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Raiders will be without speedy receiver Ruggs vs Patriots

Fri Sep 25 5:28pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer

The Las Vegas Raiders will be without speedy rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III this week because of injuries to his knee and hamstring.

Ruggs was ruled out Friday for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots, along with starting right tackle Trent Brown and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski.

Brown has been sidelined by a calf injury since leaving the opener at Carolina after one series. Kwiatkoski injured his pectoral muscle later in that game and will miss his second straight week.

Running back Josh Jacobs (hip), star tight end Darren Waller (knee), tackle Sam Young (groin) and offensive lineman Denzelle Good (thumb, illness) are all listed as questionable this week.

The loss of Ruggs could be significant for a Raiders offense that has been very productive so far this season by scoring 34 points in each game.

Ruggs made an immediate impact with three catches for 55 yards and two runs for 11 yards in the first half of a season-opening 34-30 win at Carolina. He hurt his knee late in the half and wasn't targeted once as a receiver after that.

Ruggs had just one catch for four yards last week in a 34-24 win over New Orleans but managed to attract coverage that opened up some underneath routes for quarterback Derek Carr to exploit. Ruggs also drew two pass interference calls, including one that set up a game-sealing field goal.

Ruggs' absence should give more opportunities to Nelson Agholor and Zay Jones, who each have one TD catch in limited action this season.

The Raiders will once again need to juggle on the offensive line with Brown and starting left guard Richie Incognito out. Incognito left last week's game with an Achilles injury and was placed on injured reserve for at least three games.

Young replaced Brown in the opener before leaving later that game with a groin injury. Good, normally a backup guard, filled in after that but is now dealing with his own injury.

He also could go back to his usual spot at guard this week in place of Incognito after rookie John Simpson stepped in last week against the Saints.

''It's a mystery,'' coach Jon Gruden said. ''We don't know who is up at any position, so we're hoping we can find five starters that are healthy and ready to go.''

Player Notes
New Orleans Saints Sep 25 7:20pm ET

The New Orleans Saints Defense faces a tough test against the Packers, the league's highest-scoring team heading into Week 3. New Orleans has racked up some good stats so far, including six sacks, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown. Unfortunately, Green Bay hasn't been giving to defenses this year, as quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been sacked just once and has yet to throw an interception. When you consider that this game could become high-scoring, it makes the New Orleans defense less appealing for fantasy purposes. There are better starting options out there.

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Jared Cook Sep 25 7:00pm ET

New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook will square off with one of his former teams, the Packers, in Week 3. Cook ranks as the TE16 through two weeks of play and he was a bit disappointing in the first Saints game without Michael Thomas (ankle). Still, he's arguably the best pass-catcher this offense has besides Alvin Kamara, which should make fantasy managers feel better about starting him. Green Bay has been good against tight ends this year, though they haven't faced one who can stretch the field like Cook can. Plug him into lineups as a low-end TE1.

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Wil Lutz Sep 25 7:00pm ET

New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz gets a tough matchup against the Packers in Week 3. Lutz has made all three field-goals and all seven extra-points in two contests. New Orleans will have to put up more points in this one, considering that Green Bay currently leads the NFL in points per game. Fantasy managers should keep rolling with Lutz, as this contest could become high-scoring, lending to more opportunities for the veteran kicker. A top-12 finish at the position is certainly possible.

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Montez Sweat Sep 25 6:40pm ET

Washington Football Team defense will be in play again in Week 3 in a matchup with the Cleveland Browns. Washington has a high-floor as a defense thanks to a ferocious defensive line that features Ryan Kerrigan, Montez Sweat, and second-overall pick Chase Young. Washington put up eight sacks in Week 1 and should be able to put pressure on Baker Mayfield this week. Their secondary is certainly capable of getting picked apart so their upside is limited, but they are a fine starting option in this matchup.

