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Steelers' Minkah Fitzpatrick: 'I'm not a dirty player'

Thu Sep 21 11:49am ET
Field Level Media

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick found himself on the defensive three days after his tackle on Nick Chubb resulted in a season-ending knee injury for the Cleveland Browns running back.

Chubb rushed up the middle for a gain of 5 yards with 14:14 left in the second quarter on Monday and was in the process of being tackled by Pittsburgh linebacker Cole Holcomb when Fitzpatrick dropped his shoulder and ran directly into Chubb's left knee.

The hit by Fitzpatrick caused Chubb's leg to bend, and Chubb sat up and grabbed his knee and could be heard yelling in anguish through the field microphones.

"Very unfortunate. It's a tough injury. Unfortunately, it's part of the game that we play," Fitzpatrick said Thursday. "You know, people are going to say I had ill will behind the tackle. That's not the case whatsoever. I'm a guy that's a competitor that's gonna go out there and play the game. I'm chippy. I'm edge, of course, but I'm not a dirty player.

"I'm not gonna sit here and defend my character. I know the type of player I am; Chubb knows the type of player I am. I've played against him the past five years, two times a year and I love competing against him. He brings the best outta me, and I bring the best outta him. No chance that I would ever try and purposely injure somebody."

Fitzpatrick said there is nothing he'd do differently in his approach to tackle the physical Chubb on the play that resulted in his knee injury. He also told Chubb that he wasn't intentionally trying to hurt him while the latter was on the ground in pain on Monday.

Fitzpatrick was injured on the same play.

He returned to the game before sustaining a chest injury in the third quarter while making a tackle on a 69-yard run by Chubb's replacement at running back, Jerome Ford.

Fitzpatrick was taken to a local hospital for precautionary reasons. Although he did not participate in practice on Wednesday, he expects to play for Pittsburgh (1-1) in its road game against the Las Vegas Raiders (1-1) on Sunday night.

Fitzpatrick, 26, has recorded 10 tackles and two pass deflections in two games (both starts) this season.

A three-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowl selection, Fitzpatrick has 458 tackles, 19 interceptions, 49 passed defensed, four forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and five touchdowns in 81 career games (76 starts) with the Miami Dolphins (2018-19) and Steelers.

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Waiver Wire Adds: Week 3

Player Notes
DeAndre Hopkins Sep 21 12:20pm ET
DeAndre Hopkins

Tennessee Titans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins saw just five targets in Week 2 after drawing 13 targets in Week 1. However, the former All-Pro did not practice at all last week due to an ankle injury, so that could've impacted his ability to get open. Heading into Week 3, he is practicing in full, meaning the ankle injury is likely behind him. Although his next opponent, the Cleveland Browns, has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to wideouts through two weeks, Hopkins is tough to bench in PPR formats given his target upside. He's a much riskier standard league option, but assuming he's healthy, he'll continue to have upside.

From RotoBaller

Treylon Burks Sep 21 12:20pm ET
Treylon Burks

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Treylon Burks has just seven targets through two games, catching five of them for 94 yards. He delivered a 70-yard chunk play in the win over the Los Angeles Chargers last week but still didn't deliver a spike week for fantasy football. Until his targets see a dramatic uptick, he's tough to trust in fantasy lineups. Fantasy managers in deep leagues might be forced into starting him at the flex spot, but he faces a worrisome matchup in Week 3. The Cleveland Browns allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to wideouts through the first two weeks of the season, and the Titans' passing offense is far from matchup-proof. Proceed with caution with Burks.

From RotoBaller

Ryan Tannehill Sep 21 12:10pm ET
Ryan Tannehill

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a disastrous performance in Week 1, but bounced back in Week 2 and delivered a multi-touchdown game. However, next up on the schedule is a road contest against the Cleveland Browns, who have allowed the fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks thus far. In two games against Joe Burrow and Kenny Pickett, the Browns have given up just 304 passing yards and one passing touchdown. The Titans' offense is likely to have trouble in this AFC bout, meaning Tannehill should remain on the bench in single-quarterback formats.

