Week 2 of the 2020 NFL is officially behind us and while there was a lot of amazing football, the week will unfortunately be headlined by injuries. Players such as Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, Malik Hooker, Tavon Young and more all appear to be done for the year on the defensive side of the ball. As several key offensive players have been sidelined too, which we will discuss in more detail, the fantasy season is officially underway. Injuries are always part of the equation and managers who can find the hidden gems and talent on the waiver wire are those who usually end up winning their league.
So let’s recap everything you need to know about Week 2 and look more into how to overcome these injuries:
Note: All fantasy points and percentages are from ESPN.com.
Stud: Russell Wilson (327 total yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT, 33.42 fantasy points)
The #LetRussCook campaign is in full force and it looks like Pete Carroll has finally (!) hopped on board. Wilson picked apart New England on Sunday Night, throwing for five touchdowns against what many consider the best secondary in football. Wilson’s five touchdowns went to five different receivers, while he added another 39 yards on five carries. With nine touchdowns and just eleven incompletions to start the year, Wilson appears to be the early MVP favorite. Fire him up as a top quarterback again next week against a Dallas defense who just surrendered 39 points to Matt Ryan and the Falcons.
Dud: Carson Wentz (249 total yards, 1 rushing TD, 2 INT, 12.38 fantasy points)
Carson Wentz appears to be taking a step backwards in year five - not great! Wentz completed 26 of 43 pass attempts for 242 yards and two interceptions in the Eagles’ 37-19 loss to the Rams. After getting sacked eight times last week, the Eagles offensive line was able to keep Wentz clean this game and he still couldn't find any rhythm. Hopefully an easier date against Cincinnati next week can get Wentz back on track or we might be seeing rookie Jalen Hurts a lot earlier than expected.
Injuries: Jimmy Garoppolo, Drew Lock, Tyrod Taylor
Garoppolo was one of many 49er players to leave Sunday’s game against the Jets. Garoppolo was diagnosed with a high ankle sprain, but was able to play through the injury before sitting the entire second half. This is an injury quarterbacks have played through in the past, yet with a trip back to the MetLife turf, head coach Kyle Shanahan might not want to risk further injury to his quarterback. Nick Mullens would get the start if Jimmy G cannot go.
Unlike Garoppolo, Lock was unable to play through his first half injury. Lock was declared to have separated his shoulder against the Steelers and will miss two-to-six weeks. Ben Roethlisberger (2016) and Jameis Winston (2017) have played through sprained AC joints in past years, but it originally appears that Lock’s injury is more severe. We will wait to see the MRI results.
Tyrod Taylor was taken to the hospital before kickoff with chest pains in a scary situation on Sunday. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported it was due to a complication with a pregame shot meant to help with a rib injury. The injury forced rookie Justin Herbert into action, who played well in a close battle with the Chiefs. After the game, head coach Anthony Lynn made it clear Taylor will be the starter going forward if healthy.
Waiver Wire: Ryan Tannehill (251 total yards, 4 TDs, 26.76 fantasy points)
Rostered: 34.5 percent
Tannehill still finds himself rostered in just over one-third of leagues for some reason. As many thought a regression was in store for Tannehill, he keeps lighting it up with his second multi-touchdown game in as many weeks. In his last nine regular season games, Tannehill has thrown for multiple scores in all nine of them, pretty good. Look for another big game next week as Tannehill takes on a young Minnesota defense who has given up 578 passing yards and five passing touchdowns through its first two games.
Stud: Aaron Jones (236 total yards, 3 TDs, 45.6 fantasy points)
That’s right Aaron, you scored three touchdowns Sunday. Jones tore apart the poor Lions defense on Sunday, leading the Packers in both rushing and receiving yards. Last year’s touchdown leader is right back atop the list this year after catching a touchdown and ripping off 75 and 14-yard touchdown runs. Jones will be one of the best fantasy backs every week going forward.
Dud: Derrick Henry (84 yards, 8.4 fantasy points)
In what looked like was going to be a monstrous week for Derrick Henry, the bruiser never really got going against the Jacksonville defense. Henry carried the rock 25 times but just mustered 84 yards and also failed to catch both of his targets. The heavy workload, 56 carries through two weeks, is a good sign going forward as Henry should be able to find more room on the ground.
