After a brutal Week 2 of the 2020 season that saw several stars go down with injuries, the NFL injury report heading into Week 3 is loaded with fantasy stars who are in jeopardy of missing time.
The injuries are quickly mounting at wide receiver, where some of the league’s best talent and top draft picks in fantasy football are on the injury report for their respective teams. With just one practice left and a few days left before they are set to take the field, some great players might be inactive in Week 3.
Let’s take a look at the NFL injury report from Thursday and analyze which fantasy stars are in serious jeopardy of not playing this week.
Latest on Michael Thomas’ ankle injury
After suffering an ankle injury near the end of Week 1, Thomas hoped he would be able to return quickly from the injury. While he avoided being placed on injured reserve, a short-term move that would rule him out for three weeks, he missed Week 2 after being unable to practice.
Unfortunately, the outlook isn’t promising for the All-Pro receiver before Week 3. New Orleans released its latest injury report and Thomas hasn’t practiced the past two games. While it’s possible he could suit up on “Sunday Night Football” without practicing this week, the Saints are likely going to hold him out.
Fantasy impact if Michael Thomas ruled out for Week 3
If the Saints rule Thomas out before Sunday, this might be the best-case scenario for fantasy football owners. It gives them time to weigh different replaces off their bench or the waiver wire. However, if New Orleans takes its star receiver’s status until before kickoff, options will be limited before the Sunday night game.
When Thomas missed Week 2, many expected Emmanuel Sanders to step in as the No. 1 receiver. However, he didn’t seem to have chemistry with Drew Brees and finished with just one reception on six targets. Instead, Tre’Quan Smith led the team’s receivers in targets (seven), catches (five) and receiving yards (86).
The biggest beneficiary from Thomas’ absence would be star running back Alvin Kamara. He finished with nine catches for 95 yards on “Monday Night Football” and added 79 rushing yards with two scores on the ground. Set to take a soft Packers’ defense, Kamara is the RB1 in fantasy in Week 1.
NFL news: Falcons’ Julio Jones (hamstring) misses practice on Thursday
Jones entered the regular season with a hamstring injury, but managed to fight through the discomfort in the first two weeks. Unfortunately, the pain is lingering and he has missed two consecutive practices after straining the hamstring.
The Falcons admitted Monday that Jones’ injury might be more severe than they initially believed, which is concerning for the team and fantasy owners. The 31-year-old receiver didn’t look right during Sunday’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta might have no choice but to sit him in Week 3.
Fantasy impact if Julio Jones inactive vs. Chicago Bears
Jones has a history of playing through pain, but it might not be his decision. While the Falcons don’t look like a playoff contender at 0-2, the organization wants to keep its star healthy for the full season. As a result, there’s a real chance he doesn’t play against the Bears.
Even against one of the NFL’s best defenses, wide receiver Calvin Ridley would be an elite fantasy option in Week 3. If Jones is sidelined, it will lead to even more targets for the player who ranks second in receiving yards (239) and first in receiving touchdowns (four). From a DFS angle or deep-league perspective, Russell Gage becomes a viable option if Jones is inactive.
Packers injury report: Davante Adams uncertain for Week 3
During Green Bay’s blowout victory in Week 2, Adams was forced to exit the game with a hamstring injury. Many hoped it would just a cautious step with the game out of hand, but the three-time Pro Bowl selection is uncertain to play this week.
Adams wasn’t able to practice on Wednesday or Thursday, putting his status for “Sunday Night Football” in real jeopardy. Meanwhile, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, there doesn’t seem to be much optimism that Adams will be available against the Saints.
Fantasy advice: Will Davante Adams play vs. Saints on Sunday Night Football?
Similar to the situation in New Orleans, the biggest fantasy boost to the star receiver’s absence would be the running back. Aaron Jones is coming off a monster game with 236 total yards and three touchdowns. Coming off a season with 49 receptions with 474 receiving yards, Jones would be a high-end RB1 and rank as a top-six running back in Week 3 with Adams inactive.
At wide receiver, if Adams can’t suit up, there will be more opportunities for Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Lazard has hauled in seven catches for 108 receiving yards through two games this season and might see seven-plus targets if Green Bay’s No. 1 receiver. Valdes-Scantling is a big-play threat, making him a risk-reward WR3 option in fantasy for Week 3.
NFL injury report: JuJu Smith-Schuster missed two consecutive practices
Smith-Schuster played in Week 2, hauling in seven-of-eight targets for 48 receiving yards. But, the explosive playmaker has now missed consecutive practices with a knee injury. While he is now the No. 2 receiving option in this offense, losing him for any length of time would be a blow.
Fortunately, per ESPN’s Brooke Pryor, Smith-Schuster’s knee injury is believed to be relatively minor. He isn’t expected to miss the upcoming matchup against the Houston Texans. Pittsburgh seems to be managing the situation carefully, saving one of its top weapons until the game arrives. Given Houston’s secondary is relatively weak, Smith-Schuster is a consensus top-15 receiver in fantasy rankings for Week 3.
49ers news: George Kittle limited in practice on Thursday
San Francisco was decimated by injuries in Week 2. The organization is certainly glad it held Kittle out with a knee injury against the New York Jets, especially given their concerns with the field conditions at MetLife Stadium. While the NFL and NFLPA have approved of the field before Week 3, when the 49ers face the New York Giants, it’s still not a guarantee Kittle plays.
In the latest injury report from the team, Kittle was listed as a limited participant in practice on Wednesday and Thursday. It’s a positive sign after he couldn’t practice with the team last week and there is a real chance he plays in Week 3.
Fantasy impact if 49ers rule out George Kittle
We wouldn’t consider it a surprise if the 49ers play it safe and ultimately hold Kittle out. The team is expected to start backup quarterback Nick Mullens on Sunday, with Jimmy Garoppolo among countless starters on the injury report. Even with multiple backups, San Francisco is favored to beat the Giants.
If the 49ers play it safe, Jordan Reed becomes an immediate bargain play in DFS and a top-15 tight end for Week 3. He racked up 50 receiving yards and two touchdowns in Week 2, drawing eight targets on the day. He looks healthy and explosive, which would make him a go-to weapon for a backup quarterback.