The first postmortem for the career of Tom Brady was written by many sports analysts on the evening of September 29, 2014 after he completed 14-of-23 passes for 159 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions when the Patriots were destroyed 41-14 in a Monday night game at Kansas City. Those who predicted his demise quickly learned that betting against this legend proved to be a lesson in futility, and after the next five games were in the books, all Patriots victories, he had thrown 18 touchdown passes without an interception, and on February 1, he was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
We’ll start out with some potentially interesting news for LeSean McCoy owners. The Bills released Jonathan Williams, who was expected to serve as McCoy’s primary backup, and was considered by many to have stand-alone value just like Mike Gillislee had last year. With Mike Tolbert looking like the most reliable backup unless the team adds someone via waivers, it’s hard to imagine that McCoy will be pulled from games aside from an occasional breather. Tolbert hasn’t been a useful fantasy option in many years, and one of the things that lowered McCoy’s value a bit was when he was spelled by Gillislee last year. Not only did McCoy have the most efficient year of his career as a runner last year, he’s also averaged roughly 50 catches over his career, so he could see a massive workload.
• Seemingly out of nowhere, the NFL suspended Willie Snead for the first three games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. This news could impact Drew Brees, as the Saints don’t appear to have a replacement to play in the slot with anywhere near the level of ability that Snead has shown, but Brees should continue to function as an elite fantasy performer. The top three WRs on the depth chart are Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn and Brandon Coleman, but none profiles well as an option in the slot. The team could lean a bit more on TE Coby Fleener and RB Alvin Kamara to help keep the passing game moving, but it’s possible that the absence of Snead could make the Saints offense a bit easier for opponents to defend.
Although he’s yet to have official results from an MRI, multiple reports have indicated that Cameron Meredith likely tore his ACL, and possibly his MCL as well, in Sunday’s matchup against the Titans. This is potentially a huge blow to Chicago’s passing attack, as he was slated to be the team’s top receiving option. The most likely player to take over his spot is Markus Wheaton, but that’s if he’s able to return from his finger injury. During Sunday’s game, Deonte Thompson filled in as an outside receiver. Should Wheaton seize the role, he could have value as a WR4/5. In addition, this injury potentially takes away some of the small upside that Mike Glennon or Mitch Trubisky have.
There’s potentially big injury news tonight, as Spencer Ware was carted off the field with an injury to his right knee. Before it happened, he was seeing more snaps than Kareem Hunt, though both rotated in with the first-team offense. Until the severity of the injury is determined, Ware’s ADP of 64 will likely drop in this weekend’s drafts while Hunt’s ADP should rise from 92. Should Ware miss any regular season action, Hunt could have a chance to seize the role as the Chiefs lead back. However, it’s unwise to be hasty until we receive more information.