The Market Report: Week 3

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The Market Report: Week 3

The Market Report is your one-stop Monday shop for all the movement from a big weekend of NFL football.

These are the players who stood out for fantasy-relevant reasons — the good reasons, the bad reasons, and the in-between.

This column will be posted every Monday afternoon.

UPGRADES

Players about whom we’re feeling more optimistic based on recent play or news.

Quarterbacks

Josh Allen (Buf) — The Bills are no longer hiding Allen like they had in his first two seasons. The 2020 Bills offense is Josh Allen. He attempted a career-high 46 passes in the season opener on the way to his first 300-yard passing game. Allen didn’t waste any time breaking another threshold with his first 400-yard game in Week 2 against the Dolphins. He set single-game career highs in passing yards (417), touchdown passes (four), and passer rating (147.0) in the victory. Granted, Allen didn’t play against the 1985 Bears the last two weeks going against the lowly Jets and Dolphins in his first two games, but it’s clear OC Brian Daboll is no longer holding Allen’s hand in Year Three. The Bills are playing with pace and spreading teams out as they did in the second half of last season, and substituting Stefon Diggs into the lineup for last year’s third WR Isaiah McKenzie is a bit of an upgrade for Allen and this passing attack. Allen is making a push to be the top overall fantasy quarterback this season, and I would expect plenty of production again this week in what should be a shootout with the Rams. (Tom Brolley)

Dak Prescott (Dal) — After going down 20-0 in the opening quarter, Prescott carried the Cowboys back to beat the Falcons -- having a monster game in the process. Pending the MNF game, Prescott finished Sunday as the QB1 (40.8 fantasy points) going 34-of-47 for 450 yards, 1 passing touchdown with three goal-line touchdowns for a total of 5/18/3 on the ground. Everyone is going to beat up on Atlanta’s defense this year, but this was a masterful performance considering Prescott was without both of his starting tackles. Tyron Smith (neck) was out this week while La’El Collins (hip) is on I.R. The Cowboys have the best 3-WR set in the NFL and will be back at full strength along the offensive line shortly just in time for a fantastic five-game stretch on the schedule (at Seattle, vs. Cleveland, vs. NY Giants, vs. Arizona, at Washington). (Graham Barfield)

Kyler Murray (Ari) — Murray has thrown the ball pretty well this year, but his passing numbers aren’t what fantasy players are getting excited about. It’s the expansion of his role in the run game — both on designed runs and improv plays — that should really get your juices flowing. Against the Team in Week 2, Murray posted 26/38 passing for 286 yards with a TD and a pick. But he added 8/67/2 rushing. Through two weeks, Murray now has two of his four best rushing performances by yardage in his short career (he had 91 in Week 1). And the TDs are a bonus. He’s on his way to a massive fantasy campaign. (Joe Dolan)

Russell Wilson (Sea) — After shredding the Falcons for 322 yards and 4 TDs in the opener, Wilson put together yet another masterful performance against the Patriots. Even though Seattle didn’t truly let Russ cook and have him throw a ton, they didn’t really need to because Wilson was so good. On just 28 attempts, Wilson ripped the Patriots strong secondary for 288 yards and 5 TDs. Wilson also added 5/39 with his legs and now has back-to-back top-4 scoring performances (QB1 in Week 1; QB4 this week). With two more great matchups on tap against the Cowboys and Dolphins, Wilson might end up being the QB1 overall after the opening month is over. (GB)

Cam Newton (NE) — Football is more fun when Cam is healthy. And damn, does he look good so far. We know that Cam is a dynamic runner — he already has 122 yards and 4 TDs on the ground through two games — but you have to be impressed with how good his arm has looked, too. After major shoulder and ankle injuries plagued him in 2018 and 2019, Cam’s ball hasn’t lost hardly any velocity. In a game where the Patriots had to push the pace and keep up with Russell Wilson, HC Bill Belichick trusted Cam to carry the team with his arm. And after throwing for 397 yards on 44 attempts, he nearly did carry them to a win. With fresh legs and back to back strong performances, Cam is looking like he's set and forget QB1 once again. (GB)

Running Backs

Miles Sanders (Phi) — The Eagles have been a complete disaster on both sides of the ball through two weeks, but Sanders’ performance in Week 2 — his season debut — was a bright spot for fantasy. He didn’t look limited at all, playing 77% of the offensive snaps and posting 20/95/1 rushing and 3/36 receiving on 7 targets (he did unfortunately lose a fumble on Philly’s opening drive, setting the tone for a tough day for the defense). Sanders insinuated after the game that one of the reasons he wasn’t active in Week 1 with a hamstring injury is that his conditioning wasn’t up to snuff. Well, he got 27 opportunities in Week 2, so consider him well conditioned now. If the Eagles’ defense is going to be as pathetic as it was on Sunday, he’ll continue to get a ton of targets, which is music to our ears. He’s an RB1. (JD)

