Roster Cut Day Fantasy Recap
When teams announce their final 53-man roster, it’s a sad day for football fans. On Friday, all 32 NFL teams were required to trim their rosters from 75 to a final 53. Dozens of guys who’ve worked their tail off since they were little kids learn they may never play football again. Rookies, undrafted free agents, veterans and everybody in-between is at risk.
Unless you’re participating in a dynasty league, it’s highly unlikely any of these guys are on your rosters but this list is composed of any cut player who might directly impact or improve the fantasy prospects of a fantasy relevant player.
Although this article covers many of the players cut or placed on injured reserve, it is not a comprehensive list. Instead the intent is to focus on key position battles, rookies worth a look in dynasty leagues and other noteworthy situations.
Arizona Cardinals: RBs Alfonso Smith // Javarris James (IR)
A big vote of confidence for Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams. LaRod Stephens-Howling is the man to own should injury hit either Wells or Williams, which isn’t far-fetched by any means.
Baltimore Ravens: WR Tommy Streeter (IR), RB Anthony Allen
Dynasty owners should shift their attention to WR Tandon Doss. He will be competing with former Houston Texans WR Jacoby Jones for the No. 3 spot. Allen was listed as the No. 2 back behind Ray Rice for most of the preseason. Looks like the Ravens really like rookie backs Bernard Pierce and Bobby Rainey.
Buffalo Bills: WRs Kamar Aiken, Marcus Easley, Derek Hagan, Naaman Roosevelt, Ruvell Martin, RBs Johnny White and Zach Brown
Buffalo had a depth chart full of reserve receivers and finally cleaned house. The guy to watch is dynasty must-own rookie receiver T.J. Graham. Former Georgia Tech running back Tashard Choice lives to see another 53-man roster behind Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller.
Carolina Panthers: WRs Seyi Ajirotutu, Jared Green // RB Tauren Poole
The writing was on the wall for a Carolina receiver once they acquired WR Louis Murphy from Oakland in late July. Turns out it was Ajirotutu. The Panthers only have three backs at the moment and Jonathan Stewart is banged up. Definitely a situation to monitor.
Cincinnati Bengals: RBs Daniel Herron, Jourdan Brooks, James Develin // WR Vidal Hazelton
Dynasty owners should be happy both Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones survived cuts. Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard remain the primary backups at running back.
Cleveland Browns: TEs Dan Gronkowski, Evan Moore // QB Seneca Wallace
Second-year TE Jordan Cameron is already a hot topic amongst dynasty owners, and now he could make a splash in standard leagues. Well, as much a splash that a Cleveland Browns tight end could possibly make. They also retain Colt McCoy as trade bait. Could be a long while before they get a bite.
Dallas Cowboys: WRs Danny Coale, Tim Benford, Saalim Hakim
Kevin Ogletree and rookie Dwayne Harris will both vie for the Cowboys WR3 spot. Keep in mind that Laurent Robinson blew up last season from the same spot on the depth chart.
Detroit Lions: WRs Patrick Edwards, Nate Hughes, Lance Long, Wallace Miles, Maurice Stovall
Great news for dynasty owners of rookie WR Ryan Broyles. He wasn’t in danger of a cut but it clears a path for him to see the field sooner rather than later.
Green Bay Packers: RBs Marc Tyler, Nic Cooper // WRs Dale Moss, Diondre Borel, Curenski Gilleylen, Tori Gurley // QB B.J. Coleman
Undrafted free agent Jarrett Boykin grabs the No. 6 WR spot. He could be a deep sleeper once Donald Driver moves on. Both RBs James Starks and Brandon Saine make final cuts after there some light speculation that both may not. Second-year QB Graham Harrell beats out Coleman for the QB2 spot.
Indianapolis Colts: RBs Deji Karim, Darren Evans // WRs Jabin Sambrano (IR), Jeremy Ross, Kashif Moore
Mewelde Moore and rookie Vick Ballard are the key backups for Donald Brown. Dynasty owners can hang onto T.Y. Hilton even though he’s stuck in the WR5 spot.
Kansas City Chiefs: No notable transactions
Miami Dolphins: WRs B.J. Cunningham, Clyde Gates, Chris Hogan, Jeff Fuller, Roberto Wallace
For those watching “Hard Knocks,” this may have come as a surprise. For guys like Marlon Moore and Rishard Matthews and Brian Hartline, this is great news. Somebody will have to step up for it to matter though.
