In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter, we stock watch the Rams and Patriots backfields, wring our hands over D’Andre Swift, and update our Jaguars projections. It's 8/25. Take it away, Peter Overzet…
Oh baby, now we’re cooking.
Earlier this morning the Patriots traded RB Sony Michel to the Rams in exchange for two late-round conditional draft picks. Here’s the fallout for fantasy…
📉 Darrell Henderson: This obviously isn’t great for Henderson—Michel is a capable back—but it’s probably not as bad as you might think. I don’t think the Rams were lying when they said they weren’t planning on bringing in another body after the Cam Akers injury, but their hand was forced with Henderson’s recent thumb injury and their 4th RB Raymond Calais undergoing season-ending surgery over the weekend. This trade signals roster depth, not a lack of trust in Henderson. I’ll buy the dip if Hendo now slips into the 6th round.
📈 Sony Michel: On the flip side, this is a slight upgrade for Michel who leaves a crowded Patriots backfield for a more defined complementary role behind Henderson. Whether the Patriots were showcasing him or not, Michel had a great camp and preseason and should carve out a role right out of the gate. The big question is who is catching passes in this offense, but Michel is now a great late round flier.
📈 Damien Harris: I don’t think Harris’ value changes much—he was already being drafted as the lead back—but Sony’s departure does eliminate some of the touch competition. The issue is rookie Rhamondre Stevenson has looked good enough in preseason to warrant whatever touches Michel vacated. I think you can draft Harris with slightly more confidence than before, but I wouldn’t go crazy.
📈 Rhamondre Stevenson: Always tough to envision Bill Belichick fully trusting a rookie RB when the chips are on the table, but Stevenson might have left them no choice with his solid play in the preseason. I’d start mixing in Stevenson as a late round RB dart.
📉 Xavier Jones & Jake Funk: These two were only interesting in context of the lack of depth in LA, but they are now undraftable.
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🚑 THE INJURY WARD
* We continue to receive mixed messages about Lions RB D’Andre Swift. We knew he was battling the groin injury, but we also heard he had resumed practicing in full. Coach Dan Campbell says not so fast: “Swift concerns me a little bit just with getting his wind back and being able to take a blow and how much can he (play), where he’s at...We don’t know if he’ll be there. We don’t know, even if he is, how much we’re going to get out of him. And until we get him out to practice on a consistent basis, we won’t know that. So that’s just really the truth of it. That’s where we’re at.” I don’t like the sound of that at all.
* Broncos TE Noah Fant is dealing with a “leg issue” but coach Vic Fangio doesn’t believe it’s serious.
* Bills WR Isaiah McKenzie, who I apparently mushed by hyping the other day, suffered a shoulder injury during yesterday’s practice and will have an MRI to determine the severity. Isaiah Hodgins, who is also banged up with a knee injury, is the other name to know if McKenzie misses time.
* Will Fuller has finally returned to practice and was seen running some routes yesterday. This is the step in the right direction we’ve been looking for.
📊 STAT OF THE DAY
Travis Etienne is officially out for the year after the team placed him on injured reserve. Here’s Mike Clay’s updated projections for the Jaguars running backs:
Matthew has moved James Robinson up to RB14 and Carlos Hyde up to RB37. You can see his full updated set of rankings on ESPN.
📰 FANTASY NEWS FOR THE TRUE SICKOS
* Atlanta released undrafted free agent Javian Hawkins yesterday, strengthening the talking points in the Mike Davis truther community. I’ve been extremely skeptical of Davis’ ADP all season (and still am), but it’s extremely thin behind him right now. If they weren’t in the same division, a trade for Latavius Murray would make some sense.
* Nick Kosmider on Broncos 2nd year WR Jerry Jeudy: “Jeudy will be the Broncos’ No. 1 receiver by virtue of Courtland Sutton’s timeline for return to full strength, and I’m not sure that wouldn’t be the case if Sutton wasn’t dealing with the rehab. That’s how dynamic Jeudy has been during his second NFL training camp.”
* I think this is supposed to be a pro Josh Jacobs blurb from Vic Tafur, but losing pass work and red zone work is not ideal for fantasy: “I think people have gotten a little crazy with the Kenyan Drake talk. Jacobs will still get the majority of touches, and he looks tougher & faster this camp, if possible. Drake will be moved around on 3rd downs and in the red zone, & Jalen Richard will be a distant third in terms of usage.”
* The Panthers signed WR Robby Anderson to a 2-year, $29.5 million extension with $20.5 million guaranteed. Nice.
🐦 TWEET OF THE DAY
- Pete Overzet