ESPN Fantasy Rankings: Adjustments After Saturday’s Cuts

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Matt Jones changed teams quickly over the weekend.

After cutdown day in the NFL, depth charts look slightly different across the league. While most of the changes won’t affect the fantasy football world, it’s important to know the depth of some teams. Having an idea for a team’s depth chart can give you an advantage during the season on the waiver wire. And if you haven’t drafted yet, ESPN’s rankings could be outdated and misleading.

ESPN keeps their rankings updated, but it usually takes a bit to make adjustments. The most drastic change of the offseason was Kareem Hunt, who rocketed from obscurity to the number 38 overall player thanks to injuries. The changes made this weekend mostly affect deeper leagues, but these are the moves that can have a big impact in the later months of the season.

Here’s a handful of names that made headlines on Saturday, and what their current job status means for those in the fantasy realm:

Jonathan Williams

The Bills cut backup running back Jonathan Williams, who was listed at 205 in ESPN’s rankings. Williams was slated to be the primary backup behind LeSean McCoy, but it appears the job now belongs to Mike Tolbert. It’s not a bad idea to give Tolbert a look in deeper leagues, as the Bills led the league in rushing attempts last season.

Matt Jones

It’s been a whirlwind weekend for Matt Jones, who was one of the first players to change teams following roster cuts. He was released from Washington, but his time in free agency was short-lived when the Colts came calling. Jones is in the mix in Indy, where veteran Frank Gore holds all the cards. Gore and Turbin will do the majority of the work, but the addition of Jones could delay the arrival of fourth-round pick Marlon Mack.

Bobby Rainey and Lorenzo Taliaferro

The Ravens cut two running backs on Saturday, solidifying the positions of Danny Woodhead and Terrance West. Kenneth Dixon was supposed to factor before his season was ended by injury, but the moves now bump up Javorius Allen to the third spot. With Woodhead’s injury history, Allen has seen work in the past and is worth keeping an eye on.

Phillip Dorsett

The Patriots traded Jacoby Brissett for Dorsett on Saturday, giving both teams depth at the respective positions. Dorsett is a big-play receiver who hasn’t seen a full workload in his first two pro seasons, but his speed will get him on the field sooner rather than later in New England.

Austin Carr

After the Dorsett deal, the Patriots parted ways with preseason notable Austin Carr. The former Northwestern product has signed with the Saints, a very intriguing prospect considering Willie Snead’s three-game suspension. If Carr can quickly adjust in New Orleans, he could climb the depth chart as a slot receiver.

Chris Johnson

Handcuffing is an old-school practice, but there isn’t a more valuable player to handcuff than David Johnson. Cardinals showed Johnson the door, giving sole backup responsibilities to Kerwynn Williams. He won’t get drafted in a 12-team format, but is worth keeping an eye on should anything happen to DJ.