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.
- So let’s cover all the Patriots news in one spot. With Aaron Hernandez out, the Patriots will look to sign Kellen Winslow to a contract on Wednesday and get him ready to go. While New England is always leveraging the tight end spot, remember that, one, they have 32 on the roster and, two, new players have not been easily acclimated to the system. Second, looks like Wes Welker is behind Julian Edelman on the depth chart. Welker’s play on Sunday was more a result of the Hernandez injury. No one in the organization is letting on why, but expect a reduced role here for some reason.
Hours after scoring a touchdown and running for 41 yards, Michael Turner was arrested and charged with DUI in Atlanta. Turner was already having problems in the new-look offense down in Atlanta and an issue like this will only continue to work against him. While nothing is definitive, it would be a challenge to imagine a scenario where the Falcons have him playing on Sunday.
- Despite the fact that he currently has fewer rushing yards than Brandon Weeden, the Titans continue to plan to leverage the running game and keep Chris Johnson on the field. Johnson has been unable to find his way and was quoted as saying that people (meaning more other than himself) need to do their jobs. There is no one else there, but this could be a situation to watch.
- The pass rush in Washington is going to be a concern over the coming weeks as the Redskins of lost Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker for the season. Orakpo is among the leaders in the NFL in sacks since he entered the league in 2009. The lack of push up front should be an upgrade to passing attacks that face them and owners should keep that in mind while Washington sorts this out.
- The Chicago papers have done nothing but tear about Jay Cutler. On Sunday alone there were four separate articles calling for Cutler to grow up, be a leader, show respect, be a quarterback, etc. in various forms. The concern should be two-fold. First, the Bears are concerned about a potential mutiny against the quarterback. Second, he is already getting destroyed behind the line. Could it really get worse?
- While Chad Johnson is not going to Philadelphia, know that the Eagles do seem concerned at Wide Receiver heading into the weekend. Jeremy Maclin’s status is uncertain thus far with his hip injury and Riley Cooper still has a collarbone problem. The team also will now have their starting center on IR. Still plenty to like about LeSean McCoy, but there are questions
- With a short week, the absence of Ahmad Bradshaw and Domenik Hixon from practice is noteworthy for the Giants. Bradshaw’s neck injury is a key one for fantasy owners. It does not look like highly-touted rookie will be the one getting the ball though as Andre Brown took the bulk of the work last week. He gets first crack if Bradshaw cannot go.