Week 3 of the 2018 NFL season saw some debuts of young quarterbacks, but it also saw the end of the season for another young star signal caller. Devastating injuries are part of the game and a risk that all fantasy football GMs must endure. When something like this happens, it has a domino effect on other players and strategies on a weekly basis. The takeaway from a catastrophic season-ending injury is that you can never have too much depth on your roster, so keep managing the waiver wire aggressively and plan for all contingencies. So without any further ado, let’s delve into the next edition of the 2018 fantasy football emergency room.
Jimmy Garoppolo (QB-SF)
In less than a month, the 49ers have now lost their two best offensive players for the season. Jerick McKinnon went down at the end of the preseason, and now Jimmy Garoppolo ’s season is over as well. The rising star quarterback suffered a torn left ACL which will require season-ending surgery. Garoppolo had thrown for 718 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions prior to the injury, and now the 49ers will turn to C.J. Beathard to lead the way. This severely diminishes the fantasy value of all 49er players so keep that in mind when setting lineups.
A.J. Green (WR-CIN)
Green suffered a groin injury on Sunday against the Panthers and was taken out of the game early in the second half. He had already been targeted eight times and caught five passes for 58 yards before the injury, so he was on his way to another big game. Green has been phenomenal thus far totaling 16 catches for 219 yards and four touchdowns. He says he expects to play in Week 4 so for now assume that he will be on the field unless we hear otherwise in the next few days.
Joe Mixon (RB-CIN)
It was reported that Mixon could potentially return this week against Atlanta after undergoing minor knee surgery last week. He is itching to return after getting off to a great start to the season rushing for 179 yards and also accumulating 57 receiving yards with one touchdown. It is likely that the Bengals will keep him out another week and not rush him back, but monitor this situation later in the week for the possibility that he does make it back as soon as Sunday.
Dalvin Cook (RB-MIN)
The Vikings got their doors blown off by Buffalo in a shocking upset last Sunday. There were many reasons for the blowout, and one of them was the absence of running back Dalvin Cook who is dealing with a hamstring injury. The problem is that Minnesota has a short week as they face the Rams on Thursday night. Cook is not positive about his status for Thursday, and with only two days left before the game the safe bet is that he will be on the sidelines once again.
Jay Ajayi (RB-PHI)
Ajayi missed this past week’s game against the Colts with a back injury creating opportunities for Corey Clement . However, Ajayi is expected to be back on the practice field this week which increases his chances of playing in Week 4. We should know more later in the week as to Ajayi’s status, but fantasy GMs will want him back in the lineup as he already has three rushing touchdowns in his first two games.
Evan Engram (TE-NYG)
The Giants may be without their star tight end for at least a week after he suffered a sprained MCL on Sunday against Houston. He suffered the injury after catching a pass and taking a hit to his lower body and was later ruled out of the game. Engram is considered week-to-week and will be replaced by Rhett Ellison who caught a touchdown pass in the Giants victory. Ellison is not worth rostering so seek other alternatives on the waiver wire.
LeSean McCoy (RB-BUF)
The Bills indicated that McCoy was making progress from his rib injury but his status for Week 4 is still unclear. Somehow, Buffalo managed to dismantle the Vikings this past week and will face another tough NFC opponent in the Packers who are coming off of a bad loss. If McCoy cannot play, then Chris Ivory and Marcus Murphy will once again handle backfield duties for the Bills.
Anthony Miller (WR-CHI)
Miller was taken out of the game in the second half against Arizona with a dislocated left shoulder. He had apparently been trying to tough it out, but he was eventually removed. The rookie wide receiver has a lot of talent and upside and has amassed eight catches for 60 yards and one touchdown thus far. Chicago has been playing stellar defense so there has not been a need to air it out yet for Mitchell Trubisky . This has limited the production from their wide receivers so Miller is not a viable starting option except in very deep leagues.
Rex Burkhead (RB-NE)
The Patriots lost running back Rex Burkhead to a neck injury late on Sunday night against the Lions. He has rushed for 86 yards and also caught three passes for 31 yards on the season so far. His status for Week 4 is questionable, and the Patriots will likely be conservative with him given that Sony Michel appears to have taken over as the primary running back.
Muhammad Wilkerson (DL-GB)
Veteran defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson is done for the season after undergoing surgery on his ankle. He signed with the Packers on a one-year deal looking to cash in on a long-term contract after the season, but now the prospects of a lucrative contract appear nil. Wilkerson had five tackles and no sacks thus far, but was a key cog in the Packers defensive line. This injury makes Green Bay more vulnerable against the run which could be beneficial for certain weekly matchups.
Ricardo Allen (DB-ATL)
Atlanta has now lost another safety for the season as Ricardo Allen tore his Achilles during their loss to New Orleans. The Falcons defense was already thin and this injury makes them very susceptible against opposing offenses. You should target offensive players playing against the Falcons each week given the gaping holes they have in the secondary.