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September 21, 2020

Fantasy football injuries: The latest on Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Cam Akers and others

Also, a look at the prognosis for WRs Devante Adams, Courtland Sutton, Sammy Watkins and more

Fantasy football NFL
Saquon-Barkley-Hurt_092120_usat Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) is helped off the field after suffering a knee injury Sunday.

Week 2 was a bloodbath. 

Not literally of course, but it might as well have been for fantasy football owners as top skill players (and a few quarterbacks) were dropping left and right. It would be hard to find someone whose team was not effected by a Sunday afternoon injury.

As we do every week, we've compiled the latest news on some of the key guys and their outlook as of Monday morning. As MRI and other test results come back, we'll update this space to help you best maintain your fantasy approach during what will be a tough week. We'll also attempt to project the fantasy impact for each as well as a beneficiary for their touches as Week 3 approaches.

Here we go:

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers

Fantasy's No. 1 overall pick and best player left Sunday's game with an ankle injury but it's hard to tell how serious the setback is. It was bad enough for him to take himself out of the game, but he was seen jogging gingerly after his injury, making it seem less severe. Usually with an Achilles you know right away, so it seem like some kind of sprain.

If he misses time, Mike Davis will be the next man up and will certainly create a run on the waiver wire.

"Mike's a good player,'' Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said of Davis, who had a good training camp (via ESPN). "He made some good plays. He's a threat out of the backfield. We'll see what happens with Christian.''

An update from Adam Schefter late Monday morning confirmed that McCaffery would indeed miss some time:

Saquan Barkley, RB, Giants

While there is room for optimism about McCaffrey, there is none for Barkley, who's season is over as the star back reportedly tore his ACL. The loss is a crushing blow not only to the Giants but also to all the fantasy football owners who took him in the top 4. He will be replaced (though, not really, because he is one of the top talents in football) with some combination of Wayne Gallman and Dion Lewis. Each is obviously worth locating in your free agent pool.

Davante Adams, WR, Packers

Adams, one of the game's best receivers and favorite target of Aaron Rodgers, hurt his hamstring in the second half Sunday and never returned. The game was already out of hand, so perhaps it was precautionary, but perhaps not. He missed several games last season with a turf toe injury that did not seem serious, so you never know. Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling stand to benefit target-wise from an Adams absence next week.

Courtland Sutton, WR, Broncos

Sutton is pretty darn banged up this season, having missed Denver's opener already with a shoulder injury. He left Week 2 with a knee injury. The prognosis is still unknown but it isn't looking good.

His fellow wideouts each had at least five targets in his absence: Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler and Tim Patrick. That trio is worthy of keeping track of, as one of them could emerge as a bonafide producer in Sutton's absence.

Cam Akers, Malcolm Brown, RB, Rams

Rams rookie running back Akers injured his ribs and the prognosis is still up in the air. L.A. still managed to run all over the Eagles with Brown, and the now extra valuable Darrell Henderson — who may be a big waiver wire play this week. Brown suffered a finger injury late making Henderson the man in Los Angeles.

Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, RB, 49ers

The Niners are feeling the full weight of the injury bug this young season, as issues with their top two running backs have already complicated their season. Mostert had an incredible start to their win Sunday with an 80-yard TD run, but he later was forced out of the game with what was revealed to be a minor MCL injury. His status will be up in the air depending on the severity of the injury. Coleman, too, had a knee injury, and both are at risk of missing Week 3. Jerrick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson are the next two men up and could be worth a waiver pickup.

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers

Another key Niner, their quarterback, exited Sunday's win with a high ankle sprain. Nick Mullens took over and held things together, but against the lowly Jets it didn't take much. There's a good chance he is the starter next week depending on the severity of Jimmy G's leg.

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Chargers

It appears Taylor may have gotten "Wally Pipped" ... again. Maybe we need to change the title to getting "Tyrod Taylored." The starting quarterback for L.A. experienced breathing issues before Sunday's game and bizarrely was brought to the hospital where he was later discharged. He will hopefully be fine, but his starting gig could be in trouble, as rookie Justin Herbert was thrust into action and looked great. Herbert will be a big waiver wire pick up this week.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Chiefs

After a monster Week 1, Watkins could have a concussion as he left Sunday's game after a hit to the head. His status will be touch and go all week it appears. Kansas City is already loaded at wide receiver and Patrick Mahomes like to spread the ball around so there won't be a huge fantasy impact on anyone else.

Darrell Williams, RB, Chiefs

Those in deep leagues who rely on backup running backs may need a replacement for Williams, who hurt his ankle against the Chargers. Darwin Thompson is the next man up.

Sterling Shepard, WR, Giants

One of the Giants top two targets left Sunday's game with a toe injury and did not return. It's unclear if this is a serious injury but if he does miss time it only increases the value of Golden Tate and Darius Slayton.

Drew Lock, QB, Broncos

We already touched on Sutton's injury issues, but the Broncos have a bigger concern and that is at quarterback. Lock is expected to miss 2-6 weeks with a sprain to his shoulder, making Jeff Driskel the starter in the Mile High City. In two QB leagues, he's 100% worth a grab in free agency. For others needing help at the position, he is definitely more of a wait and see, especially after it was one of several sacks allowed by the Broncos offensive line that led to Lock's injury.

Parris Campbell, WR, Colts

The good news: Indy's young wide receiver did not tear his ACL in his team's win Sunday. The bad news, an MRI is needed to see exactly how bad his knee injury might be. If you have Campbell as one of your fringe wide receivers, expect him to be unable to suit up for at least one week.

Breshad Perriman, Chris Hogan, WR, Jets

If you are relying on Jets wide receivers, we feel bad for you. We also feel bad for Perriman (ankle) and Hogan (ribs) who each left their Week 2 loss with injuries. More information will come out during the week, but the cupboard is pretty bare with Denzel Mims already on IR.

Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions

A little hope amid this sea of troubles, as Detroits stud wideout appears to be on track to make a Week 3 return as his hamstring should allow him to practice again this week.


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