Week 2 Practice Report & Injury Recap (2020 Fantasy Football)
It’s only Week 2 of the NFL season, but we’ve already seen some big names get hurt. For example, the New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers are nursing a ton of injuries, and some of their offensive keystones headline this week’s practice report recap.
Each Friday, I’ll break down the NFL practice reports by matchup. That’s when teams release two key pieces of information: first, a player’s status (full-go, limited, no-go) in practice that week; second, their injury designation (questionable, doubtful, out). It’s vital stuff to follow for your fantasy matchups, and I’ll walk you through the important things to know.
Oh, and if you’re looking for injury news on Michael Thomas — I have none. the Monday night football games run on a practice schedule that lags one day behind the rest of the league, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for news about his official injury designation.
Jaguars at Titans (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
The Jaguars escaped their game against Indy in good health, and while there were concerns about defensive end Josh Allen’s status, he’s good to go for Sunday.
The same can’t be said about the Titans. A.J. Brown, who some expected to be a fantasy WR1 this year, suffered a knee injury and is probably week-to-week, according to Adam Schefter. While his absence will give Corey Davis, Adam Humphries, and Jonnu Smith small bumps in value, it’s bad news for Ryan Tannehill drafters, as the quarterback will no longer get points for Brown’s YAC.
With Evans out again, the Titans have just two running backs listed on their depth chart behind Henry: Senorise Perry and Khari Blasingame. They’re not at all fantasy-relevant, and the fact that they’re the only alternatives suggests the Titans will lean heavily on Henry.
Panthers at Buccaneers (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Bruce Arians said that Godwin hadn’t cleared the concussion protocol as of Friday. He added that if he does on Saturday, he woud be upgraded to questionable for Sunday’s game against the Panthers. I wouldn’t count on having Godwin this week, and his practice absences suggest that a big game is in store for Mike Evans.
Scotty Miller could be worth adding in deeper leagues, and he may post low-end WR3/4 numbers if Godwin sits.
That said, the Panthers’ injuries along the defensive line bode well for a different part of Tampa Bay’s offense — the running game. Ronald Jones dominated this backfield in carries last week, and he should be able to pop off against Carolina’s poor (and injured) rushing defense if given the chance.
Broncos at Steelers (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Broncos: CB A.J. Bouye (shoulder) IR, RB Phillip Lindsay (toe) OUT, WR Courtland Sutton (shoulder) QUESTIONABLE.
Steelers: OT Zach Banner (knee) IR, OG David DeCastro (knee) OUT, OG Stefen Wisniewski (chest) OUT.
The Steelers’ banged-up offense line means that their running game (and passing game, too) may struggle to score points, so I’m dropping them a bit in my rankings.
That said, the biggest story here is who isn’t on this list — running back James Conner. Even though he’ll play, he isn’t guaranteed to get the majority of the carries. If you added Benny Snell, he’s less likely to see the volume that he would’ve gotten without Conner, so temper your expectations. Worse, he’s likelier to be inefficient given the injuries in the trenches. Snell is a desperation start at RB3 or flex this week, and he has far more value in standard-scoring formats than in PPR.
Without Lindsay, Melvin Gordon is the clear-cut workhorse in this backfield. He had a solid showing in Week 1, and he’ll look to keep things rolling against a Steelers defense that held Saquon Barkley to six rushing yards. So while the opportunity is there for Gordon, I’m not sure if he can do much with it.
Sutton drafters may finally get to start the wideout this week, as he earned a questionable tag after practicing all week. Sutton is a low-end WR3 if he plays due to Pittsburgh’s strong defense.
Rams at Eagles (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Rams: No fantasy-relevant injuries.
Eagles: WR Alshon Jefferey (foot) OUT.
There’s not a whole lot to report here. As expected, Jeffery continues to miss time while nursing a foot injury. There are legitimate questions about whether he’ll play another snap as a Philadelphia Eagle.
In better news, Miles Sanders is a full-go for Sunday’s game. He was a full participant in practice all week, and while he may need a game to get back up to speed, he’s a must-start if you took him in the first or second round. And with tackle Lane Johnson back in the lineup, too, the Eagles should rebound from their dismal Week 1 performance.
49ers at Jets (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Good news, 49ers fans, Brandon Aiyuk is back! Oh, but you lost George Kittle. Kittle’s absence paves the way for Jordan Reed to pop off, but I expect Kyle Shanahan to emphasize the running game in what should be a blowout.
Things are looking quite grim for the Jets. With Bell down, they’ve got a committee backfield between the timeless Frank Gore and rookie Lamical Perine, but I’m not starting either of them against San Francisco’s defense.
Bills at Dolphins (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
The Bills will play without their starting MLB and WLB this week, and one of their reserve linebackers, Phillips, is out as well. Buffalo will lean on SLB A.J. Klein and reserve linebackers Tyrel Dodson and Tyler Matakevich, two definite downgrades at the position. Their absence gives the Dolphins’ running backs and tight ends a small boost for this weekend’s matchup, and it hurts the Bills D/ST as a unit.
