It’s déjà vu all over again. While Week 2 of the NFL regular season brought some exciting moments – Lamar Jackson finally beating the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football, Derrick Henry’s slate breaking 50 DraftKings points (only exciting if you had him) – the injuries across all skill positions are starting to pile on. We’re onto week 3.
San Francisco 49ers Running Back Situation
-JaMycal Hasty (has been ruled OUT for week 3 with a high ankle sprain)
-Trey Sermon (suffered a concussion in week 2, status TBD)
-Elijah Mitchell (suffered a shoulder injury in week 2 but returned to the game, status TBD)
The good news here is that you won’t have to deal with this situation on a main slate this week. The bad news is that you will have to deal with it on Sunday Night Football. While all three of the 49ers running back are hurt (major déjà vu), there’s at least a chance we see Mitchell this week while Hasty has already been ruled out and Sermon looks doubtful at best. Mitchell saw 19 touches in Week 2 and would have been a shoe in for 20+ if he hadn’t gotten hurt despite his ineffectiveness on the ground (17-42-0 rushing line). If Sermon can’t give it a go and Trenton Cannon + a street vet are the only other active running backs for the 49ers, Mitchell is going to see a significant workload. Lamar Miller, T.J. Yeldon and Duke Johnson are all visiting San Francisco this week and you’d expect at least one of these running backs to be signed to the active roster given all the injuries. I wouldn’t expect any of them to be featured in this offense but a backup role could still eek out value right away, especially in a showdown slate. This situation is very murky and we likely won’t have all of the answers until Sunday.
Darrell Henderson – Questionable (rib injury)
Henderson Jr. was having a good day on the ground against the Colts (16-70-1), which was quickly derailed by a rib injury. Enter Sony Michel, who came in for an injured Henderson and generated a 10-46-0 rushing line in the second half. The Rams’ running back room is incredibly thin beyond Henderson, which is why the Rams traded for Michel just before the season started. IF Henderson can’t give it a go in Week 3, I’d expect Michel ($4,900 on DK/$5,700 on FD) to be the workhorse back in a home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Diontae Johnson – Questionable (knee injury)
The initial report on Johnson seems to be a favorable one, as it looks like he was able to avoid a major knee injury. Beyond that is a complete unknown as we haven’t received any updates. IF Johnson has to miss any time, expect Chase Claypool and Juju Smith-Schuster to benefit immediately. Johnson is Roethlisberger’s favorite target – he’s already been targeted 22 times through two games. There would be plenty of volume to go around in his absence and you’ll likely need it given how sluggish the Steelers have performed on offense to start the season. James Washington will likely see more playing time if Johnson has to miss time but he’s a dart throw at best even in that scenario. Najee Harris been targeted eight times through two games and while that sounds like a lot, that number might be here to stay especially if Johnson is sidelined.
Jarvis Landry – Week-to-week (MCL sprain)
While coach Stefanski hasn’t ruled out Landry yet for Week 3, all signs are pointing towards Landry missing at least some time. Meanwhile, reports are that if all goes well in practice this week, Odell Beckham Jr. will be active in Week 3. This $5,300 DK price tag is one of the cheapest you’ll ever see on Beckham Jr and while you don’t need a huge snap count for him to pay off this tag, I’d imagine he’ll be under some sort of pitch count. Outside of Beckham Jr., things get tricky in the passing game for the Browns. For example, they used three tight ends (Austin Hooper, Hunter Bryant and David Njoku) in Week 2 and they were targeted 12 times with Mayfield only throwing the ball 21 times. They host the Chicago Bears in Week 3 and are favored by 7.5 points currently. We could very well see the Browns run the ball a bunch once again. Unfortunately, we don’t have a specific target in the passing game outside of Beckham Jr. if they find themselves in a pass heavy game script.
Josh Jacobs – Questionable (toe/ankle injuries)
Coach Gruden mentioned that Jacobs is day-to-day and is “very questionable” for Week 3. Kenyan Drake generated a 71% snap share in Week 2 and saw 6 targets (5 targets in Week 1). Peyton Barber was the only other active running back for the Raiders in Week 2, posting a 29% snap share and 13 rushing attempts to Drake’s 7. Barber didn’t receive a single target. Drake is the obvious target here for DFS but he’ll need Jacobs to be ruled out in order to receive 70%+ of the snaps.
Five quarterbacks sustained an injury in Week 2. Here’s the list followed by their current injury designation/notes:
–Baker Mayfield (CLE) (Questionable with a shoulder injury; coach mentioned that the shoulder was just sore but fine and he did return to the game)
–Derek Carr (LV) (Questionable with an ankle injury; coach thinks he’ll be able to play in Week 3)
–Carson Wentz (IND) (Questionable with ankle sprains to both of his ankles: didn’t return to game and Jacob Eason would be in line to start for Week 3 if Wentz is out)
–Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) (Listed as questionable/day-to-day with an injury to his ribs; coach mentioned he was still in pain as of Monday. Jacoby Brissett would be the starter for Week 3 if Tua is out)
–Andy Dalton (CHI) (Questionable; avoided a major knee injury but timetable for recovery hasn’t been revealed. Justin Fields would be the obvious starter for Week 3 if Dalton is out)
–Jamison Crowder (NYJ) remained sidelined in Week 2 due to a groin injury. If Crowder is out once again, Braxton Berrios and Elijah Moore will benefit the most as they’ll continue to have more opportunities out of the slot.
–Evan Engram (NYG) was inactive for the first two weeks of the season but Engram did participate in some drills during practice on Monday. It looks like he’ll have an opportunity to play this week if things go well in practice.
–Anthony Firkser (TEN) was inactive for Week 2 with a knee injury. Geoff Swaim played 73% of the snaps in week 2 while MyCole Pruitt saw a 62% snap share. Neither will project favorably in DFS if Firkser remains out.