After last week’s bloodbath, there is certainly no shortage of injuries to monitor as we head into Week 3. We will have multiple backup quarterbacks starting this weekend, which impacts so much in the fantasy world. Of course, there are also skill players dealing with injuries. Plenty of tough decisions have to be made heading into the weekend. We’ve got situations developing, including Frank Gore, LeSean McCoy and Nelson Agholor and some pivot picks for your NFL DFS lineups.
On the Contrary tomorrow on the Awesemo YouTube channel features special guest Mike Tagliere from FantasyPros.
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Devin Singletary (hamstring) OUT
Frank Gore is inevitable. After dominating the workload last week for the Bills (19 carries, 40 snaps), Gore will now be the unquestioned top back in this offense for Week 3. Rookie Devin Singletary hurt his hamstring late in Week 2 and after missing practice all week, he has been ruled out for this game against the Bengals. This propels Gore to a top-25 running back play this week, facing a Bengals defense that has already allowed five running back touchdowns through two weeks. They just allowed 259 rushing yards to the 49ers last week, including multiple big plays.
Buffalo’s revamped offensive line has done a good job so far this season, creating 2.88 yards before contact per attempt, the second-highest mark in the NFL. The only concern is that Josh Allen takes some goal line work away from Gore but has solid home favorites against a brutal run defense, Gore makes for a fine low-end RB2/FLEX option this week.
Damien Williams (knee) OUT
Damien Williams missed every practice session with a bruised knee and has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Ravens. LeSean McCoy, who was dealing with a minor ankle injury, practiced in full on Friday and will start for Kansas City. The Ravens have been elite against the run so far this season, but they faced the Dolphins in a game they were passing all day and the Cardinals, who lost David Johnson for multiple drives. Any running back getting 15-20 touches in this Chiefs offense immediately warrants RB2 consideration, at worst, regardless of matchup. Even if Baltimore stuffs the run, McCoy will be more than involved in the passing game.
Eagles pass-catchers banged up
Philadelphia took a beating on Sunday night and with a Thursday night game in Week 4, they will be missing some key players this Sunday. DeSean Jackson has already been ruled out with an abdomen injury, while Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert (calf) are extremely questionable. If all of these guys are out, the Eagles passing game will easily become one of the most concentrated in football. Last week, Nelson Agholor and tight end Zach Ertz combined for nearly 58 percent of the team targets. Agholor should remain in the slot, where he has lined up over 80 percent of the time. That should keep him away from Darius Slay, who rarely follows elite receivers inside, let alone average ones. Both Agholor and Ertz have fantastic floors this week, while someone like JJ Arcega-Whiteside or Mack Hollins could be worth a look as cheap GPP plays in daily contests.
The backup QBs
Steelers: Mason Rudolph will be under center for the rest of the season after Ben Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. Vance McDonald scored two touchdowns last week after Rudolph came in, while JuJu Smith-Schuster led the team with five targets from Rudolph. We could see James Washington make some noise, as he and Rudolph were teammates at Oklahoma State and connected on many touchdown passes. The playing time will increase with Donte Moncrief likely being benched.
Saints: After undergoing surgery on his thumb, Drew Brees will miss at least the next six weeks. Teddy Bridgewater will be under center, who targeted Michael Thomas 11 times last week. While Brees didn’t take a ton of shots down the field, Bridgewater rarely does at all, which will limit the ceilings of guys like Ted Ginn and Tre’Quan Smith, who is also banged up. Overall, the Saints scoring opportunities should dip with Teddy at quarterback.
Giants: The Eli Manning era is over, as Daniel Jones takes over. Given how inaccurate and immobile Manning has been, Jones’ presence should help this entire offense, to be honest. I see this as a slight upgrade to New York’s skill position players.
Panthers: Cam Newton aggravated his foot and is out for this week. Kyle Allen will get the start, who started Week 17 of last year and was fantasy relevant, throwing for 225 yards and two scores, while adding a rushing score. Given the fact that Newton has been the least accurate passer in football through two weeks, I don’t exactly think this hurts the value of guys like D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel and Greg Olsen. Allen is just $4,000 on DK this week, for those interested.