Injuries are commonplace in the NFL, but there’s no doubt that Week 2 was one of the most brutal injury weeks for fantasy football owners in quite some time. Countless key contributors went down with injuries, and many of them could or will miss significant time as they deal with their respective maladies. The running back position was hit particularly hard, as consensus top-two fantasy picks Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley went down, while Raheem Mostert and Cam Akers came out of Week 2 nursing injuries, as well. The statuses of these players will have a massive impact on potential Week 3 waiver wire decisions and could create some lineup quandaries and depth problems for fantasy owners.
And the injured RBs were just the tip of the iceberg of Week 2 injuries. For updates on key players in passing games, such as Davante Adams, Courtland Sutton, Jimmy Garoppolo, and more, click here. For all the latest fantasy injury news and updates, check back here and on Twitter @SN_Fantasy.
Christian McCaffrey injury update
UPDATE 2: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that McCaffrey’s timeline to return is 4-6 weeks as he deals with a high ankle sprain.
UPDATE 1: ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that McCaffrey is expected to miss “multiple weeks” with his ankle injury. This makes Mike Davis the top back in Carolina, at least at the moment.
McCaffrey exited the Panthers’ loss to the Buccaneers after suffering an ankle injury in the fourth quarter. He didn’t return, but there appears to be some optimism surrounding McCaffrey’s injury.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, McCaffrey is slated to have an MRI on his ailing ankle, but “the initial hope is it’s not too serious“. That sounds like good news, but until there’s official confirmation about the injury from either the team or McCaffrey, his owners will be anxiously awaiting the results of that MRI.
In Sunday’s game, the only other players to log a carry for the Panthers were WR Curtis Samuel (four carries, 26 yards), RB Mike Davis (one carry for one yard), and LB/S Jeremy Chinn (one carry for one yard). It seems that Davis would be the top back if McCaffrey misses time, but Matt Rhule may opt to mix up touches between Davis, another backup RB, and Samuel to create a true committee. Still, Davis is worth watching on the waiver wire if you’re a worried McCaffrey owner.
WEEK 3 FANTASY: Best waiver wire pickups
Will Raheem Mostert play Week 3?
Mostert was on his way to what looked like another huge day for the 49ers against the Jets. He took his first carry of the day 80 yards to the house untouched and racked up 107 yards on 10 total touches. However, Mostert was declared out at halftime with a knee injury, and the severity of that malady is still being determined.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Mostert has what is being described as a “mild” MCL sprain. The timetable for Mostert’s return will be based on an MRI of his knee. It seems possible — if not, probable — that Mostert will miss at least a couple of weeks with this injury.
With Mostert out on Sunday, Tevin Coleman handled most of the work between the tackles, but he totaled just 12 yards on 14 carries and was nursing a knee injury of his own throughout the game. Jerick McKinnon may end up having more value than Coleman given his versatility and the fact that he logged 77 yards and a TD on just three carries. He certainly figures to be more valuale in PPR leagues. Both are good waiver wire targets given Kyle Shanahan’s penchant for mixing up the backfield rotation depending on the matchup.
Cam Akers injury news
UPDATE: Akers reportedly suffered separated cartilage in his ribs and is “questionable” for Week 3.
Akers exited the Rams’ win over the Eagles in the first half after falling awkwardly on the ball and suffering an apparent rib injury. He was deemed questionable to return at first but remained out for the rest of the game.
There hasn’t been an update on Akers’ condition as of this writing, but it seems possible that he could miss time. If he does, the Rams’ three-headed monster of a backfield will be down to two heads, and Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson will handle most of the workload.
After Akers went down, Brown handled 37 snaps for the Rams while Henderson was on the field for 29, and Henderson posted 121 total yards and a TD on the day compared to Brown’s 47. Both are worth owning and each could be a matchup-dependent flex play, as it appears that Sean McVay will be content to ride the hot hand throughout the season even if the snap split is relatively equal.
Saquon Barkley injury update
UPDATE: Barkley is officially done for the year because of a torn ACL.
According to multiple reports, it’s believed that Barkley tore his ACL in the Giants’ loss to the Bears. The top-two pick in most fantasy leagues suffered the injury in the first half and was down in serious pain before being carted off. It is expected that he will miss the remainder of the season.
With Barkley out, Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman figure to be the lead backs in the Giants backfield. Lewis was the leader after Barkley went down, as he handled 10 carries for 20 yards and a TD while Gallman was inactive. That said, in Week 3, the Giants may opt to split carries between the two.
It has also been reported by SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano that Devonta Freeman will be visiting the Giants starting Tuesday. Freeman could be a sensible addition to the committee depending on how he looks in his workout, so keep an eye on him as a potential waiver claim in deeper leagues.