Aaron Jones (GB) — So much for touchdown regression for Jones after he hung three touchdowns on the Lions in Week 2 to run his season total to four scores after posting 19 TDs in 2019. Jones did whatever he wanted against the Lions as he finished with 18/168/2 rushing and 4/68/1 receiving on eight targets. Aaron Rodgers needed Jones more than usual with Davante Adams in and out of the lineup with separate ankle and hamstring issues. Jones figures to stay heavily involved going forward but his role could be massive this week if Adams can’t go against the Saints. A.J. Dillon could eventually carve out a role in this backfield — he played just 10% of the snaps in Week 2 — but the Packers seem content to feed their best RB for the time being. Jones is the RB1 through the first two games with 31.6 FPG, and he has a chance to stay near the top with top backs Christian McCaffrey (ankle) and Saquon Barkley (ACL, IR) going down in Week 2. (TB)

Jonathan Taylor (Ind) — Yeah, that’s what we expected. In his first career start, Taylor dominated the Colts’ backfield touches — 26/101/1 rushing and 2/9 receiving in a win over a hapless Vikings team. It wasn’t a wow game, but it was a true bell-cow performance, while Nyheim Hines had 1 touch. Taylor played 67% of the Colts’ offensive snaps to just 12% Hines, while Jordan Wilkins (remember him?) took 23%. We’ll see if Taylor’s snap share shrinks in a more competitive game, but there’s no doubt whom the Colts prefer to be their lead back. Taylor is a locked-in RB1. (JD)

David Montgomery (Chi) — In a week of pure carnage in terms of injuries, it stands to reason that a player who entered the season hurt and suffered a neck injury in game in Week 2 had one of its most encouraging performances. Despite missing some time with the scary-looking injury, Montgomery posted 16/82 rushing and 3/45/1 receiving while playing 53.8% of the Bears’ snaps in a win over the Giants. Montgomery now has 6 targets in two games, and while we don’t expect he’ll turn into Marshall Faulk overnight, he looks like he has more juice than last year, and is contributing enough in the passing game to be considered a viable RB2. We’ll see if the Bears opt to involve the recently extended Tarik Cohen more, but Montgomery has outplayed him through two games. (JD)

Antonio Gibson (Was) — You might not have started Gibson after a disappointing Week 1, but you should have been holding onto him for obvious reasons. Well, he’s now firmly back on the fantasy radar after Week 2, a game in which he posted 13/55/1 rushing. He caught just 1 pass for -3 yards, but though the game wasn’t a huge one for Gibson statistically, the most important number was his 65% snap share after being down in the 20s in Week 1. (Peyton Barber, who led the Team in carries in Week 1, played just a single snap.) Gibson looked solid on film these first two weeks, and while it’s evident the former college WR is still learning the RB position, there is a lot of size and speed to work with here. The Team should continue getting him more work as the season progresses. He’s a low-end RB2 with upside right now. (JD)

Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt (Cle) — Kevin Stefanski got his offense humming in a short week against the Bengals in Week 2 after a dreadful season opener against the Ravens. Chubb posted 22/124/2 rushing and he added a nine-yard catch on 62% of the snaps, while Hunt finished with 10/86/1 rushing and 2/15/1 receiving on 34% of the snaps. The effective rushing attack from Chubb and Hunt opened things up for Baker Mayfield and this passing attack as Odell Beckham got loose for a touchdown off of play-action. Chubb and Hunt will have a tougher task going against Washington’s front four in Week 3, but the game script should work in their favor in what should be a tight, lower-scoring game. (TB)

James Conner (Pit) — Conner went off for 20.1 FP on plenty of fantasy benches in Week 2 after the Steelers benched their starting RB for Benny Snell in Week 1 after his sluggish performance against the Giants. Conner did rip off a late 55-yard run to get over 100+ yards in Week 2 but, the last time we checked, long runs count the same at the end of the game as they do in the first 58 minutes. Conner handled 77% of the snaps while Snell saw just 15% and Jaylen Samuels played on 8% of the snaps. Snell managed just 3/5 rushing and he lost a fumble in his brief appearance against the Broncos. Conner isn’t the easiest player to trust right now since he’s posted two extreme results in the first two weeks of the season. Conner still needs to be in lineups every week as an RB2 since HC Mike Tomlin has typically committed to a lead back throughout most of his tenure. (TB)