From RotoBaller

Austin Ekeler Sep 21 12:00pm ET
Austin Ekeler

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (ankle) gave an update on the ankle injury that he suffered in the season opener, saying it's more of a "day-to-day, week-to-week" type of situation and that he likes "the progress I've made so far." Ekeler didn't play in the Week 2 overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday and also didn't practice on Wednesday. He's going to need to get back on the field in the next two days to have a realistic chance to play this Sunday in Minnesota against the Vikings as the Bolts look for their first win of the season. As of right now, Ekeler should be considered very questionable to play. If he misses another game, Joshua Kelley will get another shot as the lead back for LA after a disappointing showing as the top option in Week 2.

From RotoBaller

Derek Stingley Jr. Sep 21 11:30am ET
Derek Stingley Jr.

Houston Texans starting cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. (hamstring) injured his hamstring in practice on Wednesday and could miss several games after undergoing an MRI exam, according to a league source. Stingley is now a strong candidate to land on Injured Reserve, which would require him to miss at least four games. He's expected to be replaced primarily by third cornerback Shaq Griffin in Week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Stingley, the third overall pick in 2022, started the first two games and recorded nine tackles. He's allowed four catches for 37 yards and no scores on six targets through two games. With the 22-year-old potentially missing the next four games, Houston's secondary will be much more vulnerable.

From RotoBaller

Tarik Cohen Sep 21 11:20am ET
Tarik Cohen

Carolina Panthers special teams coach Chris Tabor said they will rev up running back Tarik Cohen's repetitions in practice this week to see where he is. The punt returner/RB could add some explosiveness to an offense that has lacked it through two weeks of the season as well. Cohen is attempting to make an NFL comeback after some serious knee injuries, and he hasn't played in an NFL game since 2020. It wouldn't hurt the Panthers to see what he can give him on offense behind Miles Sanders and Chuba Hubbard, but it's unrealistic to expect the 28-year-old to contribute meaningfully outside of special teams anytime soon.

From RotoBaller

Alexander Mattison Sep 21 11:20am ET
Alexander Mattison

Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Wes Phillips deferred to head coach Kevin O'Connell on how the trade for running back Cam Akers could affect starter Alexander Mattison but also said, "we haven't lost confidence in Alex Mattison. I will say that." Mattison's poor start -- 19 carries for only 61 yards (3.2 yards per carry) -- had to factor into the decision to acquire Akers from the Los Angeles Rams. And the fact that nobody behind Mattison stood out in training camp or the preseason. The Vikings aren't suddenly going to go away from Mattison completely, but make no mistake, the trade for Akers isn't going to be good for his fantasy value in the long run during the 2023 season.

From RotoBaller

C.J. Stroud Sep 21 11:10am ET
C.J. Stroud

Houston Texans rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud (shoulder) came into the Week 2 loss against the Indianapolis Colts already banged up, and he was sacked six times and hit nine times overall and still managed to throw for 384 yards. He ranks fourth in the league in passing yards and has no interceptions in the first 91 pass attempts of his career, which is an NFL record. Stroud has been dealing with a painful right throwing shoulder, but he said he's making strides and will be able to play in Week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. "I feel blessed, I feel good," Stroud said. "Football is a physical sport and that's what I signed up for, but my body is fine. I'll be all right." The first-round rookie will remain a low-end QB2, but he's creeping up the ranks after his first two games and gets a vulnerable Jags defense on the road in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Matt Breida Sep 21 11:00am ET
Matt Breida

