The NFL season is finally upon us, the wait is over and football is back!
Along with a happy rejoice, I wanted to start this article with a PSA (public service announcement). If you can, it's best to wait until the week before kick off to do your fantasy league drafts. I understand everyone is pumped for the season and the wait seems like forever, but it only makes sense. A good handful of players were injured during the preseason and if you drafted early you are really kicking yourself now. Every year, we see countless injuries during the regular season, leaving some fantasy GMs reaching for the bottom of the waiver wire barrel to find a serviceable starter. And if you drafted around the pre-season/training camp era, you know this to be all too true and familiar.
With Week 1 here and a few notable injuries, let's segue into this year's first Injuries and Opportunities.
San Francisco 49ers
RB - Raheem Mostert (Q-Knee)
RB - Elijah Mitchell (.7% owned)
RB - JaMycal Hasty
Raheem Mostert came into this year as the clear number one running back in San Francisco, and hopes were high at the beginning of the season for 49ers fans and his fantasy owners alike. Unfortunately, he exited Week 1 with a knee injury and could miss a few weeks. I urge Mostert owners to use their waiver wire picks to get Elijah Mitchell ASAP. After Mostert exited the game, Mitchell received the bulk of the carries and ended the game with 19 carries, over 100 yards and a TD. The 6th round pick is well worth the waiver claim because even when Mostert returns, Mitchell has just earned himself a role in this offense moving forward. I’d wait and see with Hasty as he may be used in the passing game more but he’s not worth the pickup at this time.
WR - Jerry Jeudy (D-Ankle)
WR - Courtland Sutton
TE - Noah Fant
WR - Tim Patrick
WR - KJ Hamler
Jerry Jeudy is another player who the fantasy community had high hopes for entering his second NFL season. It didn't look good, however, when Jeudy left Sunday's game on a cart. After the game it was confirmed Jeudy has a high ankle sprain and it's deemed, fortunately, to have been less severe than initially thought. Before leaving the game he had already racked up 6 catches for 72 yards as Teddy Bridgewater was tossing darts all over the field against the Giants. Due to the fact that the offense as a whole and Bridgewater looked excellent, both Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler are great pick ups if you have a spot on your team. They both are owned in less than 2 percent of leagues and could be sneaky flex plays while Jeudy misses time. Sutton will be one of the main benefactors from this news as he should see an uptick in target volume; the same goes for Fant, who will see an increase of volume and return TE1 numbers for fantasy GM's.
WR - Michael Gallup (O-Calf)
WR - Ceedee Lamb
TE - Dalton Schultz
On Thursday night, the high flying Cowboys offense lost Gallup midway through the game. He is already ruled out for Week 2 and could miss more time. Dak Prescott threw the ball a whopping 58 times and 7 of those targets went to Gallup. Other than both Amari Cooper and Ceedee Lamb, who are already in your starting lineups, I suggest taking a look at Dalton Schultz. Schultz pulled in all six of his targets and will only get a bigger target share if he keeps up his efficiency. The gap between the elite and average tight ends in today's NFL is a large one, but if you are desperate for a spot start in deeper leagues, Shultz could prove to be a serviceable option. I’m not going to suggest picking up Cedrick Wilson at the moment but he could be an option if Gallup’s injury drags out, we will watch his usage in Week 2.