Austin Ekeler (LAC) — Rookie Justin Herbert made a last-minute start for Tyrod Taylor (chest) in Week 2, and the move immediately paid dividends for this offense and for Ekeler, who caught just a three-yard pass with Taylor in the season opener. Ekeler, playing on 57% of the snaps, finished with 16/93 rushing and a promising 4/55 receiving on four targets against the Chiefs. Rookie Joshua Kelley isn’t going anywhere after he finished with 23/64 rushing and 2/49 receiving while playing 52% of the snaps with Justin Jackson out of the lineup. HC Anthony Lynn said Tyrod will be the starter if he’s 100% healthy, which would be silly after seeing how much better the offense ran with Herbert in the lineup in Week 2. Herbert will look to run when plays break down as Tyrod does, but the rookie was at least willing to check it down to one of the league’s best receiving backs in his professional debut. We’re tentatively putting Ekeler as an upgrade this week since Herbert’s time is clearly coming sooner rather than later after his Week 2 performance. Ekeler has the chance to break back into the RB1 class with Herbert going forward, which is something can’t say with Tyrod at quarterback. (TB)

Leonard Fournette (TB) — It took exactly one week for Fournette to ether Ronald Jones. After getting just five carries in his Bucs’ debut, Fournette out-touched (16 to 9), out-gained (116 to 27 scrimmage yards), and saw more snaps (26 to 21) than Jones in Week 2 against Carolina. Fournette even ran more pass routes than Jones (12 to 10). After a botched exchange from Tom Brady in the middle of the second quarter, Jones played behind Fournette for the rest of the game. In his Monday morning press conference, HC Bruce Arians blamed the fumble on Jones. Regardless, we knew this was coming. The Bucs’ signed Fournette to make him their starter and that time has possibly already come. If he keeps out-playing Jones as he did on Sunday, Fournette has RB1 upside long-term. (GB)

James Robinson (Jax) — One of the reasons you might not have invested a bunch in Robinson — despite the camp hype — is that you expected the Jags to stink and for him to be only an early-down grinder. Well, he’s looked very good through two games, and most importantly, QB Gardner Minshew has the Jags competitive. In a narrow 33-30 loss to Tennessee in Week 2, Robinson posted 16/102/1 rushing, but also got 3/18 receiving on a surprising 4 targets (not common from a Jay Gruden grinder). Robinson did play just 51% of the snaps with the Jags playing from behind much of the day (Chris Thompson played 41%, so he’s the hurry-up guy), but the biggest takeaway is that he’s a pretty good runner on a team that might be better than we thought. Is there RB1 potential here? Probably not. But he’s a worthwhile FLEX consideration each and every week based on how he’s played and how the Jags might not be the gameflow disaster we all anticipated. (JD)

Wide Receivers

Stefon Diggs and John Brown (Buf) — Josh Allen and the Bills are airing it out in the early going, which has resulted in some big performance for Diggs and Brown through two weeks. Diggs already has 16/239/1 receiving on 22 targets through two games, as he’s quickly established himself as Allen’s top weapons. Brown hasn’t been too bad himself as the #2 WR, as he’s seen 16 targets through two games, resulting in 70+ yards and a touchdown in both contests. Diggs and Brown will be matched up against Jalen Ramsey on the perimeter this week, but you can’t shy away from these receivers with Allen attempting 81 passes for 729 yards in the early going. Diggs is a locked-in WR2 who has the potential to be a WR1 and Brown is a WR3 if this offense stays so pass-heavy. (TB)

Diontae Johnson (Pit) — We hope you loaded up on Johnson this summer because he looks like a star in the making through the first two games of the season. He’s quickly become the team’s #1 WR over JuJu Smith-Schuster with his 31.5% target share through two games after posting 8/92/1 receiving on 13 targets against the Broncos in Week 3. Johnson has made a handful of mistakes too in the early going, including a fumble on a handoff on the first play of the game, but the Steelers are still doing everything they possibly can to get the ball in their best playmaker’s hands because of his ability to put defenders on ice skates with his quickness. Johnson is just tapping into his potential in his first two games with Ben Roethlisberger, and he has the potential for even better results if he can cut out some of his mental mistakes. We don’t want to see any more start/sit questions about Diontae for the time being. Just plug him in as your WR2, including this week against the Texans. (TB)

