Happy Wednesday #Family! We are nearly halfway through the week and 15 days until that glorious holiday that is NFL Opening Night! Drafts are going hot and heavy, and of course the news cycle of the NFL never takes a break. In fact, as soon as I opened my eyes and looked at my phone, I saw a trade! We will certainly discuss the ramifications of that and so much more so pour that cup of coffee and let’s get right to the Morning Buzz!
Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood Again
The Jaguars, and some fantasy football players, got the worst news on Tuesday as we found out that Travis Etienne’s foot injury is not only serious, but season-ending. We heard the cries from those that drafted him from coast to coast as Etienne’s draft stock had been rising as we were getting closer to the season. However, those of you who are still drafting, let me re-introduce you to James Robinson because you are going to want to know him. You remember him? The undrafted rookie that ran for 1,070 yards, had 49 catches and ten total touchdowns? Yeah, his draft stock just trampolined into the middle of the second round, or at least that is where I would draft him. I’m not worried about Carlos Hyde at all, and Robinson proved he can run, catch, and block and will be one of the few three-down backs in fantasy football.
Michel On The Move
The Rams have traded for Patriots running back Sony Michel. It isn’t a huge surprise given the surplus of runners the Patriots have, and the Rams needed some veteran depth. On the Los Angeles side this gives Michel more of a chance to succeed than he would have with the Patriots, so he now becomes a double-digit round guy to look at as he has at worst shown some ability to find the end zone, and in the preseason was catching some passes. You Xavier Jones folks are probably good to let him go. On the Patriots side this gives Damien Harris a bit of a boost, although I have felt he has been overdrafted lately. However, this certainly means more touches for him. It now also puts preseason darling Rhamondre Stevenson into the picture as he is likely the second back for New England. He has shown some burst and excitement so far and could carve himself out a role in this offense. My final words are of caution and some humor though on all counts. Remember, it is still Bill Belicheck and he seemingly hates fantasy football.
Let me start by saying there is nothing political about this post, but it is just something to think about. We are starting to see a lot of players placed on the COVID list again, of course highlighted by Bills receiver Cole Beasley but also Cam Newton and Buffalo wide receiver Gabriel Davis. Here is a reminder of the NFL rules for this season. If players are vaccinated and they are a close contact to a positive COVID case, they do not have to quarantine away from their team. I was hoping this wouldn’t come into play this year but get ready for guys to be unavailable for games the night before or the day of if there is a COVID case on a team. I never in a million years thought I would be writing about a player’s vaccination status, but are vaccinated players safer for fantasy football? I know I hated trying to rework my lineups last year when I had a guy out.
Not Taking The Fields In Chicago
Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy said that Justin Fields will start the final preseason game and likely play half of it. This decision also means that Andy Dalton is your Week 1 starter despite hopes we would see the rookie start right out of the gate. Dalton said when he signed with the Bears that they told him that he was their opening week starter, and it appears they have made good on that promise. However, I really feel like Dalton will have a very short leash. Fields hasn’t thrilled throwing the ball in the preseason, although he has shown off his ability to run. I believe that Fields will be under center before Trey Lance is in San Francisco, and those of you who drafted the Bears rookie should see him get his chance within the first few weeks of the year unless Dalton really comes out and lights up the scoreboard.
I know, I know. Kickers. They are starting to get a little love in the fantasy community, and they are a part of our starting lineup, so we have to talk about them sometimes. In Indianapolis, Eddy Pineiro was cut by the Colts meaning the team will stick with Rodrigo Blankenship as their kicker for the 2021 season. Blankenship was the sixth highest scoring kicker last season and with the offense theoretically improving with a better quarterback this season, the opportunities for Blankenship to score points should increase. He is definitely a safe option to take as your kicker. The Bucs have placed their kicker, Ryan Succop, on the COVID-19 list. He has two weeks to get cleared in order to be out there for Week 1 so this news likely doesn’t impact his status going forward but keep your eyes on the news if you are still drafting or have already drafted him.
More Moore And A Warning
Jets rookie Elijah Moore has returned to practice and is set to participate in the team’s final preseason game. I bring this up more to talk about the team, than Moore. I feel like the Jets are being overvalued. There are SO MANY new parts to this offense. It is the coaching staff’s first year in town. There is a rookie quarterback, a rookie running back, and we are super hyping a rookie wide receiver. Even another wide receiver, Corey Davis, is in his first year with the team. Why are we so sure this is all going to click? Plus, it is the Jets, when does anything ever go right? Sure, go run and tell Howard that I wrote this ya tattletales but he would agree, I think. I’m not saying that these guys are being drafted super high, but they are being drafted into starting roster spots on fantasy teams and I caution you to put too much hope into a unit that is put together with so many inexperienced parts.