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FFL: Week 3 | NFL: Week 3

Fantasy Question Marks

Fri Aug 23 11:10am ET
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer

Not sure about you, but I feel like this year is filled with a lot more draft day question marks compared to the last few seasons. There are plenty of players with injury concerns and holdout issues, making for some tough decisions come draft day. I thought it would be a good idea to let you know how I am handling these players on draft day, letting you know my strategy when it comes to players with question marks. 

Rams running back Todd Gurley is the first draft-day headache. He missed time down the stretch because of a sore knee. Gurley has endured numerous knee surgeries as well, which is cause for concern. You just aren’t sure how much he has left in the tank, but when on the field and right, he is as good as any fantasy back in the game. For me, I will take a chance on Gurley in the second round if I have a top-four pick and am able to grab an elite, sure-thing running back. I also will take a look at Gurley if he falls to the third round, depending on how I already have on my roster. 

There are a couple running backs holding out, including Ezekiel Elliott. I have fewer concerns about Elliott because I can’t see the Cowboys going into the season without their star back. They need Elliott if the team hopes to make the playoffs and a run towards the Super Bowl. He is a huge part of the offense. So for now, I am still taking Elliott if he is there with the fourth pick in the draft. And if he falls later, I will be more than happy to get him any spot in the first round after pick three. But if I take Elliott, I am more than likely getting a back with my second pick to make sure I have a backup plan if Elliott misses any time because of his holdout. I will go back-to-back running backs with Elliott on my roster. 

Chargers running back Melvin Gordon is the other back that is holding out. Gordon has me a lot more scared then Elliott. The Chargers don't have a good track record of caving when it comes contract demands. I could see this situation dragging out into the season, which is a concern for anyone that drafts Gordon. But with that said, if Gordon falls into like the fourth round, I would grab him. I’m not sure I would take him in the third, though. I just think he carries too much risk at this point and his backups could end up splitting work, which is another concern as well if you want a handcuff. 

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is battling injury once again. He has an ankle injury this time and might not be ready for the start of the year. But if he misses any time, he is likely out just a game or two. Luck won’t miss much time. With the quarterback position so deep this year, I have no problem still taking Luck as my No. 1 quarterback. You can still get a solid backup if you draft Luck and he ends up missing a game or two. I still think the upside is great enough with Luck that he is worth grabbing after the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers. This Colts offense could be really special when Luck is starting at quarterback. 

The league just re-instated Patriots receiver Josh Gordon. He is back and ready to play a big role in an offense that lacks playmakers at receiver. Gordon carries huge risk, though. He is another strike away from a long suspension and played just one full season his entire NFL career. Plus, he has just one 1,000-yard season. He played much of last year with the Patriots and if he makes it the whole season, Gordon has 58 receptions for 1,047 yards and four touchdowns. I’m not taking Gordon as anything more than a No. 3 fantasy receiver. I will not reach for him sooner than that, making him like a seventh or eighth round pick for me.

Jeff Paur is a two-time finalist for FSWA Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and won the FSWA award for Best Fantasy Football Article on the Web in 2011. He also was the most accurate expert in 2012, winning the FSTA Fantasy Football Accuracy Award. If you have any questions for Jeff, email him at jeff@rtsports.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffpaur.

Player Notes
Miami Dolphins Sep 17 12:50pm ET

After giving up a combined 102 points in their first two games, the Miami Dolphins Defense may now somehow be even worse in Week 3 when they travel to take on the Dallas Cowboys. The Fins achieved this level of pessimism by trading defensive back (and 2018 first-round selection) Minkah Fitzpatrick to Pittsburgh on Tuesday for a package of draft picks highlighted by the Steelers first-round pick in 2020. By trading the only Fitzpatrick on the roster whose talent could possibly get in the way of their tanking, Miami virtually assured that every opponent they play this season will have a chance to light up the scoreboard. While the Miami defense shouldn't have been on anyone's radar in the first place, the trade of Fitzpatrick is still notable from a fantasy perspective as owners will no longer have to worry about their top receivers being shut down by the former Alabama standout. With a matchup against the high-powered offense of Dallas on the horizon, expect any Cowboy with a pulse to have a green light.

From RotoBaller

Dallas Cowboys Sep 17 12:20pm ET

Dallas Cowboys free safety Xavier Woods (ankle) is expected to miss four to six weeks with a high ankle sprain, according to a source. Woods is a key piece of Dallas' secondary, so this is a notable loss moving forward, although it's not likely to matter much in Week 3 with a putrid Dolphins offense coming to town. The Cowboys Defense/special teams is a must-start this Sunday and are an easy top-three fantasy option.

From RotoBaller

Cam Newton Sep 17 12:20pm ET

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton's (foot) Week 3 status against the Cardinals is up in the air after he aggravated a foot injury that he initially suffered in the preseason. Newton is rehabbing during practice on Tuesday. Cam hasn't looked good through two weeks, and perhaps his foot is the main reason why. He's run the ball five times in two games for a total of negative-two yards. His fantasy owners were really hoping he could bounce back this Sunday in a great matchup against the Cardinals, but it's looking like he might be extremely questionable. You better make plans now in case he's inactive. Either Kyle Allen or rookie Will Grier would start if Newton can't play, and the Panthers would likely feed the ball to running back Christian McCaffrey all day.

From RotoBaller

Jakeem Grant Sep 17 12:20pm ET

The good news is that Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jakeem Grant led the team in targets in a 43-0 loss to the Patriots on Sunday, with seven. The bad news is that he only caught three of those targets, finishing with just 22 yards. The worst news is that with the Dolphins down 37-0 in the fourth quarter, Grant missed his only opportunity for fantasy relevance, dropping a long pass from Josh Rosen that likely would've resulted in a 45-yard touchdown. But even if he had caught the pass, it still wouldn't change the fact that there are few reasons to roster Grant in Week 3 as the Dolphins pack it up and go on the road for the first time in 2019, traveling to Dallas to take on the 2-0 Cowboys.