Keenan Allen (LAC) — Rookie Justin Herbert made a last-minute start for Tyrod Taylor (chest) in Week 2, and the move immediately paid dividends for their #1 WR. Allen finished with 7/96 receiving on 10 targets against the Chiefs, a week after he managed just 7.7 FP on eight targets with Taylor. HC Anthony Lynn said Tyrod will be the starter if he’s 100% healthy, which would be silly after seeing how much better the offense ran with Herbert in the lineup in Week 2. We’re tentatively putting Allen as an upgrade this week since Herbert’s time is clearly coming sooner rather than later after his Week 2 performance. Allen’s days of being a WR1 are long gone with Philip Rivers packing up and heading to Indy, but Herbert at least gives Allen some hope to be a WR2 this season if he takes over as the full-time starter in a timely fashion. (TB)

Jerry Jeudy (Den) — Courtland Sutton’s miserable third season is over after he tore his ACL against the Steelers in Week 2. Sutton had already missed the season opener after spraining his AC joint in practice leading up to their contest with the Titans. The Broncos also lost QB Drew Lock to a shoulder injury against the Steelers so they’re staring at an 0-3 start with the Buccaneers coming to town. Jeudy and Noah Fant will be in line for increased roles with Sutton and his 7.0 targets per game from 2019 out of the lineup, but Jeff Driskel’s presence at quarterback will limit their upside. Jeudy has already seen a promising 15 targets in his first two games, and he has WR2 potential going forward with Sutton out of the lineup if the rookie can clean up his drops. (TB)

Calvin Ridley (Atl) — Talk about a hot start. After posting 9/130/2 in Week 1, Ridley came back and ripped the Cowboys for 7/109/2 this past week. Ridley is just seeing a ton of volume so far and is leading the team in targets so far (22). All of this work Ridley is getting is a deadly combination considering that he’s one of the league’s best and most explosive route runners. Any time Ridley has seen volume in his career, the results have been money for fantasy. In the 18 career games that Ridley has seen six or more targets, he’s now averaging 19.8 fantasy points per game. That would have made him last year’s WR2 ahead of Chris Godwin (19.4 FPG). Ridley has three more great matchups on deck next against the Bears, Packers, and Panthers. (GB)

Terry McLaurin (Was) — The Team may have lost in Week 2, and QB Dwayne Haskins may not be very good, but the encouraging sign is that those things didn’t matter for McLaurin. Despite a matchup against an Arizona secondary that includes future Hall of Famer CB Patrick Peterson, McLaurin posted 7/125/1 on 10 targets on Sunday, and has solidified himself as basically the only Team member you can start with utmost confidence every week. He’s a star player who might be both QB and matchup proof. Occasionally, bad QB play and a bad matchup might converge, but the huge games are too appealing to sit McLaurin. (JD)

D.K. Metcalf (Sea) — The Seahawks are finally letting Russell Wilson air it out and the biggest beneficiary may be D.K. Metcalf. Seattle is letting Metcalf do what he does best— run really fast in a straight line deep down the left side of the field. And it’s working. Metcalf posted 4/92/1 while mostly matched up against Stephon Gilmore, easily beating him deep on a perfectly placed Wilson ball for his second TD of the season. Metcalf is looking like he’s going to take the second-year leap and gets two perfect matchups next against the Cowboys and Dolphins burnable secondaries. (GB)

Julian Edelman (NE) — No Brady, no problem. Cam Newton kept going to Edelman play after play on SNF, en route to a monster 8/179 stat line in the Patriots shoot-out loss to the Seahawks. Through two games, Edelman has shown great chemistry with Cam and appears to be the same high-end PPR WR2 we have trusted him to be for multiple years. Edelman and N’Keal Harry are tied for the team lead in targets so far (18) but, after this week, it’s clear that Cam is willing to funnel the ball to Edelman in crunch time. (GB)

D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson (Car) — Through the first two games, the Panthers passing offense is running through Moore and Anderson. Moore has 12/174 on 22 targets in Week 1-2 while Anderson has 15/223/1 on 18 looks after two back-to-back 100+ yard performances. Teddy Bridgewater had a rough start against the Buccaneers after opening the game with an INT, fumble, and a bad 2nd and 10 sack -- but he’s clearly shown he can facilitate the offense and get the ball to open receivers. That’s all we care about for fantasy. You already knew that Moore was a strong WR2, but Anderson’s emergence is the real upgrade here. He’s not just a deep threat in this offense as he’s getting screens and plenty of intermediate targets. Anderson looks like just another player to improve after leaving Adam Gase. (GB)

