Fantasy Football News 2017

Rams HC Sean McVay expects RB Lance Dunbar (knee) to begin the season on the PUP list. That'd cost him the first 6 games. Dunbar has been sidelined all August with a knee injury and is well off the fantasy radar. His absence is good news for RB Todd Gurley's pass-catching role.

Rams RB Lance Dunbar is "out indefinitely" with a knee injury, according to ESPN's Alden Gonzalez. We don't have any other details at this point. Dunbar has a history of knee trouble, tearing his left ACL and patellar tendon back in 2015 and missing 3 games with a knee injury last year. Los Angeles was looking for Dunbar to contribute to the passing game this season. An extended absence would boost RB Todd Gurley's target projection.

43 catches for 327 yards helped salvage Rams RB Todd Gurley's 2016 season. Only 14 RBs caught more passes. But ESPN's Alden Gonzalez expects Gurley's pass-catching production to dip under new HC Sean McVay. Gonzalez believes McVay will use free-agent acquisition Lance Dunbar similarly to how he used Chris Thompson in Washington. Thompson caught 84 passes over the past 2 years, while Robert Kelley, Matt Jones and Alfred Morris combined for just 49. Gurley, of course, is a much better receiver than that trio. His 6.13 yards per target ranks 24th among 50 RBs who saw 50+ looks over the past 2 seasons. If Gurley's passing-game volume declines in 2017, we wouldn't expect it to decline by much. He remains the best offensive weapon on the Rams roster.

The Rams have signed RB Lance Dunbar to a 1-year deal. He'll slide in to the old Benny Cunningham pass-catching role. Cunningham totaled just 42 grabs in the 2 years since RB Todd Gurley arrived. Dunbar is probably a more explosive player -- he's averaging 9.5 yards per catch for his career -- but is unlikely to emerge as a reliable fantasy option. His arrival does figure to put a cap on RB Todd Gurley's pass-catching upside.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott isn't expected to play more than 1-2 series in Sunday's finale against the Eagles, according to ESPN's Sal Paolantonio. It's a smart move for a team with nothing to gain. Elliott only figures to see a handful of carries, making him a weak fantasy play. It's unclear exactly how the backfield touches will be divvied between Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris and Lance Dunbar after Elliott exits.

Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar (knee) has been activated from the PUP list and cleared to practice. He was already getting some 1st-team reps on Monday, per insider Mike Leslie. Dunbar is about 10 months removed from tearing his ACL, MCL and patella tendon. That's a brutal injury that could certainly sap his explosiveness, so we'll be keeping a close eye on reports on Dunbar over the next few weeks. If he regains pre-injury form, though, he could be a factor in PPR leagues. Dunbar hauled in 21 balls in his 3 full games last season.

The Cowboys expect RB Lance Dunbar to be ready for Week 1, according to ESPN's Dan Graziano. Dunbar went down with a torn ACL and patellar tendon last October -- an extremely difficult injury to return from. He remains on the PUP list for now but has reportedly had a good rehab process. Graziano believes that Dunbar "will be the pass-catching RB" this year. We'll see. Dunbar needs to prove that he's healthy and a better pass-catching option than Ezekiel Elliott and Darren McFadden.

The Cowboys haven't "totally ruled out" RB Lance Dunbar (knee) participating in training camp, according to VP Stephen Jones. “[But] we’re going to be careful,” Jones added. “It’s a long year for him, and we want to do things the right way with him. But gosh, I commend him. He’s worked so hard and come so far, so fast – a lot faster than anyone dreamed he could come." Dunbar is attempting to return from a torn ACL and patellar tendon. He remains a candidate to open the season on the PUP list, despite Jones' rosy outlook. Dunbar still isn't on the redraft radar, but if healthy, he could put a dent in RB Ezekiel Elliott's receiving numbers.

Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar might not be ready for the start of the 2016 season after tearing his ACL, MCL and patella tendon last October.  He just recently resumed jogging and has no timetable for a return to full activity.  "I feel fine," he said. "Just taking it slow and doing whatever they tell me to do, not trying to do too much."  Dunbar hauled in 21 passes in his 3 full games last year and will be an intriguing PPR option if he gets healthy.

Adam Schefter reports that former Washington RB Alfred Morris will sign a 2-year deal with the Cowboys. After a terrific rookie season in both real and fantasy terms, Morris saw his rushing attempts, yards, TDs and yards per carry fall each of the past 3 years. That slipped to 3.7 yards per rush in 2015, when Morris couldn't keep the primary backfield job away from rookie Matt Jones (but also never totally lost it). We wouldn't be surprised to see Dallas also add a mid-round RB in the upcoming NFL Draft, likely a more dynamic player than Morris. But the veteran will give them a steady presence behind 1 of the league's best offensive lines. Short of that, Morris will need to fend off and/or share the job with Darren McFadden, while Lance Dunbar remains a passing-game factor. The crowd might challenge Morris' volume and keep him in RB3 range for fantasy football, even if he leads the backfield in touches.

