Justin Herbert (LAC) – Apparently, the Chargers team Doctor accidentally punctured Tyrod Taylor’s lung before their week two game, which explains why Taylor did not play. Herbert played well outside of a handful of rookie mistakes, and has a great matchup vs one of the worst defenses in the league in Carolina in week 3.
Jerick McKinnon (SF) – One of the two remaining healthy RBs in San Francisco right now. Mostert & Coleman are expected to miss this week, and it will be McKinnon with some Jeffrey Wilson on the ground with backup QB Nick Mullens in there. McKinnon has an opportunity to earn a lead role after missing the last two seasons with major injuries.
Mike Davis (CAR) – Look, no single person is going to ever replace Christian McCaffrey’s production in this Panthers’ offense. It’s not possible. However, Davis filled in admirably last week with 8 receptions, showing he does have some receiving upside if needed. Davis is tough to trust against a stout Chargers team, but if you’re in a pinch, you can do worse.
Darrell Henderson (LAR) – Both Cam Akers and Malcolm Brown are banged up, and that is going to leave Darrell Henderson as the top option @ BUF this week. Henderson was a 2nd round pick just a year ago, and it just hasn’t worked out for him to this point. He’s getting another chance here, and time will tell if he can seize the opportunity vs the Bills.
Russell Gage (ATL) – Surprisingly, Russell Gage has topped 100 yards in each of the first two weeks of the season, showing he can be relevant for Fantasy. After week 1, I kind of expected the targets to be distributed between Hurst and Gage more evenly, but Gage is showing what he’s made of. Gage is in the mix to be a WR3/FLEX play this week at home vs the Bears. Don’t expect 100 yard performances every week from the Falcons’ number three receiver, but he could be a solid depth addition for you if needed.
Tre’Quan Smith (NO) – Honestly, I thought Emmanuel Sanders would be the next in line for the Saints targets after Michael Thomas went down, being they signed him to a contract this off season to be their number two receiver. Turns out, Tre’Quan Smith stepped up on Monday Night after some rough drops by Sanders in the early going. Smith had 7 targets on Monday Night compared to Sanders’ 3. These two may be closer most of the time, but at least for now Tre’Quan Smith can be an injury fill in if needed.
Chase Claypool (PIT) – Claypool is the next Steelers developmental wide receiver that could have a role in this offense in the right situation. Claypool has performed better than James Washington to this point in the season and is on track to win the number three wide receiver job in Pittsburgh. This is a valuable role, because of the passing volume the Steelers have on a weekly basis, and the fact that JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson are currently limited in practice. Both should be able to play, but if either one of those receivers are out, Claypool could see an increased role in this offense.
Jordan Reed (SF) – Reed filled in admirably for George Kittle, scoring 2 TDs on 7 receptions and 50 yards. The 49ers system uses the tight end frequently, as you might remember Ross Dwelley had a decent game when Kittle was out last year. Reed is very injury prone, and risky, but if you’re dying at TE out there, Reed could be a plug and play until Kittle is healthy (which may actually be this week).
Dalton Schultz (DAL) – I did not expect that type of receiving production from Schultz in week 2. Schultz had 10 targets, hauling in 9 of them for 88 yards and a score. Being this is a crowded offense and he was the backup TE to start the year, and third string TE last year (when Witten was still around) I didn’t expect much of anything from Schultz. Turns out he can be a viable weapon if needed, as the Cowboys will have one of the top offenses in the league. Schultz is a cheaper way to get exposure to this team if you missed out on the wide receivers or Elliott. Just expect more back end TE2 (TE20-TE24) numbers as opposed to starter like numbers until proven otherwise.
Drew Sample (CIN) – Sample is going to be the starting TE for the Joe Burow led Bengals’ offense, with starter CJ Uzomah going down to injury. Sample might get lost in the shuffle with the talent in Cincinnati (Mixon, Boyd, Green, Higgins, Ross, Tate) so the upside may be limited, but we saw last week if his number is called on, Sample can produce. On 9 targets, Sample had 7 receptions for 45 yards, a promising effort. It remains to be seen if this will continue, but he should be on our radar in deeper leagues.
WEEK 3 INJURY UPDATES AS OF WEDNESDAY NIGHT:
Jimmy Garoppolo (Ankle) – DNP, expected to miss week 3. Considered week to week.
Drew Lock (Shoulder) – Strained Rotator cuff, could be out up to 6 weeks
Tyrod Taylor (Ribs) – DNP, expected to miss this week after being a late scratch in week 2.
Raheem Mostert (Knee) – DNP, not expected to play
Tevin Coleman (Knee) – DNP, not expected to play
Cam Akers (Ribs) – DNP, expected to miss week 3
Philip Lindsay (foot) – DNP, expected to miss vs TB
Michael Thomas (Ankle) – DNP. Expected to be out at least another week.
DaVante Adams (Hamstring) – DNP, questionable to play vs NO, not looking good.
Chris Godwin (Concussion) – Expected to be on the field this Sunday
Julio Jones (Hamstring) – DNP – Will try to play through the injury.
Kenny Golladay (Hamstring) – Limited Practice, expected to make his debut this season.
D.J. Chark (Chest) – DNP, expected to play
JuJu Smith-Schuster (Knee) – DNP, expected to play
Diontae Johnson (Toe) – DNP, expected to play
DeVante Parker (Hamstring) – Practiced Fully, expected to play on Thursday Night.
Jalen Reagor (Thumb) – DNP, expected to miss multiple weeks with a UCL issue.
A.J. Brown (Knee) – DNP, expected to miss this game.
George Kittle (Knee) – Limited Practice, questionable to play vs NYG. Expected to return.
Jack Doyle (Knee) – DNP, Expected to miss vs NYJ
(Photo Credit: Kyusung Gong/AP)