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:
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB JAX
Jaguars holdout running back Jones-Drew is now open to a trade out of Jacksonville, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter. This report is likely meaningless as a trade of the veteran running back and his large contract demands seems to be a long shot. This situation continues to be ugly and it is hard to see an end in sight. I have thought all along that Jones-Drew would end his holdout sooner rather than later and be back by week one, but that is beginning to look doubtful. His dynasty value is stalling and current Jaguars starting running back Rashad Jennings value is rapidly ascending.
Kenny Britt, WR TEN
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported this week that Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt may only face a short suspension for his recent arrest for driving under the influence. Britt met with commissioner Roger Goodell recently and most assumed he would face a lengthy suspension following his eighth arrest in the past three years, but Schefter opines that Britt may only be disqualified for between one and three games. With his knee rehabilitation going well, Britt’s value is again on the rise.
Jeff Demps, RB NE
Undrafted rookie running back and Olympian Jeff Demps signed with the Patriots this week. With New England’s depth at running back, this is somewhat surprising. It is always difficult to predict moves the Patriots might make or how they could use their players. It is possible that the team only views Demps as a weapon with the special teams unit, but he could also see snaps at running back. As teams begin making their cuts soon, watch the running back situation closely. If Danny Woodhead is released, Demps would be well worth a roster spot in dynasty leagues. If Woodhead sticks with the team, wait to see how the Pats use Demps.
Rashard Mendenhall, RB PIT
The Steelers activated Mendenhall from the PUP list, meaning he is now eligible to play as soon as week one. Eve with this move, it seems likely that Mendenhall will not be ready by week one, or anytime soon after. It is a good sign that Pittsburgh expects to have him back before week seven, which is when he would have been eligible had he remained on the PUP list. It is also cause for concern regarding fellow running back Isaac Redman, who is dealing with his own injuries. Mendenhall is a guy to acquire in dynasty leagues, but I would avoid Redman altogether.
Jordan Shipley, WR TB
The Bengals waived wide receiver Jordan Shipley this week and he was awarded to the Buccaneers via waivers. Cincinnati had a crowded wide receiver depth chart and with Shipley is still dealing with last season’s torn ACL, the team decided to move on. Shipley is a talented playerwho has had success in the league already. If he can recover from the knee injury, he can be a valuable for Tampa Bay and a player to stash on dynasty rosters. For now though, he will likely begin the season on the PUP list and should remain on your waiver wire.
Jacoby Ford, WR OAK
The Raiders speedy wide receiver suffered yet another foot injury that will sideline him for the remainder of the off-season and possibly into the regular season. Ford was the off-season darling a year ago, but his dynasty value and his role with Oakland have both quickly decreased. Oakland is stocked with talented young wide receivers and Ford could lose some snaps due to his injury concerns. Ford’s explosiveness means he is still worthy of a roster spot, but he is only an “end of bench” type player currently.
Rod Streater, WR OAK
One player who seems to be taking advantage of the injuries to Ford and fellow wide receiver Denarius Moore is undrafted rookie Rod Streater, who put up another impressive game against Arizona. Streater caught seven passes for 43 yards to follow up his six catch, 66 yard performance the prior week. Streater has likely already been scooped off the wire in your league, but if not, grab him now. He has quickly put himself in the same conversation with other potential breakout wide receivers this off-season.
Travaris Cadet, RB NO
The thinking around New Orleans is that the impressive play of undrafted rookie running back Travaris Cadet will make it tough for the team to cut him, or even attempt to stash him on the practice squad. Cadet plays a similar role in the offense to Darren Sproles. In three preseason games, Cadet has just over 50 rushing yards, but has caught 19 balls for 117 yards and two touchdowns. He also has been heavily involved in special teams. His strong play could lead to a trade or release of running back Chris Ivory.
Vincent Brown, WR SD
The Chargers second year wide receiver suffered a broken left ankle and will be sidelined at least the next two months. This is a huge blow for the Chargers and dyntasy owners alike, all expecting a breakout year from Brown. Although the injury will not cost him the entire season, it will be hard for him to come back and be a contributing member of the Chargers offense. Dynasty owners might want to seize this opportunity to acquire Brown at a slightly reduced price. He is still considered the most talented wide receiver on the team and their best long-term option in dynasty leagues.
Russell Wilson, QB SEA
Wilson impressed again in week two of the preseason and will get the start in this weekend’s preseason game. Everyone assumed free agent acquisition Matt Flynn would be the team’s starter following his big money contract, but Wilson is clearly outplaying him this preseason and it is a true battle now with only one meaningful preseason game remaining. No matter who wins the job for week one, it is Wilson who offers superior upside and carries the most dynasty value.
Alshon Jeffery, WR CHI
Another player who has impressed everyone this preseason is the Bears rookie wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who has hauled in seven catches for 97 yards. With star wideout Brandon Marshall lining up as the Bears top option, Jeffery will benefit from single coverage and should see plenty of targets as the Bears second option in the passing game – his dynasty stock is on the rise.
