Free Agency and Injury report week 2 2019

By Kyle Dvorchak
Kyle Dvorchak
What the NFL lacked in quantity of injuries for Week 2, it made up in impact. A handful of quarterbacks went down and no other position can change the landscape of a team like a quarterback can.

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans

Drew Brees suffered a thumb injury when a defensive lineman collided with him during his throwing motion. Brees did not return and Teddy Bridgewater took his place. There is growing concern that the injury may be serious.

Bridgewater is one of the most coveted backups in the league but the Saints offense will still feel the effects of Brees' missed time. In particular, Alvin Kamara's value may take a massive hit. Brees was famous for peppering his backs with targets. Kamara was only targeted three times this week.

Michael Thomas' role looks to be much more secure with a 10-89-0 stat line on 13 targets. Brees' injury will affect the ancillary receiver-Tedd Gin and Tre'Quan Smith-more it does Thomas.

Bridgewater is a must-add in 2QB and Superflex leagues.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh

Big Ben was the second passer to go down and not return this week. Unlike Brees, Roethlisberger will not be returning this season. Pittsburgh placed him on IR Monday afternoon. Mason Rudolph came in to replace the veteran. Rudolph went 12/19 on his way to 112 yards and two scores.

Rudolph was a prolific passer at Oklahoma State who went overlooked at the NFL Draft. He's not the same talent as Ben but he might be able to keep the offense afloat.

He was college teammates with James Washington and the two were a dynamic tandem in each of the past two preseasons. Washington may actually get a small boost from Roethlisberger's injury if he can keep up his connection with Rudolph.

It would make sense for Pittsburgh to look to run the ball more as well but…

James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh

Conner suffered a knee injury in the second half and did not return either. Pittsburgh didn't have many running back touches to go around because they were trailing for most of the second half. Jaylen Samuels ended the day with three carries and a reception while rookie Benny Snell Jr. got a single carry.

Reports are indicating that Conner is fine and should play in Week 3. If new news surfaced that he can't play, there will likely be a committee between Snell and Samuels.

Vernon Davis, TE, Washington

Jordan Reed did not play in Week 2 which left Vernon Davis as the starter. Reed's curse followed Davis and he was unable to finish due to an eye injury. Jeremy Sprinkle was the only other tight end on the roster but Washington will be calling someone up from the practice squad or signing a veteran free agent in the coming days. If neither Davis nor Reed are healthy next week, Chris Thompson and Trey Quinn, who work on shorter routes out fo the backfield and slot, may get a small boost n volume until a tight end of consequence returns.

Tyler Higbee, TE, LA Rams

Tyler Higbee wasn't getting much passing-game work this season-he's had five targets in one and a half games-and now he may miss time with a chest injury. Gerald Everett will move into a larger role with Higbee sidelined.

The Rams haven't featured a tight end at any point in Sean McVay's tenure and I don't expect this to change anything. Everett has one target on the season. Even a reasonably expanded role would still make him miles away from fantasy-relevancy.

LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams, RB's, Kansas City

Both running backs left the Chiefs showdown with Oakland and did not return. Williams left before McCoy who headed to the locker room in the fourth quarter.

Early indications are that both players should be able to suit up for the Chiefs' Week 3 outing versus the Ravens. If one or both of them aren't active, Darwin Thompson and Darrell Williams become interesting additions.

Williams was hyped all offseason as an electric playmaker. He caught 23 passes and ran for 6.8 yards per carry in college. Any player with that skill-set, getting reps on a team led by Mahomes, has some value.

At 6'0", 225 lbs., Darrel Williams has the size to take over work between the tackles. Williams and Thompson could become a sneaky-effective duo if the right dominoes fall.

All of the Eagles

The Eagles lost Dallas Goedert, Alshon Jeffery, and DeSean Jackson Sunday night. All three left the game with various injuries and none of them returned before the clock hit zero.

These injuries clear a huge lane for Zach Ertz to retain his absurd target volume from 2018. With several new weapons in town, many were predicting a slower 2019 compared to his dominant performance from last year. This means all systems go for Ertz.

These injuries could also allow Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins to get more reps. Both crossed 50 yards and five catches Sunday. Agholor is a solid PPR play as the Eagles' slot receiver while Hollins is more of a desperation play.

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is worth monitoring but the Eagles were content with running Agholor and Hollins over him.

Carson Wentz takes a hit from these injuries, especially because of the loss of Jackson. Jackson's game-breaking speed was on full display in Week 1 when he posted an 8-154-2 line. He uncaps the upside on any quarterback he plays with. Jeffery doesn't have that same athleticism but it still hurts Wentz if he misses time.

Sam Darnold and Trevor Siemian Go Down

Luke Faulk finished the game after Siemian went down and Darnold didn't play after contracting mono. The Jets offense was a trainwreck on Monday night and Faulk's presence didn't make much of a difference.

Le'Veon Bell is getting enough volume to sustain his fantasy value right now. The rest of the players on this team-Jamison Crowder and Robby Anderson-are stay-aways until Darnold returns and makes this team look competitive again.