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DLF’s Weekly Impact Events

The 2012 fantasy football playoffs are 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 fantasy team, yet have little affect 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 players on your team:

Mark Sanchez, QB NYJ

The struggles of Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez have been well documented. Following the team’s week 15 loss to the Houston Texans, it was revealed there would be a quarterback change and the team later announced that Greg McElroy would start in week 16. The Jets are expected to attempt to trade both Sanchez and backup Tim Tebow, although finding a taker for either is a long shot, so Tebow may be released. Thanks to his huge cap hit upon his release or trade, there is a good shot Sanchez will serve as the backup in New York next season. None of the trio of signal callers have much dynasty value. Tebow probably has the most value based on his running ability, but he may never get another shot to be a starter. Neither Sanchez nor McElroy warrant a roster spot in most dynasty formats.

Steven Jackson, RB STL

Rams starting running back Steven Jackson recently said that despite his impending free agency, he does expect to return to the Rams. Jackson has a player option he will likely decline in an effort to find a long term contract. Jackson has been playing very well as of late. Since week ten, Jackson ranks as the RB4 in PPR leagues. Considering that neither rookie Daryl Richardson or Isaiah Pead have proven they are ready to carry the load as a starting running back, the Rams will likely be very interested in retaining Jackson, even though the prospects looked bleak earlier in the season.

Lamar Miller, RB MIA

Although rookie running back Lamar Miller has rarely carried the ball this season for the Dolphins, it is important to note that the past two weeks, he has played ahead of fellow backup Daniel Thomas, who was placed on injured reserve this week. Starter Reggie Bush will be a free agent at the conclusion of the season, meaning both Miller and Thomas have dynasty value and are worthy of a roster spot, but Miller is the preferred back to own in South Beach.

Percy Harvin, WR MIN

Many fantasy owners were bummed a few weeks ago when Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin was placed on the injured reserve list, ending his disappointing season. Now, a report from ESPN Twin Cities claims a heated disagreement between Harvin and head coach Leslie Frazier may have led to the move. Harvin had requested a trade last off-season before things seemed to calm down, but there is clearly a broken relationship. If the two can’t find a way to fix it, one of them could be on the way out of town – this news has led to Harvin trade rumors. His fantasy upside has certainly been limited by a below average quarterback and questionable use in the offense. Moving to nearly any other team would be a spark for Harvin’s dynasty value, which is already high.

LeSean McCoy, RB PHI

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy will return this week as the team’s starter. McCoy has been out of action the past four games. During that time, rookie backup Bryce Brown looked like a star for two games before being slowed down in the most recent pair of games. It will be interesting to observe how the team uses the duo together and even more important for dynasty owners to follow in the off-season as a new coaching staff is brought in. It is safe to assume that McCoy will retain his starter’s job, but the question is how many touches can Brown handle on a weekly basis?

Nick Foles, QB PHI

Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles has had his struggles during his month long stint as Philadelphia’s starter, but he is drawing some rave reviews from some top NFL experts. Both Mike Mayock and Adam Caplan have had very positive things to say about Foles’ play as of late. The true test of how much dynasty value Foles carries will be what level of quarterback the team brings in this off-season.

Ryan Mathews, RB SD

Chargers running back Ryan Mathews’ disappointing season came to a close Sunday as he suffered yet another broken collarbone and was later placed on the injured reserve list. Dynasty owners were looking forward to a breakout season from Mathews with touchdown vulture Mike Tolbert gone from San Diego. Instead, Mathews dealt with multiple injuries and was often outplayed by average talents like Ronnie Brown or Jackie Battle. His dynasty value has certainly taken a hit, but he may now be a good buy low as we enter the off-season.

Christian Ponder, QB MIN

Viking starting quarterback Christian Ponder continues to struggle. Clearly, he has limited weapons on offense, especially with his best wide receiver, Percy Harvin, out for the season, but that is not enough to excuse some of the lackluster numbers he posts week in and week out. In Ponder’s last eight games, he has only eclipsed the 150 yard passing mark three times, including three games under 100 passing yards. Since week seven, he is the QB30 and has been outscored by Mark Sanchez, Jake Locker, Chad Henne and Nick Foles, even though the last three have played in far fewer games. This week came the show of support for Ponder, which is often the beginning of the end. Ponder’s dynasty value is tumbling and without some new options to throw the ball to, it won’t get any better.

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Ryan McDowell
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