Disclaimer: this is not an exhaustive injury report. We’ll be highlighting the injuries that can open up major fantasy opportunities for backups or fellow starters of the injured player. We also will not be including injuries that occurred prior to week one, i.e. Alshon Jeffery (you should keep starting Nelson Agholor), Will Fuller, etc. With that said, let’s get into it!
Devonta Freeman – OUT, Tevin Coleman to Start
The split backfield of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman has always been frustrating. Not just as a fantasy owner, but as a fan. Coleman looks like he would be one of the most productive RBs in the league if given a full workload. Well, this week against the Panthers he’ll have exactly that. Coleman rarely has this backfield to himself, but when he does, he consistently puts up RB1 numbers.
Darren Sproles – OUT, More Snaps For Ajayi
This one won’t change things too much, but Jay Ajayi owners won’t be complaining. Sproles actually started the Eagles’ opener against the Falcons and got plenty of touches in the first half. Ajayi got it going in the second and Doug Pederson said they’d be working Ajayi more going forward. But it will still ease Ajayi owners’ minds that there will be less competition in the backfield and that this could lead to more passing-down work for him.
Rex Burkhead and Sony Michel – QUESTIONABLE, James White Healthy
We don’t know yet if Rex Burkhead’s concussion or Sony Michel’s knee will keep them out of Sunday’s contest against the Jaguars. What we do know is James White the only healthy RB on the Patriots active roster other than newly-signed Kenjon Barner, and we also know he was productive last week (4 catches, 38 yards, TD). A matchup with the Jags is tough either way, but if Burkhead and Michel both end up out, White will have the volume for a relevant fantasy output, especially in PPR.
Leonard Fournette – QUESTIONABLE, T.J. Yeldon Would Start
The oft-injured Fournette is questionable again and has not practiced at all this week. If he misses the game Sunday against the Patriots, Yeldon becomes a viable RB2 and is especially valuable in PPR formats. He’s never been the most effective runner, but he’ll have the workload to be productive should Fournette sit. Corey Grant will steal a few touches here and there, but Yeldon is the guy you’ll want to own. At this point, Fournette owners should be rostering Yeldon as a handcuff all season long if possible.
Marquise Goodwin – OUT, Dante Pettis to Start
Dante Pettis briefly replaced Goodwin after he exited the game against the Vikings in week one. He turned the opportunity into 2 catches for 61 yards and a TD. This week, he’ll be replacing Goodwin for the entire game against a vulnerable Lions defense that just got dismantled by the Jets. Pettis has big-play potential and is a decent flex play. Goodwin’s absence could also lead to increased usage for TE George Kittle, while Pierre Garcon is likely to pace the team in targets.
Doug Baldwin – DOUBTFUL, Brandon Marshall and Tyler Lockett Benefit
Doug Baldwin’s MCL sprain opens up a lot of targets on the Seahawks, and most of them figure to go to Tyler Lockett and Brandon Marshall. Marshall actually led the team in targets last week with 6, but Lockett wasn’t far behind with 4 of his own. They should be target hogs in week two and both have high touchdown potential, as both guys scored in week one against a tough Broncos secondary. Both players profile as good flex plays against the Bears.
Davante Adams – QUESTIONABLE, Geronimo Allison Would Start
This is contingent on Aaron Rodgers’ health. Because if he and Davante Adams are both out, none of the remaining Packers WRs become smart plays. However, if Rodgers does lace em up while Adams sits, Geronimo Allison becomes a great play. Allison caught a dime from Rodgers for a TD in the back of the end zone last week and has shown he might just be able to handle the #1 WR gig if given the chance. Allison is starting to become an interesting flex option regardless of Adams’ health. So if Adams is out? Fire him up for sure.
DeSean Jackson – QUESTIONABLE, Chris Godwin Would Start
Chris Godwin had a modest day given the Buccaneers’ explosion as a team against the Saints. His 3 catches for 41 yards and a TD are nothing to scoff at, but compared to “co-starter” DeSean Jackson’s 5 catches for 146 yards and 2 TDs, it pales in comparison. But Jackson is questionable this week with a concussion. If he can’t give it a go, expect the Bucs’ pass-happy attack to feature Godwin more than it did against the Saints. Even against a tough Eagles defense, Godwin would be worth flex consideration.
Greg Olsen – OUT, Ian Thomas to Start
Greg Olsen will be one of the tougher guys to replace as a fantasy owner. Unless you managed to snag a guy like George Kittle off the waiver wire, pickings are typically slim when it comes to tight ends. But if you’re truly desperate, Ian Thomas is taking over as the starter and should get at least a handful of targets per week while Olsen’s out. Olsen’s absence also figures to equal more passing-game looks for Christian McCaffrey and Devin Funchess.