With the holiday season, it’s easy to forget about our fantasy teams, as we should, but with championships on the line and waiver wires closing soon, you need to be caught up on all of the NFL news of the week.
Karlos Williams, RB BUF
Last week, Bills’ starting running back LeSean McCoy suffered an injury that could put an end to his season. With him out of action for week sixteen at least, rookie Karlos Williams will get the start and have yet another chance to show what he can do when handling the bulk of the carries. Williams’ dynasty value was bolstered early in the season as he took over for an injured McCoy and played well, but he’s dealt with his own injuries in recent weeks. A big performance in the season’s final weeks could make Williams a highly sought after asset this off-season.
Anquan Boldin, WR SF
Veteran receiver Anquan Boldin expressed some thoughts about his future this week. Not only does he not plan on retiring, but he is hoping to re-sign with San Francisco during the off-season. Boldin has had a down year, in part due to the struggles of the 49ers’ offense. Boldin can be dropped in shallow dynasty leagues, but could still be a potential fantasy WR3 in 2016.
Will Tye, TE NYG
With Odell Beckham out of action this week, the Giants could look to rookie tight end Will Tye to help pick up the slack. Tye was elevated to the starting role in mid-season with Larry Donnell dealing with an injury that eventually landed him on the injured reserve list. Tye has played well and has been a TE1 option over the past few weeks. Don’t be surprised if the Giants’ dump Donnell and stick with Tye as their starter in 2016.
Matt Forte, RB CHI
Soon to be a free agent, Bears’ running back Matt Forte voiced some frustration with the contract talks, or lack of talks, he’s had the team personnel recently. Based on that, Forte appears headed to a new team this off-season, which may or may not have a big impact on his dynasty value. It would certainly give a boost to the value of rookie back Jeremy Langford, who excelled earlier in the season with Forte out of action. This will be one of the huge stories to follow this off-season.
Brock Osweiler, QB DEN
Quarterback Brock Osweiler was a player on the rise just a few weeks ago as he took over for future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, who was out with an injured foot. Osweiler has struggled as of late though and the Broncos are struggling, leading to speculation they could turn back to Manning and further clouding the future of all involved. Osweiler will be a free agent following the season and Manning will almost certainly not be back with the Broncos. The team and Osweiler both have some huge decisions to make and the results of the next few weeks could go a long way in making those decisions.
James White, RB NE
With both LeGarrette Blount and Dion Lewis out for the season, the Patriots are now relying on second year back James White as their pass catching back and he is playing well. White has 21 receptions in the past three games, along with a total of 236 yards and three scores. White is nearly matching Lewis’ numbers from earlier in the season and the team will have a pair of strong options in 2016.
Tony Romo, QB DAL
With the Dallas Cowboys finally and officially eliminated from playoff contention, the team placed quarterback Tony Romo on the injured reserve list. It’s the second serious injury of the season for Romo and while he should be back to full strength this off-season, dynasty owners and the Cowboys should have some concern about Romo’s long-term viability. Not only does he have the lengthy injury history, but he’s also turning 36 before the start of next season. Romo can only be viewed as a year to year fantasy option, but could be easily acquired this off-season.
Christine Michael, RB SEA
After failing and flopping with multiple chances and multiple teams this season, running back Christine Michael landed back with the team the drafted him, the Seattle Seahawks. With Marshawn Lynch and Thomas Rawls both on the shelf, Seattle relied on Michael and he responded with a career high 84 rushing yards. It’s a starting point for Michael, who went from one of the most hyped and desired young backs to landing on waiver wires in short order. With Lynch and Rawls both strong options to man the Seattle backfield in 2016, there’s likely not room for Michael, but he could have a chance to show other teams he deserves yet another shot.
Marcus Mariota, QB TEN
The Patriots bruised and battered rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota last week, eventually forcing him from the game. Mariota was later diagnosed with an MCL injury that should end his season. Mariota’s play has been up and down this season, which is to be expected from a rookie quarterback, but he’ll end the season on a hot streak and should be considered a top ten dynasty quarterback going forward. Zach Mettenberger will finish out the season for the Titans and makes for an interesting dynasty stash. If he can somehow play well, he could become a trade target for NFL teams and a player on the rise in dynasty leagues. That’s a bit of a long shot, but considering he’s likely free on the waiver wire, it could be worth a shot.
Melvin Gordon, RB SD
One of the most disappointing rookie seasons in recent memory came to a close this week as the Chargers placed running back Melvin Gordon on the injured reserve list with a knee injury. Gordon has struggled all season, failing to even score a touchdown as a rookie, despite earning the starting role in the pre-season. Veteran Danny Woodhead was by far the more effective player in every way. A bust of a rookie season does not seal the career for Gordon, but it has to place a great deal of doubt in the minds of dynasty owners, even those who selected Gordon as early as the first overall pick in rookie drafts last spring.