Injuries: Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Raheem Mostert
A terrible week for running backs, as the consensus top-two fantasy picks and dynamic players, Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey, went down with injuries. Barkley sadly left the game with what was eventually diagnosed as a torn ACL. He will miss the rest of the year. McCaffrey fortunately is not done for the season, but a high ankle sprain is expected to sideline him for 4-6 weeks.
Mostert was one of the other 49ers to go down with an injury. After another successful start on the ground, eight carries, 92 yards and a score, Mostert exited the game in the second quarter with a sprained MCL. Kyle Shanahan said Monday it’s unlikely he suits up next Sunday against the Giants.
Waiver Wire: Mike Davis (75 total yards, 15.5 fantasy points)
Rostered: 0.8 percent
With McCaffrey and Barkley down, owners will be scrambling to pickup their backups. In my mind, only one of their backups is worth owning and that's Mike Davis. When McCaffrey went out on Sunday, Davis immediately saw work in the pass game, catching all eight targets for 74 yards. Head coach Matt Rhule called Davis “a threat coming out of the backfield” as he looks like the favorite to start for Carolina going forward.
Jerick McKinnon (77 total yards, 1 TD, 13.7 fantasy points)
Rostered: 19.1 percent
Another backup to look into, McKinnon impressed when stepping in for the injured Mostert and Tevin Coleman (knee). In limited action, the 28-year old logged three carries for 24 yards in addition to three catches for 20 yards and a touchdown. If he is given RB1 duties going forward, McKinnon is a high-ceiling option in an offense that likes to run the football.
Stud: Calvin Ridley (7 catches, 109 yards, 2 TDs, 29.9 fantasy points)
Calvin Ridley continued his 2020 dominance, posting over 100 yards and two scores for the second straight week. Through two weeks, Ridley leads the Falcons in targets while recording 16 catches, 239 yards and four touchdowns. The task will be tougher next week against a strong Bears defense, but no receiver has had better fantasy production so far this year than Ridley.
Dud: Julio Jones (2 catches, 24 yards, 4.4 fantasy points)
While Ridley was scorching hot, his counterpart was not. In a game where the Falcons put up 39 points, Julio Jones was nowhere to be seen. Playing through a hamstring injury, Jones saw just four targets. His day could have been much different if it wasn't for a drop on what should have been a 42-yard wildcat touchdown.
Scotty Miller (2 catches, 12 total yards, 3.2 fantasy points)
After spending the first two weeks of the season hyping up Scotty Miller, Miller flopped on Sunday even with Chris Godwin sidelined (concussion). Miller had just three targets, catching two and dropping what would have been a touchdown from Tom Brady. We’ll see how if he can bounce back next week against Denver.
Injuries: Courtland Sutton, Davante Adams
After already losing Drew Lock, Denver got hit with another terrible blow as young wide receiver Courtland Sutton will miss the remainder of the season. Sutton tore both his ACL and MCL in his left knee, ending a season he entered with loads of promise.
Good news as Adams season is not ending, but he appeared to be dealing with a few injuries that ended his afternoon early. Adams visited the sideline in the first half after his ankle appeared to be rolled up on, then exited later with a hamstring injury. He was labeled as “questionable” to return, but with a big lead Green Bay did not need to take any chances. We’ll monitor Adams throughout this week’s injury reports.
Waiver Wire: Russell Gage (6 catches, 46 yards, 1 TD, 16.6 fantasy points)
Rostered: 20.2 percent
A third Falcons wide receiver appears on this week’s receiver recap and it’s Gage’s second straight week appearing on the waiver wire list. Coming off a 9/114 performance, Gage followed it up catching six of his nine targets for 46 yards and a score. He should have an even bigger day, as he threw a beautiful 42-yard ball out of the wildcat to Julio Jones, who dropped a sure touchdown. Gage has cemented himself as a contributor in this Falcons offense and is a legitimate fantasy contributor.
