Editor’s update 9/16 5:20 p.m.: Ben Roethlisberger has been ruled out for the season with an elbow injury, and Drew Brees is expected to miss at least six weeks with a thumb injury. Some good news did come out on Monday related to James Conner. The Steelers running back said on Monday that he is confident he will play this Sunday against the 49ers. He said there were no tears or anything significant with his knee after injuring it in Week 2 against the Seahawks.
The NFL has wrapped up its second Sunday of the season, leaving us with the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets on Monday Night Football to close out Week 2. Plenty of fantasy matchups await Nick Chubb, Baker Mayfield, Le’Veon Bell and plenty of other players.
In the meantime, it’s time for all of us to start considering our fantasy football waiver wire options heading into Week 3. The pickings are not yet slim, but you’ll want to grab what you can before things get more difficult in the coming weeks.
We’ll have plenty of waiver wire advice for you, but let’s get started with some key injuries from Week 2. You might not own any of these players, but they could impact your current roster, or your waiver considerations. Some big names got hurt on Sunday. Quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger (elbow) and Drew Brees (thumb) both got knocked out in the first half of their respective games. Running back James Conner suffered a knee injury and will be getting an MRI.
Below is a rundown of notable injuries, and who stands to benefit as you consider what to do with your waiver wire priority.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
The Steelers quarterback injured his elbow on Sunday after dealing with inflammation during the week. He’ll undergo an MRI, and so we should have a better handle on the situation by the end of Monday. If he misses any time, Mason Rudolph would start in his place. Rudolph had a decent showing, completing 12 of 19 passes for two touchdowns and one interception. He’s not a starting option in fantasy, you’ll want to downgrade your Steelers options a little bit. JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner, and Vance McDonald all remain starting options for the time being. Although, related...
James Conner, RB, Steelers
Conner suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter and head coach Mike Tomlin said he will be assessed this week along with Roethlisberger. If Conner misses any time, Jaylen Samuels would likely move into a starting role, with Benny Snell getting some work as well. Whether you have Conner or are simply looking for some running back help, we’ll make sure and get you a Conner update as soon as word arrives.
Drew Brees, QB, Saints
Saints fans will be on the edge of their seat awaiting word on Brees’ thumb injury. The quarterback injured his throwing hand when he hit Aaron Donald’s massive mitt on a follow-through. Teddy Bridgewater took over for Brees in the first quarter, and Brees was formally ruled out to start the third quarter. Odds are good Brees ends up playing, but if not, you have to downgrade Saints skill position players. Bridgewater is an intriguing quarterback, but he was not overly impressive in place of Brees on Sunday. It might take some time to get things going. Bridgewater could eventually be a streaming or bye week option, but you’d be looking at him as a player to stash for the time being.
Joe Staley, LT, 49ers
Normally this list will include only skill position players. However, Staley’s loss is a huge deal for the 49ers offense. He fractured his fibula and is expected to miss between six and eight weeks. Rookie Daniel Bruskill will replace him in the starting lineup. Staley is one of the best, if not THE best, players on the 49ers offense. His departure impacts pass protection for Jimmy Garoppolo and run blocking for Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert, and Tevin Coleman when he returns from his ankle injury. You’re not going to bench starting options like Breida or George Kittle, but it might be a good idea to lower expectations a little bit.