Tight Ends

Tyler Higbee (LAR) — Did we spend a lot of time this off-season simply overthinking the Higbee/Gerald Everett thing? The Rams still did play a good bit of “12” personnel in Week 2 against Philly, but Higbee is the top dog here. The Eagles had no answer for him, as he posted 5/54/3 receiving, catching all 5 of his targets and making the Eagles’ terrible linebacker corps look silly all day. He played 86% of the snaps, doubling up Everett’s rate. The biggest takeaway is that the success the Rams found offensively late last season — which coincided with Higbee’s emergence — has carried into 2020. Whether Higbee was a catalyst for, or simply a beneficiary of, that success is irrelevant if he keeps putting up hammer TE1 numbers. (JD)

Noah Fant (Den) — Courtland Sutton’s miserable third season is over after he tore his ACL against the Steelers in Week 2. Sutton had already missed the season opener after spraining his AC joint in practice leading up to their contest with the Titans. The Broncos also lost QB Drew Lock to a shoulder injury against the Steelers so they’re staring at an 0-3 start with the Buccaneers coming to town. Fant and Jerry Jeudy will be in line for increased roles with Sutton and his 7.0 targets per game from 2019 out of the lineup, but Jeff Driskel’s presence at quarterback will limit their upside. Fant has already posted 9/138/2 receiving on 11 targets in his first two games, and he has the potential to stick in the top half of the TE1 class going forward with Sutton out of the lineup. (TB)

Jonnu Smith (Ten) — No AJ Brown, no problem. Though the Titans might not have had the run game success they anticipated against the Jags in Week 2, the hyper-efficient Ryan Tannehill continued to execute OC Arthur Smith’s offense beautifully. And Jonnu is a really good tight end. He was targeted 5 times and posted 4/84/2 receiving — the excellent athlete is just a nightmare in the red zone. Jonnu has now scored in two straight games to open the 2020 campaign, and he has TDs in four of his last six regular-season campaigns. He’s a fringy TE1 because of how low-volume we generally expect this passing game to be, but he has legitimate upside every week because of his ability to get into the end zone and how OC Smith uses him — occasionally out of the backfield. If Brown is out for much longer, Jonnu’s ceiling and floor obviously rise. In Week 3, Jonnu gets the Vikings’ defense, a defense that was just embarrassed by Mo Alie-Cox. (JD)

Mike Gesicki (Mia) — Gesicki responded with a TE2 performance in Week 2 after a quiet season-opening performance against the Patriots. He tormented the Bills defense with 8/129/1 receiving on 11 targets, which included an eight-yard touchdown catch with top CB Tre’Davious White in coverage. Gesicki has run a position-best 79.7% of his routes from the slot through the first two weeks of the season, and it doesn’t hurt that Preston Williams is off to a sluggish start in his first two games back after suffering an ACL injury last season. He gets a matchup against a Jaguars defense that just allowed 4/84/2 receiving to Jonnu Smith so play Gesicki with some confidence after his Week 2 performance. (TB)

DOWNGRADES

Players about whom we’re feeling less optimistic based on recent play or news.

Quarterbacks

Carson Wentz (Phi) — There were plenty of reasons Wentz struggled in Week 1, starting with an overmatched offensive line. That’s not an excuse for Week 2, when Wentz wasn’t sacked by the Rams but still had a poor day overall, going 26/43 for 242 yards with 2 INT, though he did salvage something with a rushing TD. Wentz’s mechanics are all over the place right now, but he’s never going to be a precise passer. The problem recently has been his decision-making — he’s trying to make too many plays, and they’re biting him in the butt. Last week, the offensive line got him out of his rhythm after a brilliant start. In Week 2, the Eagles’ defense was absolutely awful, allowing the Rams to move up and down the field at will. And Wentz’s mentality — trying to bring his team back by himself — is simply not clicking right now. On top of everything else, Doug Pederson’s bland playcalling is not helping matters. Wentz has played one good half through two weeks, and it simply isn’t good enough. (JD)

Running Backs

Saquon Barkley (NYG) — There’s just no consolation for stuff like this, and it’s what makes being a football fan and a fantasy player suck sometimes. Barkley is feared to have torn his ACL in Week 2, which obviously would end his season and, potentially, alter his career. The only consolation we have for Giants fans and maybe dynasty players is that Barkley is a freak and this injury occurred early in the season, so he could be ready at 100% for 2021 depending on the extent of the damage. For 2020, this is a massive blow to the Giants, who might be looking at Devonta Freeman to try to salvage something from their run game. (JD)

