The 2012 fantasy football off-season has begun. 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!
Now that we have entered the off-season, the next few months will be filled with rumors. Much of the “news” will be speculation about the futures of individual players. While this can be important, it can also be a challenge to determine the validity of certain reports. I will included many of these reports and share my opinion about how the player’s value might be affected, for better or worse.
Here is a quick look at the events of the past week and how they impact the players on your team:
Robert Griffin III, QB WAS
The big news of the week surrounded Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III and the injury he aggravated in his playoff debut last week against the Seahawks. There was much conjecture leading up to and following the game, but the truth finally came to light late this week – Griffin suffered complete tears of both his ACL and LCL and underwent surgery to repair both. The recovery period is expected to be six to eight months, though we have seen impressive recoveries by Adrian Peterson and Wes Welker in past seasons. The difference appears to be that Griffin also tore his LCL. While this hurts Griffin’s value, that is something savvy dynasty owners should take advantage of. If his owner in your league seems concerned, take this chance to acquire one of the top fantasy options in football. When it comes to startup drafts, Griffin will slide, but I’d still consider him as early as the late second round.
Adrien Robinson, TE NYG
The New York Giants General Manager said this week that the team still has high hopes for tight end Adrien Robinson, despite his lack of playing time this season. As a rookie, Robinson entered two games, but failed to record any statistics, including a target. Robinson is another big target at 6’4″ and over 260 pounds. Starting tight end Martellus Bennett is an unrestricted free agent, though it is assumed that the team will attempt to resign him following his breakout season. If Bennett ends up signing with another team, Robinson could be worthy of stashing in dynasty leagues, but otherwise he can stay on the waiver wire for now.
Ryan Broyles, WR DET
The Detroit Lions General Manager commented on injured rookie wide receiver Ryan Broyles this week, saying it could be mid-season before he contributes to the team. Broyles suffered a torn ACL in week 13 and is a long shot to return to action before week one. Once he became a solid weekly contributor to the Lions this past season, he became somewhat of a hot asset in dynasty leagues. The same could happen again next season, though it is the second ACL tear for Broyles. Though as of now, Broyles has lost some value due to the injury. He makes a good buy low candidate if his owners are not confident in his ability to return again from the injury. The Lions are expected to bring in wide receiver help as Broyles, Nate Burleson and Titus Young all ended the season on the injured reserve list.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR OAK
Explosive, but often injured wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is a candidate to be cut by the Oakland Raiders this off-season, according to local reports. Heyward-Bey is due over $7 million in 2013 and has not lived up to his high draft position. His receiving yards were a disappointment this year after nearly breaking the 1,00 yard mark in 2011, but he did set a career high in touchdowns with five. Heyward-Bey has little trade value to both the Raiders and his dynasty owners, but unlike the Raiders, fantasy owners should hold the speedy wide out in hopes he gains value with a potential new home for next season.
Dustin Keller, TE NYJ
Local speculation from Jets beat writers is that free agent tight end Dustin Keller will not be back with the team. For much of Keller’s career, he has played with quarterback Mark Sanchez, who has proven to be disappointing and subpar, yet Keller has still managed to post respectable numbers, finishing among the top twelve tight ends twice and scoring seventeen touchdowns over the past five seasons. Between his injury riddled season and the Jets overall nightmare season, Keller’s value has bottomed out. He could be had for a later rookie pick or a prospect and is worth a shot for contending fantasy teams in need of a tight end.
Matt Flynn, QB SEA
There are now multiple reports from national media outlets claiming that Seahawks backup quarterback Matt Flynn could be traded this off-season. The team signed Flynn as a free agent with the intentions of making him their starting quarterback before rookie Russell Wilson surprised everyone by claiming the starting role. Now that the job is locked down, Flynn is an overpriced backup, though there are many teams with holes at quarterback. Flynn hit the waiver wire in many leagues once he failed to win the job, but is again worthy of a pickup in hopes he is moved to a better situation.
Josh Freeman, QB TB
Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman had an outstanding statistical season, with career highs in nearly every passing category. But, it seems that was not enough to earn a new contract from the team that drafted him in the first round in 2009. Not only has the team chosen not to extend the inconsistent Freeman, head coach Greg Schiano has mentioned bringing in competition at quarterback. In his short time in the NFL, Schiano has proven that he is not afraid to make bold moves. With the lack of available quarterbacks, expect Freeman to hold down the starting position in 2013, but these decisions by the team do not help his long term dynasty value.
Anquan Boldin, WR BAL
Another player rumored to be released this off-season is Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Boldin is already 32 years old and is due $6 million in 2013. It’s possible Boldin has seen the market for older wide receivers the past couple of years and is willing to restructure his contract in order to stay with the team. Although he still carries name value, his true dynasty value is almost nothing. He only eclipsed 100 yards once this season and scored four times, playing all sixteen games. If the Ravens do release him, they will desperately need additional depth at wide receiver behind Torrey Smith.
Michael Egnew, TE MIA
It is becoming more and more likely that Dolphins tight end Michael Egnew is not a part of the team’s long term plans. Egnew was inactive for the majority of the season and has reportedly taken harsh criticism from teammates, who don’t seem to believe he has what it takes to succeed in the league. Egnew is not worthy of roster spot in any format. Starting tight end Anthony Fasano is a free agent, so the team has a great need at the position. With several strong options, expect the Dolphins to fill this need via free agency.
Chris Rainey, RB FA
Former Steelers rookie running back Chris Rainey was arrested early Thursday morning and charged with one count of simple battery. Rainey reportedly assaulted a woman in Gainesville, where he attended college. Upon hearing the news, the Steelers waived Rainey, who had previously been arrested for another incident with his girlfriend. Rainey is speedy, yet failed to make an impact for the Steelers. He will likely get another shot when training camps open, but has no long term value, especially when the character risk is factored in. Pittsburgh currently has a huge need at running back. Former starter Rashard Mendenhall is also not expected to return to the team, as he is a free agent.
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