From RotoBaller

Preston Williams Sep 17 12:10pm ET

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Preston Williams caught four of his six targets in Miami's 43-0 blowout loss to the Patriots on Sunday, ending with a total of 63 yards. While 48 of those yards came after the game was already out of hand in the second half, Williams was still Miami's most productive player on offense - even though that isn't exactly a difficult achievement. But even though he was Miami's best player on Sunday, it doesn't mean that he should find a home anywhere but in the deepest of fantasy leagues. With quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and his lack of magic leading a minor-league band of misfits into Dallas for a Week 3 matchup, leave Williams on the wire where he belongs.

From RotoBaller

Tom Brady Sep 17 12:10pm ET

New England Patriots left tackle Isaiah Wynn (toe) is considered week-to-week with turf toe, according to a source. His injury is not season-ending, however. With right tackle Marcus Cannon also injured, New England's offensive line has become a question mark moving forward. It's an upgrade to the Jets defensive line in Week 3, but fantasy owners won't be benching quarterback Tom Brady anytime soon. Marshall Newhouse is expected to take over at left tackle for however long Wynn is out.

From RotoBaller

LeSean McCoy Sep 17 12:00pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy's (ankle) MRI exam showed no significant damage to his ankle and he has a shot to play in Week 3 against the Ravens, according to sources. Damien Williams was also injured in Week 2, so McCoy's fantasy value will depend on if Williams can play as well. As of now in a tough matchup with Baltimore, Shady will be more of an RB3/flex play. If Williams is inactive, undrafted rookie Darwin Thompson should see more work on passing downs, making him flex-worthy in deep PPR formats.

From RotoBaller

Daniel Jones Sep 17 11:50am ET

That inevitable moment has finally arrived. Head coach Pat Shurmur has named Daniel Jones the starting quarterback for the New York Giants. While many Giants fans will rightfully be excited by the move, it's important to temper expectations early on. Jones is going to be throwing to one of the league's worst collection of wide receivers on a team that will still allow running backSaquon Barkley to dominate the offensive game plan. Jones looked good in the preseason and can be fired up as a QB2 in certain matchups, but this doesn't lead to a notable bump for any of the Giants skill position players, as Barkley and tight endEvan Engram were always going to be top-five options at their positions. Assuming Eli Manning has started his last game for the Giants, he will finish with a fitting record of 116-116.

From RotoBaller

Eli Manning Sep 17 10:23am ET

New York Giants QB Eli Manning was benched in favor of rookie QB Daniel Jones for Week 3.

Fantasy Spin: Manning loses all fantasy value for now. It's possible he is traded or released and lands in a spot that could rejuvenate some spot-start potential.

From TheHuddle

Josh Johnson Sep 17 10:23am ET

Detroit Lions QB Josh Johnson was released Tuesday, Sept. 17.

From TheHuddle

Daniel Jones Sep 17 10:21am ET

The Giants have named rookie quarterback Daniel Jones their starting quarterback for the Week 3 game, benching Eli Manning.

Xavier Woods Sep 17 9:53am ET

Dallas Cowboys FS Xavier Woods (ankle) is out four to six weeks with a high ankle sprain.

From TheHuddle

Ben Roethlisberger Sep 17 9:13am ET

Updating previous reports, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) isn't having Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, and the recovery time isn't as long as the 12-to-15-month window it would take. His season is still over, though.

Fantasy Spin: Mason Rudolph will be a matchup play the rest of the way. If you own Big Ben in a dynasty league, it's hard to see holding on to him considering his age and the severity of the injury to his position.

From TheHuddle

Josh Jones Sep 17 9:03am ET

Free-agent S Josh Jones (Packers) is working out for the Dallas Cowboys Tuesday, Sept. 17.

From TheHuddle

Kayvon Webster Sep 17 9:03am ET

Free-agent CB Kayvon Webster (Saints) is working out for the New York Jets Tuesday, Sept. 17.

From TheHuddle

Josh Ferguson Sep 17 9:03am ET

Free-agent RB Josh Ferguson (Texans) is working out for the Washington Redskins Tuesday, Sept. 17.

From TheHuddle

LeSean McCoy Sep 17 8:33am ET

Updating previous reports, Kansas City Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy's (ankle) MRI didn't show any significant damage, and he could play in Week 3.

Fantasy Spin: McCoy will be in the mix for a flex play against the Baltimore Ravens, but it's hard to start a potentially gimpy McCoy in his limited role.

From TheHuddle

Sean Davis Sep 17 2:03am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers SS Sean Davis (shoulder) sustained a torn labrum in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks, but his injury is not believed to be season ending. Once he returns, he will likely be out of the lineup as a starter following the acquisition of CB Minkah Fitzpatrick.

From TheHuddle

Demaryius Thomas Sep 17 1:53am ET

Updating a previous report, New York Jets WR Demaryius Thomas (hamstring) will have further tests Tuesday, Sept. 17 on his hamstring after aggravating his injury in Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns.

Fantasy Spin: Thomas just joined the Jets, likely rushed to play despite entering with a hamstring injury. He might be fine to play as soon as Week 3 depending on his tests, but fantasy owners will want to see him get a little more comfortable with the playbook and build a little more consistency first. In addition, the Jets appear to be down to their third-string QB, so it might be a while before Thomas bears any fruit for fantasy owners.

From TheHuddle

Trevor Siemian Sep 17 1:53am ET

Updating a previous report, New York Jets QB Trevor Siemian (leg) will have an MRI on his lower left leg injury Tuesday, Sept. 17.

From TheHuddle