Christian McCaffrey (Car) — This one hurts. We’ve lost the consensus 1.01 in fantasy for “4 to 6 weeks” with a high ankle sprain. At least CMC isn’t lost for the season like Saquon Barkley, but losing the No. 1 and No. 2 picks this early in the season and on the same week stings. We just have to hope McCaffrey can recover quickly. In the meantime, it’ll be the Mike Davis show in Carolina. Davis only got 1 carry last week, but interestingly caught all 8 of his targets for 74 yards. The Panthers will likely look to add a veteran back in free agency. (GB)

Tarik Cohen (Chi) — We were surprised when the Bears gave Cohen a three-year, $17.25 million extension this weekend when star WR Allen Robinson is angling for a new contract. We were even more surprised when Cohen then proceeded to touch the ball just 6 times against the Giants — 5/12 rushing and 1/15 receiving — while playing 32.3% of the offensive snaps. Perhaps the Bears leading the game the whole way had something to do with his usage against New York, but that doesn’t really explain his Week 1 stats (7/41 rushing, 2/6 receiving) when they had to mount a comeback to beat the Lions. Cohen has 3 targets in two games — 3 targets fewer than David Montgomery. If a satellite back isn’t being used heavily in the passing game, he simply has no fantasy value. That’s where we’re at with Cohen right now. (JD)

Benny Snell (Pit) — Snell went from a hot waiver wire pickup after Week 1 to a hot player to drop to the waiver wire after Week 2. James Conner took back control of the backfield with a strong performance in Week 2 after his season-opening benching on Monday Night Football. Meanwhile, Snell stumbled against the Broncos with just 3/5 rushing and a lost fumble while playing 15% of the snaps. Snell doesn’t have a ton of value while Conner is healthy and playing well, but the second-year RB should still be rostered in most leagues until we see Conner string together consecutive strong performances while also staying healthy. (TB)

Ronald Jones (TB) — Week 2 was rough for injuries but it was equally tough for RoJo truthers. After just one week, it appears Jones has lost his “starting” job. Leonard Fournette out-touched (16 to 9), out-gained (116 to 27 scrimmage yards), and saw more snaps (26 to 21) than Jones against the Panthers. The low-light of the day for Jones was a mid-second quarter fumble where Jones didn’t have his arms in the proper position to take a handoff from Tom Brady, resulting in a botched snap/fumble. HC Bruce Arians blamed Jones for the mistake on Monday. It’s Year 3 for Jones, and he’s still making rookie mistakes. Some things never change. After getting out-played by Fournette already, Jones’ value has taken a big hit. He’ll be on the low-end FLEX radar next week, but Fournette’s time is apparently already here. (GB)

Nyheim Hines (Ind) — Top waiver priority and/or 30% of your FAAB budget doesn’t go as far as it used to, apparently. Hines had 1 touch on Sunday against the Vikings — a 4-yard reception. It was the first game in his entire career in which he didn’t get a carry, and his 9 snaps and 12.3% snap share tied career-lows. The game was generally uncompetitive and Jonathan Taylor was running well, but this usage (lower than that of Jordan Wilkins) was flat-out shocking. We’d be inclined to consider it more of a blip on the radar because the Vikings were so awful, but there’s no doubt you’re going to feel wary of putting him in your lineups anytime soon. (JD)

Wide Receivers

A.J. Green (Cin) — Green is healthy for now, but he hasn’t looked like the same, explosive player we last saw back in 2018. Rookie QB Joe Burrow targeted Green a team-high 13 times (21.3% target share) in Week 2, but the 32-year-old receiver managed an ugly 3/29 receiving on 45 routes (.64 yards per route run). Green failed to create much separation — NFL Next Gen had him at just 1.6 yards for his average separation in Week 2 — and he even looked a bit disinterested in a couple of contested-catch situations. Green is getting plenty of opportunities right now, but we have to wonder if Burrow will start to turn to Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins more in the near future if Green continues his lackluster play. He’s a low-end WR3 option this week against the Eagles until he shows us some signs of life. (TB)

Courtland Sutton (Den) — Courtland Sutton miserable third season is over after he tore his ACL against the Steelers in Week 2. Sutton had already missed the season opener after spraining his AC joint in practice leading up to their contest with the Titans. The Broncos also lost QB Drew Lock to a shoulder injury against the Steelers so they’re staring at an 0-3 start with the Buccaneers coming to town. Jerry Jeudy and Noah Fant will be in line for increased roles with Sutton down for the season, but Jeff Driskel’s presence at quarterback will limit their upside. (TB)

Sterling Shepard (NYG) — Shepard is likely to miss a couple of weeks with a toe injury, which appears to be turf toe. The Giants may have to throw it more this year with Saquon Barkley done for the season, but Shepard just can’t shake the injury bug. (JD)