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Emmanuel Sanders Sep 25 6:40pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders faces off with the Packers in Week 3. Sanders saw the second-highest number of snaps in Week 2 against the Raiders, but was third in wide receiver targets behind Tre'Quan Smith and Deonte Harris. This makes the veteran wideout hard to trust against Green Bay, despite the fact that they rank 22nd in fantasy points allowed to opposing wideouts. While both Sanders and Smith are obviously risky, Sanders is even more volatile right now considering he saw so few targets in Week 2. Sanders is in the WR4 range for Week 3.

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Antonio Gibson Sep 25 6:30pm ET

Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson led the team in carries in Week 2 and should continue his ascent up the fantasy football ranks in a good matchup in Cleveland. Gibson handled 13 carries in Week 2 and started over veteran Peyton Barber and pass-catching specialist J.D. McKissic. Gibson only has three receptions thus far in 2020 but should get more involved in the passing game as he gets more comfortable with the NFL game. Start the rookie as a high-upside RB2.

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Terry McLaurin Sep 25 6:20pm ET

Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin has a tough matchup versus former Ohio State teammate Denzel Ward, but is still a WR1 for a matchup in Cleveland. McLaurin typically sees the opposing team's top corner, but the sophomore receiver has beaten good cornerbacks before as he went for 125 yards and a touchdown versus Patrick Peterson in Week 1. Washington has struggled on offense but they tend to force-feed McLaurin targets making him solid starter for fantasy managers.

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Logan Thomas Sep 25 6:10pm ET

Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas made four catches in each game so far this season and is a streamable tight end in a good matchup with Cleveland. Thomas hasn't eclipsed 40 yards in a game yet this season so he is a touchdown-dependent option in fantasy, but he has been getting a good amount of targets in an offense that lacks playmakers. Cleveland has given up a touchdown to tight ends in two-straight weeks so Thomas has a chance to pay off as a streamer in Week 3.

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Tre'Quan Smith Sep 25 6:10pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith could be a sneaky play in Week 3 against the Packers. In the first game without Michael Thomas (ankle), Smith played 53 snaps, compared to Emmanuel Sanders' 47, and caught five passes for 86 yards. He out-targeted Sanders seven to three. You can't feel entirely great about playing Smith, especially against a solid Packers' pass defense. Still, he has had a knack for finding the end zone in his career and saw the most targets of any pass-catcher not named Alvin Kamara. Smith is a sneaky play in all formats.

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Dwayne Haskins Sep 25 6:10pm ET

Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins has played efficiently in 2020, but is not a quarterback to target in fantasy. Haskins is quickly earning the dreaded "game manager" tag as he has thrown for under 225 yards and exactly one touchdown, but no interceptions, through the team's first two games. The Browns are a solid matchup and Haskins could play well again, but fantasy managers should aim higher with their QB. In 2QB leagues Haskins can be considered a low-end starter, but he should be left on waivers in most leagues.

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Evan Engram Sep 25 6:00pm ET

New York Giants tight end Evan Engram has struggled thus far in 2020 and things won't get easier in Week 3 versus San Francisco. The 49ers won't be at full strength on defense after several injuries in Week 2, but they have still allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends through two weeks. Engram has just eight catches for 74 scoreless yards this season as New York has struggled on the offensive side of the ball. Engram isn't the slam-dunk fantasy starter he was after the draft but remains a low-end TE1 for this matchup at a weak tight end position for fantasy.

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Darius Slayton Sep 25 5:50pm ET

New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton had a letdown game in Week 2 with just 33 yards after he exploded for 100-plus yards and a touchdown in Week 1. Slayton should be in a position to see more targets this week as Sterling Shepard (toe) was placed on Injured Reserve. New York has struggled to move the ball on offense but will catch a break this week facing a 49ers Defense decimated by injuries. Slayton should be in line for seven-plus targets giving him appeal as a WR3 in fantasy.

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Latavius Murray Sep 25 5:50pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray gets a favorable matchup against the Packers in Week 3. Green Bay has surrendered the 11th-most fantasy points to opposing running backs and has allowed a back to score in each of their two games so far. Murray saw far less touches in Week 2, though it can't be forgotten that he carried the ball 15 times in Week 1, against a much tougher Buccaneers' run defense. With Michael Thomas (ankle) ruled out, it's possible New Orleans opts for a run-heavy approach. If the veteran halfback sees at least 10 touches, he could do enough to return flex value in Week 3. The risk is the week-to-week uncertainty with his role and the fact that Kamara could gobble up all the backfield touches once again.

