Wed Sep 23 7:18pm ET
By STEVE MEGARGEE
AP Sports Writer
Green Bay Packers' Davante Adams tries to get away from Detroit Lions' Will Harris during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
Green Bay wide receiver Davante Adams says he doesn't know yet whether he'll be able to play Sunday night at New Orleans after leaving the Packers' previous game early with a hamstring injury.
''It's too early to tell,'' Adams said Wednesday. ''It's feeling better. I think we're making good progress every day. But we're just going to wait it out and see.''
Adams left the Packers' 42-21 victory over the Detroit Lions in the second half and didn't practice Wednesday.
Sunday night's Packers-Saints game features two of the NFL's most prolific receivers in Adams and New Orleans' Michael Thomas, but injuries could prevent either guy from playing.
Thomas missed the Saints' 34-24 loss at Las Vegas on Monday with an ankle injury. The Saints didn't have practice Wednesday but were required to release an injury report, on which they estimated that Thomas wouldn't have practiced.
Adams has 17 catches for 192 yards and two touchdowns through the first two games of the season. He ranks third in the NFL in catches and sixth in yards receiving. Adams had 14 receptions in a season-opening victory at Minnesota to tie Don Hutson's 78-year-old franchise record for catches in a game.
Adams caught 83 passes for 997 yards and five touchdowns to earn a third straight Pro Bowl invitation last year despite missing four games with a toe injury.
''It'll probably be a decision that's made later in the week most likely, just to get a full assessment, give me the full amount of time I need to get right, to a real comfortable spot,'' Adams said. ''Obviously I don't think we're there just yet, but we're making great strides on the way there.''
Packers coach Matt LaFleur was asked Wednesday whether he'd feel comfortable playing someone who didn't practice during the week.
''I think it's totally dependent on the player,'' LaFleur said. ''I think the guy or guys you're talking about, we've got a pretty good idea what they can do. If we can get them to game day, they'll play.''
Saints coach Sean Payton has declined to discuss Thomas' prospects for playing since the two-time All-Pro receiver got hurt.
Thomas had three catches for 17 yards through most of a season-opening victory over Tampa Bay before he was rolled up on by Saints running back Latavius Murray in the fourth quarter and went limping off the field with an ankle injury.
Last season, Thomas set an NFL record with 149 catches in a season. His ability for using his strength to get open and hold on to contested balls were widely seen as contributing factors in Brees completing better than 74% of his passes each of the past two seasons. Thomas caught 80.5% of the 185 passes thrown to him by Brees or then-backup Teddy Bridgewater in 2019, and 85% of the passes that came his way in 2018.
In two games this season, Brees has completed 64.7% of his passes.
Five Hot Starts: Week 3
New York Jets wide receiver Breshad Perriman (ankle) will not practice on Thursday, while wide receiver Chris Hogan (rib) is limited while dealing with a rib injury. On top of it, Jamison Crowder (hamstring) is expected to miss his second straight game against the Colts. Braxton Berrios and Josh Malone are the only other wideouts on the roster, although Lawrence Cager could get called up from the practice squad. Running back Le'Veon Bell is also out. The Jets offense is downright ugly, making the Colts Defense a strong streaming option this week. Perriman is considered week-to-week, but you should've already been looking to avoid him in standard 12-team leagues. Other than maybe tight end Chris Herndon as a flex sleeper, it would be smart to avoid Gang Green.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk (groin) is sitting out practice once again on Thursday as he continues to deal with a groin injury. He's currently listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions, but he may move to doubtful if he's unable to get in even a limited practice on Friday. If Kirk is out on Sunday, Andy Isabella could see an increased role in the offense, but is still a pretty risky player to start in fantasy this week. Isabella caught both of his targets for 67 yards in Week 2 while Kirk caught two of his four targets for 57 yards.
The Minnesota Vikings are signing former Denver Broncos linebacker Todd Davis to a one-year deal on Thursday, according to a source. It'll give the Vikings some depth at the position following the season-ending injury to Anthony Barr (pectoral). Davis had two straight seasons of 100-plus tackles in Denver, so he could really help the Vikings make up for Barr's absence. However, with the Vikings getting trampled both on the ground and through the air through two weeks, you can continue avoiding them in fantasy football, especially with the Titans on the scheduled this weekend.