Tight Ends

Austin Hooper (Cle) — We avoided drafting Hooper all summer and he’s a player to drop after two weeks if you happened to select him in your drafts. He’s managed just 4/37 receiving in his first two games with the Browns as he’s been a complete afterthought in this offense behind Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, and Kareem Hunt. This passing attack simply doesn’t have enough volume to support a player like Hooper unless OBJ gets himself traded or Landry’s hip acts up. (TB)

Rob Gronkowski (TB) — It’s been a rough start for Gronk so far in Tampa Bay. Through two games, the future Hall of Famer has just two catches for 11 yards and was shut out of the stat sheet last week even with Chris Godwin (concussion) out. With O.J. Howard and Gronk splitting the passing down work, there really isn’t a path for Gronkowski to be fantasy relevant in this offense. Howard has out-targeted Gronk 9 to 4 to start the season. (GB)

WATCH LIST

Players whom we’re not ready to upgrade or downgrade, but their situations demand monitoring based on recent play, injuries, or news.

Quarterbacks

Jimmy Garoppolo (SF) — We have yet another injury situation to monitor in San Francisco. Just before crushing the Jets for 14-of-16, 131 yards, and 2 TDs — Garoppolo apparently suffered a high ankle sprain at some point of the first half. He didn’t return after halftime as Nick Mullens took over as the starter. According to HC Kyle Shanahan, JimmyG’s ankle injury doesn’t sound too severe. If he does sit, Mullens is probably too thin of a steaming play in Week 3 against the Giants for 10- and 12-team leagues. (GB)

Running Backs

Cam Akers and Malcolm Brown (LAR) — Welp, the Rams’ backfield is officially standing on its head. Akers got the start in Week 2 against Philly, but left with a rib injury. Brown was the third back into the action — he didn’t get a snap until Akers left — but left with a finger injury late. Meanwhile, the forgotten man in the whole equation, Darrell Henderson, had a breakout game with 12/81/1 rushing and 2/40 receiving. We obviously need to see about the injuries, but we also need to take into account that this was an overall pathetic performance from the Eagles defense. We’ll cover more on this backfield as the week moves on. (JD)

Raheem Mostert (SF) — The injury bug won’t stop biting the 49ers. Mostert looked like he was on pace for a huge game against the Jets with 8/92/1 on the ground and 2/15 receiving in the first half, but his day was cut short because of a sprained knee (MCL). ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Mostert will miss Week 3 with the injury. With Tevin Coleman (knee) also banged up, the 49ers backfield may be down to Jerick McKinnon, Jeff Wilson, and JaMycal Hasty. If Coleman can’t suit up next week, look for McKinnon to have a much bigger role as the 49ers primary back. McKinnon only has 9 touches so far this year, but he’s looked extremely explosive on his limited work. HC Kyle Shanahan might look for a reunion with Devonta Freeman to help out his ailing backfield this week. (GB)

Wide Receivers

Davante Adams (GB) — Adams had an injury-marred Week 2 after he roasted the Vikings for 40+ FP in the season opener. He initially had his ankle rolled up on early the game before later coming up lame with a hamstring issue later in the game after he returned to the lineup. The Packers were up big against the Lions when Adams left for the second and final time so there’s a chance the Packers were just playing it safe with their superstar wide receiver. Adams has a difficult matchup looming against Marshon Lattimore and the Saints, which he’ll want to be on the field for in a key NFC matchup. Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling would be Aaron Rodgers’ top options if Adams can’t play this week. (TB)

Allen Robinson (Chi) — Robinson had 9 targets in Week 2, and the Bears are off to a 2-0 start. That’s good! He also caught just 3 of those targets for 33 yards. That’s bad! The Bears are indeed 2-0, but ARob is pissed about his contract and Mitchell Trubisky still isn’t any good. (Trubisky completed just 5 passes in the second half on Sunday, none to Robinson.) The problem is that if the Bears are going to win games, they’re probably not going to make a QB switch. As for fantasy, Robinson has 18 targets in two games. He’s on pace for 144 of them. That’s too much volume to seriously consider sitting him, but there are some bad signs. (JD)

Adam Thielen (Min) — We’re not worried about Thielen. We are worried about the guy throwing him the football. Kirk Cousins’ Week 2 game against the Colts — 11/26 passing, 113 yards, 3 INT, and a safety taken — has jumped out to an early and perhaps insurmountable lead for the worst game we’ll see from a quarterback in 2020. Cousins has just 51 pass attempts through two games, which is how Mike Zimmer wants it. Thielen’s been targeted on 31.4% of them (16), but Cousins is gonna have to be way better if that massive target share is going to pay off the way it should. Thielen had 3/31 receiving on his 8 targets in Week 2. All three catches were on Minnesota’s first drive.

