Free Agency and Injury report week 1 2020

By Kyle Dvorchak
Kyle Dvorchak

Michael Thomas Playing Through a High Ankle Injury

Saints star receiver Michael Thomas is going to attempt to play through a high-ankle injury. He posted a 3/17/0 line. It was his worst game since Week 6 of 2017 and the second-worst of his career. Even if he can play through the injury, his Week 1 is concerning. He's still a must-start but it could be rough sledding until he's healthy.

Blake Jarwin Tears ACL

Cowboys tight end Blake Jarwin reportedly tore his ACL in the team's Sunday Night Football matchup with the Rams. He'll have further tests to confirm but the assumption is that he'll be done for the year. Dalton Schultz took most of the snaps with Jarwin out but doesn't have the playmaking upside that Jarwin does. Jarwin's target could get funneled mostly to rookie CeeDee Lamb. Lamb caught five passes for 59 yards in the team's opener.

Marlon Mack Suffers a Torn Achilles'

Like with Jarwin, Mack will undergo further testing but he's presumed to be done for the year. Mack is headed into free agency in 2021 and the Colts drafting Jonathan Taylor signals that he is their long-term answer at running back. Taylor led the Colts with nine carries and added six catches. He totaled 89 yards but didn't score. Nyheim Hines contributed in all phases as well. He rushed seven times and caught a team-high eight passes. He finished the day with 73 yards and two scores. Taylor should be expected to carry the bulk of the load between the tackles and add some value as a receiver. Hines is a better bet in PPR leagues but goes from being irrelevant to an RB3.

Justin Jackson Gets Ruled Out

Chargers RB Justin Jackson was ruled out in the second half versus Cincinnati due to a quad injury. Jackson was battling Kelley for the backup role behind Austin Ekeler and Kelley made the most of that job with Ekeler out. Kelley earned 12 totes which he converted to 60 yards and one short-yardage score. He id not catch a single pass and the Chargers only attempted 30 throws. LA is set to be a run-heavy team which could create a weekly role for the backup to Ekeler. Kelley is set to secure that role and is a great add off the waiver wire.

Le'Veon Bell Pulls a Hammy

Jets RB Le'Veon Bell suffered a hamstring injury in the first half of the Jets' opener versus the Bills. Adam Gase put him back in the game but he reaggravated the injury and was listed as doubtful. He did not return for the rest of the game. Bell is expected to miss a couple of weeks. The Jets offense put up just 17 points and needed a nice catch and run by Jamison Crowder to get their second score. Even if Frank Gore does become a temporary lead-back, he's an easy fade. The Jets backs logged a collective 14 carries for 46 yards and a score (by Josh Adams). Frank Gore would get most of the carries and a few targets if Bell misses time but there are better waiver options than a 37-year-old back playing on a slow and ineffective offense.

Boston Scott Banged Up

The Eagles entered Week 1 with Boston Scott as their lead-back. Miles Sanders' lingering hamstring injury kept him out but Scott suffered an injury of his own in the first half of Philly's match with Washington. Scott did not record a touch in the second half and appears to have not returned to the game. However, he was never officially ruled out. Sanders should be healthy for Week 2 and Scott's absence would boost him into a massive role upon returning. The Eagles finished the day with Corey Clement as their lead back and Jason Huntley as the only backup. Clement carried the ball six times for 19 yards and added two catches while Huntley hardly saw the field. Neither are attractive waiver wire options next week.

A Trio of Receiver Inactives

Kenny Golladay, Courtland Sutton, and Golden Tate were ruled out before their respective openers. None of their injuries appear to be long-term but there is some value to be had with the backups. Quintez Cephus saw 10 targets for 134 air yards but only managed three catches. He'll be a deep flyer if Golladay misses more time and is the only major beneficiary of these injuries that can be found on the waiver wire. Darius Slayton posted a 6/102/2 line with Tate out. He has WR1 upside on any week.

Melvin Gordon Taking Over

Phillip Lindsay left Monday Night's game with a foot injury. Melvin Gordon should assume a three-down role in Denver if Lindsay misses any time. He was used as a pass-catcher and a runner with the Chargers. Former Day 2 back Royce Freeman could get some run as his backup. He entered the league with a similar skillset to Gordon but never managed to usurp Lindsay.