Editor’s final update, 9/7 1:00 p.m.: Welp, this went haywire in a hurry. The Oakland Raiders announced on Saturday that they have released wide receiver Antonio Brown. The star pass catcher had requested his release after the team fined him for conduct detrimental to the team and then removed the financial guarantees attached to his contract. Brown is expected to file a grievance regarding the guaranteed money.
Fantasy implications: Well, if you drafted Antonio Brown, he officially holds zero value heading into Week 1. Odds are good someone signs him sooner rather than later, so you should not trade him yet for pennies on the dollar. Given how high you likely drafted him, wait and see what happens in the next week or two. Tyrell Williams gains considerable value as the Raiders new No. 1 wide receiver.
Betting implications: The Raiders were a one-point underdog to the Broncos earlier this morning, but that line has changed to 2.5 points. The Raiders Super Bowl odds are currently +10000, and probably won’t change much anytime soon.
Editor’s second update, 9/7 9:40 a.m.: This whole situation is a roller-coaster. The team fined Antonio Brown for conduct detrimental to the team, according to Adam Schefter, and now Jeff Darlington is reporting he received an email from Brown saying the team took away his guaranteed money. Brown has now asked for the team to release him. A day after it seemed like Brown was set to play against the Broncos on Monday Night Football, it seems he is now unlikely to play in the game. The Broncos are currently a 1-point favorite at the DraftKings Sportsbook.
Editor’s update: Antonio Brown made an “emotional apology” to his Oakland Raiders teammates on Friday, per ESPN’s Josina Anderson. After reports earlier this week of a potential suspension, it is now believed Brown could play on Monday, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Like sand through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives....
The sudden change of news has resulted in line movement as nobody seems to know if Brown will be available when the Raiders host the Denver Broncos on the season-opener of Monday Night Football. There The team could elect to suspend him in hopes of getting rid of his guaranteed money, or this could all blow over like his helmet issues did.
The Raiders originally opened in April as a field goal favorite, but the line was bet down to pick ‘em heading into this week. DraftKings Sportsbook has made several moves to odds for the matchup:
- Spread: Pick ‘em —> Broncos -2.5
- Total: O/U 43 —> O/U 42.5
- Money Line: Broncos -109, Raider -109 —> Broncos -139, Raiders +117
It’s been a wild couple days, with Brown expressing displeasure that the team fined him for practices he missed. Often times when a disgruntled player skips one or more practices, the team eventually forgives the fines when the player returns. That did not happen in Oakland, and subsequent reports had Brown and general manager Mike Mayock squaring off over their issues.
All is not well in Oakland. Prior to this nonsense, the Raiders seemed like a great bet as money moved on Denver. I’d still lean Oakland, but given how this is playing out, it might be wisest just to stay away from the craziness until more is known.
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