Kenny Golladay (Det) — HC Matt Patricia told the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that Golladay was close to returning in Week 2 against the Packers, but Detroit erred on the side of caution with their franchise wide receiver. Barring a setback at practice this week, Golladay should be ready to return this week for Detroit’s road trip to Arizona. He posted 4/42/1 receiving in this matchup in the season opener last year, and Terry McLaurin just roasted Patrick Peterson and company for 7/125/1 receiving. (TB)

Chris Godwin (TB) — Perhaps the only good injury news of this week is that Godwin is good to go and has cleared through the league’s protocol after missing Week 2 with a concussion. Mike Evans was awesome against the Panthers in Godwin’s absence, ripping Carolina for 7/104/1 and displaying a great sense of timing with Tom Brady. With Godwin back, it’ll be interesting to see if he and Evans can both remain WR1’s in fantasy. The Bucs’ are already projecting for about 15% less pass volume than last year and it could go even lower considering how good their defense has looked so far. (GB)

Will Fuller (Hou) — Injuries have been a persistent problem for Fuller in his career and this week was no different. Fuller spent time on the trainer’s table getting his hamstring worked on against the Ravens, and it has to be a big part of the reason why he finished the day with zero targets. HC Bill O’Brien did mention after the game that he didn’t have an update on Fuller’s health just yet but that he needs to do a better job of getting him the ball. After looking like a potential WR1 last week (8/112 on a team-high 10 targets), this was a big let down. Now, we just have to hope Fuller’s hamstring injury is mild and that he’ll be fine for Week 3 against Pittsburgh. (GB)

TY Hilton and Parris Campbell (Ind) — With just 7 catches for 81 yards on 14 targets so far this season, Hilton has been one of the more low-key disappointing players of 2020. But he’s going to have to step up if Campbell — who was looking like a potential breakout star — missing significant time with what ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports as a PCL injury. It stands to reason that Campbell will probably go on IR (can be activated after three weeks), and may miss time beyond that, but he did avoid the dreaded ACL tear. Expect rookie Michael Pittman (who led the Colts’ WRs with 6 targets on Sunday against the Vikings) to step up. (JD)

Sammy Watkins (KC) — Watkins left Week 2 early and he never returned after he took a big hit to the head in Kansas City’s victory over the Chargers. Watkins could end up in the concussion protocol this week, which would have him in a race to be ready for this week’s big showdown against the Ravens. He will get an extra day to get ready since the game is slated for Monday night, but you should have a backup plan ready heading into this weekend. Mecole Hardman and/or Demarcus Robinson are worth a look as potential handcuffs for Monday night if you’re looking to ride out Watkins’ status through the weekend. (TB)

Julio Jones (Atl) — After posting a very Julio-esque 9/157 in the opener, he came back down to earth this week against the Cowboys for only 2/24 on four targets. Granted, Julio’s stat line would have looked much better if he didn’t drop a sure touchdown on a 40-yard bomb on a trick play from Russell Gage. Sure, he disappointed in a dream matchup -- but we’re just adding Julio’s name here to mention that his day should have looked much better. Is his hamstring bothering him more than he’s letting on? Jones gets the Bears, Packers, and Panthers next. (GB)

AJ Brown (Ten) — Our Dr. Edwin Porras said Brown’s injury — a bone bruise in his knee — isn’t a long-term one, but it’s very painful, so he could miss action beyond the Week 2 game he missed if the pain is just too much to handle. We’ll start to get a feel on if he’ll be available in Week 3 against the hapless Vikings once the Titans start practicing on Wednesday. (JD)

Jamison Crowder (NYJ) — After missing last week with an ankle sprain, it isn’t clear yet if Crowder will be available for Week 3. HC Adam Gase said on Monday that he “doesn’t know” if Crowder will be able to play just yet. New York’s receiver corps is already completely thin, especially since it also sounds like Breshad Perriman (ankle) might miss a few weeks as well. The Jets No.1 receiver this past week was Chris Hogan. (GB)

Tight Ends

George Kittle (SF) — Lost in the shuffle of all this week’s injury news is Kittle. He missed Week 2 with a knee sprain after he hyper-extended it in the opener against Arizona. Right now, it’s unclear if Kittle will be able to suit up for Week 3. Obviously, the 49ers didn’t even need Kittle to beat up the hapless Jets. San Francisco stays will be back at MetLife next for their game against the Giants. (GB)

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