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New York Giants Sep 25 5:40pm ET

The New York Giants Defense will have streaming appeal versus a banged-up 49ers team in Week 3. The Giants Defense hasn't shown much through two weeks to warrant consideration in fantasy, but they are playable as a low-end starter this week. The 49ers will be without starting QB Jimmy Garoppolo and superstar tight end George Kittle making this matchup much friendlier than it looked before last week. Throw in the fact San Francisco will be making their second consecutive cross-country trip for an early afternoon kickoff and there is definitely sleeper appeal with this New York defensive unit.

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Michael Thomas Sep 25 5:40pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 3 against the Green Bay Packers. Thomas will miss his second straight game as he continues to deal with a high-ankle sprain that he suffered late in Week 1 against the Buccaneers. The All-Pro wideout hasn't practiced yet since spraining his ankle, though there was a sliver of hope that he would be available for last week's game. If that's the case, there's probably a realistic shot at this point that Thomas is progressing and that he suits up for a Week 4 matchup against the Lions, as it would be the third week in his latest 2-4 week timeline. Receivers Tre'Quan Smith, Emmanuel Sanders and Jared Cook should all see an uptick in targets against Green Bay in Thomas' absence.

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Ryan Tannehill Sep 25 5:40pm ET

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill has thrown six touchdowns in the first two weeks of the season while star running back Derrick Henry has yet to find the end zone. It's possible that the Titans offense is veering away from the run first mentality that they've been known for. Week three should be another good week for Tannehill as he goes up a against a Vikings Defense that has surrendered 578 passing yards and five touchdowns through its first two games this season. Tannehill should play as a high-end QB2 but could be without his top wide receiver, A.J. Brown.

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Golden Tate Sep 25 5:40pm ET

New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate should see a bigger target share in Week 3 with Sterling Shepard (toe) on Injured Reserve. That being said, it would be tough for fantasy managers to start Tate this week as he had just five targets for 47 yards in his first game of the season last week. New York has struggled mightily on the offensive side of the ball as QB Daniel Jones has not taken the next step in his development thus far in 2020. Tate has more appeal in PPR formats as he should see plenty of short-area targets, but it'll be hard for him to finish as a top-40 receiver without finding the end zone.

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Devonta Freeman Sep 25 5:30pm ET

New York Giants running back Devonta Freeman signed with the team on Tuesday and will immediately be thrust into action vs the 49ers this Sunday. Freeman is a former Pro-Bowler with the Falcons but has battled various injuries over the past couple of seasons. He spent the entire offseason as a free agent and signed with New York after Saquon Barkley (knee) was declared out for the season. Freeman is behind Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman in terms of knowing the offense, but Freeman is the most talented back on the team and head coach Joe Judge will likely look to get him some touches. Freeman is a dart-throw flex option in Week 3, but has higher upside rest of season as he gets acclimated with the team.

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J.K. Dobbins Sep 25 5:30pm ET

Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins will look to get back on track against the Chiefs on Monday night. After an impressive debut in Week 1 that resulted in the 21-year-old rushing for two scores against the Browns, he regressed in Week 2 against the Texans. While fantasy managers could be pleasantly surprised with a solid effort in Week 3, the rookie should only be in starting lineups for those with no other alternatives, primarily with Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram II, and Gus Edwards, also looking for touches.

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Wayne Gallman Sep 25 5:30pm ET

New York running back Wayne Gallman was a hot waiver wire pick-up in 2019 when Saquon Barkley went down with an injury, but won't have the same role this time around. Gallman was inactive in Week 2 and Dion Lewis took over RB1 duties after Barkley's injury. Lewis should still be ahead of Gallman in the pecking order and the team also went out and signed former Falcons RB Devonta Freeman. As a result, it will be impossible to predict how the carries shake out but fantasy managers can skip over Gallman for now unless there is another injury or he shows something in Week 3.

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