The trade deadline provided a much-needed jolt earlier this week, with some big name players switching uniforms. The Deshaun Watson injury, and to a much lesser extent the injury to Pierre Garcon, provided a jolt of a different kind. Watson was in the middle of an historic rookie season, playing as a clear QB1. His loss hurts the entire Texans offense for the remainder of the season and it’s certainly is a big blow to Fantasy Football owners as well.
California by Phantom Planet
Jimmy Garoppolo is finally free. He heads to San Francisco in exchange for a second round pick. Unfortunately, the Fantasy impact here for 2017 is likely minimal. C.J. Beathard will start this week and the reports are that Garoppolo won’t be pressed into duty until Week 12 at the earliest. Carlos Hyde’s value might get a slight bump in December, as would the receivers. With Pierre Garcon out for the year, though, the receiving corps of Aldrick Robinson and Trent Taylor are more as deep sleepers and DFS plays than every week starters. It will be very interesting to see how Garoppolo looks during his time in 2017, but the real value here is next year. I would expect the Niners to add offensive weapons around him, setting him up for possible high-end QB2 value in 2018.
Summer Breeze by The Isley Brothers
Drew Brees has not been very Drew Brees-like this year. He has just two 300-yard passing games and only one game with more than two TDs. He is on pace for his lowest passing yardage total since 2009 (4,400 yards is still a pretty good 16 days at the office). Maybe they missed Brandin Cooks more than they thought? The other thought is that Brees and Sean Payton have worn out their welcome in New Orleans. We’ll find out if that is true this offseason, as Brees is scheduled to become a free agent. The good news for Fantasy owners is that the Saints play six of their next eight games at home. The turnaround starts this weekend against a Bucs defense that has been repeatedly burned by opposing QBs.
Leave The Night On by Sam Hunt
Kareem Hunt hasn’t found the end zone since Week 3 and last week’s performance was his first game with less than 100 total yards in his career. While everyone knew the fast start wouldn’t last, he’s still getting the volume to be an RB1 from here on. There are only a few other RBs I’d rather have in seasonal and dynasty formats right now than Hunt. If you are looking to trade for him, though, now is the time to inquire. If you did so in September, you likely would’ve been met with swift rejection. My guess is that Hunt owners are now open to making a move, especially if it provides them help at multiple positions. Dynasty owners will likely still have to offer a massive package to pry Hunt away.
Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen
In the short-term, Jay Ajayi has the potential to be a Fantasy beast in Philadelphia. The offense is already clicking and Ajayi is an upgrade over the plodding LeGarrette Blount. Ajayi has not been the clear RB1 he was drafted to be, but this is his chance for redemption. Expect Top 12 numbers from here on. The more intriguing storyline here is Ajayi’s dynasty value. He is someone I am looking to sell. If you recall, he was a second or third round talent at worst that fell to Miami in the fifth round because of the bone on bone issue in his knee. Rumor was that the Dolphins dealt him because they didn’t think he would be able to hold up over the long-term.
Go Deep by Ty Dollar $ign featuring Berner and Too $hort
Will Fuller was going to be described this week as one of the absolute waiver wire stars of the season; unfortunately, that will be short-lived. Deshaun Watson’s injury drops Fuller from potential WR2 to a borderline FLEX play. He had an instant connection with Watson, especially on deep balls. With Tom Savage likely under center, Fuller needs to go immediately to your bench and he’s a couple bad weeks from swimming in the free agency pool. The values of Lamar Miller and DeAndre Hopkins also take a hit, but Fuller’s value for the rest of this year has been cut off at the legs.
Sailing by Christopher Cross
Thanks to Andrew Luck’s injury status, Donte Moncrief is now droppable in redraft formats. He’s topped 50 yards just once and has only one TD, clearly lacking chemistry with Jacoby Brissett. It does make him an intriguing buy low in dynasty formats, as the 24-year-old will likely hit free agency this spring. There is a good chance he’ll flourish with a change of scenery and maybe even tap into his projectable ceiling.
Grown Up by Danny Brown
Evan Engram has asserted himself as the best (only) Giants offensive player that is Fantasy relevant right now. Engram is a talented receiving TE with the long-term upside to be a premier option for a long time. The injuries to Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall accelerated his timeline for Fantasy relevance, however. The return of Sterling Shepard gives Eli Manning another weapon and, more importantly, forces defenses to stop solely focusing on the rookie pass-catcher.
Hurt by Johnny Cash
Jordan Reed, already having a down year outside of Week 7, is now out likely for multiple weeks with a hamstring injury. Reed is one of the most gifted TEs in the league, but he cannot stay healthy. His career-high games played is 14, which he did in his breakout 2015 campaign. The problem now is you simply cannot trust him over the long-term. You also will not get as much in trade as a player with his skills should, especially in dynasty formats. It should go without saying, but you need to have a quality backup when rostering Reed. On the plus side, Vernon Davis becomes an immediate add if you need TE help.