Each week, this space will take a look at the key players in the news that will have some sort of impact on your fantasy decisions. That impact could be upgrading a passing game, a player missing due to a suspension or injury, or notes about key happenings in practice. Whatever the news, come here each Wednesday to take stock of what happened and what the good word is as the next weekend’s games approach.
- Obviously the biggest news coming out is the fact we can already rule out Maurice Jones-Drew for the weekend. His foot injury is going to take some time to heal and it makes Rashad Jennings that much more valuable to owners. While some may be concerned over Blaine Gabbert’s injury, Chad Henne proved himself to be a respectable starter in Miami by the end of his time. The running game will be no more keyed on than it would be with Gabbert under center.
- All over New England people are clamoring over the defense…or complete lack thereof. The offense continues to pile up points, but there is little doubt the secondary is virtually lost. Twice against the Jets they were caught with ten men on the field (once on a punt, once on the Shonn Greene touchdown). Mark Sanchez threw for over 300 yards against them. What’s the conclusion? Start your receivers and virtually any quarterback not named Ray Lucas against the Patriots.
- In Washington, the loss of Fred Davis means Chris Cooley is back in town and manning the tight end spot. Two things here. First, Logan Paulsen showed that he can be a solid receiver out of position against the Giants. Second, Davis had underperformed most website projections for the last three weeks. Largely this is because the Redskins have looked to their quarterback and his legs to create plays as an outlet rather than the typical rookie move of using the tight end. Look at the target report FP911 has available and you will see that to be true.
- Tough loss for the Packers with Charles Woodson going out for about six weeks. Many sites are pointing out that it could very well be only five games as he could easily target a return against Minnesota in what would be a key divisional game. The Packers pass defense has been middle of the pack even with Woodson. The good news for fantasy owners is that the Cardinals and Jaguars (their next two opponents) have not exactly been pass happy and that should mean their defense remains a stronger play than not.
- Carolina firing their GM means that there is suddenly a panic mode taking place in the ranks of the Panthers with their coach commenting that no one should feel their job is safe. While that likely does not mean Cam Newton, it will make how the coaching staff calls games more interesting. The Panthers have not committed to the run when they have two backs that can do the job and a mobile quarterback. Showing up 25th in the league in rushing attempts but sixth in the league in yards per carry should have the sidelines questioning their philosophy and hopefully get them back to their roots.
- The Browns are discussing whether or not they will sit Trent Richardson through the bye week according to Ed Werder. The fear Cleveland has is that if they do not allow him to heal properly that the injury will bother him all season long. Richardson was hurt against Cincinnati and was fairly tentative and limited this past weekend as well. Continue to monitor this as it is likely a situation that will develop over the course of the week.
- Many outlets are continuing to call the Baltimore play calling into question. It partially makes sense. Ray Rice received only nine carries on Sunday against Houston and he has been seemingly under-utilized all year long. Baltimore is just 14th overall in rushing yards despite having what would appear to be one of the best running backs in the NFL. That equates to 16th in yards per game. I think we should go ahead and agree that Baltimore should not be a bottom-half team in this regard…