Austin Collie, WR IND
The Colts excellent slot wide receiver took another huge hit to the head in the Colts game against the Steelers and suffered another concussion. Collie played injury free in 2011, but endured three concussions in 2010 and any head injury is even more serious for Collie than usual. It is unknown how long Collie will be out of action and there have even been some suggestions that he should prematurely end his career. This is certainly a sad situation, but Collie’s dynasty value takes a big hit.
Jake Locker, QB TEN
The Titans named second year passer Jake Locker as their week one starter. It was only a matter of time with the disappointing play of veteran Matt Hasselbeck. Locker offers a ton of upside thanks to his running ability and the stable of weapons he has on offense including wide receivers Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, Kendall Wright and tight end Jared Cook. The window to buy low on Locker is long gone. He is a great dynasty QB2.
LaVon Brazill, WR IND
Brazill, the Colts late round wide receiver, has impressed this preseason and has played with the first team throughout the team’s preseason games. After Reggie Wayne, who is entrenched as the team’s top wideout, the depth chart is up for grabs, especially with Collie’s injury. Competing with Brazill for the starting nod are veteran Donnie Avery and rookie TY Hilton. Brazill has not been talked about much in fantasy circles, but may be a great player to stash at the end of your bench. In shallow leagues, he is likely still on the waiver wire.
Ryan Tannehill, QB MIA
The rookie quarterback and number eight overall draft pick has won the starting quarterback job in Miami. This move is no surprise following the injury to David Garrard and the poor play of Matt Moore. With few weapons on offense, Tannehill’s short term value is limited, but that may provide owners a great chance to buy low for the future.
Dez Bryant, WR DAL
Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant suffered a knee injury that will likely keep him out for the remainder of the preseason. While the injury does not seem serious, it is a concern for Dallas, especially with the hamstring issues of fellow wide receiver Miles Austin. Bryant will reportedly be fine by week one of the regular season and this does not affect his dynasty value. He is an upside WR2.
John Skelton, QB ARI
Cardinals quarterback John Skelton started the team’s third preseason game and is now the favorite to win the starting job going into the regular season. Former starter Kevin Kolb has continued his struggles and despite his sizable contract, it seems the team will go with the underdog Skelton. This is good news for wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and his fantasy outlook this season.
Michael Vick, QB PHI
Playing in his second preseason game, Vick suffered yet another injury, this time to his fragile ribs. Vick left the game and did not return. Although x-rays were negative, Vick will not play in the remaining preseason games. Rookie Nick Foles, serving as the backup with Mike Kafka also out with an injury, was impressive. Foles is actually the preseason’s leading passer and could be earning the backup spot. With Vick always an injury risk, Foles is worth monitoring.
Mike Wallace, WR PIT
Reports are that disgruntled Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace plans to report to the team this weekend and sign his one year tender. Wallace will need to use the remaining practice time to learn new offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s offense, but remains a top wide receiver for fantasy teams. This news closes the buy low window for Wallace and he will likely be an automatic weekly start in all formats.
David Wilson, RB NYG
The Giants rookie running back has been receiving first team reps and splitting those with incumbent starter Ahmad Bradshaw. Wilson has been praised for his speed and play making ability and has already earned a big role with the team. His dynasty value is rising and this might be your last chance to acquire him at a reasonable price.
Jason Witten, TE DAL
The Cowboys star tight end found out this week that his lacerated spleen would not require surgery, but he remains sidelined and will be questionable to play in week one. At this point, this is the best case scenario for Witten and Dallas, but Witten’s dynasty value has already taken a hit following the rare injury.
James Starks, RB GB
A local beat writer expects the Packers to cut former starting running back James Starks, based on the writer’s 53 man roster prediction. We knew the signing of Cedric Benson was a bad sign for Starks, but this still comes a surprise for many. Starks would likely get a shot elsewhere if he were to be released, but he lacks elite talent and would just provide a new team with depth at the position. His fantasy value is nearly gone. This news increases the value of both Alex Green and Benson, although neither seem to be the long term answer for the Packers.
Evan Royster, RB WAS
Redskins assumed starting running back Evan Royster will miss some time due to knee soreness. This is just another reason to avoid the Redskins running game completely. Roy Helu is also dealing with an injury and rookie Alfred Morris has started recent preseason games and even received more carries than Royster. The dynasty values of each of these players is fading, but if you do believe one of them is an elite talent, take this chance to buy at a nice price.
Injury Update: Several players suffered injuries that caused them to miss some time in their preseason games. None of the injuries seem to be serious and therefore do no affect the players’ dynasty value. Among those suffering mild injuries include Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart, Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw, 49ers running back LaMichael James, Rams wide receiver Brian Quick, Buccaneers running back LeGarrette Blount and 49ers running back Brandon Jacobs.
Check back next week for another update on the week’s impact events! Follow Ryan McDowell on Twitter @RyanMc23.