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.
The lack of information regarding the Sam Darnold foot injury is intriguing. He was ruled out of the game against the Bills with several days to spare. Darnold has been called week-to-week and was seen in a walking boot. As the Jets have struggled of late, many are questioning Darnold’s play. But coach Todd Bowles has come to his defense. Bowles told reporters, "No, I don't think he regressed … He's going to have some bad throws. He just can't turn it over." Let’s remember that Darnold completed four passes to the Dolphins in the loss to Miami. With the injuries to top wideouts, Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa, his poor play has been even more exaggerated. We still are bullish on Darnold’s future. It might take a coaching change for him to flourish, though. The lopsided loss to Buffalo showed that the problem is much larger than the rookie passer.
The Joe Flacco hip injury has been much-bantered this week as the Ravens are on a bye. Beat reporters have called Flacco iffy for this week’s game. Jason La Canfora reported that Flacco is currently seeking medical opinions and he "could require surgery" or require "prolonged rest." If Flacco misses time, either Lamar Jackson or Robert Griffin III III will take over. The rookie has more upside and the veteran played surprisingly well in preseason. The team is likely enjoying the intrigue as all three quarterbacks bring something unique to the table. After all the hoopla, there is a chance that Flacco plays this week.
Dolphins coach Adam Gase told reporters last week that the team is targeting Week 12 for Ryan Tannehill's return from the shoulder injury. With the bye this coming week, Miami has been cautious in ruling Tannehill out the past few weeks. He has begun throwing the ball with trainers but has been far from impressive. Considering that the Dolphins have their collective playoff hopes tied to Brock Osweiler, Tannehill’s return is anxiously awaited.
Keep an eye on the return of New England tailback Rex Burkhead in the coming weeks. He returned to practice last Thursday and is hoping to be activated from injured reserve soon. Burkhead injured his neck earlier in the season but looks to be almost healthy. Even if he is not the starter, we expect Burkhead to impact the volume of Sony Michel and James White and provide injury insurance if either misses time.
A player to stash in dynasty leagues is J.D. McKissic who could return to action soon from injured reserve. McKissic has upside as a pass-catching back or slot receiver, both are holes for the Seahawks. As long as he is past the foot injury, the shifty McKissic could surprise in the passing game as Seattle has endured injuries at wide receiver and tight end this year.
After entering the NFL with much buzz, the career of Ameer Abdullah has been extremely disappointing. He had a great first game as a rookie and has been spiraling downward ever since. The former second-round pick was waived last week by the Lions and claimed by the Vikings. It was a great move by Minnesota, a team who has been establishing solid depth behind oft-injured Dalvin Cook. This is one of those moves that could make an incompetent Detroit front office look worse. Abdullah has talent and could shine if Cook or Latavius Murray miss time down the stretch.
In the victory over the Seahawks, Cooper Kupp exited the contest with a non-contact left knee injury. He pulled up while running a route and was not seen again. Kupp had just returned from an MCL sprain. Early reports have indicated a severe injury. It was confirmed as an ACL injury on Monday. We will learn more about the injury in the coming days.
Last week, Washington placed receiver Paul Richardson Jr on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. He needs surgery to repair an injured AC. The injury ends a disappointing first campaign for the $40 million free agency signing. For the season, Richardson only reeled in 20 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns in seven games. With the injuries to the skill-position players, and a dink-and-dunk quarterback, this is a team who could make the playoffs but get blown out in the first round.
Just as Geronimo Allison was beginning to shine, he suffered a core-muscle injury that will require injury. When talking to reporters, coach Mike McCarthy talked of the severity of the injury and admitted that Allison would be placed on injured reserve. He will be an exclusive rights free agent in 2019. The emergence of Marquez Valdes-Scantling could impact Allison’s 2019 outlook if Randall Cobb is back. Green Bay has done an excellent job of restocking the wide receiver position after jettisoning Jordy Nelson.
In his first week of practice as a member of the New Orleans Saints, Dez Bryant tore his Achilles. He is obviously done for the season and his career may be in jeopardy with an expected eight-month recovery timetable. This is one of the worst injuries for wide receivers to suffer. It was nice to see Saints players tweeting their support for the veteran pass catcher. He could be in the plans for 2019 so Bryant’s recovery should be monitored. On Sunday morning, Adam Schefter reported that the Saints are expected to sign free agent Brandon Marshall this week to replace Bryant. He will likely not be a factor for New Orleans.
Maybe the Bears are smarter than fantasy players think after the RFA madness surrounding receiver Cameron Meredith. The Saints signed Meredith as a Restricted Free Agent, giving him a two-year, $9.6 million deal. Now, Meredith needs a scope on the same knee he tore the ACL in 2017. This injury is why New Orleans pursued Dez Bryant, which should speak volumes as to Meredith’s long-term outlook.
Adam Schefter reported last week that Hunter Henry has a chance to return to action next month from his ACL injury. Henry tore his ACL during OTAs in late May, so this timetable is in the six-month realm of possibility. Schefter admitted that the odds are long for a return, but it is possible as Henry is already running and squatting in his rehab process. The buy-low window is quickly closing.
Last week, Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy said tight end Adam Shaheen is "getting very close" to returning from injured reserve. Shaheen hurt his foot in training camp and was placed on injured reserve before Week 1. His presence could impact Trey Burton more than most expect. There was real buzz in the preseason regarding the use of two tight ends and Shaheen was excelling.
Fantasy expectations were high for Charles Clay entering the season, but poor quarterback play and injuries have led to a disappointing campaign. Clay is week-to-week with a hamstring injury and former quarterback Logan Thomas has impressed in the starting role. Clay is available on many waiver wires and will need to leave Buffalo and get healthy if he is to regain any fantasy value. On the other hand, Thomas is a player to pick up off the wire, especially in tight end-premium leagues.