This was an awful week for injuries. Saints QB Drew Brees is undergoing thumb surgery and is expected to miss approximately 6 weeks. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is out for the rest of the season. James Conner is undergoing tests on his knees. Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert (calf), wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (calf), running back Corey Clement (shoulder), and wideout DeSean Jackson (groin) suffered injuries against the Falcons. Michael Gallup will miss at least the next two weeks (knee). So what's a fantasy owner to do?
Assuming that the Saints don't put him on I.R., the soonest that we'd likely see Drew Brees back is Week 10. If he goes on I.R., we could see him back for Week 12. Regardless of what happens, he's going to miss a significant amount of time. Brees may not have been lighting the fantasy world on fire, but his impact on the supporting cast cannot be stressed enough. Michael Thomas should still see volume so don't over-react here. Kamara's value might actually bump up slightly as Teddy Bridgewater may lean on the run or short yardage passes a little more than Brees did.
Bridgewater is an option here, but perhaps no more than "serviceable". The last real sample size we have for him was back in 2015. Since then, he has five fantasy points...combined.
Losing Ben Roethlisberger hurts the value of JuJu Smith-Schuster. In fact, it wouldn't be such a stretch to say that he goes from being a solid WR1 to a high-end WR2. It'll be Mason Rudolph under center for Pittsburgh the rest of this season. He posted a 65% completion rate, 8.6 yards per attempt and 4 TDs vs. 1 INT this preseason. We actually like Vance McDonald a bit more as a security blanket. The guy that we think will benefit the most is perhaps WR James Washington who he played ball with in college. If Washington advances here, it's likely to be at the expense of Donte Moncrief.
Potential QB Replacements
Jimmy Garoppolo, SF
Garoppolo completed 17-of-25 passes for 297 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in the 49ers' Week 2 win over the Bengals. It's a nice rebound for Garoppolo after a shaky opener. Even in a plus matchup against the Steelers secondary, Garoppolo is a middling QB2 for Week 3, but if you're out of options, he's still available in about a third of most leagues.
Josh Allen, BUF
Allen completed 19-of-30 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown in the Bills' 28-14, Week 2 win over the Giants, adding seven rushes for 21 yards and an additional score. Allen has a potential blow-up spot in Week 3 against the Bengals before a forbidding matchup with the Patriots.
Andy Dalton, CIN
Dalton completed 26-of-42 passes for 311 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in Week 2 against the 49ers. A 66-yard touchdown to John Ross on the final drive salvaged his game, but Dalton struggled behind a shaky line with LT Cordy Glenn out. Dalton has 729 yards and four touchdowns through the first two weeks. He'll remain a high-floor QB2 for Week 3 against Buffalo.
Jacoby Brissett, IND
Brissett completed 17-of-28 passes for 146 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception in the Colts' Week 2 win over the Titans. Brissett gets his first home start next week when the Colts welcome the Atlanta Falcons. He'll be a potential quarterback streamer then in what could end up being a shootout.
Week 3 Waiver Wire Targets
1. Jaylen Samuels, RB - PIT
If James Conner misses any time, Samuels has an opportunity to start for you at least from the flex spot.
2. Frank Gore, RB - BUF
The ageless wonder just keeps running. When Devin Singletary limped off the field, Gore continued to run - racking up 83 total yards. He has a plus matchup against Cincy in Week 3.
3. Darwin Thompson, RB - KC
Damien Williams left Week 2 with a right knee contusion, and LeSean McCoy left with an ankle injury late. If either player misses Week 3, then rookie Darwin Thompson will resurrect all of that preseason hype.
Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman, WR - KC
Demarcus Robinson caught 6-of-6 targets for 172 yards and two touchdowns in the Chiefs' Week 2 win over the Raiders. He had his way with the Raiders secondary the entire afternoon. Mecole Hardman caught 4-of-6 targets for 61 yards and a touchdown in the Chiefs' Week 2 win over the Raiders. Hardman didn't have quite as big a day as Demarcus Robinson (6-172-2), but each had six targets and they'll continue to be helpful fantasy assets even as auxiliary pieces in this high-scoring offense. Up next is a Ravens secondary that allowed Kyler Murray and company to rack up 349 yards through the air in Week 2.