The NFL 53 man roster cuts always affect fantasy football teams. The late rounds of your fantasy draft have been thrown in chaos. However, the NFL 53 roster cuts also make plenty of waiver wire opportunities. Understanding the fantasy impact of roster cuts can help you gain an early edge in your league early on. Getting an early jump on your league can be the difference between contending and being a cellar-dweller come the end of the season.
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NFL 53 Man Roster Cuts: Biggest Fantasy Football Impacts
Rashad Penny to the PUP
The Seahawks feature a run-heavy offense and for a brief stretch featured Penny and Chris Carson as a dynamic duo in the backfield. Penny was just beginning to flash his first-round potential before suffering an ACL tear. He officially was placed on the PUP list and the door has now been opened for rookie DeeJay Dallas to seize the opportunity.
Dallas has been the rage of camp in Seattle and has the skills to immediately contribute. There will be plenty of work in Seattle and Dallas is in line for a decent share of it. He is most likely chilling on waivers in your league and you should go scoop him up if you have space or are in a dynasty league.
Leonard Fournette Signs in Tampa
For the past two years, it has been very clear that Jacksonville had no interest in Leonard Fournette being on their team. That led to him being a causality of the NFL 53 roster cuts.
It’s opened up new opportunities in the Jacksonville backfield. Chris Thompson is the clear winner in all formats, but especially in PPR. Last year in the Gruden system, Thompson had 58 targets while playing behind Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice. Thompson has the trust of his offensive coach and a skill set that will benefit from a Jags team having to throw the ball often. Either draft Thompson in the mid-round or go get him off of waivers if he is still there for some reason. Also of note is that rookie James Robinson has been named the starter and will factor into the offensive gameplan as well. Robinson is also worth a mid-round pick or waiver add.
Landing in Tampa could be a huge benefit for Fournette as the Bucs figure to be a better offense than the Jaguars. Whichever running back can get the trust of Tom Brady in Tampa will be on the field often. Based on recent social media posts, Brady and Fournette seem to be getting along nicely. This means Fournette may start off the year as the trusted back and face soft defensive fronts all year.
Cordarelle Patterson RB2 in Chicago
After roster cutdowns, Chicago now only has four running backs on their roster. Cordarelle Patterson will be the early season beneficiary if David Montgomery misses any time. He has officially been designated as a running back on their official roster.
If Montgomery misses early-season games with his groin injury, then Patterson will factor heavily into the Bears’ plans. Anytime you can put a running back in at a wide receiver slot, you have an opportunity to capitalize big time. While in New England, Patterson saw time as a running back and averaged nearly 5 yards per carry. The fantasy impact of roster cuts can be felt far and wide, and nowhere more than Chicago. If you have Montgomery go get Patterson as insurance.
Adrian Peterson to Detroit
Well, anyone who thought that the Lions backfield would have clarity despite the arrival of D’Andre Swift and the recovery of Kerryon Johnson had that dashed with the signing of Adrian Peterson. Matt Patricia has made it clear he wants to have a running back by committee approach and now he has the backs to make it happen. For the early part of the season, the Lions’ backfield will be a mess and you should avoid heavily investing in it. Maybe there will be some clarity down the road, but for now, avoid all Lions’ running backs.
Sony Michel’s Value Survives
The fantasy impact of roster cuts can also be felt in unlikely ways. In New England, Lamar Miller was a late arrival to camp and Damien Harris was being hyped as the heir-apparent in the backfield. Sony Michel proved to have enough of Belichek’s trust in New England to hold onto the starting job. Miller got cut and Harris landed on injured reserve to start the season. Last year Michel got 250 touches which is enough for fantasy relevance.
Michel will have value again and may even improve with the arrival of a more mobile Cam Newton. Assuming Harris does not make a massive recovery, Michel will have starting fantasy running back value.
Mike Davis the Handcuff in Carolina
With the release of Reggie Bonnafon in Carolina, there is a new handcuff to go get for those rostering Christian McCaffrey. Mike Davis had some fantasy relevance during his 2018 season in Seattle. He averaged 5.0 yards-per-touch over 15 games and also found the endzone five times.
If you drafted McCaffrey, go get Mike Davis as an insurance policy. He has the talent and ability to benefit greatly from any extended action. Who knows, he may even have some value in the new-look Carolina offense under Joe Brady and Teddy Bridgewater?
Jalen Richard Keeps Some Value
At the start of camp, everyone thought that Lynn Bowden’s arrival in Las Vegas spelled the end for Jalen Richard’s fantasy value. Flash forward to roster cut-down day and Richard is left standing as the third-down back.
Bowden is now in Miami, will have limited value this year on the Dolphins, and things do not look great for his NFL career. Richard on the other hand is most likely in line for another 100+ touch season. He may not have starting running back value, but he will have flex value in deeper leagues. Richard is most likely on waivers in your league, but he is definitely worth consideration in deep leagues.
Aaron Rodgers gets Receiving Depth
After all of the criticism during the offseason about not getting Aaron Rodgers any help at receiver, the Packers went out and got him help. Kind of… Robert Foster had a productive 2018 as a rookie in Buffalo. From Week 10 to 17 that year, he was WR18 and one of Josh Allen’s favorite targets. His prolific deep route ability and explosiveness added a much-needed element to the Bills’ offense. 2019 did not hold much of the same for Foster and resulted in him being cut this year.
However, he was not unemployed for long as he landed on the Packers’ practice squad. With almost anemic depth at receiver, there is a path to Foster making the gameday roster by season end. Before Foster’s breakout 2018, he spent the start of the year on the practice squad. By the end of the year, he was a prolific fantasy option. If he can get on the field and earn Aaron Rodgers’ trust he could blow up in the second half. Pay attention to the Packers’ game-day active roster and if he starts showing up, consider adding him to your roster.