ASL's Brian Murphy covers the long, long list of injuries some of the top fantasy football commodities
If you paid any attention to Week 2, you know this article is going to be neither short nor painless, so let's just get right to it.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings
Remember the days when we all thought Peterson's knee injury wouldn't keep him off the field for long? Ah, yes. I wish we could go back there. Instead, we were hit upside the head by cold, harsh reality Wednesday when it was reported that Peterson will miss 3-4 months -- likely the rest of the season -- after deciding to have his right lateral meniscus repaired. Surgery is set for Thursday. Moving forward, Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata need to be added in all leagues, pronto. McKinnon has already been announced as the starter for Sunday's showdown versus the Panthers. But once Minnesota moves inside the red zone, expect Asiata to handle most of the work and perhaps all of the goal-line carries.
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions
We also found out on Wednesday that Abdullah's foot sprain required surgery and will force him to miss at least the next eight weeks as the Lions have placed him on injured reserve. That means we have another RB committee to monitor in the NFC North. This one contains Theo Riddick as the pass-catching, between-the-20s back and Dwayne Washington, the bigger, stronger, short-yardage back. The Packers, Detroit's Week 3 opponent, have given up the second-fewest fantasy points to the running back position thus far. But The Machine from ASL seems to like Riddick quite a bit for this game, ranking him 17th in standard leagues.
Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
There is still nothing concrete regarding Gronkowski's status for Thursday's game versus the Texans, but there have been some positive signs. Most notably, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald said this week that he has seen a "stark difference" in Gronk's attitude during practice as if he is mentally readying himself to play. That ain't much, but it's something. Obviously, he needs to be in your lineup if he is indeed active. If he isn't, Martellus Bennett, who created some big plays while Jacoby Brissett was under center for the Pats last week, is a dart throw as a TE1.
Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina Panthers
The Panthers haven't provided a firm injury timetable in regards to Stewart's hamstring ailment, but it's obvious that he is going to sit out at least one game and probably more. Fozzy Whittaker gained 131 yards on 19 touches after J-Stew departed early in Week 2 and will have a substantial role Sunday against the Vikings. However, so will Cameron Artis-Payne. The second-year player out of Auburn was inactive for each of the first two games this season, but he had a pair of contests late last season in which he took on 16 touches. He could recover his early-down role while Whittaker serves largely as a passing-down player. Minnesota doesn't present a favorable matchup, but for what it's worth, the Vikings have allowed a couple of receiving touchdowns to RBs this year.
Arian Foster, RB, Miami Dolphins
Hey, whaddya know? It's another running back committee! And this one could be a four-pronged attack in place of Foster, who is sidelined by a hamstring injury. Dolphins head coach Adam Gase spent time Wednesday talking up Jay Ajayi, Kenyan Drake, Isaiah Pead and Damien Williams. Even with the hapless Browns coming to South Beach, fantasy owners should not trust any of this quartet until further notice.
Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There are probably some fantasy owners out there who somehow own Peterson, Stewart and Martin and are wondering why the fantasy gods despite them. Martin is out for a minimum of three weeks after an MRI revealed a significant hamstring strain. If there's a positive spin that can be put on this, it's that, unlike the other backfields previously mentioned here, Charles Sims may be a workhorse for the Bucs. His schedule for the next three weeks is fairly frightening -- Rams, Broncos, Panthers -- but with his receiving ability, Sims is at least an RB2 in PPR leagues. The Machine even has him ranked 18th at the position for this week in standard leagues.
Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
Charles is ramping up his practice activity a little bit and should receive some reps with the first-team offense this week. However, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said Wednesday that "another week is going to help him." Spencer Ware is more of an RB2 for Week 3 due to a tough matchup versus the Jets.
Donte Moncrief, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Moncrief has a broken scapula -- that's the shoulder blade in layman's terms -- and is expected to be absent for the next 4-6 weeks. That should mean more speed merchant Phillip Dorsett. He is definitely on the WR3 map for Sunday's meeting with the Chargers because cornerback Jason Verrett is probably going to shadow T.Y. Hilton. Tight ends Dwayne Allen and Jack Doyle will probably be targeted more often in the red zone as well.
Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, WRs, New York Jets
Both of these Pro Bowlers sat out Wednesday's practice. Now, Decker has already said his shoulder pain will not keep him off the field Sunday versus the Chiefs. Marshall is coming back from a knee injury that looked really, really bad when it occurred last Thursday night. However, he was able to play through it and recorded more than 100 receiving yards. Marshall may not practice much at all, but the odds are probably better than 50-50 that he will suit up.
Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks
Besides averaging 1.3 yards per carry through two weeks, Rawls is all kinds of banged up right now. He didn't get a carry after halftime last week because of a leg bruise. He also has an unspecified strain and is probably not all the way back from his 2015 broken ankle. Although he was still able to put in a limited practice Wednesday, Rawls' workload is being heavily threatened by Christine Michael, who have a 5.0 yards-per-carry average. If I had to start one in fantasy, Michael is the easy choice right now. Until we know more about Rawls' Week 3 availability, however, Michael is just a low-end RB2.
Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
Luck didn't practice Wednesday because of a sore right shoulder, which is the same reason why he didn't take all of the reps in practice last week. Luck said after his no-show that he understands his coaches will manage his practice time for the rest of the year, but this injury will not cause him to miss any game action.
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
A thumb injury will put Cutler on the bench for at least 2-3 weeks. He could be gone for much longer than that if surgery is required; that has not been fully determined yet. In any case, Brian Hoyer is now your starting quarterback in Chicago. Alshon Jeffery, your thoughts? As much as Bears fans don't enjoy watching Cutler, this offense will not dramatically improve with Hoyer. The biggest takeaway here is that if you are streaming defenses, Chicago will face the Cowboys, Lions and Colts, respectively, in Weeks 3-5.
Josh McCown, QB, Cleveland Browns
In a related story, The Miami Dolphins' defense is the top streaming option of the week by far as it will get the privilege of hosting a Browns team headed by rookie quarterback Cody Kessler, who, by all accounts, isn't ready to start in the NFL.