Week 1 of the NFL season was positively brutal for fantasy footballers worldwide as a barrage of serious injuries swept the league. Please check out our waiver wire report for advice on how to handle losing your number one overall pick, and in the meantime, here is the downright dreadful report for Week 2.
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
Like it did all off-season, the injury bug bit the Ravens in Week 1 as running back Danny Woodhead and outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith both left the game with what appeared to be major injuries. Woodhead re-injured his hamstring and was placed on IR, knocking him out till at least Week 11. On the other hand, Smith’s injury appears less serious, but he is not expected to play Sunday. Given the total dominance of Baltimore’s defense even after Smith exited, that should not be a concern. The Ravens were also fortunate to see Joe Flacco make it through the game unscathed, but he (and his receivers) are not a smart play in any format.
Cleveland is in pretty good shape injury wise, but they will still be without top pick Myles Garrett.
Fantasy Impact: For folks who picked up Woodhead in PPR leagues, this is a devastating loss. He snagged three passes for 33 yards and added a four-yard rush in just his first drive with the Ravens, only to get snake-bitten by his hamstring. However, the Ravens D would be a great pickup this week against a rookie QB. Running back Terrance West is an interesting option at the flex position after an 80-yard, one TD performance in Week 1.
Buffalo Bills @ Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton was downgraded to limited participation on Thursday after practicing fully on Wednesday, but that is not unexpected as he tries to work through a nagging shoulder ailment. Otherwise, the Panthers had zero players on their Friday injury report.
The visiting Bills will once again be without defensive tackle Jerel Worthy who has already been ruled out of Sunday’s game with a concussion. However, Buffalo is in good shape otherwise. Running back LeSean McCoy got the day off Friday after practicing fully on Wednesday and Thursday, so he should be ready to roll.
Fantasy Impact: McCoy is a must-start in all formats, even against a stingy Panthers defense. Newton is still a wait and see option, but wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin should rebound a bit this week.
Arizona Cardinals @ Indianapolis Colts
No team suffered a greater loss on Sunday than the Cardinals when running back David Johnson went down with a dislocated wrist. Johnson was the top pick for many fantasy leagues, leaving owners everywhere reeling at the devastation. With Johnson sidelined till at least December, the Cards re-signed Chris Johnson, who was cut at the start of this season. Wide receiver John Brown, guard Mike Iupati, and tackle D.J. Humphries have already been ruled out, too, and safety Deone Bucannon is doubtful. One bright spot for the Cards is that Robert Nkemdiche is expected to play.
Meanwhile, Andrew Luck is still sidelined for Indy, and the timeline for his return is as cloudy as ever. After a disastrous Week 1 performance, Scott Tolzien now gets to ride pine, as Jacoby Brissett gets the starting nod. Indy has ruled out a number of players as well, including safety Darius Butler, corner Vontae Davis, center Ryan Kelly, and linebackers Antonio Morrison and Anthony Walker.
Fantasy Impact: With Arizona now employing a running back by committee of Kerwynn Williams, Andre Ellington, and CJ2K, owners should exercise caution when replacing David Johnson. Just like last week, it may be wise to leave T.Y. Hilton, Jack Doyle, and Donte Moncrief on the bench, even if Brissett is a better QB than Tolzien.
Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Jalen Ramsey cannot seem to get/stay healthy as he is currently dealing with an ankle injury following his hip limitations last week. Despite missing all of this week’s practices, he is officially listed as questionable. The same cannot be safety Calvin Pryor who was ruled out after missing Friday’s run through. Fortunately, corner A.J. Bouye was a full participant, and he is expected to be full-go by Sunday. On offense, the Jags lost receiver Allen Robinson for the year with an ACL tear.
Tennessee is also banged up in the secondary, as safety Jonathan Cyprien will sit out this game. On the other hand, defensive tackle Jurrell Casey should be fine after missing practice Wednesday and Thursday; he was a full participant on Friday.
