Much like us here at DLF, there really is no offseason 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 it Impacts the players on your team.
Donovan McNabb, QB FA
McNabb, recently with the Minnesota Vikings, has said there is a very good chance that he will play in the league in 2012. He began the 2011 season as the Vikings starter but was benched in favor of rookie Christian Ponder, and subsequently waived by the team. No other team signed the former Eagles star for the remainder of the 2011 season. It is a long shot that a team would be interested in bringing McNabb in considering the rumors of his work ethic and poor attitude in the locker room. It goes without being said that McNabb has no dynasty value and should not be rostered.
David Garrard, QB MIA
ESPN’s Adam Schefter said this week that Garrard, the free agent signee of the Dolphins looks to be the leader in the three way quarterback battle. Garrard, who missed all of 2011, is competing with rookie Ryan Tannehill and incumbent starter Matt Moore. Tannehill is still expected to be Miami’s long term answer at quarterback and he has the most dynasty value of the trio. With a lack of weapons on offense following the trade of wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears, the quarterback of the Dolphins’ offense may not have much value at all this season.
LaRon Byrd, WR ARI
Here is one for those of you in 32 team leagues. There has been some positive buzz about Byrd, an undrafted rookie out of Miami. He has even drawn some comparisons to Cardinals’ All Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. With a big frame of 6’4” and 215 pounds, Byrd has displayed the ability to go up and make the tough catch. He has a long way to climb up Arizona’s crowded wide receiver depth chart as Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts, Early Doucet and rookie Michael Floyd are all but locked in as the top four wide receivers. Byrd is a project wide receiver, but off to a good start.
Ryan Mallett/Brian Hoyer, QBs NE
Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston recently floated the idea that the Patriots would use their second preseason game to showcase their reserve quarterbacks, Hoyer and Mallett, in order to facilitate a trade. I mentioned both in my recent Making a List as backup quarterbacks worthy of a roster spot on your dynasty team. Take this chance to add both Patriots to your dynasty team before one of them is traded. My gut feeling is the team would prefer to trade Hoyer, who is an unrestricted free agent after the 2012 season, and groom Mallett as starter Tom Brady’s replacement. Both quarterbacks have dynasty value regardless of the trade.
Josh Gordon, WR FA
Former Baylor wide receiver Gordon has entered the NFL’s supplemental draft, which will be held Thursday July 12th. Gordon has dealt with off the field issues and has bounced around to different schools. He has not played in a college game since 2010. Gordon is another big wide receiver with good speed and some draft experts expect him to go in the top half of the supplemental draft. Draft analyst Russ Lande rates Gordon above fellow rookies Stephen Hill of the Jets and the Rams Brian Quick. Now is the time to find out the rules regarding your dynasty league’s supplemental drafts. In many leagues, these players are free to be picked up at any time. Gordon is certainly worth a roster spot regardless of the team that drafts him.
Clyde Gates, WR MIA
Second year wide receiver Gates struggled in his rookie season and has shown little improvement, falling behind veterans Legadu Naanee and Roberto Wallace on the depth chart. With a new coaching staff in town and Gates failing to impress even on special teams, he is in danger os not making the Dolphins 53 man roster. If you were still clinging to hope in your dynasty league, time to drop him and find another sleeper.
Michael Turner, RB ATL
This week, the Falcons running back coach confirmed what many fantasy owners have assumed this offseason…the team will reduce the touches of starting running back Turner. Turner is over 30 and seems to have lost a step. He will still be the starter for the Dirty Birds, but expect both reserve running backs, Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers, to see increased workloads. In dynasty leagues, Rodgers now has more value than Turner. If you are not a contender, Turner should not be on your roster.
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB JAX
I wanted to follow up on the Jones-Drew news from last week. ESPN’s John Clayton reported this week that the Jaguars’ star running back would not miss any regular season action, and is even expected to report on training camp on time. His dissatisfaction will not cause him to miss any playing time. In dynasty leagues, Jones-Drew does still carry some concern related to his injury status and heavy workload from 2011. It is still highly recommended to acquire Rashad Jennings as insurance.
Matt Forte, RB CHI
Clayton also reported similar news for the Bears starting running back Forte. Clayton says Forte will report to the team prior to week 1, although he could hold out of training camp. With the holdout and the team’s signing of free agent running back Michael Bush, Forte’s stock has been dropping all offseason. For dynasty owners, this could be a repeat of last year’s situation regarding Titans’ running back Chris Johnson. Johnson missed much of the offseason and preseason training and never looked like himself, even after returning to the team. Hopefully, Forte is working out and preparing himself for the 2012 season.
Juron Criner, WR OAK
Raider rookie Criner has been impressive in offseason workouts up to this point and local beat writers have claimed he’s earned the fourth wide receiver spot. It is hard to envision him overtaking Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore or Jacoby Ford for a top three wideout job, but Criner has made the most of his opportunity thus far.
Check back next week for another update on the week’s impact events!
Follow Ryan McDowell on Twitter @RyanMc23