Free Agency and Injury report week 3 2019

By Kyle Dvorchak
Kyle Dvorchak This week’s injury news is the lightest through three weeks which means most of your studs are safe. However, Week 3 also brought us...the big one.

Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

Saquon Barkley went down with an ankle injury and did not return. The stud running back is expected to be out for 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain.

Wayne Gallman will likely be the starter in place of Barkley and because he’s taking over such a volume-laden role, Gallman is the highest-priority waiver acquisition of the week. Beyond Gallman, the Barkley injury is a clear boon to the two receiving options on this team, Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard, both of whom hit 100 yards and found the end zone.

Combined with the infusion that Daniel Jones brings to the offense and both receiving options are must-plays each week.

Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots

Edelman was unable to return after taking a shot to the ribs. He was officially ruled out with a chest injury and did not come back after leaving before halftime.

Josh Gordon was the clear No. 1 on this team in the absence of Edelman. He was targeted 11 times with 112 air yards behind those targets. Both marks led all Patriots players. Gordon was once considered a candidate for the best receiver in the league. Now he’ll command a high-target share from one of the league’s most efficient passers, Tom Brady. He’s a lock in fantasy lineups until Edelman returns.

Phillip Dorsett will be on the field for most two-receiver sets. The burner has three touchdowns this season and more volume will help him sustain that pace. He’s a fringe-starter for now.

Vance McDonald, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers

McDonald had been getting a decent amount of volume before being ruled out with a shoulder injury but they were often short targets with little value. His average depth of target is 4.5 on 13 targets. Outside of his touchdown-scoring potential, McDonald wasn’t shaping up to make good on his sleeper status this season.

This should help funnel a few more targets to Juju Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson. Johnson got the starting nod after Pittsburgh decided to make Donte Moncrief a healthy scratch. Xavier Grimble will be the team’s starter but doesn’t have much fantasy value if any.

Ito Smith, RB, Atlanta Falcons

Smith wasn’t shaping up to be a factor in fantasy lineups before he suffered a concussion in Week 3. He can safely be dropped now. Atlanta was down to Kenjon Barner as their loan backup with Qadree Ollison and Brian Hill ruled out Sunday by coach’s decision. One of the two will be called up if Smith’s injury lasts but don’t expect either of them to make much of an impact considering they were healthy scratches this week.

The Smith injury should force the Falcons to lean on Devonta Freeman even more now. Freeman carried the ball 16 times and reeled in three more passes on the day. He becomes a significantly safer start if Smith isn’t around to siphon away touches.

LeSean McCoy, Running Back, Kansas City Chiefs

McCoy ran with the backups during pregame warmups after appearing on the injury report all week. He pushed through an ankle injury and started the Chiefs’ game versus Baltimore. However, he re-injured that ankle during the game. Andy Reid downplayed the injury after the game.

Darrel Williams got extra run with McCoy nursing that injury. He carried the ball nine times and caught an additional five balls. He’s the waiver-wire target to replace McCoy and rookie Darwin Thompson is a more speculative add as he was given just four carries.

Once Damien Williams returns it should be a committee between him and McCoy again.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts

T.Y. Hilton re-aggravated a quad injury that ailed him all week during practice. He was held out to prevent any further injury to a muscle that had already been a problem for him.

It will be hard to pinpoint any receivers with starting in Indianapolis if Hilton misses time. Deon Cain, Zach Pascal, and Paris Campbell were all within one target of each other in Week 3 and no member of the trio saw more than five targets.

Campbell had a dynamic profile coming out of Ohio State. He was used mostly near the line of scrimmage but has the speed and agility to win in all sectors of the field. He’s the best addition of the three but is only worth taking a shot on if you have ample roster space.

Alshon Jeffery, Wide Receiver, Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are expecting Alshon Jeffery to play Thursday night against the Packers. If he does return, Nelson Agholor will turn back into a pumpkin after scoring three times in two weeks because of injuries to Jeffery and DeSean Jackson. Agholor will still get some run if Jackson doesn’t suit up but he’ll be more of a dart-throw than he was last week.

The Green Bay defense has improved immensely in the past two years via the draft but Jeffery is still slotted to be the No. 1 receiver for a Carson Wentz offense. He should have no problem regaining his status as a WR2 in fantasy.

Taylor Gabriel, Wide Receiver, Chicago Bears

Taylor Gabriel stunned Washington to the tune of six catches, 75 yards, and three scores. Heading into the Monday night game, Gabriel was second in wide receiver targets (7) and air yards (70). He only widened the gap between himself and the next Chicago wideout against Washington but was unable to finish the game due to a concussion.

If Gabriel cannot play in Week 4, Anthony Miller may finally be able to make some noise after disappointing through three weeks. The second-year wide receiver is currently eighth on the team with five targets. The loss of Gabriel alone won’t be enough to make Miller a startable fantasy player but it will at least put him on the radar.