Lions quarterback Matt Stafford had a down day with 221 yards, a touchdown and an interception. You wonder if the absence of Calvin Johnson, Joique Bell, and Reggie Bush towards the end of the game is having an impact.
Bills running back C.J. Spiller continues to disappoint with seven yards on nine carries and 25 yards receiving on three catches.
One person taking advantage of Calvin Johnson’s absence is Golden Tate who racked up 134 yards on seven catches and a touchdown. Tate is a low-end WR2 as long as he’s in Detroit.
Bills rookie receiver Sammy Watkins had his best day with 87 yards on seven catches and led the team with 12 targets. He could develop into at least a WR2 his year with the potential for more.
Lions running back Joique Bell is nursing a knee injury but there are no indications it’s significant. He remains on track to split carries with Reggie Bush and could possibly be the long-term solution.
Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon shouldn’t be counted on for 2014. Blackmon was a highly rated receiver in dynasty drafts just two years ago but his behavior keeps getting in the way. Still might be a decent buy-low candidate if you have a taxi squad.
Confirming what was widely expected, the Lions intend to use running back Joique Bell more this season, as opposed to Reggie Bush. Bell is, arguably, the better runner while Bush offers more in the passing game. Both of their dynasty values will be limited unless the other gets injured and shouldn’t be projected as anything more than RB3.
The Texans signed quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. This indicates two things: 1) the Texans are likely taking a quarterback with the first overall pick (as opposed to signing a better, win-now option like Mike Vick) and 2) Fitzpatrick should see some playing time early on in the season. If you end up with the Texans quarterback of the future, be sure to snap Fitzpatrick in your dynasty leagues. It also means the end of the Matt Schaub-era in Houston.
In other backup quarterback news, Jason Campbell signed with the Bengals to back up Andy Dalton. There were calls at the end of last season for the Bengals to do something about Dalton and signing Campbell won’t change that. Campbell is one of the better back ups in the league and is surrounded by talent in Cincinnati. It’s a serious question if Dalton is their long-term plan at quarterback or not.
The Panthers recently signed Jerricho Cotchery to be their top receiving option. You have to assume the Panthers have a plan at receiver after missing on every option before Cotchery while cutting veteran Steve Smith. Luckily, there are a ton of receivers in this years draft.
Lions running back Joique Bell claims there’s interest on both sides for a long-term deal. Bell came on strong in place of an injured Reggie Bush throughout the season with over 50 catches and over 1,000 yards from scrimmage. A deal would be good news for Bell but would significantly hinder Reggie Bush’s dynasty value going forward.
New Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay loves his new tight end Jordan Reed. This will only enhance Reed’s value heading in to 2014. As a sufferer of a severe concussion last year, Reed’s health needs to be monitored especially playing such a busy position.
A crowded backfield in Philadelphia could mean someone is on the way out, according to a Philadelphia blog. Additionally, with both Chris Polk and Bryce Brown being on the roster before Chip Kelly’s tenure started, the same blog suggests he could find one better suited to his offense in the draft or free agency. Stay tuned as this looks like it might be a fluid situation.
Ravens running back Bernard Pierce had rotator cuff surgery and will miss the next 4-5 months. The recovery will impede his ability to get acclimated to new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak’s system. Pierce was one of the bigger disappointments after averaging 2.9 YPC last year after a terrific rookie season. If the Texans offense is any indicator, Pierce would play the Ben Tate role to Ray Rice’s Arian Foster – if he can stay healthy.