Fantasy Impact: Even though Bouye is playing, the decimated Jags secondary should be good news for Marcus Mariota and his receivers. Mariota is definitely a QB1 this week. Robinson’s injury gives the other Allen (Hurns) a bump in value, and Marqise Lee is a player to monitor.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Kansas City Chiefs
Corner Ronald Darby is the biggest loss this week for the Philadelphia Eagles. His ankle injury is anticipated to hold him out for 4-6 weeks. Starting safety Corey Graham is officially questionable with a hamstring ailment.
Sadly, the Chiefs lost safety Eric Berry to a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered in Week 1. The prolific safety looked great since coming back from cancer, but his season has tragically been cut short. Doubtful this week is linebacker Reggie Ragland who is dealing with a knee injury.
Fantasy Impact: Losing Eric Berry is a huge blow to Kansas City’s secondary. Carson Wentz did significant damage through the air last week, particularly with big passing plays, making Berry’s absence all the more troublesome. Wentz is a borderline QB1 this week.
New England Patriots @ New Orleans Saints
Danny Amendola and Dont’a Hightower both left last Thursday night’s tilt with seemingly serious injuries, and they will both miss Week 2. Wide receiver Matthew Slater has also been ruled out for Sunday’s tilt. Several other Patriots including safety Devin McCourty were limited in practice this week, although McCourty is expected to start.
The Saints will be without tackle Zach Strief, but they do not have any other major injuries to watch.
Fantasy Impact: The Patriots lookedu out-of-sync last week, but they do not usually stay down for long. With a major hole on each side of the ball, however, it may be best to temper expectations. That said, the Saints appear to be one of the worst teams in the league at the moment, and they were essentially dominated by the Vikings save for a garbage time TD. Brees and Brady are locks regardless, but bench Adrian Peterson if you have not already.
Minnesota Vikings @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Coming off a brilliant outing against New Orleans, it was disappointing to see Sam Bradford listed on the injury report this week with a knee injury. Linebacker Anthony Barr and corner Xavier Rhodes are questionable, too, and both would represent a significant loss.
For the Steelers, what looked like a potentially season-ending injury to Stephon Tuitt may not cost the star defensive end a single game. Tuitt is considered questionable after practicing on a limited basis. Sean Davis was a late addition with an ankle issue, and his status is unknown. Pittsburgh could also be without outside linebacker Bud Dupree who is battling a sprained AC joint.
Fantasy Impact: Bradford looked fantastic last week, adding big value for his receivers, including Stefon Diggs. Should he miss time or be limited in any way, Minnesota’s offense will be I’m trouble. The only small blessing is the potential absence of numerous key defenders for Pittsburgh, helping to level the playing field.
Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Linebacker Jerrell Freeman and wide receiver Kevin White have both landed on IR, Freeman with a torn pectoral muscle and White with a broken collarbone. White was counted on to emerge this year after Alshon Jeffrey went to Philly, but now the task will fall to Kendall Wright. Prince Amukamara, Josh Bellamy, and Kyle Long are all dealing with ankle injuries and are listed as questionable. Top running back Jordan Howard is also questionable with a shoulder injury.
The Bucs have no major injuries to report as the look forward to their first game of the season.
Fantasy Impacts: Injuries have Chicago truly looking like the Bad News Bears. Howard would be the biggest loss from a fantasy perspective, but rookie Tarik Cohen opened lots of eyes last week. Unfortunately, he has probably been plucked off nearly every waiver wire by now. If you have Bucs on your roster, this is a great week to start them.
Miami Dolphins @ LA Chargers
One good thing about having their Week 1 game postponed is that the Dolphins head into Week 2 mostly healthy. Jay Ajayi and Walt Aikens have been full participants, and center Mike Pouncey is well rested after an off day Thursday. Only Rey Maualuga, who has yet to practice since joining Miami a month ago, is doubtful.
The Los Angeles Chargers are pretty healthy, too, but they will be without starting corner Jason Verrett.
