Is your fantasy football league waiting until the last minute to hold its draft? If so, you might want to rearrange those draft boards.
NFL rosters have seen a flurry of activity over the past few days as teams whittled their rosters down to 53 players ahead of Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET. That activity yielded a few surprise moves, from the Minnesota Vikings trading for quarterback Sam Bradford to running back Justin Forsett getting the surprising axe in Baltimore.
Players on the fringes of 53-man rosters usually don’t make much of a fantasy impact, but there are several notable cuts and transactions this year that certainly are worth noting for fantasy owners, especially those in deeper leagues. Even if those players don’t contribute much, their departure or arrival could affect several other fantasy contributors.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few players whose stock has risen and/or fallen as a result of the latest moves.
Terrance West, Running Back, Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens’ backfield still is crowded without Forsett, but it looks like West is the new leader of the pack. There’s a good chance he receives a heavier workload than Kenneth Dixon and Javorious Allen, and even if the Ravens bring Forsett back, which is a possibility, West’s status as a goal-line back could make him a nice value add in the later rounds of deeper leagues.
Devontae Booker, Running Back, Denver Broncos: The Broncos’ decision to cut Ronnie Hillman proves they really like what they see in Booker, their 2016 fourth-round pick out of Utah. C.J. Anderson still is the man in Denver’s backfield, but if you’re looking for a late-round flier to take in your keeper league, Booker now is an intriguing option.
Stefon Diggs, Wide Receiver, Minnesota Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater’s injury was a huge blow to Minnesota’s passing game, but in going out and getting Bradford, who attempted 532 passes last season, the Vikings are showing they’ll have at least some commitment to throwing the ball. This is more of a stock leveling for Diggs, who now can be pegged at roughly the same value he had when Bridgewater was his QB.
Cecil Shorts, Wide Receiver, Free Agent: Shorts was an intriguing option in PPR leagues as a slot man behind DeAndre Hopkins and Jaelen Strong in Houston. But the Texans killed his fantasy value by cutting him this weekend, leaving the 28-year-old without an NFL team as Week 1 rapidly approaches. Time to look elsewhere.
Jordan Matthews, Wide Receiver, Philadelphia Eagles: Bradford didn’t exactly light it up last season, but he did help Matthews come three yards short of an 1,000-yard season while scoring eight touchdowns. Now that his QB is in Minnesota, Matthews must hope rookie Carson Wentz or career backup Chase Daniel can feed him on a consistent basis. We don’t like the sound of that.
Broncos wide receivers: See above. We’re not saying Mark Sanchez would have helped Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders return to fantasy superstardom, but he was the only experienced quarterback on Denver’s roster, and his reported departure means Thomas and Sanders owners will have to put their trust in Trevor Siemian. Not ideal.
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