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 are not meant to be an exhaustive look at all the recent happenings around the league.
The Latest Updates
July 23 Last week, Los Angeles Rams tailback Cam Akers suffered a torn Achilles tendon while training. He will the entire 2021 season while recovering from the injury. Akers was primed for a breakout season before the injury. Now, Darrell Henderson is expected to take on an expanded role. Of note, Henderson has not proven himself to be durable so far but will get a chance in 2021. While the Rams could sign a veteran, the Athletic's Jourdan Rodrigue said signing free agent Todd Gurley is a "non-starter" for the Rams. Of the ripple effects, quarterback Matthew Stafford and receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are the likely beneficiaries. Los Angeles should pass more frequently without a viable running game.
July 23 Ian Rapoport dropped a bombshell Friday when he announced, “The #Saints will start the season without WR Michael Thomas after ankle surgery that happened in June, rather than immediately following the season.” Rapoport continued with a report that Thomas could miss the first few weeks of the season due to a four-month rehabilitation schedule for the ankle surgery. Combined with the loss of Drew Brees, Thomas’ upside was limited to begin with, even before the ankle surgery. He is a player to avoid at current dynasty value.
July 24 Mike Garafolo broke the news Saturday night that the Chicago Bears traded disgruntled receiver Anthony Miller to the Houston Texans for a second-round pick. Miller was phased out in Chicago and Houston needed receiver talent. This represents a fresh start for Miller.
July 23 The Dallas Cowboys passing offense is expected to be elite in 2021. One of the most underrated pieces of the offense will be tight end, Blake Jarwin. Jarwin is already practicing with the after tearing his ACL in the 2020 season opener. Dak Prescott is back under center, and the Cowboys will be tough to stop. Jarwin is a good receiver and able to make plays after the catch. He is a solid fantasy TE1.
June 7 Monday, Peter King wrote that he "would bet Rodgers, today, is solid on never playing for the Packers again." This is the strongest statement yet on Rodgers’ future with the Packers. King went deep into the situation, even proposing solutions for the relationship. He wrote, "The Packers need to extend an olive branch for a situation—whether they acknowledge the reality of it—that could turn into a football and fan disaster in 2021 … This is that olive branch. It’s a face-saving thing for both sides." As training camp nears, this situation could turn ugly.
May 26 The quarterback position has been tumultuous this offseason, especially with stars in their respective primes. Aaron Rodgers has not shown up for offseason activities in Green Bay and is said to want a trade. Who knows if it will happen or if he finally reports, but we expect the situation to continue to fester. Surely, the Packers know the dynamic duo of Blake Bortles and Jordan Love are not good enough to pull off an eight-win season. The longer this stalemate goes, the less the odds for a trade. The Broncos are the only viable suitor at this point, and they will wait until the Packers front office realizes that they pushed their star away. We get the feeling that this is personal for Rodgers, and he might sit the season out to prove his point.
May 26 Throughout most of the offseason, the Rodgers situation has been overshadowed by Deshaun Watson’s legal predicament. At least 20 women are ready to testify against Watson. Sure, the expectation is that he will settle the civil suits, but two factors remain: Watson will likely garner an NFL suspension, AND Watson reiterated his desire to be traded just in the last few days. Sure, most will point out that the star quarterback has bigger fish to fry. They’d be correct. However, if Watson is already thinking about which uniform he will wear in 2021, a collective settlement is closer than reported.
June 13 Kyler Murray's fantasy upside is tied to his high-volume passing offense and rushing ability. Fantasy managers should take note of Murray's comments last week about desiring to run less, "Honestly, the way I see it is, my legs should be a luxury ... And it kind of wasn't like that last year. It was me having to run for us in a sense. Once my shoulder was banged up and I wasn't trying to put myself out there and take those hits, we hit a lull. Honestly, I think it was a lesson for us. We can't be one-dimensional. We've got to be better in all aspects of the game." File this away in case Murray has an off-year without the rushing totals. Murray averaged over 51 rushing yards per game in 2020 and even had a 100-yard rushing outburst against Miami in Week 9. The athletic quarterback also added 11 rushing totals on the season. His ability to make plays on the ground may be the difference between you winning your fantasy season and possibly missing the playoffs.
July 3 There has been little written about New York Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson, so it was a welcome sight when beat reporter Connor Hughes said the rookie looked "so comfortable" in offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur's offense during OTAs and minicamp. Hughes went on to say Wilson was “accurate, aggressive and regularly in control" through the spring camps. With the cache of weapons, Wilson could have a strong rookie campaign. The Jets added Corey Davis and Elijah Moore this offseason. The ceiling is high for a team likely playing from behind most games. Garbage time could make Wilson a fantasy hero.
May 26 Tyrod Taylor is the favorite to start Week1 for the Texans. The veteran started the first game last year for the Chargers, a win over the Bengals. Before Week 2, a team doctor punctured a lung while trying to administer a pain medicine injection. He ceded the starting gig to rookie Justin Herbert, and the rest is history. Houston drafted Davis Mills in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. While many will get excited about Mills, he will have a tough time passing Taylor on the depth chart until later in the year, assuming Watson is suspended or traded. Fantasy players should cheer for Mills to have a good training camp as Taylor will not be able to pass well enough for Brandin Cooks and the receivers to be fantasy viable.
Running Back News
July 23 Last week, Los Angeles Rams tailback Cam Akers suffered a torn Achilles' tendon while training. He will the entire 2021 season while recovering from the injury. Akers was primed for a breakout season before the injury. Now, Darrell Henderson is expected to take on an expanded role. Of note, Henderson has not proven himself to be durable so far, but will get a chance in 2021. While the Rams could sign a veteran, the Athletic's Jourdan Rodrigue said signing free agent Todd Gurley is a "non-starter" for the Rams. Of the ripple effects, quarterback Matthew Stafford and receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp are the likely beneficiaries. Los Angeles should pass more frequently without a viable running game.
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