With New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) sidelined for Thursday night's game against the San Francisco 49ers and possibly longer, expect Matt Breida to serve as the No. 1 back. Breida is a reliable veteran, but he has had more than 10 carries in a game only once since 2019, and The Athletic's Dan Duggan also writes that the Giants figure to use a committee approach to replace Barkley. Gary Brightwell has been the No. 3 back the first two games and has performed well in limited opportunities. Rookie Eric Gray hasn't played an offensive snap yet, but the Giants could get him some touches in Barkley's absence. The fifth-rounder's shaky pass protection in the preseason could prevent the coaches from trusting him. Breida is your best bet in fantasy lineups, but don't expect much against one of the best defenses in the league in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Baker Mayfield Sep 21 10:40am ET
Baker Mayfield

The Philadelphia Eagles defense will travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers in Week 3 on Monday night. After forcing three fumbles last week and generating a couple of sacks against a potent Minnesota offense, the Eagles will put the 2-0 Buccaneers and quarterback Baker Mayfield to the test. Philadelphia has been a fine fantasy start each of the first two weeks, even after allowing Minnesota to put up 28 points against them last Thursday. The Eagles were missing some key pieces on defense last week but could have them back this upcoming Monday night. As for Tampa Bay, the team has yet to commit a turnover and allowed Mayfield to be sacked just once through two games. The Eagles' defensive line will look to change that, but it makes them a riskier option for fantasy than usual. Consider Philadelphia's defense a top-10 option in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Matthew Stafford Sep 21 10:20am ET
Matthew Stafford

The San Francisco 49ers D/ST unit will be a top-two option when they host the New York Giants in San Francisco's home opener on Thursday. The Giants offense spent their first six quarters of football this year struggling to find the end zone but came to life against the Arizona Cardinals in the second half last week. Record-setting comeback aside, New York is undertalented at wide receiver and will be without All-Pro running back Saquon Barkley (ankle). Last week against the Rams, the 49ers disappointed fantasy managers. Although they had two interceptions, they only recorded one sack and allowed 23 points. The game film shows the 49ers' excellent defensive line beating their opponents, but quarterback Matthew Stafford doing a great job of getting the ball out quickly and picking apart San Francisco's zone defense. The 49ers' D/ST should rebound this week. Start them with confidence.

From RotoBaller

Dallas Goedert Sep 21 10:20am ET
Dallas Goedert

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert will go on the road to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3 on Monday night. The 28-year-old has gotten off to an incredibly slow start, tallying just six receptions for 22 yards through the first two weeks. While he was peppered with targets last Thursday against Minnesota, he got nowhere with them. This week's matchup against Tampa Bay is not much better. The Buccaneers have let up just 105 yards on 15 receptions to the position so far and have kept tight ends out of the end zone entirely. Goedert is talented enough to overcome a tough matchup, but it would be wise to manage expectations after the past few performances. Consider him a back-end TE1 in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Jake Elliott Sep 21 10:20am ET
Jake Elliott

Philadelphia Eagles kicker Jake Elliott will travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers in Week 3 on Monday night. The 28-year-old is on pace to smash last year's production. Through two games, he has already converted 6-of-7 field goals, with three of them being from 50 or more yards away. For context, Elliott converted just 20 field goals in 2022. Philadelphia has to settle for more three-point attempts than last year, much to the fantasy benefit of the veteran kicker. Tampa Bay's defense has not let up a ton of points through two games, but the matchup matters little when it comes to the Eagles' offense. Elliott should have plenty of chances to convert kicks and carries a high fantasy-scoring floor and ceiling heading into the prime-time matchup. Elliott is a must-start option in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

DeVonta Smith Sep 21 10:10am ET
DeVonta Smith

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith will travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers in Week 3 on Monday night. The 24-year-old has outproduced teammate A.J. Brown by a wide margin in the past two weeks, posting 178 yards and two touchdowns. Brown is likely to get the squeaky wheel treatment in a plus matchup against Tampa Bay, but that does not mean there will not be enough left for Smith to have a top-tier fantasy performance. The Buccaneers have given up the seventh-most receiving yards to wide receivers through two weeks, even though they allowed just 140 last week to Chicago. Keep firing up the former Heisman winner as a top-tier WR2 with top-12 upside on a weekly basis.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Brown Sep 21 10:00am ET
A.J. Brown

