We scour the news around the NFL to bring you what matters most to you and your dynasty team: the most current news on players, both superstars and the relative unknowns, and analysis to decipher the respective situations. These are many of the major stories and not meant to be an exhaustive look at all the recent happenings around the league.
Even though it did not show in the game against Baltimore, Ben Roethlisberger played with a fractured left index finger. Thankfully, it is on his non-throwing hand. The injury still impacted his receiving the snap and hold on the ball while in the pocket. The star passer still played well in the victory. As the weather gets colder, the injury may become a bigger issue.
Last week, Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott told reporters that rookie quarterback Josh Allen will soon begin throwing. At this point in the season, the only value in bringing Allen back is experience, which could be valuable for 2019. The abysmal performance of Nathan Peterman against the Bears, the Bills should be looking for other options until the rookie is ready.
The Arizona Cardinals released veteran quarterback, Sam Bradford, this past week. He will be appealing for quarterback-needy teams like Jacksonville and Buffalo, among others. Bradford has made strong money in his NFL career. This past March, he signed a two-year, $40 million deal. He saw roughly a third of that coin for three games of action. Referring to Bradford’s Cardinal earnings, Adam Schefter tweeted, “Cardinals wound up paying QB Sam Bradford a $10 million signing bonus, about $2.5 million in base salary and another $1 million in playtime bonuses - a total of $13.5 million for playing three games.” Former NFL general manager and agent Andrew Brandt tweeted, “In 2016, Sam Bradford received an $11 million signing bonus from the Eagles, didn't play a game for them. In 2018, Bradford received a $10 million bonus from the Cardinals. Played three games. #winning.” Bradford’s contract prevented a trade, so the team was forced to release the veteran.
Ron Zeitlinger was the first to report that New York Giants backup quarterback Kyle Lauletta was arrested after almost running into an officer with his vehicle. It was a minor infraction as Lauletta failed to obey the officer’s orders while driving to the practice facility and almost hit the officer in the process. The issue is that the rookie needs to stay out of trouble because his time is coming soon to get a shot at the starting job. A few days before this issue, coach Pat Shurmur told the media, "At this point, Eli’s our quarterback." When asked if the veteran will keep the job after the bye, Shurmur answered, "We'll see … I know what you’re all trying to tease a headline … We’ve got to do what we can to help him be better. There’s a handful of plays where he needs to be better. That’s obvious." The lack of commitment to Manning tells us that the rookie’s time is coming quickly.
Ian Rapoport reported last week that Ryan Tannehill is at least two weeks from returning to the field after his shoulder injury. He just started throwing the football with trainers. A few days before the Rapoport tweet, coach Adam Gase said even though Tannehill is throwing, there remains doubt of how much arm strength he has at this time. With the way Brock Osweiler is playing, Miami needs to get another look at Tannehill before the offseason to ascertain his future with the team.
When asked about LeSean McCoy’s future with the team, Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane told reporters he expects the veteran ball carrier to be back next season. He said, "LeSean is still a very good player in this league … We like what he brings, to the point we'll have him back in 2019." A strong running game is essential with the poor wide receiver corps and raw, young quarterback. Yes, the team can save $6 million by parting ways, but the Bills likely will only do so if a good, young back is brought in. Chris Ivory and the other Buffalo running backs have proven unable to be an NFL starting tailback.
The only running back moved at the trade deadline was Ty Montgomery. His fumble leading to the loss against the Rams was troubling, but we did not him to be traded for only a seventh-round pick. The Baltimore Ravens got a steal of a deal in acquiring the versatile back who adds value as a returner and receiver. Plus, he still has a couple of years left on his cheap rookie contract. His presence should impact Alex Collins and Javorius Allen. However, the trade means more touches for Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams in Green Bay. The Ravens do not run the ball well enough to make Montgomery fantasy-viable.
We are hopefully approaching the long-awaited return of D'Onta Foreman from his nasty Achilles injury. He has been eligible to practice for several weeks but he has not been ready. The bye week comes at a good time, so we expect to see Foreman beginning in Week 11. Foreman could be the best Texans back without much effort or cause a three-way committee, making Lamar Miller, Alfred Blue, and Foreman all fantasy liabilities. Miller is not the same back he was in Miami.
The Raheem Mostert arm injury was gruesome Thursday night. He was placed on injured reserve after undergoing surgery on Friday. Sadly, he had a 52-yard touchdown run earlier in the second half and gave fantasy players hope before the injury. His absence should leave more work for Matt Breida and Alfred Morris, though Breida needs to get healthy before being relied upon by fantasy owners.
Sunday morning, Adam Schefter reported that A.J. Green will miss multiple games with a toe injury. The Bengals are on a bye this week but will need to rely on Tyler Boyd and a slew of relative unknowns for a while. John Ross is unable to be trusted and Tyler Eifert is on injured reserve with an ankle injury. Schefter followed up with a tweet on Monday, "He will not need foot surgery, but Bengals’ WR AJ Green is expected to miss at least two games before doctors re-evaluate his foot injury to determine when he can play again, per source."
After the Will Fuller V injury, the Houston Texans were poking around the trade market for wide receivers. They inquired about Phillip Dorsett of the Patriots and a couple of other pass catchers before acquiring Demaryius Thomas from the Broncos in exchange for a fourth-round pick. Given this is Thomas’ last season under contract, the compensation is solid for Denver. The improved quarterback play may allow the veteran receiver to have a strong finish to the 2018 season. He will see favorable coverage opposite DeAndre Hopkins. Rookie Keke Coutee is still a couple of weeks away from full strength. Interestingly, the Broncos and Texans faced off last Sunday, the weekend after the trade.
After the Thomas trade, Denver general manager John Elway told reporters that the trade of Thomas will allow rookie Courtland Sutton a "chance to get out there and play more and be a bigger part of it because we think he’s ready to go." Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders are fantasy starters, even with the middling quarterback play of Case Keenum. Rookie DaeSean Hamilton will now play as the WR3 and get more opportunity to develop. The Broncos invested 2018 draft picks in Sutton and Hamilton and want to see the youngsters play.
Another interesting trade was the acquisition of Golden Tate by the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a third-round pick. Given Thomas and Tate are the same age, it is surprising that Tate fetched a much higher pick. Adding Tate to Nelson Agholor and Jordan Matthews is curious given all three are best utilized from the slot. The Eagles are loading up for another playoff run to defend the title. In Detroit, the Tate trade opens up Kenny Golladay to be a factor down the stretch. He has fantasy WR1 potential if Matthew Stafford can improve his play.
In an unsurprising move, the Seattle Seahawks parted ways with receiver Brandon Marshall last week. The strong play of youngster David Moore hastened the move. The 34-year old Marshall has likely played his last snap in the NFL. His growth and maturity as a person should enable Marshall to have a lengthy and rewarding career in whatever path he chooses.