Here is a recap of key NFL news and notes from the last week impacting the fantasy football value of the players mentioned and their teammates. The big news is of course Arian Foster’s injury. I drafted him a week ago at the 12 spot in the $350 entry Footballguys Players Championship, so that really sucks!
Free Agents of Interest
Potential Roster Cuts
RB Trent Richardson, Raiders
Rookie WR Breshad Perriman is currently limited with a bruised knee. The more time he misses, the less likely he can make an immediate impact, although a couple rookies (Beckham, Bryant) did pretty well last season after sitting the first third of the season.
The Bills QB situation is a muddled mess of low expectations regardless of who wins the starting job, but we need to know and the tea leaves suggest it is Matt Cassel right now based on experience.
WR Stephen Hill was placed on IR, ending his comeback.
Kevin White is sidelined with a shin injury suffered during OTAs. He’s on the PUP (preseason version, no immediate panic necessary), but it isn’t looking good for him to be in the starting lineup anytime soon at this point. Eddie Royal gets a boost.
RB Joique Bell is rehabbing from an Achilles’ and knee injury with no set timetable to return. This appears to be a little more serious than early drafts would indicate, as news of his health was pretty quiet. Heck, didn’t we see a “1,200 yard” prediction out of Bell just a few weeks ago? Rookie Ameer Abdullah has an opportunity for a larger role in the backfield and represents a good target for a later drafted RB.
The news bigger than the sum of the rest of this entire update, Arian Foster suffered a groin injury. It is serious, requiring surgery which will put him on IR-designated to return (after Week 10), as reported by John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.
Behind him we prefer sophomore Alfred Blue, but they also have Jonathan Grimes, Chris Polk and are evaluating free agents including Pierre Thomas. Take a shot on Blue, but it could easily be a mess. Even if Foster can return, 10 weeks is a long time to hold a player on your roster (unless you have an open IR spot), so I wouldn’t even consider adding him in a draft unless the pick is really low.
New York Giants
New York Jets
Another rookie WR with an injury, this time Devin Smith has a punctured lung (ouch) and will miss 4-6 weeks.
RB Trent Richardson is in danger of being released by the team. My guess is you are already way ahead of that potential transaction with respect to your fantasy team. Michael Dyer is a name to keep tabs on from the Raiders backfield.
A player intriguing me lately with positive reports out of camp and drastically lower ADP than his rookie teammate is Michael Crabtree.
QB Sam Bradford is cleared for 11-on-11 drills with no restrictions.
Martavis Bryant is out 7-10 days for now with an elbow infection. His ADP has risen steadily in recent weeks, likely to the point of him being overvalued. This should slow that down for now.
Further putting the brakes on the Bryant hype train, QB Ben Roethlisberger stated recently Markus Wheaton will start in 2-WR sets opposite Antonio Brown. The fantasy pecking order could still easily be Brown, Bryant, Wheaton, but it gives one pause from being too bullish on Bryant. And maybe Wheaton is worth a late flier here or there.
San Diego Chargers
Rookie RB Melvin Gordon is apparently struggling with pass protection, which is no surprise from a rookie and will not help keep him on the field. Happy to have him in dynasty leagues but not that excited about using a 3rd round draft pick in redraft leagues to own him. More can go wrong than right.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The team named Doug Martin their starting tailback. This is what we expected to materialize from training camp. Hopefully it sticks, and the announcement will push his ADP up for those who have been asleep at the wheel up until now. I’ve been getting him as my third RB in drafts, most recently at the end of the 6th round in this best-ball league.