Fantasy Notes – Monday, September 7th
September 7, 2015 | Chet
Alrighty ladies and gents, this is the final weekend update of the preseason! Just a few more days until the Steelers roll into Gillette Stadium to kick off Thursday Night Football and the regular season.
The New England Patriots are a good place to start, as 36 year-old Reggie Wayne asked for and was granted his release from the team Saturday. Although he probably would have never been too much of a year-long fantasy asset, it would have been fun to see what a Tom Brady/Wayne season could’ve been like. Bill Belichick has never been quiet about his respect for the veteran and he had more positive things to say in a statement released through the Pats’ Twitter account; “Obviously, Reggie’s time here was brief but it only confirmed what I already thought — he is a true professional who represents every positive attribute a player should emulate. Our parting was mutually agreed upon and I am personally grateful to have worked with one of the great NFL players of the past two decades.”
One fantasy implication this could have would be to clear up some room for Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson to snag more of Tom Brady’s balls, especially with Brandon LaFell now out until Week 7 of the regular season. Being that Aaron Dobson is almost the identical size as LaFell, he should start appearing on radars much more frequently; he had three 10 target games in his rookie year in a similar WR-depleted situation.
As for Reggie, well, this looks like it may be the end of the road for him. If he does retire it’d be nice to see him sneak into a Colts jersey somehow.
Another (much younger) veteran with a low ceiling coming into the season was released today: Hakeem Nicks, formerly of the Tennessee Titans. It seems like ages ago when Nicks gave us back-to-back 1,000+ yard years and 18 total touchdowns in 2010-2011. He sputtered enormously for the Colts in 2014, garnering 38 receptions on 68 targets for just 405 yards. Just like in the above scenario, the departure helps to solidify the roles of the other wide receivers on the team; all four of them. That’s right, the Titans now only hold four wide receivers, meaning that any worries about playing time for rookie Dorial Green-Beckham can be nixed. Harry Douglas and Kendall Wright are still ahead of him on the depth chart but they’ve already had many years in the league to figure things out and neither one should be the first receiving option on an NFL team. With one less veteran in the mix, DGB’s ceiling should raise a little higher, even if his floor is still pretty low with a fellow rookie tossing the ball around.
We may as well continue the theme of castaway and possibly retiring NFL vets with Matt Cassel. He was cut from the 3-way QB battle in Buffalo on Saturday, knocking him out of his job and assuring EJ Manuel the no. 2 spot behind Tyrod Taylor. The Bills saved $4M with the move to cut the 10 year vet and as of now no teams have showed any interest in scooping him up. Matt hasn’t had any fantasy relevant seasons since 2010 and he and his 15,000+ career passing yards might be hanging up the ol’ jersey for good.
Cleveland Browns running back Terrance West is now Tennessee Titans running back Terrance West. Cleveland received a 7th round pick from Tennessee for their 2014 3rd round RB, a hint at how badly they wanted him out of town. It’s doubtful Terrance will have any sort of fantasy impact for his new team, but this does clear some room for 2015 77th overall pick Duke Johnson. While Isaiah Crowell has a pretty firm grasp of the lead back role – especially with Duke still in concussion protocol – it is very much worth noting that Crowell had all of 9 total catches out of the backfield last season, even though he played in all 16 games. The rookie should find himself in passing downs more often than not, and before long he should take the lead back role altogether as the Browns only gave Isaiah 148 carries last year.
Christine Michael and his pearly whites are heading to a new home in Dallas. After 52 carries and 254 yards over two seasons, any home would be a better home than in Seattle where he was stuck behind some workhorse back named Marshawn Lynch. Dunno if you’ve ever heard of him. Michael will join the massive RBBC of Darren McFadden, Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar in Texas, and it’s uncertain just how much action he’ll actually see with this group. He’s definitely worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses as whomever ends up with the ball will have lots of fantasy value in this offense. If you already took him as a flier or in a Best Ball league this news has to bring a smile to your face.
In what is probably the most surprising story of the 2015 preseason (Tom Brady’s balls be damned), Jarryd Hayne has made an NFL roster despite never playing American Football. Granted it’s the San Francisco 49ers, a shell of their previous self, but it’s still a pretty intriguing story. Of course, this probably isn’t a very fantasy relevant story as he will probably only serve as a part time kick returner and no. 3/4 back on the team, so I won’t waste any more of your time on the matter. I just wanted as many people as possible to see this play.
I’ll see all of you on the other side of the Regular Season starting line!! Give me a follow on Twitter if you like doing those kinds of things and keep your eyes on the site to help yourself to a league victory and some mucho DFS duckets!