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase said that wide receiver Jamison Crowder (hamstring) is doubtful to play in Week 3 against the Colts. Crowder didn't practice on Wednesday and is expected to sit out on Thursday, too, making him likely to miss his second straight game. As quarterback Sam Darnold's favorite weapon, Crowder is really the only Jets receiver worth starting in most fantasy leagues at this point, but it looks like you'll have to go in another direction for another week. Breshad Perriman, Chris Hogan and Braxton Berrios should operate in three-receiver sets if Crowder misses another game, with tight end Chris Herndon being a sleeper in DFS and deeper leagues.
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark Jr. (back, chest), who is questionable for the Thursday night game against the Dolphins, is trending upward, but no final decision on his status will be made until closer to kickoff, according to a source. Chark has been limited in practice the last two days, so he has a good chance of being active. The 24-year-old has flown under the radar through two weeks with teammate Keelan Cole getting most of the recognition, but Chark remains the team's No. 1 wideout. If active, Chark should draw the coverage of cornerback Xavien Howard. He'll be a WR3 in fantasy for Week 3. If he sits, Cole, rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. and Chris Conley will see more work.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield turned in a serviceable performance in a Week 2 win over the Cincinnati Bengals as he tossed two touchdowns and notched 219 passing yards. He will face off against the Washington Football Team at home in Week 3 in what could be a tough matchup. While Washington's secondary has been suspect, they boast a dominant pass rush that could give Mayfield fits on Sunday. That sets Mayfield up as a boom/bust QB2 in fantasy. It all depends on whether his offensive line can give him time to operate. If that happens, Mayfield could have a good afternoon. That being said, if Washington can hurry him consistently throughout the contest, it could look a lot like his Week 1 dud. Fantasy gamers should treat Mayfield as a low-end QB2 for Week 3.
The Pittsburgh Steelers Defense is a strong option heading into a Week 3 matchup against the Houston Texans. Pittsburgh's defense has been one of the best in the league through two weeks and will face off against a leaky Houston offensive line that has allowed Deshaun Watson to get sacked eight times through two games. While Watson is a special talent, the Steelers defense is primed for another solid fantasy performance as four-point home favorites. Start the Pittsburgh D/ST in all formats for Week 3.
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron is off to a slow start with his new team. Ebron has caught just four passes for 61 yards and has yet to find the end zone through two games. The veteran tight end has shown in past years that he has plenty of touchdown upside but it appears he's going to need to find the end zone to be useful in fantasy in 2020 as he's the fourth or fifth option at best in the Pittsburgh passing attack. Fantasy gamers should have a better starting option than Ebron in Week 3 as he's just a low-end TE2, even against a weak Houston Texans pass defense.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool showed his explosiveness in Week 2 when he caught three passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. The rookie wideout is suddenly of interest in redraft leagues after catching all five of his targets for 127 yards and a score through two weeks. He draws a plus matchup against a weak Houston Texans Defense in Week 3. Fantasy gamers can fire up Claypool as a boom/bust flex in Week 3 but understand that he's a risky option. While he may grow into a larger role later in the season, Claypool isn't being targeted heavily and will need to break a big play to help in fantasy at this point.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson has lived up to the preseason hype so far through two games in the 2020 season. Johnson leads the team in targets (23), receptions (14), and receiving yards (149) at this point in the season. Fantasy gamers will want to lock Johnson into their starting lineups ahead of a Week 3 matchup against a leaky Houston Texans pass defense. Houston ranks just 23rd in DVOA against the pass through two games and have little chance at slowing the ascending Johnson. Treat Johnson as a low-end WR1 for Week 3 and a great value play in DFS contests as his price hasn't caught up with his production.