The Cowboys re-signed RB Lance Dunbar to a 1-year deal worth $1.75 million. Dynamic and shifty – especially in the receiving game – Dunbar’s 2015 was disrupted by a torn ACL and a torn patellar tendon. Both injuries occurred in mid-October. He certainly isn’t a lock to play Week 1, and he’s not a viable flier for early fantasy drafters.

The Cowboys "fear" RB Lance Dunbar tore his ACL and MCL in Sunday night's loss to the Saints, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.  Dunbar will undergo an MRI on Monday to confirm the diagnosis.  It'd knock him out for the rest of the season and cost the Cowboys a key part of their passing game.  Dunbar tallied 24 targets in Dallas' first 3 games.  RBs Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden will likely split passing-down work in Dunbar's place.

Update: Monday's MRI confirmed a torn ACL and MCL for Dunbar.  He's done for the year.

Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar injured his left knee in the  3rd quarter of Sunday night's game against the Saints.  It was a non-contact injury, and Dunbar hardly put any weight on the leg as he was helped off the field.  We'll pass along an update when we get one.

Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will undergo foot surgery on Tuesday, according to ESPN's Todd Archer.  He'll have a screw inserted to repair a break in his 5th metatarsal.  That's the long bone of the pinkie toe.  Dallas is pegging Bryant's rehab timeline at 4-6 weeks, but that might be optimistic.  Dr. David Chao, a former NFL head team physician, believes that a "more realistic estimate might be 6-8 weeks."  Bryant owners shouldn't be counting on Bryant before the Cowboys come out of their Week 6 bye.  Terrance Williams will step in as Dallas' #1 WR while Bryant is out, making him a weekly WR3 with upside.  Cole Beasley, Jason Witten and Lance Dunbar should also see targets boosts.

Yahoo's Charles Robinson is the latest to suggest that the Cowboys backfield will be a committee this season.  "It's not a bluff," Robinson writes. "As it stands right now, this will be a committee in the purest NFL form. The Cowboys are adamant that their elite offensive line can be the glue that elevates a collection of parts into a greater whole."  RB Joseph Randle started Dallas' 3rd preseason game and was the primary back for the first 2 series.  But RB Darren McFadden entered later with the 1st-team offense.  He ended up with 4 carries for 37 yards, while Randle mustered just 16 yards on 5 totes.  Robinson adds later in his article that the Cowboys "believe McFadden is the best of the bunch."  It's certainly possible that he ends up leading this backfield in fantasy points.  But none of these guys are likely to emerge as a workhorse.  "But when it's all in the books at the end of the year, the ideal split will likely feature a sliding scale of rushing production where Man 1 gets in the neighborhood of 850 yards, Man 2 gets 650 and Man 3 gets 350," Robinson adds.

Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar was out of the boot Thursday that he'd had on his sprained ankle, according to Rob Phillips of the team website. Dunbar said he "just rolled it a little bit" and that he's "day to day." Sounds like a minor issue that should resolve soon and not impact Dunbar's pursuit of more touches in 2015.

Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar left Wednesday's practice after hurting his right ankle, but don't worry too much. According to ESPN Dallas, team V.P. Stephen Jones said the injury doesn't appear serious. “I think that was an awkward tackle or hit that was made on him and I think it just tweaked something,” Jones said. “But we don’t think it’s serious at this point.” Dunbar has reportedly started camp well as he faces a nice opportunity to help fill the void left by DeMarco Murray's departure.

The Cowboys had 8 picks in the 2015 NFL Draft and didn't use any of them on a RB.  Owner Jerry Jones suggested that the signing of Darren McFadden made the team comfortable passing on RBs.  “It might have been a little different story had we not had McFadden on our roster in this draft," Jones said.  HC Jason Garrett added that the Cowboys "feel good" about their current RB depth chart, which also includes Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar and Ryan Williams.  But Garrett added that, "the issue is never resolved.  We’re always trying to create competition. Competition with those four guys themselves but also competition where we can get running backs from other places."  McFadden is penciled in atop the depth chart, but he could lose that spot to Randle or someone not currently on Dallas' roster.

The Cowboys have placed just an original-round tender on restricted free-agent RB Lance Dunbar. Because he originally signed as an undrafted free agent, the team would get no compensation if Dunbar signs elsewhere. Dallas will have the option of matching any offer he gets, though. The low tender might signal that the coaching staff no longer likes him as much as it seemed to last offseason, when there was buzz about manufacturing touches for Dunbar, but he only wound up carrying 29 times and catching 18 passes for the year. Dunbar carried some sleeper appeal into 2014 drafts but looks a lot less interesting for 2015.

Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray "is going to play today" against the Colts, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.  It's been trending in that direction all week, but this is the most definitive report we've seen.  Rapoport points out that Murray took the 1st-team in Saturday's walkthrough -- a sure sign that he's on track to play.  Rapoport adds that Murray will play with a pad on his injured hand, and that Dallas is "nervous" about how he'll hold up in pass protection.  We'll likely see Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle in passing situations, which hurts Murray's PPR value.  But we'd still bet on 15+ touches against Indy's 25th-ranked RB defense.

 
 
 

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