Holy cow man! Talk about a very interesting week in the National Football League that greatly impacts the Fantasy Football season! We found out the fate of Ezekiel Elliott, saw some surprise trades and welcomed back a mediocre quarterback. Some of these headlines will greatly impact Fantasy Football and others are not that important.
Ezekiel Elliott Suspended for 6 Games
The NFL finally announced that Ezekiel Elliott was going to be suspended. Dez Bryant thought his running back would be there for week 1, but not he won’t be there until week 7. The NFL is finally following through on their stance that they are going to take action against those that are in anyway associated with domestic violence. While no charges were ever brought forth against Elliott, the NFL determined there was enough to suspend him for 6 games.
At 2-3 games, Fantasy Football owners probably wouldn’t have adjusted Zeke on their boards in regards to where to draft him. At 6 games, you have to start thinking that the 2nd round is the earliest you can draft him and feel comfortable with it. If he can match his per game average from last year, he would finish with 1,330 yards, 20 receptions, and 10 touchdowns.
In my league of record, I have the 7th pick, and I might take him at 7 with the thought of knowing his upside is that high. Ezekiel Elliott will be appealing the decision, and I think 2 games will probably be knocked off. If that happens, the 7th pick would be a steal!
Sammy Watkins Traded to the Los Angeles Rams
This was by far and away the biggest surprise this week. The Buffalo Bills traded their “franchise” wide receiver to the Rams. Sammy Watkins has been a disappointment in Buffalo since they traded up to get him. While he is amazing while on the field, he struggles to get onto the field each week. Last season he missed half the season with a foot injury, and he has missed 11 games over his 3 seasons. Even when he was on the field, he was struggling with his injuries. All signs point to him being healthy at this point.
Sean McVay has to be drooling over the fact that he now has Watkins at his disposal this season. When he plays at least 13 games, he averages over 60 receptions for just over 1,000 yards and about 8 touchdowns. If Watkins is truly healthy, I think those numbers are his floor with the upside of 80 receptions for 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns.
This leaves the Bills in an interesting situation. They did trade for Jordan Matthews (more on him below), and signed Anquan Boldin. They drafted Zay Jones in the 2nd round. What this all means for me is that LeSean McCoy is going to have a big year by both running a lot and catching a lot of passes. If I didn’t love David Johnson I would move McCoy to number 2 overall in all drafts and at the running back position.
Jordan Matthews Traded to the Buffalo Bills
While the Bills were busy trading Watkins, they also managed to acquire Jordan Matthews from the Philadelphia Eagles. Matthews was a productive receiver for the Eagles during his tenure. He averaged 75 receptions for 891 yards and 6 touchdowns in his 3 seasons with the team.
I actually like this move a lot for Matthews. He had been the “#1” for the team, but lost that role with the signing of Alshon Jeffrey. There was also a lot of hype around Nelson Agholor playing in the slot, which is where Matthews shined. Matthews will play on the outside while Anquan Boldin will play in the slot for the Bills.
Jay Cutler Signs 1-Year Deal with Miami Dolphins
Ryan Tannehill tore his ACL again and will undergo season ending surgery. While Colin Kaepernick is still without an NFL team this season, Adam Gase made a call to Jay Cutler and convinced him to come out of retirement and be his quarterback this season. While I understand why Gase would like to have Cutler under center, I still don’t like it much.
Cutler’s ceiling isn’t high in my opinion. He has never thrown for more than 28 touchdowns and only has 1 season above 4,000 passing yards. He is also going to take a little time to get back into football shape as he hasn’t done anything since the middle of last season as he was hurt and then benched because he was terrible. The Dolphins are likely in for a long season, especially with potential legal issues for Jarvis Landry.
Andrew Luck Will Likely Avoid PUP List…Status Still Unsure for Week 1
Andrew Luck continues to rehab his shoulder injury, and it’s putting doubt that he will be ready for week 1. Everyone in Indy is saying he will not be put on the PUP list to start the season, but that doesn’t mean he won’t miss games. It just means he won’t have to wait for a specific time to actually start a game for the Colts.
If Luck is not going to start the season, his draft price will plummet and make him a very enticing option to take in the middle of your drafts. It will also cause T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Jack Doyle to all drop some as well, which will add value to all of them.