San Francisco 49ers tight end Jordan Reed was the focal point of the team's passing game in Week 2. Reed caught a team-high seven passes on eight targets for 50 yards and two touchdowns. The team's No. 1 tight end George Kittle (knee) returned to practice on a limited basis this week and is currently questionable to play in Week 3. If Kittle plays, Reed is a risky start and probably best to avoid. If Kittle sits again, Reed is a solid low-end starting tight end option. The team's starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) is questionable for the game and if backup Nick Mullens gets the start, all 49ers pass-catchers figure to have a tougher time producing. Don't count on a repeat of Week 2 from Reed if Kittle sits and Mullens is under center, but he should still see enough targets to warrant starting.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Benny Snell Jr. struggled in a Week 2 win over the Denver Broncos. Many expected Snell to split carries with James Conner after the latter injured his ankle in Week 1, but instead Conner out-touched Snell 18 to four last week. If Snell is going to remain in a strict backup role then fantasy gamers should have little trouble finding a better option to start for Week 3. Treat Snell as a nothing more than a handcuff option to Conner going forward and leave him on the bench despite a favorable Week 3 matchup against the Houston Texans.
The 49ers Defense should be in position to have a solid fantasy output in Week 3, despite losing star defensive end Nick Bosa (ACL) for the season. The 49ers have a plethora of injuries on offense and that will likely lead to a defensive battle in Week 3 against the New York Giants. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has three interceptions through two games and has been sacked seven times. Expect the 49ers to hold the Giants under 20 points while also forcing some turnovers, making them a solid starting option in Week 3.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is off to a solid start in 2020, posting 13 receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns through two games. It appears that Smith-Schuster has taken a back seat to Diontae Johnson in the passing attack but the former still has plenty of fantasy appeal in Week 3 against the Houston Texans. Houston's pass defense has struggled this season, ranking just 23rd in DVOA through their first two games. A Ben Roethlisberger-led passing attack has shown in years past that it can support two wide receivers in fantasy. Fantasy gamers can trust Smith-Schuster as a solid WR2 for Sunday's game.
Chicago Bears DT John Jenkins (thumb) tore a ligament in his thumb in Week 2 and played through it, but he's likely out several games. DT Daniel McCullers was signed off the Pittsburgh Steelers' practice squad.
Free-agent LB Jabaal Sheard (Colts) is visiting the Detroit Lions Thursday, Sept. 24.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk caught two of his three targets for 21 yards in his NFL debut in Week 2. This week, Aiyuk could find himself catching passes from backup quarterback Nick Mullens if the team's starter Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) is unable to go. Garoppolo is currently questionable for the game. Kendrick Bourne has been the team's most-targeted wide receiver so far this year and that should remain the case in Week 3. Meanwhile, the team might get George Kittle (knee) back in Week 3, which would lower Aiyuk's target potential even more. Aiyuk isn't a viable starting option this week and can be left on waivers with the team's projected No. 1 receiver Deebo Samuel (foot) likely to return soon.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner showed that his ankle was healthy in Week 2 when he handled 18 touches in a win over the Denver Broncos. Conner saw the majority of the running back touches, showing that Pittsburgh intends to reinstall him as the bell-cow as long as he's healthy. Conner will face off against a shaky Houston Texans Defense in Week 3 in what is a favorable matchup for all of the Pittsburgh skill players. Houston's run defense ranks just 24th in DVOA through the first two games of the season. Treat Conner as an upside RB2 for Week 3.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR DJ Chark Jr. (chest, back) is trending upward, but no final decision will be made until closer to kickoff Thursday, Sept. 24.
Fantasy Spin: Chark is useable as a WR3, but if you have a healthier option on that WR3/flex apex, you can go with the latter.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne caught four of his five targets for 67 yards in Week 2. He led the team in receiving yards and was the most-targeted wide receiver on the team in the game. In Week 3, he looks to be in a tough spot as the team's starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) is questionable for the game and backup Nick Mullens could be in line to make the start. The team could also see their top pass-catcher, George Kittle (knee), make his return in the game. Bourne is a risky play even if Garoppolo starts and Kittle sits, but regardless, he should be avoided as a fantasy starter in Week 3.