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:
Reggie Bush, RB FA
Reports this week were that the Miami Dolphins are unlikely to re-sign free agent running back Reggie Bush. Bush has had his two best seasons of his career with the Dolphins, but the team has multiple needs and drafted Lamar Miller last season. The expectation is that if they do allow Bush to walk, Miller would be his likely successor. This has obviously helped Miller’s value increase since this was reported, but Bush could also see an uptick in his dynasty value if he lands in the right situation. Both running backs are quality options to acquire at this point.
Terrelle Pryor, QB OAK
There has already been some early speculation regarding the starting quarterback position for the Oakland Raiders next season. The current contenders include veteran Carson Palmer, who has started the majority of the games the past two seasons for the Raiders, and Terrelle Pryor, who Oakland acquired in the supplemental draft in 2011. It would also not be a surprise if the Raiders chose a quarterback early in the upcoming draft. Even though the Raiders have several quality wide receivers, there is no dynasty value at the quarterback position. Palmer is still the clear favorite to start next season, but is no better than a fantasy backup. Likewise, Pryor has very little value at the moment – we’ll have more on that in the coming days.
Chase Coffman, TE ATL
With future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez expected to retire, a huge gap is left in the Falcons offense. Local beat writers have already considered the possibility that Atlanta could fill the position “in house” with veteran Chase Coffman. He has only four career catches and would be a long shot to be a productive starter, but we did witness a breakout season from Raiders tight end Brandon Myers after three mediocre seasons. Coffman could be worth a roster spot in the deepest of leagues right now, but expect the team to use an early draft pick on a rookie tight end.
Cecil Shorts, WR JAX
Although it received relatively little attention late in the season, breakout wide receiver Cecil Shorts suffered two concussions in a month’s time and ended the season on the injured reserve list. Now though, Shorts has been cleared for football activities, which is obviously good news for all involved. Assuming the Jaguars upgrade at quarterback, Shorts could have an even better season in 2013, although another concussion could really hurt his value.
Editor’s Note: Look for a special feature on the ceiling of Shorts tomorrow right here on DLF.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR OAK
According to local beat writers, Oakland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey is expected to be released, unless he agrees to take a large pay cut. The speedy wideout is due over $7.7 million in 2013 and with young players like Denarius Moore, Juron Criner and Rod Streater playing well, Heyward-Bey does not have much of a case to stick around in Oakland. Heyward-Bey could be a good buy low in dynasty leagues, but there is some risk since we are unsure of where he could end up. Historically, free agent wide receivers have not fared well on new teams, though that trend has slowly changed the past couple of seasons.
Kenny Britt, WR TEN
There have been some rumors that the 2013 season could be the last in Tennessee for oft-troubled wide receiver Kenny Britt, thanks to his continuous off field issues. Britt has already found trouble this off-season when he was uncooperative with a police investigation into a stabbing and shooting in New Jersey involving a friend of his. It seems he again has avoided a serious situation, but it is not surprising to think the Titans’ patience could be wearing thin. Britt needs a healthy and quiet off-season and a productive 2013 season to improve his chances of remaining with the team beyond next year.
Alex Smith, QB SF
Although this is not a surprise at this point, it seems inevitable the 49ers will, in some way, move on from former starting quarterback Alex Smith this off-season. They are expected to attempt to trade him, but reports are that Smith will push the team for an early release in order to give himself more options. Some early guesses regarding Smith’s future employer have included the Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills. A seemingly weak rookie quarterback class aids Smith’s odds of finding a starting job this season.
Danny Amendola, WR FA
Even though the off-season has yet to officially begin, we all know there will be plenty of speculation and guessing about trades, draft picks and free agency. ESPN’s Adam Schefter says there is a possibility of free agent wide receiver Danny Amendola signing with the Patriots. With further reports that the Patriots are planning a complete overhaul at the wide receiver position, which could signal the end of Wes Welker’s time with the team. Amendola would step right in as Welker’s replacement and his fantasy value would explode.
Dennis Dixon, QB BAL
There have been multiple reports this week that new Eagles head coach Chip Kelly may pursue his former Oregon Ducks starting quarterback Dennis Dixon, who is currently a member of the Ravens’ practice squad. Dixon had an excellent college career, but has bounced around the NFL. While this could be his chance, it could be a similar case to the Josh Johnson/Jim Harbuagh reports when the former Stanford coach entered the NFL. There is little need to rush to add Dixon from your league’s waiver wire.
Anquan Boldin, WR BAL
Another report from Schefter is about the possibility that the Ravens could release veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin following the Super Bowl. The Ravens have some salary cap concerns and also must find a way to work out a new deal with starting quarterback Joe Flacco, and that price seems to be increasing each day. No matter if he is with the Ravens of any other team, Boldin has very little dynasty value at this point in his career.
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