It’s finally here!
The 2012 National Football League season is underway. You have to pay close attention to everything in order 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!
Each week there are many news items that are important and helpful in the day-to-day managing of your dyntasy team, yet have little bearing on the dynasty value of players. Because of this, I will not be mentioning those here.
Here is a quick look at the events of the past week and how they impact the dynasty players on your team:
Fred Jackson, RB BUF
The Bills starting unit suffered another significant injury as running back Fred Jackson took a hard shot to the lower leg and will miss as much as eight weeks. This injury actually has little long-term affect on Jackson’s value, who was already viewed as a short term or re-draft only player. What it could do is take new starter CJ Spiller’s value to a new level. In Jackson’s stead, Spiller posted a great day, accumulating nearly 200 yards to go along with a touchdown. I would advise you to buy Spiller, but it is already too late. His value rises greatly with this opportunity and he can now be considered one of the top 12-15 dynasty running backs.
Vick Ballard, RB IND
The Colts rookie running back began the season as the primary backup to starter Donald Brown. This is an encouraging sign for the rookie from Mississippi State to be able to overtake disappointing second year runner Delone Carter. There are many who have stated that Ballard is the most talented back on the team and will eventually be the starter. He carried the ball four times compared to Brown’s nine rushes in week one. At his current price, he makes a good “buy low” running back who may pay dividends later in the season.
Jonathan Dwyer, RB PIT
Although running back Isaac Redman earned the start in week one and carried the ball more, Dwyer was the more productive runner, gaining 43 yards. With Rashard Mendenhall due back soon, one of these players is likely to lose all value as they lose touches. This is a situation I would avoid altogether, but if I had to choose one of these running backs, I would roster Dwyer, who gives the team a more balanced player.
Ronnie Hillman, RB DEN
Hopes were high for rookie running back Hillman, but he has failed to impress and now sits at number four on the depth chart. Often criticized runner Knowshon Moreno has been promoted to the backup position behind starter Willis McGahee. This is another situation that might best be avoided. I don’t think any of these options will be the long term starter for the Broncos and as much as quarterback Peyton Manning will throw the ball this year, there may be little value this season as well. If you are a believer in Hillman, now is a great time to make an offer for him. A second round pick should easily acquire him and he may come even cheaper than that.
Adrian Arrington, WR NO
Over the past seven days, the Saints have released, re-signed and finally placed wide receiver Adrian Arrington on season ending injured reserve list. Another year is lost for the talented, but injury riddled wideout. Arrington’s injury (along with the concussion to fellow wide receiver Devery Henderson) opens the door for a larger role for wide receiver Joseph Morgan. Morgan is a great player to add prior to this week with the chance he plays a significant role in the Saints offense. Both Arrington and Henderson are safe drops in most dynasty leagues.
Lamar Miller, RB MIA/TJ Graham, WR BUF
Both rookies in the AFC East were surprise healthy scratches in week one, failing to make their team’s respective active game day rosters. While this was disappointing for dynasty owners, both players should get their chance soon. In Buffalo, wide receiver David Nelson suffered a torn ACL, ending his season. It would not be surprising if Graham is active in week two. He remains a player to monitor and should already be rostered in deep dynasty leagues. The Dolphins backup running back Daniel Thomas suffered a concussion and will miss week two, opening the door for the rookie runner Lamar Miller to be active as well. While Thomas is likely to regain his backup role, the explosive Miller could overtake him later this season.
Michael Turner, RB ATL
In the Falcons huge win against the Kansas City Chiefs, Michael Turner looked old and slow, gaining only 32 yards, despite the strong play of quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones opening holes for the running game. The Falcons seem to be aware of this problem as backup running back Jacquizz Rodgers had nine touches compared to Turner’s eleven. Most savvy dynasty owners have already realized this, but Turner is done. He has no dynasty value and it would not surprise me to see him dropped in some leagues.
Aldrick Robinson, WR WAS
Little known wide receiver Aldrick Robinson entered the game once starter Pierre Garcon was injured and made the most of his opportunity, hauling in four balls for 52 yards and a touchdown. While there is no danger of Garcon being replaced, it is interesting to note that it was Robinson, not the much hyped Leonard Hankerson, who received the valuable playing time. Robinson is a player worth monitoring in deep dynasty leagues, especially if Garcon’s foot injury lingers. Hankerson’s value is tumbling, but still offers upside if he can escape head coach Mike Shanahan’s doghouse and stay healthy.
Adrian Peterson, RB MIN/Maurice Jones-Drew, RB JAX
Both veteran running backs saw their dynasty value take huge hits this off-season. Peterson was recovering and rehabilitating from a torn ACL late in the 2011 season while Jones-Drew was holding out for a big pay day that never came. Dynasty owners doubted both players, but they both showed in week one why they are among the best running backs in the game. Both players were reportedly scheduled to serve a backup role for their team on opening day, yet both ended up leading their team in rushing and eliminating any doubt they are still valuable assets in dynasty leagues.
Jacoby Ford, WR OAK
Raiders speedy wide receiver Jacoby Ford has been out of action much of the preseason and missed Oakland’s week one game against the San Diego Chargers due to a foot injury. This week, it was announced that Ford would undergo surgery to repair the injury and would miss significant time. In fact, head coach Dennis Allen admitted that there is a strong chance Ford could be placed on the injured reserve list. Ford is a great talent, but has been unable to stay healthy, killing his dynasty value. In his place, rookie Rod Streater will continue to see plenty of playing time and is a great candidate to buy in dynasty leagues.
Check back next week for another update on the week’s impact events! Follow Ryan McDowell on Twitter @RyanMc23.