Week two was undoubtedly one of the worst weeks to be a fantasy football player. With so many key injuries, just making it out of the week without losing any significant starting pieces was a win.
Fantasy superstars Saquon Barkley (knee) and Christian McCaffrey (ankle) were the headliners for what was the equivalent to “The Purge” for NFL injuries. Other fantasy options that were banged up last week were : Drew Lock, Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Breshad Perriman, Parris Campbell, Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Cam Akers, Davante Adams, Sterling Shepard, and Julio Jones.
While some of them will most likely suit up for week three, let’s find some healthy alternatives to use in their place.
QB: Carson Wentz (vs. CIN)- Wentz has been disappointing both as a real life quarterback and as a fantasy option to start the season. He has yet to score more than 13 fantasy points through week two with the Eagles also dropping both games. Philadelphia is going to need Wentz to step up if they plan on winning the soft NFC East.
He gets a great opportunity this week to redeem himself against the Bengals, a team that allowed Baker Mayfield to throw for a couple touchdowns last Thursday night. Wentz can be trusted for low-end QB1 numbers as he should throw for multiple touchdown passes.
RB: David Montgomery (vs. ATL)- Montgomery was extremely productive against the Giants defense last week, finishing with over 80 yards on the ground and adding another 45 with a score through the air. This performance could have been even better had he not exited the game with a neck issue, which will have to be monitored throughout the week.
Fortunately, Monty was able to return in the fourth quarter so he will most likely play in week three. He has a juicy matchup against the Falcons, who have allowed more than 20 PPR points to Ezekiel Elliott and Chris Carson in the first two weeks of the season. Montgomery is a must start RB2 with the potential to get over the 20 point hump in back-to-back weeks.
WR: D.J. Chark (vs. MIA)- Chark is an absolute must-start in this Thursday night battle for Florida. He has only caught seven passes across the first two games, so he is an excellent buy-low candidate. He is their most talented offensive player by a considerable margin and will look to prove it against a soft AFC East defense.
The Dolphins allowed Josh Allen to throw for 417 yards and 4 TDs, including over 230 yards and 2 scores by John Brown and Stefon Diggs. Star cornerback Byron Jones is also likely to miss this quick turnaround game with a groin injury. Expect Chark to demand 10 targets or more and deliver a WR1 day.
TE: Jonnu Smith (vs. MIN)- Smith has broken out as the unquestioned starting tight end for Tennessee and as a legitimate week-to-week starter in fantasy. He has three touchdowns to this point and looks like the Titans best option in the passing game with AJ Brown out. He faces a Vikings defense that has looked helpless through two weeks so far, especially after allowing over 100 yards to former VCU basketball star Mo Alie-Cox.
Smith feasted on the Jaguars secondary in week two, so expect little difference against a Vikings team that may be without LB Anthony Barr. He will be a top five player at TE this week.
QB: Deshaun Watson (vs. PIT)- Watson finds himself on the least favorites list for the second week in a row. He had a pedestrian 14.7 points against the Ravens, which hurt several fantasy teams. WR Will Fuller V was also in and out of the lineup with his world famous hamstring injury in week two, so who knows if he will play against the Steelers this week.
Regardless of Fuller’s status, Watson should not be started with any sort of confidence this week. The Steelers are one of if not the best defense in football and made life tough for both Daniel Jones and Jeff Driskel in their opening matchups. Watson should not be expected for more than 17 points.
RB: Todd Gurley (vs. CHI)- After two games, Gurley looks washed up as a runner and has not yet become a factor as a pass catcher. In two favorable matchups to open the season, he has combined for just over 100 yards on the ground and only two receptions for a grand total of one yard. Gurley should’ve been effective against the Cowboys in a game that saw his offense score just under 40 points, but he was completely irrelevant.
He faces a tough Bears defense who is getting healthier in their front seven and looked good against the Giants. Gurley is a flex play this week purely for the volume, but will most likely need a goal-line TD to make managers happy.
WR: Michael Gallup (vs. SEA)- Gallup has been the forgotten man in the Dallas receiver room, which some experts correctly predicted coming into the year. He has caught just five passes for 108 yards to start the year, extremely pedestrian numbers for a player drafted as a WR2.
The Seahawks have allowed big time production to wide receivers across the board, but Gallup’s lack of targets and receptions make him a risky week three play. In what will most likely be a shootout, he has the upside to finish as a WR2. Still, it is difficult to insert him into any lineup with confidence.
TE: Zach Ertz (vs. CIN)- While Carson Wentz’s has a strong shot at having a bounce back week against the Bengals soft pass defense, the alarms are sounding on Zach Ertz. Ertz has just 8 receptions for 60 yards and a TD in two weeks. Teammate Dallas Goedart has almost doubled his total fantasy score after week two of the season.
Is Ertz done as a fantasy play? Not quite, but he is definitely not a must start option at the position anymore. He slots in as a fine week three play with his matchup, but now falls well outside the top five weekly rankings as a TE. Ten points might be the new ceiling for Ertz.