Miami head coach Brian Flores has called Parker a game-time decision, so he’s a must-fade for me even if he does play. Hamstring injuries have a high chance of re-injury, and if the Dolphins aren’t careful with him, there’s a good chance that he’ll miss more time. Preston Williams would rocket into low-end WR2 territory as a result.
Vikings at Colts (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
The Vikings might be done with Elflein. The guard hasn’t played up to expectations for Minnesota, and while they should be able to get serviceable work out of backup Dru Samia, there could be some growing pains. Don’t bench anyone because of the switch, but take note of any changes in efficiency numbers for Cook or Cousins.
Three of the Colts’ pass-catchers are banged-up heading into this one. While Pittman isn’t a starter at receiver, Pascal is, so any limits for either of them will boost T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell’s numbers. The loss of Jack Doyle will vault Mo Alie-Cox into a starting role, and while I wouldn’t stream him this week, he could be an option in 2TE leagues.
Lions at Packers (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
The Lions won’t have their WR1 again this weekend. Quintez Cephus led this offense in targets and air yards when Golladay missed Week 1, so he has low-end WR3/flex value in his absence. And while I think that Marvin Jones should see some of those targets, we don’t know for sure what’ll happen. Danny Amendola remains a low-end WR3 in PPR formats.
Trufant’s injury means that Davante Adams should be a safe bet to have a big day. He’s likely to face either Amani Oruwariye or rookie Jeff Okudah, and I don’t think that’ll be enough to stop last week’s WR1.
That said, the injuries along Green Bay’s offensive line are something to worry about. If they can’t keep Aaron Rodgers upright without two of their starters, it takes away from some of Adams’ upside.
Falcons at Cowboys (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Despite logging limited reps on Wednesday and Thursday, Julio is a full-go for Sunday’s date with the Cowboys, which is sure to be a high-scoring affair.
The Cowboys lost their starting tight end, Blake Jarwin, for the season last week. They’ll replace him with Dalton Schultz, but Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb are the two players likeliest to benefit from his absence.
Tyron Smith’s injury is the only other one worth noting. He failed to practice at all this week, so I wouldn’t expect him to suit up. While I don’t believe that the Falcons have the personnel necessary to fully exploit Smith’s absence, they’d have an easier time controlling Ezekiel Elliott.
Giants at Bears (Sunday, 1:00 PM EST)
Tate sat out last week, and he’s questionable for this one due to his hamstring. Tate is primarily a short-yardage receiver, so while his return could lessen Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram’s usage, don’t expect it to affect Darius Slayton too much. That said, Tate is probably the lowest in the pecking order of the four pass-catchers.
The Bears D/ST continues to deal with injuries this week. While Mack suited up for Week 1, Robert Quinn did not, and the Bears only earned one sack. Those who drafted the Bears D/ST expected more, and Quinn’s return should help them get it. He logged limited practices up until Friday, when he practiced in full, so I’m optimistic about his status for Sunday’s game.
Football Team at Cardinals (Sunday, 4:05 PM EST)
Williams is on this list because he tied starter Dan Arnold in targets (2) last week, so Arnold could see a small boost in looks without him. That said, you shouldn’t even be thinking about Arnold outside of very deep leagues, as the Cardinals infrequently look to their tight ends.
Washington will have a tough time slowing down Kliff Kingsbury’s air raid attack without Fuller, and it’s concerning that he was downgraded to limited for Friday’s practice. If he can’t go, DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk should get a slight boost in value.
Chiefs at Chargers (Sunday, 4:25 PM EST)
It’s never good to lose an offensive lineman like Pouncey, but the Chargers are at least getting one back this week, as guard Trai Turner should be able to suit up for the first time this season. And with Jackson likely missing Sunday’s game with a quad injury, Joshua Kelley is in a great spot to prove himself as a fantasy option behind Austin Ekeler. I’ve already ranted about him enough already, so if you drafted him or got him off waivers, congratulations.
Ravens at Texans (Sunday, 4:25 PM EST)
Stanley, the Ravens’ left tackle, went down with a hip injury last week. He should be good to go for Week 2, as he logged a full practice on Friday, but the Ravens would have a difficult time on offense if forced to play without him. They already lost their star guard, Marshal Yanda, in the offseason, and there’s only so much that Lamar Jackson’s athleticism can compensate for — especially against J.J. Watt.
Both Cooks and Johnson were limited all week in practice. Their injury status means that both Will Fuller and David Johnson should see some additional usage in their stead. Cooks is a low-end WR4 until we see him earn more of Deshaun Watson’s attention.
Patriots at Seahawks (Sunday, 8:20 PM EST)
Bill Belichick is such a troll. Although both Edelman and Harry were limited in practice all week, I still expect them to play. Why? Belichick listed Edelman as questionable for most of 2019, yet Edelman played in all 16 games.
That said, I wouldn’t start Harry, and I’m reticent to recommend playing Edelman. If I had either of them on my roster, I’d wait to see if the Patriots trust Cam Newton to throw the ball more than 19 times per game times before I would confidently start either of them.
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