Injuries played a significant role in Week 2. Both the players who got injured and the one is who will take their place.
All injuries are devastating to the team and especially to the person involved. We see them as players, but they are indeed, people. Do not ever lose track of this. They have families and loved ones, just like all of us.
Looking at some of the big names who were hurt, there will be many new names at the top of fantasy rankings this season. With Saquon Barkley done for the season and Christian McCaffrey out a month, the likes of Josh Jacobs and Alvin Kamara could find themselves at the top come the end of the season. Having new blood is great, and it will also make drafts in 2021 extremely interesting.
Christian McCaffrey will likely still be at the top. Others will close the gap for sure. Whether it be a player like Jacobs or even Johnathan Taylor, there will be a litany of new names at the top of both drafts and ranks next season.
Getting to the players who will miss time, the most prominent names are for sure, Barkley, who will miss the entire season with a torn ACL, and McCaffrey, who is out four-six weeks with a high ankle sprain. Neither team had any room for injury, especially to the best player on either team. Unfortunately, it happens. More often than we like to think. This will limit the entire offense for both the Giants and Panthers going forward.
Saquon Barkley was not off to a great start this season. He was still the engine that ran the team, though. With Daniel Jones still looking timid, it was Barkley who was going to need to lead the team. With him out, not to mention Sterling Shepard now hurt as well, the Giants will rely even more on oft-injured Evan Engram and aging Golden Tate for production. The backfield is a mess. Even if the team brings in Devonta Freeman, there was a reason he has yet to be signed by a team. It is not just the salary demands. If he still had anything left, the demand would have been met. The injury to Barkley therefor leaves a massive hole for New York. A hole they will not be able to fill. It could sink their entire season. As for fantasy? Good luck with starting anyone here.
Christian McCaffrey is also a considerable loss. Although he will only be out four to six weeks, this will torpedo many fantasy teams who drafted him expecting last season to repeat. If you could get him and back him up with some legitimate options, you should be fine. With all the other injuries around the league, do not expect to get that option now.
Unlike New York, Carolina does have substantial contributors in the passing game you can still use. D.J. Moore is a borderline top 12 WR. He will now gain an even greater target share, leading to more production every week. Coming into the season, fantasy managers were unsure whether Curtis Samuel or Robbie Anderson was the number two. After two weeks, it looks to be the job of Anderson. His comfort level in the offense from his time at Temple under Coach Rhule is a crucial factor. It also might just be he is better than Samuel. Sorry to the Samuel truthers out there. Either way, you can still use Anderson as a WR three or even a flex in your starting lineup. As for Moore, he is what he always was. A low-end WR one, high-end WR two.
Moving on to the wide receiver position, there are two players we need to talk about here. Parris Campbell and Courtland Sutton. The duo both had hype coming into the season. Campbell, due to the arrival of Philip Rivers to the team and Courtland Sutton because of all the weapons Denver added this offseason. Unfortunately, we will need to wait another season for both to make a mark.
After a rookie season of only seven games due to various injuries, Parris Campbell was set to assert himself in year two. He had a solid first week of the season. He was showing why Indianapolis took him in the 2019 NFL draft. After the good start in Week 1, Campbell was taken out of the rest of the season with a torn knee on a seven-yard run against Minnesota. With T.Y. Hilton looking old, it will be up to rookie Michael Pittman Jr. to get up to speed quickly to provide a second option for Rivers.
A Week after losing Marlon Mack for the season, Johnathan Taylor had an excellent game with over 100 rush yards. Pittman Jr. will be counted on to perform to the same level if the Colts want a chance to win the division and make the playoffs. It will be a difficult chore, but one which could be accomplished. The defense of the Colts is taking a step forward. This will be key. If it remains this way, the Colts will still be good to go. They play in a weaker division because they have a coach who can adapt and a veteran QB.
Courtland Sutton is the Broncos WR1. After hurting his shoulder in the final week of the preseason, he missed the Week 1 opener against the Titans. Coming back in Week 2, the Broncos drew the vicious Steelers offense. They were worse than we had hoped. Sutton tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season. This injury was compounded by the shoulder injury to starting QB Drew Lock. Without either of these starters, not to mention Philip Lindsay, who will be out a while with Turf toe, things are trending down for Denver.
Jerry Jeudy looks to be a budding star after two games. Noah Fant also looks to be the real deal. They will need to be superstars for the team to do anything this season. As for fantasy, Noah Fant will continue to perform as a mid-level TE one for fantasy. As for Jeudy, his stock will go up a bit. Not as much as you would want, but he will remain a high-end WR three for the remainder of the season. This could also help him breakout in 2021 as he will be counted on more so than previously expected. Even if Jeudy does not fulfill his potential this season under pressure, he will be a good target for next season when he can return to the WR2 position behind Sutton.
There were so many injuries this week. Too many to mention in one article. The players mentioned above seem to be the most fantasy relevant and have the longest-lasting effects. Different leagues will have other players on waivers. Make sure you search and find the hidden gem. With all the player movement, someone might be forced to drop someone they do not want to out of need. Look for players to pick up off of the waiver wire, of course. Do not forget to go back after the Waiver run and find those dropped players. You might find a league winner.