an eternity. Stewart has flashed talent and short term production that causes our mouths to water with the thought of him having the role of a bell cow ball carrier, but again and again, owners have been teased. The long term contract given to backfield mate DeAngelo Williams was the final straw for many, but others have held Stewart and even bought him at a reduced price in trades. Now, we hear he wants to stay in Carolina and forego his free agency year and with Williams still in town and newly signed Mike Tolbert vying for carries, this does not bode well. The good news is, even as a part time back, he managed low end RB2 numbers. With this latest revelation, his owner in your league may be ready to dump him. Stewart is still a great dynasty running back to have on your roster, as long as you keep your expectations in check.
Justin Forsett, RB HOU
The Texans signed former Seahawk running back Justin Forsett to a one year deal. He will compete for a third string running back position behind Arian Foster and Ben Tate. Forsett would likely see most of his snaps on passing downs if he makes the team. Head coach Gary Kubiak expects him to see competition for the job, noting his special teams ability could earn him a roster spot. Forsett has no dynasty value and this will likely not change barring an injury, or two.
Randy Moss, WR SF
Well known 49er beat writer Matt Maiocco predicts fee agent acquisition Randy Moss will earn one of the starting wide receiver positions for the 49ers. The team has upgraded the position with the Moss signing, to go along with signing Mario Manningham away from the New York Giants and the drafting of rookie AJ Jenkins. None of the four top wide receivers (including Michael Crabtree) seem to be reliable and consistent fantasy options this season with Vernon Davis likely the top receiving option in a passing offense that has been limited by its quarterback, Alex Smith. With that said, Moss seems to have very little dynasty value, but could be worth snatching up for a team looking to make a playoff run that might be one flex position short.
Justin Blackmon, WR JAX
The big news of the week was the arrest of rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who was booked on aggravated DUI charges. His blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit and this is his second DUI arrest. With Blackmon not having signed a contract yet, this is expected to impact the offer he receives from the Jags. It is also possible the league could suspend Blackmon even though he has yet to sign. It is difficult to recommend buying Blackmon at this point considering the poor decisions he continues to make. My best advice is that if you were a strong believer in his talent prior to this, now is your chance. For some perspective, after the arrest, he was traded in one of my expert leagues, along with a future second round pick, for Torrey Smith.
Andre Holmes, WR DAL
With the Dallas Cowboys trying to fill a void at the third wide receiver position, second year man Holmes is getting a strong look. Many thought rookie Danny Coale would earn the spot, but an injury has sidelined him and hurt his chances at extensive playing time. Owner Jerry Jones has already expressed confidence in Holmes’ ability and considering the spot is wide open after the departure of Laurent Robinson, he is a sleeper to watch. Holmes has already been picked up in many of my most active leagues, but remains on the waiver wire in most leagues out there. Robinson proved last year that the deep threat in this offense has very good fantasy value.
Roddy White, WR ATL
The Falcons star wide receiver said this week that he expects to be used less than in recent years as the offense becomes more balanced and other wide receiver options are used more. With dynasty owners already valuing Julio Jones as a top five wideout, this news may not be a surprise. Although the drop is not the rapid regression we see from running backs, wide receivers obviously lose a step around age 30, and it seems that the Falcons are preparing for this fact. I am a strong believer in Jones and have been expecting the drop-off White mentioned for some time. His price tag is likely very high still in dynasty leagues, though his startup average draft position has been steadily falling all offseason.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis/Bernard Scott, RBs CIN
Both Bengal running backs said they expect to be used as part of a committee this season. Considering the average talents of both players and the league wide turn towards the use of multiple running backs, this should not be a surprise. Since his signing by the running back needy Bengals, Green-Ellis’ value has vaulted up and his average draft position in dynasty startups has been rapidly climbing – this news should calm that trend. Neither runner is more than a bye week replacement heading into the 2012 season.
Chad Ochocinco, WR NE
The Patriots released wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, ending his disappointing tenure with the team. Considering the team has added multiple free agent wide receivers this offseason, this move comes as no surprise. Ochocinco will likely get another chance from a wideout needy team, but he has no dynasty value. He was dropped in most leagues last season after failing to meet lofty expectations with New England.
Rob Housler, TE ARI
A local beat writer in Arizona reports that second year tight end Housler is getting a “ton of work” in OTAs so far this offseason. For a team lacking a top option at tight end, the DLF favorite could take advantage of this opportunity and earn the starting job. With only veterans Jeff King and Todd Heap ahead of him, there is ample playing time available. Housler is on the waiver wire in many leagues and now is a great time to add him before training camps begin.
Santonio Holmes, WR NYJ
The Jets troubled wide receiver pulled himself out of OTAs, complaining that the coaching staff was overworking him. He also had words with coaches while leaving the field. With doubt already surfacing about both his ability to positively impact the Jets and fantasy teams, this is added cause for concern. Considering the Jets have few options at wide receiver and Holmes has zero trade value, they are likely stuck with him. While this could also be the case for fantasy owners, we do have some options. There may be an owner in your league willing to take a chance on the talented Holmes. I would gladly sell him for a future second round rookie pick or a young rookie wide receiver.
Check back next week for another update on the week’s impact events!
Follow Ryan McDowell on Twitter @RyanMc23