Fantasy Impact: With Verrett sidelined, the Fins could exploit mismatches using their plethora of receiving weapons, including Jarvis Landry. Kenny Stills is an intriguing deep threat, while DeVante Parker is an under-the-radar flex option. The Chargers did not look good in Week 1, and they are coming off a short week. It might be best to find other options at skill positions.
New York Jets @ Oakland Raiders
Not to be facetious, but the Jets organization is essentially one giant wound. At this point, Bruce Carter, Jonotthan Harrison, Rontez Miles, Edmond Robinson, and Eric Tomlinson have all been ruled out, yet that would not make much difference anyway. The Jets are competing to be the worst team in the league this season.
On the flip side, the Raiders are looking to get back to the playoffs, and they are healthy enough to do so at the moment. Only corner Sean Smith was limited on Thursday with a back injury. It is worth noting that kicker Sebastian Janikowski is on IR, but Giorgio Tavecchio looked fantastic in his debut.
Fantasy Impact: This game should be no contest, so go ahead and start Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and even Michael Crabtree if you have him. In a pinch, Jets running back Bilal Powell is a flex candidate, but hopefully you are not that desperate this early in the year.
Dallas Cowboys @ Denver Broncos
The Cowboys have few injuries to report, but the ones they have are significant. Corner Orlando Scandrick and linebacker Anthony Hitchens will both be wearing street clothes against Denver, leaving Dallas vulnerable to the receiving duo of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Number two receiver Terrence Williams is questionable as well after a nasty twisted ankle in Week 1.
Denver, on the other hand, has a long list of injuries. The most devastating is a back injury too defensive end Jared Crick that requires surgery, sending him to IR. QB Paxton Lunch is still out, too, so Brock Osweiler is Trevor Siemien’s top backup.
Fantasy Impact: Anyone who rolls the dice on Thomas or Sanders should cross their fingers that Siemien does not get hurt. Even with Siemien, neither player is a top-five option like in years past. That said, this is a favorable matchup given the losses of Scandrick and Hitchens.
Washington Redskins @ LA Rams
As of this posting, neither team had any significant injuries to report.
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
Thomas Rawls looks on track to make his season debut Sunday afternoon, and he will look to hit the ground running (pun intended). Prolific corner Richard Sherman is listed as a game-time decision, but it seems unlikely that he would miss a divisional game.
San Fran listed just Joe Staley and Jimmie Ward on their Friday report, and both are expected to play.
Fantasy Outlook: This game could turn into a blowout fast, so Rawls is worth a look in the flex position. Other than Carlos Hyde, who will probably be stifled by the Seahawks D, there are not many viable fantasy options coming from the 49ers.
Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons
Tackles have become a precious commodity in Green Bay where both David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga are questionable. Top backup Jason Spriggs will miss the contest with a hamstring problem. Additionally, linebacker Ahmad Brooks is doubtful with a concussion.
Atlanta has no major injuries to report.
Fantasy Impact: If the Packers are without one or both of their top tackles it will have a trickle-down impact on the entire offense. Not only will life be more difficult for Aaron Rodgers, Ty Montgomery will also have a tough time moving the ball on the ground. Atlanta’s offense is tough enough to keep up with when everyone is healthy, so these knocks could be disastrous.
Detroit Lions @ New York Giants
Good news came in this week for the Giants as receiver Odell Beckham Jr. returned to practice after missing Week 1 with an ankle injury. The prolific wideout was sorely missed, especially by Eli Manning. His status is still up in the air, however, so watch closely before putting him in your lineup. Linebacker Keenan Robinson is the only other major concern.
For Detroit, Ziggy Ansah returned to practice after a stint on the PUP list, and he is questionable this week. Wide receiver Golden Tate is also questionable with a finger injury. Should Odell Beckham miss this game, Eli Manning has virtually no value. Even if he plays, it remains to be seen how effective he will be in returning from a serious injury.
Fantasy Impact: For Detroit, Kenny Golladay was gaining traction even before Tate got hurt, and he is worth a waiver wire pick-up this week.