The Preseason is over!!! Hip hip hooray!!! The next NFL football game we watch will actually count; that rules. It's a joyous time for all fans, as we anxiously await the start of another potential (fantasy) championship season. Having said that, it's not a celebratory time for everyone as NFL team's have until 4 p.m. EDT to cut their rosters from (a max of) 75 players down to the final 53 men who'll comprise their roster; which obviously means a lot of people will be out of jobs, but also means the potential for new opportunities. In fact, we've already seen some moderately recognizable fantasy names enter the unemployment line - including the end of Donald Butler's historic tenure in San Diego, as well as the trio of Bishop Sankey, Justin Hunter, and Dexter McCluster, who are among the group of now former Tennessee Titans (not to mention the Bills cutting projected starting linebacker Manny Lawson). Perhaps the biggest name who's been at least rumored as a potential cut is Colin Kaepernick, but I have a hard time believing that'll happen. More than likely, names like the ones listed above will be among the most recognizable (in terms of impact) that you'll see cut by tomorrow's deadline; but it's certainly worth keeping an eye on the NFL transactions wire over the next few days, as some of these potential cuts could end up in a better situation than before, and maybe even have a fantasy impact this season, especially in deeper leagues.
- If I were a betting man, I'd place all the shekels in my pocket that Jamaal Charles will not play in Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season. Granted, I don't think I'd be able to get good enough odds to make it worthwhile, as even Andy Reid acknowledged to ESPN that Charles will need "a little bit of time to keep working himself back." Ian Rapoport also chimed in with the news that Spencer Ware will "likely" be the Chiefs' starter at RB when they open the season against the Chargers and that Charcandrick West (if healthy) will be involved as well. Obviously, this is a kick in the junk for anyone who's already drafted Charles, but there's nothing you can do other than ride it out, at least for now; and clearly Ware should be owned in all leagues, with West becoming a potential pickup as well, depending on the size of your league. As for those of you drafting this weekend, I think you have to knock Charles down your board at least a round or two, as this is just another added layer of risk, especially considering the success Ware and West had when Charles missed season.
- Let's go from some running back pessimism to some optimism; let's flip this blog post upside down. Carlos Hyde passed the NFL's concussion protocol earlier this week, and looks to be on track to start the season. Hyde is one of this season's most prominent boom-or-bust plays, as he's extremely talented and will be playing in a Chip Kelly system that's sure to give him all the touches he can handle. The big question is: how many touches can he handle before he gets hurt again? However, despite the obvious injury risk, I'm still bullish on Hyde, and based on where he's going in drafts he's worth the risk for the potential reward, especially considering he should be out on the field Week 1.
- The Patriots have apparently worked out former Titans running back David Cobb. Cobb, who was Tennessee's 2015 fifth-round pick, was the victim of a crowded backfield after the team traded for DeMarco Murray and then drafted Derrick Henry in the second round, leaving Cobb perhaps unfairly on the wire. To be honest, I haven't seen enough of Cobb to know if he has the talent to succeed in the NFL, but I'll certainly pay attention if Hoodie brings him in to that currently Dion Lewis-less backfield. Let's not forget, Belichick is the guy who made Jonas Gray a fantasy star (for a week at least), so anyone he brings in at that position (assuming he does) is worth keeping an eye on, particularly with meaningful playing time for said RB being a legitimate possibility.