PRESEASON WEEK 3 NEWS
Heading into the final week of preseason games, the most important news is typically centered around injuries, roster moves, trades and cuts. The 2021 season has followed the same news cycle and unfortunately, this week’s report is injury focused. Without further ado, let’s get to it.
Travis Etienne’s season has ended before it truly ever had a chance to start. The Jacksonville Jaguars rookie first round running back was injured during the team’s Week 2 game against the New Orleans Saints in which he suffered a Lisfranc injury in his left foot that will require surgery. This resulted in him being placed on the injured reserve list, thus, ending his 2021 season before it even began. The hype was constant throughout the offseason and saw Etienne slowly moving up the rankings each week despite the pressure being applied by incumbent James Robinson. With Etienne out for the season, Robinson has secured himself the lead role, unless we see an extremely surprising Carlos Hyde resurgence. Robinson doesn’t immediately rise into the top-10 or even top-15 rankings, but his value doesn’t fall much further than that. Robinson will not have the same production we saw last season simply due to the fact that there is someone else in the backfield that will receive snaps. In 2020, James Robinson received 95.6% of the Jaguars rushing attempts, which is absolutely insane. There is no way he repeats that usage again this year and his value should be adjusted accordingly. I have Robinson as a top-20 running back which puts him somewhere in the late 4th to early 5th round in half ppr redraft leagues. This Jaguars team will still struggle despite the pedigree that comes with Trevor Lawrence and rookie NFL head coach Urban Meyer, so the game script will likely not be in Robinson’s favor.
Los Angeles Rams’ running back Darrell Henderson is dealing with a sprained thumb that shouldn’t have any impact on his ability to take the field for Week 1. The biggest news in the Rams backfield, however, is the team’s acquisition of New England Patriots former first round pick Sony Michel, who was acquired via trade Wednesday for a 2022 6th round pick. This news tells me that the Rams don’t have worries necessarily about the expected production of Darrell Henderson, but rather that they don’t like the options they have behind him. 7th round rookie Jake Funk and 2nd year undrafted free agent Xavier Jones don’t provide quite the confidence for a team that was expecting to rely on their run game more in 2021. Obviously, the Cam Akers injury threw a wrench in that plan, but the trade for Sony Michel tells me he can come in and provide solid production when Henderson is off the field. I have yet to adjust my rankings post trade, but I can't envision Henderson falling more than a few spots or moving Michel up significantly. If I were a Darrell Henderson believer, I would still feel confident selecting him where he has been previously going in drafts.
There you have it; that’s the injury and roster news for Preseason Week 3. The most important time to be aware of news stories and roster moves is now, ladies and gentlemen. Teams will be cutting their rosters down to 53-man squads. After that, there will be players who had been released that will be acquired and added as depth pieces, so pay attention to where players sign and most importantly who is no longer on a team. Every year you will have a player that is surprisingly cut out of nowhere and that manager in your league doesn’t realize it until it’s too late while another manager makes a waiver wire addition that could’ve benefited you. Stay vigilant, stay alert and as always, stay dreamin’!