It’s hard to believe but we are already up to Week 3 of the NFL season. There have been lots of injuries thus far despite the new rules regarding pre-season workouts and an increased emphasis on players’ safety. So without further adieu, here is the Week 3 edition of the walking wounded for fantasy football.
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1. Hakeem Nicks (WR-NYG). After coming back from offseason surgery to repair a fracture in his foot, Giants star wide receiver Hakeem Nicks re-aggravated the injury after an incomplete pass when an opposing defensive player accidentally stepped on his foot after the play was over. Nicks remained in the game and amassed 199 receiving yards. Unfortunately he won’t get to play this week in his home state of North Carolina. This is bad news for the Giants and all fantasy owners. Keep monitoring his progress for Week 4 when he should hopefully return thanks to a few extra off days.
2. Matt Forte (RB-CHI). According to ESPN, Chicago coach Lovie Smith disputed earlier reports that Matt Forte suffered a high ankle sprain during the Bears’ loss to the Packers in Week 2. Chicago activated Kahlil Bell as an extra running back which is a strong indication Forte will not play this week against St. Louis. He may not miss as much time as initially reported, but don’t count on much from him this week at the very least. Michael Bush is a solid fantasy option for this week in his place.
3. Antonio Gates (TE-SD). It has been a recurring theme with Antonio Gates over the course of his career. He is extremely talented and one of the best fantasy tight ends in the game, but he is an extreme health risk. He was held out of the Chargers’ Week 2 game with a rib injury. All indications are that he should be active for Week 3, but keep checking his status because he did practice last Friday before being held out against the Titans.
4. Aaron Hernandez (TE-NE). Don’t expect to get too much detailed information about Patriots’ tight end Aaron Hernandez and the status of his injury. As you know, Bill Belichick will not divulge anything remotely descriptive. But you can expect that Hernandez will miss at least a few weeks with an ankle injury that required him to be in a walking boot with crutches last week.
5. Ahmad Bradshaw (RB-NYG). As if you didn’t know, Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw is fragile. His latest injury is to his neck which caused him to come out of last week’s game against Tampa Bay. Now he has been ruled out of this week’s game against the Panthers. This is not surprising given he hasn’t practiced and the Giants want to be cautious with their primary running back. Because they do not completely trust rookie David Wilson yet, the Giants will rely on Andre Brown to fill in for Bradshaw. Brown is worth a pickup if he is still available on your league’s waiver wire.
6. Steven Jackson (RB-STL). Rams running back Steven Jackson had an MRI on his injured groin and reported that everything turned out fine. Jackson expects to play, but the Rams will likely be cautious with him especially with backup Daryl Richardson filling in admirably for him last week. Keep a close eye on his progress this week and see if he comes back to practice by Friday.
7. Greg Jennings (WR-GB). According to Packers’ head coach Mike McCarthy, he expects wide receiver Greg Jennings to practice this week and be ready to play Monday in Seattle. Jennings sat out of Green Bay’s Week 2 game against the Bears with a groin injury. Keep an eye on Jennings’ progress, and assuming everything goes to plan you can activate him for Week 3.
8. Blaine Gabbert (QB-JAX). First of all, if Blaine Gabbert is the starting quarterback on your fantasy football team, then one of the following scenarios likely applues to you: 1) you are related to Blaine Gabbert; 2) you are in a 32-team league; or 3) you forgot you were required to draft a quarterback and waited until the last round to do so. Gabbert left last week’s game with a couple of leg injuries, but he is expected to play this week despite being limited in practice. He should ideally be sitting comfortably on your bench or the waiver wire.
9. Jeremy Maclin (WR-PHI). Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is dealing with a persistent hip issue which has kept him questionable for the past couple weeks. He did play in Week 2 and caught his second touchdown, but it was his only catch of the day. He will likely play in Week 3 despite missing some practice, much like he did last week. Maclin is a solid WR2 or WR3 option if he is active, so keep him in your lineup unless we learn that he is ruled out later in the week.
10. Brian Orakpo (LB-WAS). Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo reinjured his pectoral muscle that he had surgically repaired during the off-season and will now miss the remainder of the year. Orakpo is a two-time Pro Bowl linebacker who had emerged as a solid IDP option. Now that he will be out for the rest of the season, he can continue focusing his attention on his acting career after the success of his GEICO commercial with the caveman.
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