Minnesota Vikings: QB Sage Rosenfels // RBs Jordan Todman, Lex Hilliard
Congrats are in order to Joe Webb and undrafted free agent McLeod Bethel-Thomson. Both cleared the final cuts deadline to backup Christian Ponder. Minnesota only has RBs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart on the 53-man roster.
New England Patriots: RBs Jeff Demps (IR), Eric Kettani // WRs Deion Branch, Jesse Holley, Kerry Taylor, Jeremy Ebert // QB Brian Hoyer
Demps really could’ve been a game-changer on special teams. Branch is a big surprise after a solid 2011 season. Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater will compete to be the WR3. Second-year QB Ryan Mallett will be the lone backup to Tom Brady. Jabar Gaffney was released earlier in the week.
New York Giants: WRs David Douglas, Dan DePalma, Isaiah Stanback // RB D.J. Ware
Very surprising to see Ware hit the road after he spelled Ahmad Bradshaw many times last season. It was probably impossible for any of the mentioned receivers to beat out rookie Rueben Randle and Ramses Barden for the final receiver slots.
New York Jets: RB Terrance Ganaway // WRs Royce Pollard, Jordan White, Joseph Collins, Eron Riley // QB Matt Simms
The Jets will roll out three backs on Sundays: Shonn Greene, Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight. Considering their commitment to the run, it’s a bit of a surprise to see them let go of a rookie back. Former Alabama signal caller Greg McIlroy will backup Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow.
Oakland Raiders: WRs Derek Carrier, Brandon Carswell, Eddie McGee, Roscoe Parrish, Travionte Session
Even though undrafted rookie Rod Streater is receiving all the buzz, don’t forget about fellow rookie Juron Criner out of Arizona.
Philadelphia Eagles: QB Mike Kafka // WRs Mardy Gilyard, Chad Hall, Marvin McNutt
Rookie QB Nick Foles has locked down the primary backup spot and former Buffalo Bills QB Trent Edwards will be No. 3 on the depth chart. Undrafted rookie Damaris Johnson seizes the WR5 spot.
Pittsburgh Steelers: WRs DuJuan Harris, Tyler Beiler, Toney Clemons, David Gilreath, Marquis Maze, Derrick Williams
Having Mike Wallace back in town just cost a bunch of guys a job. Veteran receiver Jerricho Cotchery makes the final cut which says a lot since he beat out a lot of young guys.
San Diego Chargers: RBs Jacob Hester, Edwin Baker // K Nick Novak
LeRon McClaim beat out Hester while Baker lost to third-year back Curtis Brinkley. Kicker Nate Kaeding earned his job back from Novak after missing the 2011 season.
San Francisco 49ers: QB Josh Johnson
Undrafted free agent Scott Tolzien beat out Johnson, a Jim Harbaugh favorite. It’s only the 49ers’ QB3 job at stake, but that’s a big accomplishment for Tolzien since Johnson played under Harbaugh at the University of San Diego many moons ago.
Seattle Seahawks: WRs Kris Durham, Deon Butler, Jermaine Kearse, Ricardo Lockette // QB Josh Portis
Former Michigan Wolverines star Braylon Edwards is still on the roster but he has a ways to go to grab a starting job. Seattle is rolling the dice with Russell Wilson since he and Matt Flynn are the only quarterbacks on the active roster.
St. Louis Rams: No notable transactions
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RBs Mossis Madu, Robert Hughes, Cody Johnson // WRs Tiquan Underwood, Jordan Shipley, Landon Cox
As the Bucs offensive identity shifts, so will their roster. Tampa was looking for a fullback and found one with Erik Lorig. He’ll clear the hole for Doug Martin and Co. Third-year veteran Sammie Stroughter rounds out the Bucs receiving corps.
Washington Redskins: RB Tim Hightower // QB Jonathan Crompton // TE Chris Cooley // Ks Neil Rackers, Graham Gano
In one of the more surprising moves of the day, Hightower was cut. The hype surrounding RB Alfred Morris may be real. Crompton lost out to rookie QB Kirk Cousins for the QB3 spot. The Redskins parted ways with Cooley, a former fantasy weapon for many years. It’s time for Fred Davis to really shine. Former Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff was brought in to replace both Rackers and Gano.