N’Keal Harry (8 catches, 72 yards, 15.2 fantasy points)
Rostered: 39.6 percent
Could a N’Keal Harry breakout be coming? After struggling to stay on the field and gel with Tom Brady, Harry and Cam Newton appear to have a strong connection this season. In Sunday’s thriller against Seattle, Harry led all Patriot receivers with 12 targets. It’s taken him just two games to already surpassed his yardage total from all of 2019 (111 yards). If the relationship with him and Newton continues to grow, Harry has a chance to be a strong contributor quickly.
Stud: Tyler Higbee (5 catches, 54 yards, 3 TDs, 28.4 fantasy points)
Higbee caught all five passes Jared Goff threw his way, rumbling his way for 54 yards and three scores. Higbee’s first two scores came from four and three yards out respectively, while he completed the hat trick with a 28-yarder down the left sideline. Only nine targets through two games raises questions about Higbee’s weekly use going forward, but the focus on him in the red zone is a plus.
Darren Waller (12 catches, 103 yards, 1 TD, 28.3 fantasy points)
I had to come back and add Waller after his dominant Monday night performance against the Saints. Waller, who is one of the best comeback stories the league has to offer, was doing everything Monday night, lining up all over the field and carving up the Saints. defense. His 16 (!) targets were 42.1 percent of the Raiders’ total, as no other Raider saw more than three. Waller is a baller (sweet rhyme) and could be the best tight end in the league behind Kittle and Kelce.
Dud: Mark Andrews (1 catch, 29 yards, 3.9 fantasy points)
A troubling game for Andrews, who saw his snap total (71 to 58 percent) and his targets (six to three) decrease from Week 1. The three targets was the lowest he’s seen since Week 14 last season. Expect Andrews to have bounce back performance next week against Kansas City.
Injuries: C.J. Uzomah
Uzomah was off to a strong start this season, catching eight balls for 87 yards and a score. Unfortunately his season has ended, as the 27-year old was carted off Thursday Night with a torn achilles. Drew Sample will most likely step into the starting role at tight end for the Bengals.
Waiver Wire: Jordan Reed (7 catches, 50 yards, 2 TDs, 24.0 yards)
Rostered: 6.7 percent
Remember Jordan Reed? With George Kittle out with an ankle injury, Reed had himself quite the day. He tip-toed the sideline for an 18-yard score and added a second from four-yards out before halftime. If Kittle remains out, Reed is certainly a valuable fantasy tight end.
Dalton Schultz (9 catches, 88 yards, 1 TD, 21.8 fantasy points)
Rostered: 1.0 percent
With Blake Jarwin out for the year, Schultz stepped right in and impressed in Dallas’ come from behind victory on Sunday. Seeing 10 targets, and securing nine of them, the 24-yard appears to have earned a spot in the Cowboys’ passing attack. A Week 3 date with Seattle and Jamal Adams will be a tough one, but Schultz should be rostered here going forward.
Mo-Alie Cox (5 catches, 111 yards, 16.1 fantasy points)
Rostered: 0.8 percent
The old VCU basketball player had seen just 27 targets in his two-plus years in the NFL. On Sunday, Philip Rivers looked his way six times with Trey Burton on IR and Jack Doyle out. Cox delivered, hauling in five of the six targets for 111 yards. Four of his five catches went for over 15 yards, which included an acrobatic, contested catch down by the goal line. He might not earn an abundance of targets going forward, but his Week 2 performance should earn him a role in the offense.
Patriots Player of the Week
Cam Newton (444 total yards, 3 total TDs, 1 INT, 34.58 fantasy points)
While Julian Edelman (8 catches, 179 yards), who was our Patriots Patriots Play of the Week, had a career day, Newton was again the highlight for New England on Sunday. While Seattle constantly #LetRussCook, the Patriots were forced to open up their offense and #LetCamCook. Newton's arm looked strong and healthy, while he showed off a strong connection with Julian Edelman and his other receivers. He found Jakob Johnson on a short goal-line pass for his lone touchdown pass of the season, while running in two more from one-yard out. He missed out on his third rushing touchdown on the last play of the game. If Newton can stay healthy, he looks extremely dangerous in this Patriots offense.
Questions about your fantasy team? Reach out on Twitter @iambrianhines