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown will go on the road to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3 on Monday night. It has been a slow start for the Eagles' top target. Through two weeks, Brown has just 11 receptions for 108 scoreless yards. Meanwhile, teammate DeVonta Smith has 11 receptions for 178 yards and two touchdowns. This matchup against Tampa seems like the perfect situation to apply grease to the squeaky wheel in Week 3 for Brown and the Eagles. The Buccaneers have struggled to stop top pass catchers the past two weeks, allowing Justin Jefferson to gain 150 yards in Week 1 and DJ Moore to go for over 100 yards last week. After being visibly upset on the sideline last week about his lack of involvement, expect Brown to see a heavy target share in Week 3. Consider the 26-year-old a top 10 option.

From RotoBaller

Alexander Mattison Sep 21 9:50am ET
Alexander Mattison

Philadelphia Eagles running back D'Andre Swift will travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers in Week 3 on Monday night. The 24-year-old exploded for 175 yards and a touchdown in replacement of Kenneth Gainwell (ribs) last Thursday. With just one carry the week prior, Swift made a statement and has secured an increased role whether Gainwell is healthy or not. This week's matchup against the Buccaneers is not great, but not one you need to shy away from. Tampa Bay stifled the Chicago run game last week and held Alexander Mattison in check in Week 1, but neither of those teams has an offensive line close to Philadelphia's. Even if Gainwell is active, Swift should be considered an RB2 heading into Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Jalen Hurts Sep 21 9:40am ET
Jalen Hurts

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts will travel to Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers on Monday night. After getting back on track and scoring three total touchdowns in Week 2 against Minnesota, the 25-year-old will look to continue to roll against a solid Tampa Bay defense. The Buccaneers were able to shut down Justin Fields and the Chicago passing attack last week but will struggle to put as much pressure on Hurts. While the Eagles offense has not looked as in sync as they were during their Super Bowl run, it started to click in the second half of last week's Thursday night matchup and should continue to adjust. With a high-scoring floor due to his rushing ability, the Eagles starting quarterback should be considered a top-tier option in Week 3.

From RotoBaller

Foster Moreau Sep 21 9:30am ET
Foster Moreau

New Orleans Saints tight end Foster Moreau (ankle) logged a DNP at Wednesday's practice. The ex-Raider snagged his first two catches as a member of the Saints in the team's win over the Panthers on Monday Night Football. There's no word on the severity of the ankle issue Moreau is dealing with, but he'll get two more chances this week to return to the practice field. The Saints will travel to Green Bay for their Week 3 matchup on Sunday.

From RotoBaller

Tyson Bagent Sep 21 9:20am ET
Tyson Bagent

Less than 24 hours after releasing Nathan Peterman, the Chicago Bears have re-signed the veteran quarterback to the active roster. Peterman will presumably be the Bears' backup to Justin Fields in Week 3 against the Buccaneers. Undrafted rookie Tyson Bagent will serve as the emergency quarterback. The 29-year-old Peterman has played in 13 games in his five-year NFL career.

From RotoBaller

Ernest Jones Sep 21 8:30am ET
Ernest Jones

Fantasy managers rostering Los Angeles Rams linebacker Ernest Jones may want to follow the Cincinnati Bengals' injury reports. If Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow misses the Week 3 matchup against the Rams, Jones should be in line for a huge game. Jones has been productive in his first season as the Rams' every-down linebacker, having made 19 combined tackles in the first two weeks, and he is best at playing the run. Jones has made about 70% of his solo tackles on running plays, according to PFF. If Burrow misses the game, the Bengals will start Jake Browning, who has spent most of his four-year career on various practice squads and only attempted a single pass. The Bengals may lean on the run, and Jones would be in a good position to pile up the tackles.

From RotoBaller