We’re into the heart of the NFL season now as we prepare for Week Four and are nearly a quarter of the way through the fantasy regular season. With bye weeks beginning the week and injuries mounting, its more important than ever to stay on top of the NFL news.
Christine Michael, RB DAL
After being dealt to the Dallas Cowboys, it looked like running back Christine Michael would finally return some value on the investment many dynasty owners made years ago. Instead, he’s been a healthy scratch the first three games. Even though Joseph Randle had a strong game in Week Three, there are reports of the coaching staff being dissatisfied with the running game and are ready to give Michael his shot. Michael’s value is not on the rise yet, but he still has so many believers that one good game could really cause his value to skyrocket.
Andre Ellington, RB ARI
Reports out of Arizona say running back Andre Ellington is set to return to the field in Week Four after missing the past two games with a leg injury – that sounds like good news for Ellington dynasty owners, but that same report also states that veteran Chris Johnson, who has drawn the start for the Cardinals in Ellington’s absence, will continue to be the lead back. Ellington’s dynasty value has always been volatile and this looks like yet another turn in the wrong direction.
Victor Cruz, WR NYG
This week, Giants’ receiver Victor Cruz suffered a setback to his injured calf and it appears he will not be back anytime soon. There were already major concerns among most dynasty players regarding what we might expect when Cruz, who has always relied on his speed, finally gets back on the field. Now, we will have to wait even longer to find out. The Giants actions this week, including trying out multiple veterans, tell us they are not confident in Cruz making his way back to field soon. In leagues with shallow dynasty rosters, he can be dropped.
Alshon Jeffery, WR CHI
[inlinead]This week will mark another missed game for Bears’ star receiver Alshon Jeffery, who is battling a hamstring injury. The Bears are being extra cautious with Jeffery and seem happy to take their lumps and earn an early draft pick in the spring of 2016. It’s fair to assume they also won’t rush quarterback Jay Cutler back into action, and even if Jeffery were suiting up, he wouldn’t be an attractive option considering Jimmy Clausen is the Bears’ current starter. If this continues to be a lost year for Jeffery, his value would drop, but would make him a prime buy low target.
Breshad Perriman, WR BAL
Rookie receiver Breshad Perriman suffered a setback last week during pre-game warmups and, as a result, underwent PCL surgery this week. Perriman’s return date is not yet known, but this appears to be a lost year for the rookie from Central Florida. Like Jeffery, Perriman is a solid buy low due to the injury.
Karlos Williams, RB BUF
The rookie running back from Florida State, Karlos Williams is one of the hottest names among dynasty players after his hot start. Now, with starter LeSean McCoy being ruled out for this week against the Giants, Williams will have a chance to gain even more value. He is one of the players who has gained the most dynasty value in the past month and a big game could push him into an even timeshare with McCoy.
Devonta Freeman, RB ATL
Following the impressive performance in Week Three in which Devonta Freeman racked up nearly 200 total yards and scored three touchdowns, he’s reportedly moved ahead of rookie Tevin Coleman on the Falcons’ depth chart. This was viewed as a likely even timeshare entering the season, but Freeman has made a statement with Coleman out of the lineup. This is likely to be a back and forth situation all year, and while I like Freeman, I would consider selling high if I found a trade partner who was a big believer.
Ryan Mathews, RB PHI
The theme of the week must be backup running backs earning a larger share of the touches, because that’s just what has happened in Philadelphia as well. With DeMarco Murray a late scratch in Week Three, former Charger Ryan Mathews carried the load and made an impact as both a runner and receiver, totaling over 125 yards, including a receiving score. Combining this solid game with the struggles of Murray and we can expect to see Mathews play a larger role going forward, regardless of Murray’s health. This helps Mathews’ dynasty value and is another ding in the value of Murray, but considering Mathews’ injury history, I’m not ready to trust him as a fantasy option just yet.
Nick Toon, WR STL
The Saints surprisingly cut wide receiver Nick Toon when roster cuts were due directly before the season and it took him several weeks to catch on with another team, which is another concern for a player who has failed to impress in his many chances throughout his career. The St. Louis Rams recently signed Toon, but only for a spot on their taxi squad. The Rams have an overall lack of talent at the receiver position, so if Toon can impress, he could get one more chance at an NFL job. For now, he should remain on the waiver wire of dynasty leagues.
Joique Bell, RB DET
Lions’ veteran starting running back Joique Bell dealt with injury issues throughout the off-season, but was ready for action once the regular season began. Unfortunately, Bell has only gained only 22 yards through three games and if you’ve seen him play this year, you know he’s looked even worse than those numbers show. The Lions seem set to stick with a committee rushing attack, which includes rookie Ameer Abdullah and pass catching back Theo Riddick. At this point, Bell has no dynasty value and if there is an interesting alternative on the waiver wire, he can be dropped.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB PIT
Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered a knee injury in Week Three that initially appeared as if it would cue the end of the season for the veteran. Instead, the Steelers receiver a relatively positive report that Roethlisberger had actually suffered an MCL sprain, which will cost him roughly six weeks. Based on what we saw in the opening game of Week Four, the Steelers will be a different team with Michael Vick at the helm. Star receiver Antonio Brown had his worst game in a couple of years and the Steelers gave away a game to division rival Baltimore. The good news is this is only a short-term ding to the value of Roethlisberger and Brown, but the bad news is that could lead to multiple losses for your dynasty team.
We leave you this morning with our latest comic submission from Brad Carey, @thefantasydraw. This pretty much encapsulates the passion many of us have for our beloved fantasy football leagues. Make sure you check out all his great comics at thefantasydraw.com.